No need to worry, so many others have taken the same journey and they all survived. The pain to you would definitely be much less than what your (grand)parents endured in the reverse direction.
Update: after 6 lessons and listening to the "Naked Cantonese" podcasts (highly recommended for easy intro to Canto) I can now, um, introduce myself, order food, understand directions and tell the time. Hopefully will learn by immersion when we get there in June...
We're going to do a recce to HK next week and celebrate our wedding with a dinner in Mongkok. Any ideas of practical things we could do while we're there to ease our transition? We already have Mr Q's work sponsored visa and my dependent's visa sorted so that's not a problem.
So things to do:
-apply for HKIDs
-open bank accounts
-Get HK SIM cards / phones
-Have temporary business cards printed for me (Is this useful as a job seeker?)
-Meet recruiters / contacts and possibly interview for positions if time
-Visit flats to rent, possibly sign a lease
-Any other useful actions?
Fellow BBC here....have been back here for 6 years and have to say am loving it very much! I think if you live here you'll find it so much more enjoyable than England right nowâ€¦
A few things for you to consider:
1) Try to apply for HKID as early as possible as without it things can be rather inconvenient in the long term, especially legal issues and travelling. If you & Mr Q's parents were born in HK, HK Immigrations WILL do a thorough checkup on their credentials so make sure you have everything at hand! This may also include old family photos of yourself/Mr Q & family and/or their original birth certificates/old passports/relevant documentation. It was needed for when my HKID was created, because my fathers full name appeared slightly different on his British passport than his HK birth certificate (surname was spelt with a different ending). Because they were different HK Immigration thought he was a mainlander under an assumed name (until our other documentation proved otherwise).
2) Visit the whole town and see which area you're comfortable with and whether you want to live in a busy or quiet place. Some places in HK will always be as busy as others (and/or have high rental costs) so you need to consider where you want to stay or 'feel comfortable'. Central/Wanchai/Causeway Bay/Admiralty/Tsim Sha Tsui and Kowloon Tong districts are considered very busy areas for shopping, living and leisure, and rental for places in all these are getting quite high now especially since Apple has begun opening stores in some of these areas here (Central, Causeway Bay and Kowloon) the past 2 years which bringing in much mainland tourist traffic, has pushed property prices up. Sai Kung (N.T) and Shek-O (East of HK Island) are considered quite busy places for expats to stay in as is Tung Chung and Discovery Bay, though Discovery Bay (DBay) is considered more for affluent folk with its houses.
3) If you're looking for work, I suggest try www.gumtree.com.hk - this is a good source of info, jobs and services by local HK and expat folks. Also try hk.jobsdb.com. If you're highly skilled and proficient in both Chinese and English there's no shortage of work for sure.
4) I would say that in general I have found living costs are very cheap here, such as food and clothing etc. The only biggest expense ever is accomodation. Transportation is really cheap in HK compared to England - a taxi will take you most places for less than HK$20 and an MTR ride is a fraction of that - and they're fast! Some buses on HK Island can take you from one end of the island to the next in less 15 minutes! As such I've found there's no need for a car at all. Since supermarkets are pretty much situated all over HK, you shouldn't have too much worries unlike in England where getting to do the weekly groceries can be a real chore. And the great thing is if groceries is not your thing, you can always get a maid in HK for HK$4K a month if you're not up for it.
5) Try to compare prices, especially for property. For rent I would suggest pay no more than HK$25K a month for rental of say 1000sq.ft if you can find it, because HK rental prices are crazy at the moment. If you do get one, do try to sign it on for as long as you can and as low as you can, because HK landlords are notorious for being greedy. Because there is no capping by law on rental prices, they can charge whatever they want whenever they want.
I think a space of between 600-800sqft would probably be sufficient for your needs as a couple. You'll find much bigger spaces with older buildings, since newer buildings have a much smaller footprint in general.
6) I know it's too early to mention now, but did you know that the UK government now charges expats UK rates of taxation on their incomes if they live and work in HK? Since 2007 because of a change of legislation anyone who is a British citizen who emigrated to HK after 2007, will be charged UK rates of income tax by the Inland Revenue. This taxation is no different to what the US Fed charges its citizens.
Other than that, just come over, relax, enjoy and see for yourself how it all is! HK is also much safer than England I found especially at night (because it is so busy), so it should be a good place for you to live, work and do whatever you want to do...
Best of luck with the move.
i know plenty of bbc who live in HK now, no evidence of double taxation, in fact, two years ago, i know a few ( including myself) recieved a rare uk tax rebate for miscalculation of a particular year even though i and the other friends left uk from 2006
It's not to do with citizenship, it's to do with whether you are a UK resident who is temporarily living/working abroad. If your house, spouse etc are still in the UK whilst you're here on a contract intending to go back to the UK, you'd have to pay UK tax. The HMRC website explains it fairly well.
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