How to Get Into Canada Using New Federal Skilled Worker Program

Yesterday Canada announced it is re-opening the Federal Skilled Worker and Skilled Trades Program.

If you want to get into Canada, this is great news for you.

Getting Into Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker

This is very exciting news for people who wanted to immigrate into Canada, but didn’t want to marry a Canadian to do it.  LOL Continue reading How to Get Into Canada Using New Federal Skilled Worker Program

3 Examples How Travelling Changes Boring into Kick-Ass

On my blog, I only seek to inspire you to travel. That’s my purpose. To inspire you to push the comfort zone, explore the great world around you, and seek your own adventure.

Here are 3 examples of how 3 guys, Matt, Alex and Miguel, used travel to turn their normal thing into something kick-ass…

Continue reading 3 Examples How Travelling Changes Boring into Kick-Ass

Working On a Cruise Ship: The Facts

Applying for and working on a cruise ship isn’t as pie-in-the-sky as you might expect, and with hundreds of people working above and below deck to ensure passengers have a fantastic experience, there might be a role that can put your talents, skills and experience to good use. So if you like the idea of waking up one morning in one port or harbour and the next in another, then read on…

Why work on a cruise ship?

Working on a a cruise ship gives you the opportunity to work with and for people of every age and nationality. The combination of socialising, working – heck, just living on the open seas attracts people from many nations and cultures wanting to give and experience more. Old sea dogs, university graduates, career changers, those supporting a family back home, the sheer number of people working on a cruise ship means that the environment on the high seas is a glorious combination of language, culture and experience.

Continue reading Working On a Cruise Ship: The Facts

The US Election is 1 Week Away. Place Your Bets.

For my US readers….and us American citizens living abroad

A few months ago, I thought about asking which candidate you hope gets in, who you’re voting for.  Or, if you’re like a lot of people, which candidate you’re voting against.

But the real question I should ask is…

What If You’re Wrong?

Here’s a post I found on Facebook (not me):

Whoever wins, I'm leaving.

This guy isn’t making a political statement, but it made me think.  There are a few people out there who so despise the “other guy” that they’re willing to leave the country if he wins.

How about you?  How strongly do you feel against the other candidate?

My Offer To You: I Get You Working Abroad

If you’re ready to leave the US, and you have strong feelings about the election turnout next week, then I got an offer for you.

If I select you, I will get you working abroad.  I will personally consult you on every step of the way, from the day you win, to the day you set foot on foreign land.

Now, a lot of people say they want to get work outside the US.  Maybe they haven’t enough money, or have to finish school, or they’re just too unsure about too many things. That’s where I help.  I’m here to help you go.  You got questions, I got answers.

How to Win?

  1. Make a comment below.  Tell me the candidate you want to win.
  2. Are you ready to leave the country?  If he doesn’t win, tell me you want to travel.
  3. After your comment, share it with friends.  Click the Facebook button or make a tweet.

Make your decision and be proud of it.  Stand by it publicly and I Promise You, it Will happen!

How I Select the Winner

The day after the election, I will randomly select one of the eligible comments below.  What’s “eligible”?  For all the commenters who wanted the losing candidate, then I assume they are still willing to go.

I’ll contact the winner, and we immediately work together to make it happen.

Good Luck — Write Your Comment Below!

How to Write, Sell and Publish Your Own Book

 

Ever Wanted to Write (& Publish) a Book?

Yup, my all-time favourite writer did it again.  Chris Guillebeau offers a (huge) Guide on how to get published.

how to get published

Well, it’s wrong of me to place all credit on Chris.  Actually, his agent, it’s Chris’ agent, David Fugate who wrote the guide.

Who is David Fugate?

David Fugate founded the LaunchBooks Literary Agency, and has personally represented over 1000 books himself as agent to around 40 publishers (Wiley, Random House, McGraw-Hill, and Perigee are some of the biggest).  Books he represented include Kevin Mitnick’s Art of Deception and Art of Intrusion, two books I read after meeting Mitnick while working for HP.

