Information and Advice Centre

Any information or advice that you think may be relevant to the British community will be posted in this section. To submit your info click here.


Phone Cards

Are you aware that there are phone cards out there that can reduce your phone bill dramatically?

I have tested a few of these cards and now believe that the best one is "EUROLINK"

You can obtain these phone cards from most "Corner shops" you know what I mean !! They will cost you $5 (No Tax) and a call to the UK will be deducted at a rate of $0.01 a minute, YES ONE CENT A MINUTE, what are you waiting for?

The way these phone cards work is that you dial a 514 number which is of course is free, then the pin number on the card followed by the UK phone number. A small inconvenience for a massive saving. Even better, you can use these cards for all your long distance calls, The rest of Canada, the States and most of the rest of the world.

HAPPY DIALLING.

Rob, Saint Lazare.

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UK Pensions

Did you know that, even if you never work in the UK again, you are still entitled to a full British pension when you retire? According to an active lobby group based in Hudson called The British Pensioners Association, as long as you are working anywhere in the world, you are entitled to make voluntary class 2 national insurance contributions. This costs approximately $200 per year and entitiles you to a pension of £90 per week at today's prices. Further detailed information will be posted as soon as the information becomes available. For an online leaflet describing Social Security Abroad (Inland Revenue leaflet NI38) click here.

Further information can be found at the web site of the Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners (http://www.britishpensions.com). The alliance are currently trying to encourage membership ($20 pa) in order to help pay for the upcoming trial against the British Government at the European Court of Rights to un-freeze British pensions in Commonwealth countries.

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Canada Child Tax Benefit

Did you know that you are entitled to Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB), if you meet all the following conditions:

  • you must live with the child, and the child must be under the age of 18;
  • you must be the person who is primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of the child;
  • you must be a resident of Canada; and
  • you or your spouse or common-law partner must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, a protected person, or a temporary resident who has lived in Canada for the previous 18 months.

You should apply for CCTB as soon as you are eligible. For futher information, application forms and a benefits calculator click here.

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Permanent Residence Visas

My family and I applied for residency in Canada while we were still in the UK. Therefore we had to apply through Canada house London. Soon after we got a job in Montreal and moved out here on a work permit. We have just heard that our residency has been approved and were told to send our passports back to London to have the visas inserted.

My initial reaction was that they had made a mistake as this would leave us stranded in Canada with no passports. However, I phoned the British High Commission in Ottawa and was told that this is a perfectly normal procedure.

I thought this information would put your mind at rest I you are in the same position. By the way it cost me $60 to send 5 passports UPS. The passport Office in London promise to return your passports within 30 days. And finally, they ask for the non standard sized passport style photgraphs again which I did with a digital camera and photo-printer to save a bit of money. At the time of writing this seems to have been accepted by the passport office.

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Keeping in Touch

As soon as you can set up a high speed internet link, a web cam and a microphone. Download Microsoft Messenger for free and you'll be having face to face conversations with you family and freinds back home in no time. The latest version of Messenger is great and gives you a full screen option when having a conversation with you're loved ones.

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Schooling

Our advice to any Brits moving here is to get the kids straight into the French system. They will have to go into it eventually so you may as well make it easier on them and do it when they are as young as possible. The French schools are strict but loving and have lots of help for them and its free. They also teach English from grade one now. If your child has a learning difficulty or any handicaps they can usually get an exemption certificate from the education authority (although our son didn't because he did so well, typical!!). This will enable them to stay in the English system. Also if you have one child with this exemption all of their siblings follow suit. With regard to the private system our children cannot attend all of the English private schools only the ones that do not receive funding from the Quebec government, so you need to check this out.

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