All posts tagged: expatriate

Tax free, baby!

Today will be our first time to travel tax free, that is, on any airline and to almost any destination, which comes with our status as per the International Organizations and Diplomatic Privileges Ordinance. The same thing goes for any host country that recognizes the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations and for the home country as well. This is in contrast to our expatriation and repatriation, which are not just tax free but entirely free. What else is tax free if you’re a diplomat? Your accommodation is tax free. Your income is tax free. What? Your car is also tax free?! Well, it is, but you won’t really be needing one in Hong Kong as public transportation here is very efficient (another deterrent for us is the fact that they drive on the left side of the road here, which is the opposite of what we have back home). In such cases, you can get a car (even order a left hand-drive one) 6 months before your repatriation, so you also get to ship it …

Christina, Nelson, Martin, Nelvin, Hong Kong

As soon as we learned that Mr. Diplomat’s first posting is Hong Kong, I brought out the diligent me and started looking for Web sites on expatriation here. A city with so little space yet so many expats would definitely have sky-high rents as expected, so I started my search for a flat with the minimum requirements that we would settle for. I figured that two bedrooms, two bathrooms with one en suite, and at least an 800-sq ft area would be enough. I was not able to find any. Apparently, we would have to upgrade our preference to three bedrooms to get an en suite bathroom. With a certain design in mind and a budget not exceeding HKD16,000, I was able to shortlist two districts, Discovery Bay and Tung Chung.  Discovery Bay is famous for being an enclave for Westerners and is a 30-minute ferry ride away from Central district. On the other hand, Tung Chung is home to many flight attendants and pilots and is a 30-minute train ride from Central. Both are in Lantau Island where the airport is and not …