As Chris tells the story, he asked his agent David Fugate to share some tips on how to get published.  Instead, David poured his over-experienced heart out to make this 45,000-word book.

If you are one of those people who ever wanted to get published, this guide can save you tons of effort and money by leveraging David’s experience.

Surest Way (But Not Easiest) to Success

The easiest way is to do nothing.  Kinda like I’ve been doing.  I have wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember, …but haven’t started.  “That’d be cool.” but I don’t start.

Chris shared this guide with me to review and I find it absolutely incredibly helpful, obviously a product of many years’ experience.

If I’m serious about getting published, there’s no excuse except my own fear of failing.  And with this guide, I don’t believe anyone can fail.

Check it out here:

getting published

 

Why Are People Leaving the US, Part 4

Reason 4: Patriotism

I hear you…”Wait, Jeff, patriotism?  Seriously?  How can you call someone wanting to leave…a patriot?

To answer, I remind you that around 250 years ago, when families were so frustrated by their country’s tyranny (England), whose ancestors had fled, they chose to struggle in a new country (United States)?  They desired a free life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Today, we call those people our founding fathers, our country’s first and original patriots.  (Happy 4th of July today, in fact!)

Yes, I do consider someone who believes strongly in personal freedoms as a patriot.

It’s Not Your Fault if You’re Blindly Patriotic

Don’t take it personally, but if you believe the United States is strong or “going well,” that’s not patriotism.  Blind belief in the government does not make one a patriot.  It never has.  A patriot thinks for his or herself.  A patriot questions authority.  Patriotism is not blind faith in a government.

No worries, it’s not your fault.  It’s just a matter of timing.  Not so long ago, the US encouraged freedoms and liberty -even proudly founded herself upon them.  Today, however, we have the Patriot Act (wiki and critique) which goes way beyond discouraging liberty.

 

Benjamin Franklin, a Domestic Terrorist?

Before you start whistling the Star Spangled Banner, be careful.  The patriot of yesteryear is now a potential bad guy for the US government today.

In fact, if Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin were around and talking today, they would be jailed as domestic terrorists.

The Department of Homeland Security labels someone a domestic terrorist when they …:

  • make “expressions of libertarian philosophies.”
  • express “fears of Big Brother or big government.”
  • “declare Constitutional rights and civil liberties.”
  • exercise self-sufficiency (stockpiling food, ammo, hand tools, medical supplies)
  • homeschool (if you teach your kids outside the Dept of Education’s curriculum)
  • buy certain books (in fact, these two by name: One Second After and Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse

(source for these here)

Question: if I publish the above, should I fear any consequences?  Sure, I don’t picket in front of the white house, but here I am, suggesting you abandon the US for reasons above.  Does that alone make me a target?  Take the case of Susan Lindauer, a well-connected, productive and intelligent woman who voiced her concerns too loudly against the US govt.  Her world got spun around so fast it made me sick to my stomach.

Okay, So How Do I Protest As a “Patriot”?

1. Leave.

Leave now.  Cash out your chips like you’re leaving the casino.  Sell your home, your securities (funds, stocks, options) and cash out your pensions.  Take the money and run.  Run like the wind.

2. Reinvest.

Decide on a new place that more suits you and your patriotic needs.  When you (and your cash) land in a safer, freer, more stable country, then the patriotic thing to do is reinvest in that country, for yourself.  Purchase property and/or a business there.  A new life requires new equity and new income.

3. Protect Yourself (at tax time).

US citizens must file a tax return every year.  And that goes for US citizens living abroad, too.

Yes, when living abroad, working abroad, even if earning zero US income, you must still file a US tax return every year, plus a couple extra forms just for expats (more on those below).  Yeah, I think it’s bullshit, too.

BS or not, US citizens are required to report their worldwide income, regardless of residency. You know what?  To my knowledge, the United States is the only country that requires this of its citizens.  Write me if you believe otherwise and we’ll talk.

