How to change your EU driving license to a UK Driving license

For EU expats established in England UK, the act of changing their driving license in to an English or British one, is often a mandatory step due to work requirements. Possession of a British UK driving license is also the first and easiest way to obtain proof of residence with a picture and address here in England UK. This is one of the few documents accepted by banks, real estate agencies or employers. The others are more difficult to obtain (bank card, local council bil / utility bill or British passport).

The procedure to change your driving license in England UK is fortunately very simple and relatively quick. All official information can be found on the British government website here. As it is clearly written on the website, the citizens of any EU state have no legal obligation to change their driving license and are allowed to drive with the European license until the age of 70. For those who have obtained their driving license in a country outside the European Union, the driving license must be changed to a British license within 12 months of arrival in England UK.

UK change driver license
Continue reading “How to change your EU driving license to a UK Driving license”

Immigration from EU to UK England after Brexit – Work and Family paths – Who can do it and how?

It seems that some people still don’t understand that the UK has left the EU and that you cannot enter England after Brexit without having to answer to border officials regarding the purpose of your visit. So let’s see what are the legal ways to come to England after Brexit if you do not have a residence permit (aka Settled Status).

First of all, you can say goodbye to any thought of visiting England and looking for work during your visit. Many were refused entrance in to the country at the airport on a PERMANENT basis if the customs officers even sniffed that you came to work and not just to visit. The British authorities started asking EU nationals for a return ticket, proof of accommodation during the visit and proof that you have enough money to sustain yourself for the duration of your stay. If you’re lucky enough, nobody will ask you anything at the airport, but are you really willing to take that chance and risk flying for nothing?

In addition, all (legal) British employers and all employment agencies are now required by law to request from candidates the so-called “share code” which is an internet link generated by the UK government’s website to the page proving that you are resident in England UK. It doesn’t matter if you have Settled or (Pre) Settled Status, they both give you the right to work and live in England. I explained in the last article how to apply for Settled Status. The deadline to apply for residency was June 30, 2021 (there are very few exceptions in exceptional cases for those who live in England before 2021 or have family here but did not have time to apply before June 2021, the list of exemptions is here). But let’s say you still want to come to England and you don’t have a NINO, residency or any work history or studies in the UK. Let’s see what options you have:

Continue reading “Immigration from EU to UK England after Brexit – Work and Family paths – Who can do it and how?”

Germania sau Anglia UK – unde e viata mai buna si de ce?

Is it better to live in Germany or UK on the long term? Why? English Article HERE

Razboiul s-a terminat de mult, dar cine a castigat pana la urma, Germania sau Anglia UK? Istoricii zic ca Anglia si Aliatii, realitatea de la fata locului zice altceva. Pe langa datele oficiale, ne uitam si la experientele celor care chiar locuiesc in aceste doua tari. Noi locuim in Anglia din 2018, nu am locuit personal in Germania asa ca am intrebat prieteni care locuiesc acolo de multi ani, intrebari cu privire la urmatoarele aspecte:

  • Salariile în Germania erau deja considerabil mai mari decât în ​​Marea Britanie chiar si înainte de referendumul Brexit, care a dus la o scădere a valorii lirei sterline, iar această tendință va continua în 2022. În 2019, salariul mediu brut în Germania a fost de 47928 EUR sau 40866 GBP (la cursul de astăzi). In Anglia UK – salariul mediu pe tara, este aproximativ 30000 Lire pe an sau 35180 EUR la cursul de astăzi. Și lira e posibil sa continue să scadă în 2022 din cauza lipsei de strategie din partea Britanicilor și a lipsei generale de gestionare a întregului proces Brexit; Este adevărat că plătiți mai multe taxe în Germania, dar chiar și așa, salariul dvs. NET pentru aceeași loc de munca va fi totuși mai mare acolo, indiferent de modul în care îl priviți (exista si exceptii evident).
Continue reading “Germania sau Anglia UK – unde e viata mai buna si de ce?”

How is cycling in UK? Is the Bicycle reliable?

We’ve all heard that England is a friendly country towards cyclists, but what’s it really like cycling in UK England? After years of hesitation, I finally mustered the courage to buy a second-hand bicycle. On fb market, I found this baby for just 60 pounds. Not bad, right?

Bicycle in England UK

I haven’t ridden a bike for many years, but I slowly worked it out. First through the local neighborhood, and then through the city. For a beginner cyclist, I must admit that the road infrastructure for cyclists and the car driver’s behavior is very encouraging. There are literally everywhere segregated routes from car traffic for bicycles, clearly marked dedicated lanes that are usually physically separated by some kind of barrier (green space, curbs, stanchions, etc.). But by far the most encouraging factor is the behavior of car drivers towards cyclists in UK England. Every time or at least 8 out of 10 cases, when they see you approaching an intersection, they slow down or come to a complete stop and signal you to pass. And if you have to share the road with cars, the drivers stay calm behind you until the opposite lane is clear, and then they overtake you with generous clearance to the bicycle. That is, without horns, close calls overtaking, without harassment, verbal abuse, etc, you know the usual in Romania and East Europe in general.

Continue reading “How is cycling in UK? Is the Bicycle reliable?”

