Expat Marriage in England UK – procedure and costs

Unlike in Romania, the expat marriage in England UK procedure is a very simple one that does not imply headaches. Remember the article about how complicated it was to get PACS or married in France? Well, unfortunately It’s just as complicated in my home country Romania as well. We initially wanted to have the civil marriage ceremony in Romania but I was surprised to find that in our country besides the usual pile of papers requirement, you are also required to provide a “Prenuptial Medical Certificate”.
This supreme idiocy is required only in our country, and consists of a certificate obtained based on results of blood tests, that prove you do not suffer from any serious illness such as HIV, Syphilis or TB. This certificate issued by most clinics is valid for 14 days but must be submitted within 24 hours to the Register Office! So once you have it, run quickly to the Register Office, submit the application, and then you must wait at least 10 days to get married, but no more than 14 days, otherwise your prenuptial medical certificate to expire! Makes perfect sense, right? Only in a banana republic like Romania it does yes.

I searched the internet for a logical explanation regarding why you have to wait 10 days, but I could not find any. If anyone can explain this ridiculous request to me please do.

Overall, it seems that we had to take a minimum of 3 weeks leave for this event, so we decided to get married in England UK.

In the UK, unlike Romania, the Expat marriage in England UK procedure is very simple: you have 3 steps to follow, you pay 2 fees, show up with your passport and proof of address and soon you will be married. Let’s see these steps:

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How to get your UK Provisional Learner Driving License

Obtaining an UK Provisional Learner Driving license for those who do not have it, is often a priority for every new arrival here. Without it you often cannot apply to many jobs and in general, in this country it’s very difficult to get any daily chores done if you do not have a car. Furthermore, I also noticed that commuting by public transport is more expensive than commuting by car.

If you have an EU driving license, the process is quit simple. Any EU driving license is valid here. If you want, you can change it to a UK one quite easy. If you did not come with a driver’s license here, it’s not a problem, the procedure for obtaining one it’s relatively simple here.

First you apply for the UK Provisional Learner Driving License. With this license you can drive anywhere in the country except the motorways (the roads that start with the letter “M”) as long as you are supervised from the left seat by an experienced driver. You have be registered as a Learner driver on the car insurance. The experienced driver who supervises you must also be registered on the insurance of the car, must be at least 21 years old and have a driver’s license (UK or EU) for at least 3 years.

The driver who drives with a provisional learner permit must have displayed 2 square signs with the red letter “L” placed somewhere in a visible place in the front and on the back of the car. I recommend the magnetic ones because they do not leave permanent traces on the car.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is L-Plate-Size.gif
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UK Cum sa obtii permis de conducere provizoriu Anglia

How to get your UK Provisional Learner Driving License – ENGLISH article

Obtinerea unui permis de conducere provizoriu Anglia pentru cei ce nu au este deseori o prioritate pentru toti care ajung aici. Fara el deseori nu poti aplica la multe locuri de munca si in general in tara asta este foarte greu sa iti rezolvi diferite treburi zilnice daca nu ai masina. De asemenea am observat ca naveta cu transportul in comun este mult mai scumpa decat mersul cu masina personala.

Daca ai permisul de conducere din Romania, treaba este simpla. Orice permis de UE este valabil si aici, si daca doriti vi-l puteti preschimba in cel de UK foarte usor. Daca nu ai venit cu el din Romania, nu e nici problema, procedura de obtinere este relativ simpla aici.

Se aplica prima oara pentru Permis de conducere Provizoriu Anglia. Cu acest permis puteti conduce oriunde in tara cu exceptia autostrazilor (cele care incep cu litera “M”) si atata timp cat sunteti supravegheat din stanga de un sofer calificat si sunteti trecut ca sofer Learner pe asigurarea masinii. Soferul calificat care va supravegheaza trebuie sa fie de asemenea trecut pe asigurarea masinii, trebuie sa aibe minim 21 de ani si sa aibe carnet (UK sau UE) de minim 3 ani.

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UK NINO – How to get it and how long does it take to get it?

I notice that this is a wanted topic and in spite of Brexit (which apparently will not be happening), the world still wants to come here. NINO is the equivalent of our Social Security Number, and without it, you basically do not exist in the UK (England, Scotland, or Northern Ireland). You need it in order to pay your taxes and social contributions, and without it you can not work legally and you can not benefit from social or medical services. I will tell you how my experience was and the steps I took to obtain the NINO (National Insurance Number) in the UK.