 

p.s. Two Extra Forms at Tax Time (for US citizen expats)

I’ve written about tax time before, but these 2 forms are too important to ignore: the 2555 and the FBAR.  Filing out those extra forms isn’t optional.

Yes, the Internal Revenue Service tries hard to persuade any US citizen against living abroad.  Well, as a patriot, you don’t care what the IRS is against.  Right Benjamin?

The 2555 is the “Foreign Earned Income” form, which basically says you can earn up to $92,000 tax free (for 2010).  (Remember: Even if you earn under $92,000, you must still fill out this form to say you did.  In short, you must file, even if you simply didn’t earn anything or owe anything – that’s the IRS for you.

The other extra tax form for expats is the FBAR (Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts).  You can thank the Department of Treasury (not IRS) for this one.

The FBAR requires you to list your foreign bank accounts (and report the highest balance you had over the year).  I have filled out the FBAR for many years and I’ll never stop, because I’ll always have foreign bank accounts.  Thankfully, the FBAR is actually relatively easy. The last good reason is, over the past few years, the Dept of Treasury has gone crazy in prosecuting non-complying expats.  (Remember the idea of hiding money in a Swiss bank account?  Not any more)

If you’ve never heard of the FBAR and you’re considering filing it, read this article here.

The tax filing deadline for US citizens living abroad is June 15th (postmarked as mailed out).  For the FBAR form, the deadline is June 30th (must be received by).

 

Anyway, I’ve been sitting on this post for a while and I’ve got to publish it.  I wish you all a Happy 4th of July, wherever you are.
If you’re in the US, celebrate your home’s independence.  If you’re outside the US, celebrate your own independence!

 

If you’re looking for other popular reasons people leave the US, read up on Frustration, Adventure and Seeking an Improved Life.

 

How Working Abroad Can Work for You

A few days ago I wrote Top 5 Excuses Against Moving Abroad, starting with…

Excuse #1. Work

Number one excuse is “I have a job.” People actually ask “How could I leave my career?”
To this excuse, I say you aren’t hurting your career, you’re helping it!

[quoted text shorted, but you can visit the original here]

Today, I want to expand on that first excuse: Work.

Okay, on with how working abroad can work for you.

Continue reading How Working Abroad Can Work for You

I Want to Be An Expat: You + 700M Others

I want to be an expat” – a dream of over 700 million people.

A survey, which took 3 years to complete, was finally released. The survey asked “Would you like to start a new life abroad?”.
Across 130 countries, 16% of the people answered “Yes.”

Migration-Destinations

What countries were most popular?
Mostly developed western countries, plus Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Where does everyone want to go?
If everyone had their wish, the United States would swell by 165 million people (growing it by 50%)
Canada would bring in 45 million people (a whopping 150% boost!)
France, Thailand and Britain each would grow also by another 40+ million people.

What’s the biggest motivator for all these people?
Jobs. For many folks, the big deciding factor whether to stay or go was employment. Do you want to work abroad?
Last year, HSBC released a report about expats which reported that half of surveyed expats are in their residence country and plan to stay because of a better contract than they could get back home. Another tidbit: more than half had lived outside their home country for longer than 5 years.

Both the HSBC report and the very recent Gallup survey show a growing trend: people are seeking to become expats.

credit: Source article

“I want to be an expat” said by 700 million people. That’s a lot of people. It’s a big dream. Start now, while you’re ahead of the pack. 😉

“How Can You Just Move …to another Country?”

You're an Expat?!?We hear this question from friends, family, friends of family and some family of friends…
Anyway, the point is, there are people who are amazed a person would become an expat (or want to become an expat). I do understand why there are such people. And that’s one of the big reasons for this website – to inform you why, and more importantly how you can be an expat, too.

So, How Hard Is It? Will I Fail?
The hardest part is not doing it. I will tell you that Regret is a bitch. It’s a whole lot easier to just try. Regardless whether you live abroad for 1 month or 10 years, there is no failure in becoming an expat. If you uproot yourself and live abroad for 1 month, you have still lived abroad – hence, Success.

But the real rewards are in living and adapting.