21Apr

Expat Guide: Flying Your Pets to Hong Kong

Having the option of taking our pets with us when we move overseas reduces the anxiety of living in an unfamiliar place. It is now much simpler for expats in Hong Kong to bring their animal companions to the country. Here’s some information you might find useful.pet permit
Expat pet owners need to apply for a Special Permit with a specified fee before arriving in Hong Kong. Cost varies on the type of animal you’ll be bringing.. The permit is valid for 6 months.

For dogs over the age of 5 months, you will also need to acquire a license from the Agriculture & Fisheries Department (AFCD). An appointment is not needed and it only takes half an hour to have your dog vaccinated and microchipped.  This microchip holds your dog’s identification code which is required for all pets in Hong Kong.expat guide to pets
Group 1 countries which include the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Japan no longer need to have their pets vaccinated in Hong Kong. Group 2 and 3 countries must still comply.

All dogs must be vaccinated against:
·      canine distemper
·      infectious canine hepatitis
·      canine parvovirus.

All cats must be vaccinated against :
·      feline panleucopaenia (infectious enteritis)
·      feline respiratory disease complex.flight
Pets must enter as air cargo at the international airport in Hong Kong. Make sure that you book flight that’s as direct as possible and not transit through a high-rabies country. If your pet is changing aircraft in Hong Kong or will be in transit for more than 6 hours, it will need a transit permit. Import permits are required for pets transiting Hong Kong from mainland China.

Important: Inform the Duty Officer of the Import & Export Section at least 24 hours ahead of arrival.

It is also important to prepare your pets before your travel because it can be a stressful situation for them. Read on how you can reduce stress for pets during travel.

Upon arrival, dogs, cats and ferrets will be examined at the port of entry. If your pet is deemed to not be in good health, further examination by a licensed veterinarian may be required at your expense. If all requirements are met, your pet will be released to you after examination.know your vets
It is also important to have a list of licensed veterinarians in Hong Kong so you know where to take your pets when they get sick.

You can see the list here: http://www.vsbhk.org.hk/eng/vsro.asppet insurance
An overnight stay at the vet can cost you HK$1000. That does not include medication and other tests. Vet clinics can also set their fees at their own discretion because there isn’t a proper regulatory board to control this in Hong Kong. This is one of the current issues faced by pet making Pet Insurance a crucial protection to have.

We help expats with Pet Insurance and other insurance covers.

13Apr

Expat Guide: Common Concerns in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the safest cities for expats. There is also a large expat community providing an easier transition for people who move to the country as singles or with their families.

The biggest adjustment is often the language barrier but on top of that, there are other common concerns felt by expat. InterNations conducted a survey on November 2017 and these were identified as the most common concerns:

SOCIAL CIRCLES

Missing one’s friends is normal. But there is an expansive network of expats whom one can treat as their close support group. There are also numerous interest groups and organizations to join. In addition, social networks and instant messaging has made it easy to stay in touch with people back home. Setting schedules to chat or video call helps make the distance seem smaller.

Business culture with coworkers also falls under this category as Hong Kongers are known to be very serious workers. The most important thing to remember is to remain open and flexible with the local culture because it’s you who needs to adjust. You’ll find that the experience is more pleasant than what you may have initially assumed. One way to initiate social interactions with coworkers is adding them as a professional connection through LinkedIn. This establishes a professional yet approachable means of reaching out to people you work with.

GIVING BIRTH IN HONG KONG

Hong Kong has one of the top medical facilities in the Asia. Having a child is not so much the issue but rather making the choice of giving birth in a public hospital or subscribing to private health care.

Having health insurance that can cover $100,000 or more for prenatal and postnatal care implies checking into a private hospital so you can choose your own obstetrician, have a private room, and get regular check-ups with the same doctor. This is not to say that public healthcare is bad in Hong Kong. In fact, public medical facilities are quite advanced, however, one gains greater control over what happens to you with insurance and private care.

Village Insurance Direct is one of the few companies that help expats find comprehensive health insurance in Hong Kong.

GETTING A NANNY OR DOMESTIC HELPER

Expat parents don’t have to necessarily get a domestic helper or nanny but it is one of the normal practices for dual earning households. Having a nanny to take care of the kids instead of leaving them in a day care is preferred by more expats.

We’ve written a blog which provides useful information on the process and expectations when getting a domestic helper. You can read it here: Expat Guide: Hiring a Domestic Helper in Hong Kong

Note that employers are required to get insurance for domestic helpers. We also provide help in finding cheap insurance for expats.

IS IT WORTH LEARNING MANDARIN/CHINESE?

Taking on the challenge of learning a new language to better communicate with coworkers and new friends is worth the time and effort. Not only will it make life easier but you’ll find that you’ll be more open to exploring other activities outside of your comfort zone.

There are tutors that are available on an hourly basis. One can easily get an online tutor and conduct the lessons online to save the time of going to class. But learning is different for everyone so we recommend trying both to see which works for you.

4Apr

Top Health Issues Among Women in Asia

This infographic provides a list of the top medical issues faced by women in Asia today. Village Insurance Direct provides help for expats in Hong Kong in finding the most affordable and comprehensive insurance covers. Inquire today!

village insurance direct top health issues women asia