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FIRST 30 DAYS AS EXPAT IN ENGLAND UK

[Pentru a citi acest articol in Limba Romana click AICI]

A month ago we were packing again our luggage to move to another country. After the very useful experience in France, we were now ready to move to England, UK. After living for a year in France, we left with mixed impressions. I knew we had to move somewhere where we speak the language and where we can really integrate into society, and I believe we could not truly achieve this there.

When the expiry date of my fixed-term contract in France was approaching, I started looking for work options in England. After some promising interviews, I still had nothing safe and signed in my hand, but I did had an invitation to come for a follow up face-to-face interview that seemed 80% sure. I took a risk and quickly bought a one way only plane ticket and I came with all my luggage. I was aware that if I came only for a few days visit just for the interview and somehow it failed, I would return to Romania with the tail between my legs and depressed and it would be very difficult for to ever come back. Fortunately, the interview here went very well.

I do not recommend to anyone to come here without having secured a job in advance, but be aware that once you get here and settle down, you are more likely to find work. Most Continue reading “FIRST 30 DAYS AS EXPAT IN ENGLAND UK”

PRIMELE 30 DE ZILE IN HULL, ANGLIA UK CA EXPAT

FIRST 30 DAYS AS EXPAT IN ENGLAND UK – English article HERE

Acum o luna ne faceam iar bagajele pentru a ne muta in alta tara. Dupa experienta foarte folositoare din Franta, eram acum pregatiti pentru a ne muta in Anglia, UK. Dupa un an de locuit in Franta, am ramas cu impresii mixte. Stiam ca trebuie sa ne mutam undeva unde vorbim limba si unde ne putem integra cu adevarat in societate, si asta cred ca nu o puteam face acolo.

La apropierea termenului de expirare a contractului cu durata fixa de munca din Franta, am inceput sa imi caut variante de munca in Anglia. Dupa cateva interviuri promitatoare nu aveam inca nimic sigur in mana dar aveam o invitatie sa vin pentru un al treilea interviu fata in fata, cu aceasi firma ce parea 80% sigur. Mi-am asumat un risc si am cumparat repede bilet de avion doar dus si am venit cu toate bagajele la mine. Eram constient ca daca vin doar cateva zile in vizita la interviu si cumva pica, m-as intoarce in Romania cu coada intre picioare deprimat si mi-ar fi foarte greu sa ma intorc. Din fericire interviul aici a decurs foarte bine.

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How to get PACS in France

CUM SA FACI PACS IN FRANTA -ARTICOL IN LIMBA ROMANA AICI

PACS or Pacte civil de solidarité, is a concubinage agreement that offers the benefits of a married couple but with fewer obligations. Initially developed at the request of gay couples to declare themselves a family unit, it has become very popular among hetero couples and a popular method used by immigrants and refugees to obtain a visa or residence permit.

In France, there is a well-thought-out and subtle tactic to encourage marriage and punish unmarried young people, regardless of their sexual orientation. If you are around 30-years-old and you are still alone, you are prone to being refused having social and professional benefits, you are prone to pay much higher taxes to the state (the celibate member can have 30% of his income taxed versus 14% if you are in a couple) and at any bank you you go will have lower chances to get a credit if you are single, so many young people choose to compromise by making a PACS contract with their partners.

The procedure is very similar to marriage, if not identical, and because we are in France,  it is very complicated and involves a lot of bureaucracy. Although it practically takes 5 minutes to sign the papers, it takes months to get to that point. The starting point is the government site
https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/N144, where you will find a list of what documents you need if you are a foreigner or you can go directly to the town hall that you belong to and ask for the PACS dossier, which also contains the list of everything you need:

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Cum sa faci PACS in Franta

How to get PACS in France

PACS sau Pacte civil de solidarité , este un contract de concubinaj , care ofera avantajele unui cuplu casatorit dar cu mai putine obligatii. Aparut initial la cererea cuplurilor gay de a se putea declara ca o unitate familiala , a devenit foarte rapid popular in randul cuplurilor hetero dar si o metoda populara folosita de imigranti si refugiati de a obtine viza sau permis de rezidenta.

In Franta exista o tactica bine gandita si subtila de a incuraja mariajul si de a pedepsi pe tinerii celibatari , indiferent de orientarea lor sexuala. Daca esti injur de 30 de ani si inca esti singur , esti predispus la privare de beneficii sociale si profesionale , esti predispus sa platesti taxe si impozite mult mai mari la stat (celibatarul plateste si 30% taxa pe venit fata de 14% cel aflat in cuplu) si la orice banca vei avea sanse mai mici de a lua un credit daca esti celibatar asa ca multi tineri aleg varianta de compromis facand un contract PACS.

