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Repatriation

Hello, repatriating in a sense... :)

Here's where to discuss the practicalities and issues involved in moving back to the UK.

Re: Hello, repatriating in a sense... :)

Postby Kay » Thu 10 Mar 2016 12:42 GMT

Good to see you both getting back in touch with old pals again.

For some reason I feel the need to explain the name "Ruggie", which Mike probably wouldn't bother about or think to do. The name makes me think of a man with a bad wig! But nothing could be further from the truth. He has lovely hair - even though he pays little attention to styling it. :twisted:

He used to write about "Throwing off the rug". That is, the tartan rug that old people are supposed to put on their legs as they sit by the fire and wish about what might have been. Our Mike isn't that type at all. He said, "Throw off the rug!" to encourage people to get out there and do things. As is often the way of things, he was occasionally referred to as "Old Ruggie". And then the name stuck. He was originally also "Chabrenas" on this forum but he rejoined with the name of "Ruggie". I'm sure he'll not mind having the history explained and that he doesn't have a bad wig.

That said, I don't think Old Ruggie is aware of the forum rules or how they work these days. For the past decade or so only Premium Members have PM privileges. I had to remove them after they were constantly abused by people using them for spamming, advertising and other nefarious purposes. It might seem a bit harsh but we're no longer having our bandwidth used by people with no interest in the forum other than to use it to promote stuff and pester our members. Now it's just something for the Premium Members to use if they want to. And anyway most of the stuff can be dealt with in private on the Premium forums without the need for private messages.

Every forum is different but this way works for this one. Even so, I still spend some time every day getting rid of the spammers before anyone is aware of them. For me there's nothing worse than a forum with spam postings. We are very vigilant here to keep it clean for the members.
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Re: Hello, repatriating in a sense... :)

Postby ruggie » Thu 10 Mar 2016 15:56 GMT

Even if you want to get out of IT, I reckon it makes sense to use an IT job to qualify - it may well be easier to find one paying well over £20,000 than a job in a different industry, because you have a track record and a portfolio to show. That doesn't mean you can't switch to something else as soon as you're through the barrier. One thing you may not have noticed is that a lot of people in the UK now work for small firms but are actually self-employed contractors because this is more flexible and often has tax advantages for both parties. If a potential employer suggests this, don't shy away from the offer.
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Re: Hello, repatriating in a sense... :)

Postby Kay » Fri 11 Mar 2016 10:06 GMT

As I understood it, Slowdive said that his only option was employment. I took that to mean that he'd already explored the self-employment option. I agree it's not logical - some people can make a lot more by being self-employed than they can with a conventional job. If you're self-employed you don't even have to work within the economy of the country you live in. We did it for over a decade - ie living in various places but earning most of our income in the UK.

If self-employment was an option I imagine that Slowdive could continue with his existing business while living in the UK. The problem seems to be that the rules insist that he must have a "job".

It would be nice to be wrong on this but that's how I read his current situation.
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Re: Hello, repatriating in a sense... :)

Postby Slowdive » Fri 11 Mar 2016 15:46 GMT

The UK government make it "tough" on the self employed at least with regard to getting a spouse visa as you have to prove earnings of 18,800 per annum. So as far as self employment if you make 18,800 in a month but then your business has three slow months they get rather picky as I understand.
So my initial goal would be to find conventional employment as if I have a trivial job that pays a gross of 18,800 per year and "suitable housing" thanks GOV that could mean anything. I am allowed to apply for her spouse visa. Once she is in the UK life is infinitely simpler as we don't have to do anything else for a year. She is in the process of getting her qualifications certified in the UK so it's extremely likely in her field her take home would be well in excess of 22000 a year.
At that juncture its very likely I could return to my mix of webbased related consulting and services. Wherever there are websites something is not working and I am infinitely cheaper than any agency for a hundred reasons. If nothing else it will certainly free me up to do something I "fancy". So its just the initial hurdle that needs to be jumped.
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Re: Hello, repatriating in a sense... :)

Postby Kay » Fri 11 Mar 2016 17:33 GMT

Another thing that might be worth noting about self-employment is that for any official purpose you need to show a couple of years of audited accounts to "prove" how much you earn. That might not sound very onerous, but if you're a small business you can have an exemption from being audited (as I do). Thus it's just a case of filing the company accounts for taxation purposes without paying a whack for a professionally qualified auditor. If you do that, then you won't be taken seriously by any "official" when you say what your income is. Dave got the mortgage to buy our house on his own. My income wasn't taken into consideration because I had no "proof" of it without audited accounts.
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Re: Hello, repatriating in a sense... :)

Postby Kay » Mon 14 Mar 2016 14:02 GMT

I just found a little old caravan that's free to good home. Doubtless it would need some work to be habitable plus you'd need to collect it and arrange for a site. But if you were intrepid enough, you could perhaps get yourself a very cheap place to live in this way. If we had a driveway, I'd love to have it and use it as an extra room or whatever, but we wouldn't have anywhere to put it.

