Last Update: October 18, 2019

Online reporting in Thailand for expat residents

Thailand introducing online app called "OSS Foreigner" to enable online expat reporting to meet requirements:

...“OSS Foreigner” app is coming, and you will be able to use it for 90 day reporting, according to the Secretary-General at the office of the PM. Dr Kobsak Pootrakool says the planned app can be used for all immigration reporting, including 90 day reports, adding that typing in the required data and uploading a selfie will accomplish the same result as filling out paperwork at the local immigration office but without having to make the trip there. ...The TM30 form, and its companion, the TM28, have been a source of expat displeasure over the past five months since the immigration department decided to enforce a little-used 1979 law that required foreigners to report their whereabouts...

Story at

The struggle to make it in Denmark (and Norway)

Expats in the land of the Danes talk about what the ups and downs are at

"Denmark was voted the world’s best country with regard to working hours, while 81 percent of internationals in Norway said they were happy with the country’s working hours, comparing vary favourably to the 62 percent global average.


One of the negatives described in this profile is that foreigners complain of social isolation amid the native population who have an ambivalent attitude toward foreign workers.

The UK Telegraph newspaper has launched a Facebook based expat group online

Millionaire Expat: How To Build Wealth Living Overseas - Amazon

Haiti expat investing

The experience of working in Haiti - article at

The gentleman discusses being born in Haiti, but raised int he United States, and of going back to this country and finding difficulty and opportunities.

"... I would visit my father's native town up in the [southwestern] hills called Paillant. It was a very majestic, beautiful place where literally, you know, you can reach out your hand in any direction and there's a fruit tree and you can just take it and eat it. I even rode around on a little mule. I was just completely enchanted and I was like, man, this — I want this."

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

The arts oriented world of the resort town of Puerto Vallarta - story at Ten Best

Incidentally, Puerto Vallarta is on the 2019 Conde Naste list for the "Top 10 Small Cities in the World"

Expat tips for Manila - at

International finance for the expat

Traveling and accessing funds is the question travellers regularly face. Here are some tips:

Profiles of the best banks for international travel – Nerdwallet - they highlight four particular bank systems.

When to get an international account - Magnify Money – tips on avoiding high transaction fees while using plastic abroad

Examples of what international banking is – eFinance Management

Miserable in the USA

Sept 30, 2019

Story at Business Insider - "The 50 most miserable cities in America"

This article concentrates its disdain on the cities of California (making 10 of them part of their "fifty worst"), along with New Jersey and Florida, each with multiple locations characterized (in the article) for devastation, crime, addiction rates and abandoned houses.

Vietnam expat situation ranked highly by HSBC

Ha Long Bay Vietnam

Description lauding the good conditions for "experienced expats" who find a big boost to spending power in Vietnam - story at

Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

USA takes beating in rankings for expat livability

Sept 2019

Story at Yahoo and at

The comment section on the Yahoo article is quite ascerbic.

Best expat places to live, 2019 edition

Story and details at Yahoo - the information is compiled from

Here's how the list works out, top five (they have a "top ten")

  1. Taiwan
  2. Vietnam
  3. Portugal
  4. Mexico
  5. Spain

Lists like this reflect what is emphasized, for example earning power of an average working expat, costs for healthcare, etc. What's always best to do is to look at regional information, for example homicide rates (in which case Mexico ranks at 3 times the rate of the USA) and all other aspects that are important to a person. What you think is important can vary from what the list-makers have emphasized in their data to create the ranking.

Expat in Washington DC

H street and Eye in Washington DC

H Street and 17th - just before Farragut Park

A very brief overview of the main tips for a quick touristy visit- - eating and sightseeing - - to Washington DC at

Living in Washington DC for an Expat

The Traveller news item is really more of a tip guide from an Expat rather than a guide for an expat. Living in or near Washington DC ("DC metro area" is how it is usually summed up locally) is a whole different world from the one a tourist experiences with a brief visit. A basic concern for an expat considering a residency in Washington DC is the usual place where expats start: the cost of living. In this area, DC is higher than much else in the United States. On the other hand, it is not anything like the cost scale of living in New York City or San Francisco

A Personal Appraisal

The city has had major improvements since the moribund days of the 1970s and early 1980s when decay was the norm (and consequently the suburbs in Maryland and Virginia enlarged), but beginning in 1983 or so a building boom started* and has only rarely slowed (but not stopped) whenever the periodic recessions of the US economy causes a standstill just about everywhere else. In fact, when the economy of the USA takes a dive, government programs usually shift into high gear and get bigger, which produces a demand for more federal workers and employees for the various private companies that support the federal government. I have often heard that the DC area is "recession-proof" for just these reasons.

