PROFESSIONAL CONVERSION FOR SEAFARERS – WHAT CAN YOU WORK ASHORE?

Every sailor has thought at least once during his career to quit sailing but many have been discouraged by the grim prospects of hiring ashore, especially in their home countries, in my case Romania. For seafarers, a professional conversion is a a much greater challenge than for others. It implies not just a change of job but also your changing your entire lifestyle.

It’s easy to think through out your contract on the ship about all those harbor workers you meet when the ship is in port and can’t help not to feel a little envy towards them. They finish their shift at regular times (more or less) and than go home to be welcomed by their families and sleep in their own bed with their wives. In the mean time, you just go 2 decks up to a small cabin where you have to rest quickly because you have to be back on deck for work after just 6 hours. On that deck you have to spend at least 4 to 5 months more before you will ever see your home and family again. For some, the decision not to pursue this kind of life, was taken as early as during their first voyage at sea. I remember clearly a cadet on the ship who decided after 5 months on board that this is not the life he wants to pursue and that he will never come back on a ship again. I kept in touch with him, and the boy kept his word. For others it took more than that, I was more persistent and after trying different companies and different types of ships, I took the decision explained in my article “After six years at sea” to quit. I really felt fed up with it and decided to make a change. Pursuing a career at sea was not giving me any satisfaction so there was no point in doing this…

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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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UK Immigration: How much does it cost to relocate to England?

So you are thinking of coming to England and UK Immigration? Well if Brexit didn’t scare you off, here is a guide and a detailed list of expenses of my experience coming here. By the way, from the looks of it, as far as EU citizens are concerned there is nothing to worry about after Brexit as things will pretty much carry on as usual.

It’s now my second time moving to another country. My first experience was relocating to Marseille France. That time I had a lot of support from my employer with aspects and costs of relocation. In comparison now in England, I basically made it all on my own. Here is a chronological list of the expenses needed for immigration to England, UK. All costs are calculated for two persons as I emigrated with my girlfriend:

Airplane Tickets: in my case: Bucharest – Manchester 286 EUR / 255 GBP (Great Britain Pounds) through Brussels Airlines, the price included 2 large hold luggage and one connection in Brussels. Although we had the intention to take WizzAir’s low-cost company, we were surprised to find that the fares were more expensive on their website. It seems that all the Romanians are turning to this company lately and considering the fact that the fare price is calculated according to demand, you may find lower fares at the big airlines companies.

Attention: If using a Low-cost company, the price does not include hold luggage and must be payed separately. Be also very considerate of your final destination! The train in UK is very expensive if you buy the tickets on short notice, and the train ride from one of the airports near London to the city where you need to go, could turn out to be more expensive than the plane tickets;

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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”

How to get PACS in France

[CITESTE ACEST 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 Continue reading “How to get PACS in France”

First 48 days as expat in Marseille

[Citeste acest articol in Limba Romana – click AICI]

One and a half months ago, I was packing my baggage to go to the airport again, only this time I was not leaving to board a ship for 5 months, but to a new job and a new life. I explained in great detail why I wanted to quit sailing in the much controversial and popular own article “After six years at sea”, so after the last voyage I made the final decision to look for something to work on land. I have ill spoken a lot about our country Romania (and for good reasons considering that people are working for 300-400 EUR / month and the government is ripping you off on absolutely every step of the way!) and I have seen too many beautiful and civilized places in this world during my voyages to ever settle there, so the only option left for me was to become an expat and luck had it to be in Marseille.

Most of my  CVs were sent in English-speaking countries, especially in the UK, but since the whole Brexit phenomenon, most companies  have been reluctant to hire East Europeans. Fate decided that the lucky interview would land me in Marseille, France, a city of which I did not know much about , in a country whose language I ​​vaguely understand and speak. It was this or other positions somewhere in South Africa or Mexico so guess what I chose.

I only had sea experience on my resume so the only way to make the transition to land was to remain in the maritime business. I will not say the name of the

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