Procedura seamana foarte mult cu mariajul , daca nu e identica , si pentru ca suntem in Franta , bineinteles ca e complicata si implica multa birocratie. Desi ea practic dureaza 5 minute cat sa semnezi niste hartii , pentru a ajunge acolo , dureaza luni bune. La baza e siteul guvernamental https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/N144   , unde veti gasi o lista cu ce documente va trebuie daca sunteti strain sau mergeti direct la primaria de care apartineti si cereti dosarul de PACS , ce contine si o lista cu tot ce va trebuie:

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Prague dream vacation

[CITESTE ACEST ARTICOL IN LIMBA ROMANA AICI]

Prague, a city that I always wanted to see and experience. I was always looking at the pictures of others and it seemed to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. After seeing it, I can say with all my heart that it is. The city offers beautiful landscapes, architecture, great old pedestrian squares, world class beer and bars where you can still smoke inside, and all this for prices almost identical to those in Romania.

From Romania there is no low cost direct flight to Prague, but the ticket on Czech Airlines is not too expensive, around 150 EUR per person bought a month in advance. Our 3-star hotel taken with TUI agency cost us only 121 EUR for 7 nights and not only it was very decent it also had breakfast included in the price.

From Václav Havel Airport to Prague city center take the AE (Airport Express) bus, the trip takes about 40 minutes and the ticket is bought directly from the airport counter and costs 60 Czech crowns (CZK) or about 2.3 EUR per person. I would advise to bring with you some Czech currency  in order to buy the tickets, otherwise you have to deal with the currency exchange offices in the airport that offer rip off exchange rates. You will get of at the “Hlavní nádraží” central railway station, which is a huge underground hub where you can access the buses, the subway, the S trains and especially the trams. I underline the trams because these are the main and easiest way of transportation in the city. The Czech capital is covered everywhere by tramlines, and they come every three minutes. The trams have dedicated stations and dedicated lanes, and around half of them are of the latest generation of Skoda trains. Tram tickets are found at any cigarette or food kiosk and are divided according to the length of time. A 30-minute ticket costs 24 CZK (1 EUR), and one 24-hour ticket costs 110 CZK (4.3 EUR) and can be used from the moment of validation on any line and any time you want until the expiration date.

[Read more after pictures]

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Expat Beginner’s guide to Relocation to France

Ghidul Imigrantului de mutare in Franta

Are you considering a Relocation to France? Well you’re not alone. Relocation to France is among the top European destinations for expats, alongside England and Germany. They either leave to go looking for better paid work, to take recognized studies or simply to retire and enjoy the lovely Mediterranean weather. I’m sure in every country the accommodation process is different, I’m going to tell you how it was for us here. France is not exactly a country that makes your life easy when you are new comer: the bureaucratic system is remarkably similar to the one in my home country Romania,  and not in a good way. It is lengthy, slow and requires lots of running around and patience to get the essentials papers you require. But let’s start with the beginning:

1.Cash and initial accommodation. I am starting from the premise that you are leaving your country with a secured job and your visa status is OK.  If you go to any country without a clear source of income you have a good chance that you will just wander a little around and return to your home country  as soon as the money runs out.  First of all , make sure you take enough cash to survive a month or two until you find decent accommodation. Without  2000 EUR in your pocket,  do not even consider a relocation to France. Secondly, be sure to take your Identity Card, Passport, Birth Certificate in Original and be sure to make a translation and a legalized copy of it before you arrive. Here it costs around 50-60 euros to make a legal translation of this document; Marriage certificate, divorce certificates if you have , all translated, a few ID size pictures of you, and if the company will not provide accommodation (permanent or temporary) you should start to look for cheap hotels in the city. A hotel or guest room if it’s booked in advance and for long term (one month or two) can be relatively inexpensive, costing anywhere between 15 to 40 EUR per night.

2. A local phone number: This is the easiest step to accomplish and you will need it to complete all the next steps. We have chosen the operator  Lycamobile, which offers for 15 Euro per month unlimited calls in France and 3 GB of internet traffic. In order to buy the SIM card, you will usually be required to present an ID for the number registration. Once you have the card, you can recharge it directly from the internet for 10 Euros, getting the same phone and data packet. Take great care not to lose the number and card, because on this number you will be registered with the bank and other institutions. In France there are also famous mobile operators like Orange, but they have incredibly expensive pricing on subscriptions (€ 20-40 per month).

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