Crime is real and there are dangerous areas of Washington DC, but police enforcement in the Capitol has improved considerably since the 1970s for reasons having to do with pressure from the Federal government onto the local government, but also because more money has been spent on the two main police forces in the city (the Capitol Hill police is a federal law enforcement agency, whereas the DC police are a different city-wide force). On top of those two are numerous private security companies and a large variety of Federal agencies that have their own armed security. Street crime is real and a risk like any urban place in the United States, but on the other hand, since 9/11, Washington DC has developed into a place where a readiness to deal with "trouble" is a specific problem with a large number of people assigned to solving it. The city is not an armed camp, but could become one quickly if the need were to arise.

Green areas are numerous, and with the Rock Creek Parkway system that bifurcates the city, there is an artery of raw nature that cuts through the city, and besides the army of squirrels that are in the city, I have seen deer in locations where only a hundred yards away car traffic and the public transportation system of buses and subways are making the typical urban racket.

Washington DC is the stuff of a hundred guide books and web sites (for example this one here), so finding information on how to live and use the city is not hard. For good and ill, it is a true urban environment, though I have had people from NYC tell me that DC 'is not a city, it's just a big town. New York is a city...' which is actually a kind of compliment and perhaps provides an insight to some of the charm possible in the vast residential areas of the District. Americans are used to seeing DC portrayed in film and TV as a land of marble temples, government buildings and statues, but the reality is that the majority of its space is made up of homes and parks.

* One of the most admirable results of this boom has been the rehabilitation of historical public buildings. DC's Union Station is an example of this. It was a boarded up hulk in a very tough area at one time, but since the early 1980s it has over the decades been continually improved and expanded upon without compromising it's original design. Originally completed in the 1920s, it is touted as the "last of the great railway stations" in America.

The challenge of health care abroad for Americans

Medicare isn't an option when outside of the USA, so what are the strategies to make up the difference?

Story at BenefitsPro

See more on the Expat Healthcare page

An Americans safety increases when traveling abroad

Statistics produce the contrast and it is based on pretty large numbers: 56 million Americans traveled outside of the country last year, and that doesn't even count car trips by Americans into Canada and Mexico, nor the numbers of expats living abroad permanently (US State Dept estimated 9 million or more Americans abroad as expats in 2016). The drawback on the stat-to-stat comparison, though, is that higher crime and violence areas of the United States slant the larger areas against below world-average stats for crime and violence elsewhere in the USA (for example rural areas). Put another way, Detroit, Baltimore, cities in California, etc., radically slant USA stats higher.

Story at QZ.COM

The worst?

LAX airport gets pegged as "worst" place to travel through in the world - story at USA Today

Switzerland eclipses Singapore in expat 2019 survey from HSBC

Switzerland Zurich

Singapore had previously polled with the highest ranking for expat locations for the last four years in the HSBC (Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) annual survey. Story at Marketing Interactive.

UAE changes expat investment rules

Details at menafn.

Retirement in Costa Rica

San Jose Costa RIca

A couple retired and visited forty countries and settled on Costa Rica. Their story at International Living.

The "Best" Countries in the World

A global survey of utilizing information collected by the BAV Group, a unit of global marketing communications company VMLY&R, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Article at US News & World Report

The top five are: Italy, France , Spain, United States and the U.K.

Working overseas checklist

Story at Expatica has a convenient 10-point list for organizing for expat work.

Working in the Philippines

Manila Philippines

Article at Yahoo Finances profiles a recruitment website and the effort to properly prepare expats for entering the Filipino job market.


