Coordinating work visa application, handling the paperwork for work and residence permits and obtaining passports are complex tasks. Bridges professionals, who are local experts, help expatriates understand the complexities and simplify the process.
From junior staff to CEOs, Bridges’ range of home search services assist expatriate families in establishing a new home, quickly and confidently, within the host country. By minimizing the stresses and concerns relating to an international move, and supporting the family in adapting to their new environment from the outset, the chances of a successful assignment for all are increased and the expatriate is able to focus on his or her professional demands as quickly as possible. The programs include familiarization with the host country, explanation of local market issues, effective management of expectations and the creation of informed solutions to accommodate each expatriates’s wishes, within client-led parameters. Supported by one key point of contact, this service supports international transferees in efficiently selecting and securing a home.
Following an accompanied tour, the expatriate’s selected property is secured, negotiating terms which offer security and flexibility for both client and expatriate. Bridges takes painstaking steps to protect against likely inconvenience or cost for the duration of the tenancy. Personal settling-in support completes the service.
The successful placement of a expatriate’s children in suitable schools is critical to the overall success of an assignment. Bridges recognises that parents need the dedicated care and attention of an educational specialist, with broad experience of international assignment issues.
A designated education consultant is allocated to each family to manage their needs until the children are securely settled in their new school(s). The consultant works in tandem with both the transferee family and any Bridges' specialists managing complementary services such as a home search.
Our consultants, making use of our comprehensive database of educational institutions in all school systems, together with their own invaluable personal contacts and close links with top schools around the world, manage education consultancy programmes relating to:
- International schools
- Home country syllabus schools
- Schools specializing in ‘mother tongue’ or ‘English as a 2nd language’ tuition
- Fee paying local schools
- State funded local schools
- Special needs schools
- Tertiary education colleges
- Special educational needs
Bridges’ Education Consultants have dedicated training and qualifications in consulting to families of children with learning, behavioral or physical special needs. The development of the child is considered within the context of the family’s situation and comprehensive advice on the best options available is provided.
To reduce the stress of arrival in an unfamiliar location, Bridges can arrange for the expatriate and family to be met at the airport when they arrive in the host country for their pre-trip and/or final move. The local Bridges destination services manager or representative will accompany the family to their hotel, temporary accommodation or new home and provide an overview of the area, beginning the acclimatization process.
Orientation and Educational Visits
An orientation visit prior to a new assignment is an efficient and cost-effective way to ensure a expatriate family is prepared for and reconciled with a move. Bridges’ orientation service is designed to provide information about daily life in the host country, with emphasis on one or more key areas to compare and contrast types of accommodation available, value for money and local facilities.
The tour is compiled and conducted by a specialist Area Consultant to include features relevant to the personal interests and concerns of the transferee family. Area orientation, often scheduled to coincide with pre-assignment business trips, is offered as a stand-alone service, or together with a home search package, to provide an overview of neighborhoods prior to targeted home selection.
In the case of group moves, information days can be delivered in the country of departure and support a client’s recruitment efforts.
If you have business associates arriving on visits, we can also host them, providing them with educational visits and tours.
Settling-In Services/Host Country Formalities
Bridges will assist in completing host country registrations, obtaining necessary documents and permits, driver’s licenses, driving lessons, opening bank accounts, and obtaining utility and telephone services, along with other ancillary local services. We will familiarize the expatriate and family with the community, local social and recreational facilities, health care services and other places of interest to the expatriate.
Partner Support and Employment Assistance
The ability of a expatriate's partner to settle happily into their new life in the host country is often critical to the overall success of the assignment. By assisting the spouse/partner to find suitable work or other activities, and introducing them to groups and institutions of particular interest to them, Bridges is able to contribute substantially to that success.
In the first instance, Bridges works with the partner/spouse to establish his or her key objectives while in the host country. Once these goals are determined, Bridges will usually offer one of two directional support programmes:
- Career Consulting
- Reviewing the partner’s career to date and their long-term aspirations
- Identifying the need for document support, including work permits
- Providing an overview of the host country employment market and work ethos
- Advising on appropriate job search techniques
- Advising on any re-qualification or specific training needs
- Identifying suitable training programmes and assisting with applications to schools and colleges
- Offering practical assistance with resume and cover letter presentation
- Coaching in effective and culturally-appropriate interview techniques
Support for homemakers and non-employed partners:
- Providing orientation services to assist in speedy settling in to the new environment
- Offering advice on networking and nationality-specific networking groups
- Identifying key recreational interests and assisting in locating relevant bodies and institutions
- Identifying appropriate avenues for community involvement, charity and volunteer work
Thereafter, Bridges remains on hand throughout the duration of the assignment to provide informational and practical assistance to the partner, by email, telephone or face-to-face.
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