I know it's too early for you to be acquiring this, but it just shows what might be possible if you can think outside the box. Mind you, you'd probably end up being arrested for vagrancy and/or have the locals driving you out of town for being a gypsy. It might be possible to find a sympathetic farmer who would let you park it in exchange for something - money/work. I always think that it's worth at least considering unconventional solutions. :D
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Re: Hello, repatriating in a sense... :)

Postby Slowdive » Tue 15 Mar 2016 13:04 GMT

I would be down for it, unfortunately at least initially I will have to satisfy the GOV that I am properly settled. It will be such a change for me to have to do things by the rules, like a grown up.
I have dug out my old, old, black book and see I can apply for passport online which should be at least minimal drama.
In between I am looking at some courses I can do from places like reeds which I hope at least will bump me ahead of other poor unknown quantities.
Should not be too hard to find a job that works for the spouse visa, I mean a night supervisors job at Sainsburys would do it. So nerves aside, I am quietly optomistic.
Unless the local picks up for both of us I am thinking of leaving around march next year, this gives me a year to brush up on existing qualifications/skills, close up shop graciously here and generally plan. Perhaps once I have the "cursed" spouse visa and my partner we will be able to look at "fun" things like caravans and house boats.
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Re: Hello, repatriating in a sense... :)

Postby Kay » Tue 15 Mar 2016 13:32 GMT

Pity about that caravan. When I was getting worried about finding accommodation for us (if we couldn't get a mortgage, and being very reluctant to rent indefinitely), I explored almost every avenue I could find. Caravans are an odd one. There are some so-called "Park Homes", which IMO are nothing more than static caravans and you don't even own the land, yet they can cost more than a modest house to buy, eg in the region of £200k! Additionally, many of the "parks" aren't open all year round so you have to bu99er off every year for a month or two.

I also ruled out house boats as being too impractical for us for many reasons. Also, the berths can be horribly expensive even if you do find a good deal on a boat. The rules and regulations these days are a bit scary too. It seems to me that they don't want people to live on the canals and waterways. You have to move on every two or three weeks and not return to the same area within a certain time period. This can work for active retired people but doesn't seem like a viable option for anyone who needs to work, even if their business is online.

I think you're right just to get a conventional job and live somewhere conventional until you can fulfil their rules. As you've noticed, supermarkets always seem to be looking for staff. I'm not sure if that's because it's not a desirable job for whatever reason (pay, working hours) or whether it's because there seems to be a relentless expansion of new supermarkets cropping up everywhere.
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Re: Hello, repatriating in a sense... :)

Postby Slowdive » Tue 15 Mar 2016 14:39 GMT

I have zero idea how mortgage works over there, but our hope is to save what we have for three years or so. As our 20 something plus sales of cars and assets, so perhaps as much as 30 thousand pounds will become a deposit. Of course I think we have to be there for 3 years, have a credit score and it would be silly to buy until the wife gets her perm residence but thats the loose plan.
I imagine the supermarkets always need people as between 7 - 9.50 an hour is rather sad wages for the work involved. Especially as the 9.50 is for night shift. However assuming I don't get some foolishness about being over qualified, I should be a shoe in for it. At least at 9 pound an hour I will qualify for the earnings cap so its a fall back.
I can also remain hopeful the recent court case lowers the income requirements :)

The fact that I would rather do retail than IT says a lot, but with a year to plan I may even get my hardware/networking skills back up to scratch. Basically at this point, anything where i am not stuck writing code all day :)
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Re: Hello, repatriating in a sense... :)

Postby Kay » Tue 15 Mar 2016 14:56 GMT

I should have said that this "moving on" thing doesn't apply if you have a residential berth, but those can cost thousands of quid per year. House boats can initially seem like a cheap (and romantic?) option. I'm sure they're great for some people but it's one of those things where a lot of serious research is needed before jumping in and thinking it'll be all plain sailing. (Geddit? Ha ha.)
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Re: Hello, repatriating in a sense... :)

Postby Kay » Tue 15 Mar 2016 15:40 GMT

Oops, sorry. I didn't notice you'd posted since I'd added to my house boat thing.

I'll reply later in more detail to your various points, my presence is required elsewhere right now. (In the kitchen.)

Briefly for now, it used to be that they'd lend to just about anyone. After the financial chaos, much of it caused by "sub-prime lending", they radically changed the rules in the last few years. Now there's the "affordability" rule. In theory, this is a "good thing" but, as is often the case, they've taken a very broad brush approach to solving the problem and that approach often doesn't lead to the logical decision.

We were refused a mortgage on the basis of affordability,(they'd already accepted the non-residence thing after some to-ing and fro-ing). Much of their refusal was because we didn't fit into the boxes of their usual expectations. (I don't want to go into details on a public forum.) We were an unusual case and I think "the computer said NO".

We appealed against that decision and I created various cash flow projections to show that our income/outgoings did pass the affordability test - easily. (I used to be an accountant so I had some idea what these risk assessors would be looking for). They pretty much accepted that immediately and gave the thumbs up for the mortgage loan to go ahead.

What people inexperienced in house purchase and mortgage applications in the UK need to be aware of is that a "decision in principle" or an "agreement in principle" (DIP or AIP) are almost meaningless. You can use these to show an estate agent you're potentially a serious buyer, but they don't mean anything. It's quite easy to get a DIP online in five minutes to say you can borrow £XXX,XXX. And it's probably enough to get to view the property.

If you then apply for a mortgage - even from the same lender who gave you the DIP - it's a completely different story. They go through everything. However, as in our case, if they initially get it wrong you can appeal. But you probably have to know how to go about changing their minds. You need to have convincing figures (and proof) to enable them to see things in a different way. You must be able to reassure them that there's very little risk of you defaulting on the loan and that you can afford to pay back without stretching your finances. In many ways, I think the "language" you use to communicate with them (accountant-speak) is as important as the figures themselves.
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