Philippines Village

Beaches and Expats - Mexico

Ranking article at International Living on best beaches mentions how Playa del Carmen is the site of an expat community, and how other beaches meet Western expectations.

The cost of living in Italy

Landscape with Atrani town at famous amalfi coast, Italy

Above: Atrani town at famous Amalfi coast, Italy

June 27, 2019: A brief article with a comparison (with the EU averages) in the major areas of food, transport, internet, housing, and moreThe Local - Italy

Oman bans expats from new list of business areas

June 6, 2019: story at iexpats

Profile of Kyoto

June 6, 2019: A look at the Japanese city - story at SCMP

What can you do with $2700 in Nice, Florence, and Barcelona

June 6, 2019: Article at International Living with this line: " first blush, staying in Nice, Florence, or Barcelona screams “expensive!” But it needn’t be..."

The 20 USA Cities people are leaving

June 6, 2019: Article at Moneywise on the exodus from badly performing urban areas. Particularly mentioned is violent crime as the culprit for getting away/staying away.

Deutsche Bank survey - Zurich is #1

Best cities in the world for quality of living

May 24, 2019: Article at CNBC News - The CNBC article examines the cost of living around the world, the "quality" of life in that locale, and compares the cost of consumer basics in each.

Specific focus on Zurich at Market Watch

Details about Frankfurt at Wall Street Journal

Analysis specific to Athens, Greece at Protothema

Focus on San Francisco at Live Mint

American cities continue to lose population

May 23, 2019: "39% of Americans live in cities" - story at Yahoo Finance gives a statistical breakdown of the top 15 urban living centers.

The best Expat pay in Asia

May 23, 2019: Story at MSN News looks at the pay averages.

Tourism to USA on multi-year downturn

May 23, 2019: "Tourism is vital to the US economy, representing 11 per cent of the country's total trade surplus of $77.4 billion. Last year, international tourism generated $197 billion for the US economy." - story at UK Telegraph.

Singapore Expat average pay shows increase

May 23, 2019: Numbers and details at Yahoo.

"Top Ten Retirement locations" in USA

High investment retirement location rankings: 1. Prescott AZ 2. Venice FLA 3. St Augustine FLA 4. Beaufort SC 5. Myrtle Beach SC 6. Abilene TX 7. Austin TX 8. Boise ID 9. Palm Springs CA 10. Salt Lake City UT

Tenting across Europe

List with details at Yahoo

American expats in Ecuador

May 2019: Story at Forbes Magazine

This article examines the point of view of Americans in Ecuador and talks to Matthew Hayes, in New Brunswick, Canada, author of the book Gringolandia, and this is from the interview with the author: "...what showed up was what they were moving from. They wanted to get off the rat wheel."

Expat ideas for finding work in France

May 2019: Tips concentrate on seasonal employment - story at The Local

New tax laws for expats coming in Thailand

May 8, 2019: More detail at The Nation

Expat Canadians voting from overseas

May 2019: Story at The Star

American expats returning home from China

May 2019: Story at Financial Times concentrates on Ford Motor Company

Leadership skills sharpened by expat experience

May 2019: Story at IAMEXPAT

Over 800,000 naturalized citizens added to EU

March 6, 2019: Story at New Europe about the numbers, with details on where the people came from and where in Europe they were able to naturalize into citizens.

Spain has plan to protect UK citizens in BREXIT

March 3, 2019: Issue of residence rights and health care appearsto have been settled - Story at Bloomberg

Greece is "worst for women" in survey - Czech Republic comes out first

March 2, 2019: Story at UK Independent. Survey uses data from 180,000 expats and concentrates on career prospects and view of the overall economy, which unsurprisingly, is rather dark on the possibilities for the debt-laden Mediterranean country where a negative view of the economy is rampant and the current governing party is far behind in popularity as an election cycle is heating up. The alarming headline at the Independent though, seems rather misleading since it implies a working condition problem perhaps reflected by the culture, versus the economy. The story itself is straightforward and is an overview of the data.

Italy came in #2 on the list, which is also suffering a battered economic situation with the EU commission beginning to hover (as it has done over Greece for close to a decade).