Two weeks in Hong Kong

Hong Kong, a unique phenomenon in Asia where the West meets the East. This harmony, which is on the verge of extinction today due to Chinese aggression, is living its last days of freedom and glory. Although it looks like China, there is no communism here. Here capitalism is in full swing. All the signs are also in English, you can see foreigners everywhere and the locals are aware of all the global news and events. This is one of the few places in China where locals can talk relatively free, where you have access to anything, and sites like Google, Facebook and You Tube are not blocked by the government…yet.

As luck had it, at the end of my 5 month contract at sea, our ship headed towards the Yiu Lian Shipyard in Hong Kong for it’s technical overhaul. A visit to the shipyard is the best thing that can happen to the deck crew due to the relatively low workload onboard during the stay.

To get to the site, the ship’s route takes us very close to land, under several city bridges and among some cute urban islands.

Continue reading “Two weeks in Hong Kong”

What is something that you can do in Romania that a person in the United Kingdom cannot do?

The UK is a great country with lots of nice places, but unfortunately some things are just out of reach because of nature. In my country, Romania, you can’t do a lot of things due to financial limitations, but you can do however a whole lot of other things like:

  • Go to the beach and enjoy a nice 32° C (90 F) degree sunny day with a beer in my hand, then if I get too hot, take a dip in the Black Sea, where the water in the summer is 22° C (72 F). After bathing, I can stay on the hot sand to dry while watching an endless parade of local girls that look like models pass by. After a superb day like this, I can come back the next day and repeat. I can do this for 2.5 months and almost never have to worry about rain, grey skies or wind; You can do it for an extra 2 months if you don’t mind sitting on the beach on slightly lower temperatures like 25° C (77 F). In England, last summer we had just one single day when the temperature reached 30° C, the summer average is 21°C (70 F), while the maximum sea temperature at nearby beach resort of Scarborough is a chilly 17° C (62 F).
Continue reading “What is something that you can do in Romania that a person in the United Kingdom cannot do?”

Cat de socanta e vremea in Anglia UK pentru straini ca noi?

How shocking is the weather in UK England for foreigners like us? English article here

M-am născut în România și am venit în Marea Britanie din Marsilia Franța și vremea in Anglia UK, de aici a fost un șoc complet pentru noi. Chiar dacă am fost avertizați de prietenul nostru care locuiește aici și, în ciuda faptului că am venit în vizită înainte de relocare pentru a cerceta locul, tot am fost loviți puternic de acesta. În mod remarcabil, în timpul vizitei noastre aici, nu a plouat aproape deloc, așa că cine lucra acolo sus la discursul de convingere, a făcut o treabă foarte bună.

Deci, practic, cam asa este Iarna în Anglia Marea Britanie:

Continue reading “Cat de socanta e vremea in Anglia UK pentru straini ca noi?”

UK Cum sa iei permis de rezidenta Settled sau Pre Settled Status

UK Residence – How to apply for Settled or Pre Settled Status

Corona Virus e in toate stirile acum, dar haideti sa nu pierdem esentialul pe termen lung. Cine nu are Settled sau Pre Settled Status, dupa 31 Decembrie 2020 nu va mai avea dreptul de a locui si munci in UK. Desi oficial guvenul UK a spus ca termenul limita pentru aplicare este de 30 Iunie 2021, asa ca nu stie nimeni sigur ce se va intampla dupa revelion. Mai sunt 8 luni asa ca aveti timp destul.

Procedeul e simplu si rapid. Va trebuie doar o adresa de email, un numar de telefon mobil de UK, un telefon cu camera care suporte aplicatia EU Exit: ID Document Check , pasaport electronic (cu chip), numarul NINO si posibil vi se cere si un act de dovada rezidentei (factura de utilitati, extras bancar, formularul P60 daca sunteti self employed). Se poate face si fara aplicatia de pe telefon, dar asta presupune sa trimiteti actele in original prin posta, un procedeu care dureaza mult mai mult si este si mai riscant. De asemenea recomand neaparat folosirea pasaportului cand aplicati. Puteti face si cu buletinul dar am auzit multe cazuri cand au fost intarziati destul de mult cu acordarea de Settled Status mult datorita procedurii de verificare a Cartii de Identitate Romanesti.

Continue reading “UK Cum sa iei permis de rezidenta Settled sau Pre Settled Status”

One Week in Valletta Malta

Malta, a small and beautiful island in the middle of the Mediterranean. It is a destination known to every sailor around the world. Due to it’s central location, today it is an International hub for container transshipment, and also a major financial hub. Although I had the opportunity to visit the port many times, due to the short stay in the port (usually 12 to 18 hours), I never had time to really enjoy the island.

That is until the summer of 2016 when due to an unexpected engine problem, we were instructed by the shipowner to go to the Palumbo shipyard in Malta. When I started to plot the route, to my surprise I saw that the site is located straight in the heart of Valletta harbour, the capital of Malta.

The entrance to the bay was very narrow, the pilot carefully maneuvering our 300 meters ship through the walls and medieval fortifications of the entrance to the port of Valletta. But at the same time, this does offer some very nice views, being the same views as the tourists on the cruise ships enjoy when they come here.

Continue reading “One Week in Valletta Malta”

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:

Continue reading “Expat Marriage in England UK – procedure and costs”