HSBC survey on best destinations for Expat Careers

Feb 9, 2019: Story at Huewire mentions the basic reason for Bahrain's being at the top: earning potential.

Here's the HSBC survey incorporating a whole list of worldwide locations compared and ranked.

USA's Fifty worst cities

Feb 8, 2019: "Lists of worst places" and "lists of best places" stories appear regularly in the media. The better ones rely on a mix of statistics and actual anecdotal information from people who live there, the pro forma stories rely only on stats. This story at USA Today is the latter, a list of places qualified as 'worst' by statistics.

The problem with this is pretty clear right from the beginning of the list, which is Beverly Hills, Florida, which is presented as awful by virtue of home cost averages, poverty rate (high at 32.9%) and population total. By way of explanation, USA Today provides this added information: "The city has a far lower concentration of bars, restaurants, theatres, and museums than is typical nationwide."

We can tell by the population size that Beverly Hills, Florida is a town, not a city, and to highlight how arbitrary this ranking is, the issue of lack of museum offerings is only going to impact a certain percentage of any typical American population group because only a minority of Americans go to museums in the first place. (Viewed on a map, it looks like Beverly Hills, Florida may lack the size to have even a movie theatre, let alone museums and 'theatres' of the live staging variety. This makes me ask the question, is USA Today using a system of ranking that should only apply to actual cities?)

Since this USA Today ranking of Beverly Hills, FL, lacks information on violent crime rates (which they do provide for other locations) it seem rather superfluous to concentrate on the number of cultural institutions that do not lie within this small town instead of an analysis of the more obvious: violent crime, crime in general, rate of divorce, numbers of kids (or lack thereof), employment rate, numbers of businesses (large and small) within the commuter range, and how many people own homes, or automobiles, etc. There's so many more factors in play that could constitute a better articulated portrait of a town (or city).

The USA Today ranking system includes fifty locations, the number 1 with the dubious title of "worst in America" is Mendota, California.

Low budget Expat retirement

Feb 2019: Barron's article covers 5 destinations: Portugal, Ecuador, Italy, Bali and Vietnam, with basic numbers on renting or owning.

Challenges of No-Deal-Brexit

Feb 2019: Story on the difficulties facing Brits in Greece at Bloomberg [English]

Software for filing taxes

Feb 2019: Software promotional article describes software MyExpatTaxes and how it can help with filing. Article describes some benefits for getting the paperwork in on time and the problems facing no-filers (i.e., fines).

"Taiwan the best" for expats

Taipei Taiwan

Feb 2019: Article at iexpats summarizing data from a survey . The iexpats piece is full of praise for Taiwan, and goes to the trouble to take digs at some other popular locations, and in particular quotes a survey respondent as saying Malta has extreme corruption at every level of government.

Travails of Swiss expats in France

Feb 2019: Story describes the issues surrounding cross-border education for children of parents who pay Swiss taxes but live in France - at expatica.

Top Passport? Japanese

Jan 2019: Visa-free travel to 190 countries, the Japan passport is ranked number one in power to cross borders, with S. Korea and Singapore next. UK and USA a little further down the list - rankings at MSN News.

Gallup: Most Americans ever want to exit USA

Jan 2019: Top destination isn't far, with many citing Canada as their choice of destination. Gallup attributes the numbers to political issues with Pres. Trump, and refers back to similar numbers (though lower) that manifested under Pres. Obama and Pres. Bush.

The Gallup Page on Poll Data

Taxes in 2019 for expats

Jan 2019: The Global Times has a guide for tax issues and challenges for expats.

Going to Russia

Jan 2019: Expat experiences examined at Russia Beyond

Residency and passports - 23 countries

Jan 2019: Informative story at UK Standard which lists 23 countries and their requirements for obtaining a second passport/legal residency. The list shows the highest at £2 million (the UK) and the lowest at $15,253 (Thailand) with the other countries listed at graduated steps according to their fees.

Forbes: inexpensive places to live in for 2019

Jan 2019: Survey with the premise of living cheaply (total cost estimates by the month are given for a variety of locations, often the numbers are between $1,700 - $2,500). Emphasis either for retirement or for less stressful working - Forbes Magazine


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