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“And she’s back!!”

I’ve lightly alluded to a pre-occupation with changing over my visa which has impacted the entire way I’ve approached continuing to keep India my base.

Do you love Mumbai too?

Back to Bombay / Mumbai…

Short answer – I am now the proud holder of an Indian work visa! (and there was much rejoicing!!!)

Even better, I am very fortunate to partner with a company that enabled the best of both worlds – primarily support their growth while not closing the door on relevant consulting assignments in India that can be routed via their firm.

Even more remarkable, the actual submission and obtaining was relatively painless. (more on that later!) (more…)

Thank you Canadian voters!

I’m a proud Canadian.

I’m proud of the values I grew up with – embracing cultures and communities of the world, religious persuasion, celebrating that love is the person not the gender… believing in universal healthcare, access to quality education, funding for the arts, creating opportunities to work together in harmony with civility and compassion.

Understanding a helping hand and a second chance can make a positive difference. Recognising we are merely renting space on this planet and responsibility for generations to come in our treatment of our environment. Believing in fairness, a commitment to scientific discovery, that an open honest debate makes us stronger. (more…)

The many faces of home

For those tuning in only now, I recently revamped how Everyday Asia is organised.

It is now ‘Home‘, ‘Away‘, ‘Work‘ and ‘Play… with a few other menu items like About, Quarterly Review and Start here..

You would think ‘Home‘ would be the easiest to do. Just slap on a new label to ‘Everyday India‘… except it raises a rather interesting question.. what and where is ‘home’… and why? (more…)

Travel tales… How I got ‘hooked’ on going ‘away’

We’ve introduced ‘Work‘, messed around with ‘Play‘, clearly ‘Travel’ can simply be replaced with ‘Away‘!

So why bother with a post? Well… you see… it seems a good point to pause and share the journey… insight into ‘travel tales’  which help explain how I got from there (Winnipeg) to here (Mumbai).

And warning! This is a long post, so go grab a cup of chai, coffee or other liquid libation and come join me in a trip down memory lane… (more…)

Happy Canada Day!!

For the first time in 13 years, I’m actually in Canada on Canada Day!

We are celebrating at my partner’s sister’s home in Toronto (ok – actually Brampton) with folks dropping by all day and evening. What better way than to celebrate with family and friends?

#ExploreCanada, Vancouver 2015 (Everyday Asia)

#ExploreCanada, Vancouver 2015 (Everyday Asia)

For all you Canadians in Canada and abroad – enjoy your Canada Day celebrations!

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“We don’t want your money!” Indian mutual fund cos deny Canadians because of the Americans

After the agonising effort to get my address dutifully updated with various mutual fund countries in India, I was slapped with a rude rebuff.

I can no longer invest in India.

It used to be that someone in my circumstances living long-term in India could invest in mutual funds. Which makes sense given this is my country of residence, where I’ve earned most of my money in the last 12 years, where all my global income is taxable.

It would be logical, therefore, that what little savings I have should be invested here. Right?

Wrong. refuse_1 I won’t go into all the details, but it has something to do with FATCA – Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. Which on the face of it is for Americans. To make sure that Americans or those with direct interests in the US are properly paying their American taxes.

But wait – I’m Canadian. I’ve never worked in the US. I’ve never held property in the US. Frankly other than a few short visits, rarely am ever IN the US. And Canada even has an intergovernmental agreement with the US to fairly cover off these matters.

What does that have to do with India?

Well… heck if I know but apparently it does.

As I understand it, most Indian Mutual Fund companies didn’t register with the IRS by the Jan 2015 deadline. Which means they’ve simply decided to avoid any new investments from not only US citizens but Canadian as well!

Last time I checked, Canada was not the 51st American state. Except, apparently, according to the Indian mutual fund industry… I want you to pay your taxes I accidentally discovered this when I went to make an on-line switch. It was declined.

Further investigation revealed I’ve fallen down some bizarre global tax rabbit-hole. I made several efforts to find a solution, explaining to no avail repeatedly that I’m not actually American, have zero interests in the US, that my tax jurisdiction is India… nix! None will touch my money as they don’t want to get into trouble with the Americans.

Naturally, there were – ahem – creative suggestions on how to get around this. I won’t name names… but let’s just say I was encouraged to lie about my nationality to get around the restriction. Sorry, but I’m not about to do that.

So… anyone want my money??

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Passport power… cross-border crossing from different countries

I wonder if there will ever come a day when the double standard of differential access to countries will cease?

I recently stumbled across an interesting info graphic by Rosie Spinks for GOOD Magazine. (see also a modified version below)

Rosie Spinks infographic in Good Magazine

Rosie Spinks infographic in Good Magazine

It poses the question, how powerful is your passport?

I never take for granted the privilege of possessing a Canadian passport or the opportunity to make India my adopted home.

However, just to put into perspective:

  • Canada has visa-free access to 170 countries around the world
  • Whereas India has visa-free access to only 52 countries

With a partner possessing an Indian passport, I witness regularly first-hand the additional steps required – most recently as he renewed his UK tourist visa for our upcoming Canada – UK trip.

Cross-border crossings for me are easy. For him, even though clearly he travels internationally regularly for work and pleasure, it is not so straightforward. I can take an impromptu trip to Amsterdam, whereas he cannot and most travel requires advance planning with visa applications.

So far, we are able to navigate these matters, however it breaks my heart to hear of stories where couples with different countries of origin, struggle… when love goes global, governments do not always agree!

I ask you then, what is your passport power? If you have someone else in your life, does your partner / spouse / significant other possess a different passport? How does that impact your lives?

Would love to hear your stories and invite guest posts – just drop me a line at info[at]everydayasia.com. 

Here is a version modified by move hub that may be a bit easier to read online:

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Drink and drive attitudes

Growing up in Canada, I witnessed a change in approach to drinking and driving.

As a teenager, I was aware it did happen but for the most part we got around using the bus – as passengers not drivers! I remember being aghast when my country cousins spoke of filing their car with as much gas and booze as they could afford, then drive until they ran out of one or the other. Seemed a really dumb activity to this ‘city’ kid, however we had distractions aplenty which were not so readily available in rural Manitoba.

While the laws against drinking and driving became increasingly stringent in Canada, what was more important is the shift in social attitudes. Bars promoted ‘designated drivers’ by providing free non-alcoholic drinks all evening. Services took you and your car home if you drank. Organisations like MADD – Mother’s Against Drunk Driving – pushed to tighten legislation and declared ‘war’ on drinking and driving.

And the law? While technically in the criminal code since 1925, it took the introduction of the breathalyzer in 1954 to have a tool to catch impaired drivers. By 2008, the consequences were quite clear: (more…)

When love goes global, do governments agree?

If you go global with a life partnership with someone from a country different than the land of your birth or citizenship, things get more complicated.

And the ‘rules’ when you begin your life journey together with hope, joy and love can change over time…

  • So then, what happens if the government ‘guidelines’ change mid-play?
  • What if divorce and/or re-marriage are thrown into the mix?
  • Or even worse, what if your life partner passes on before you do…

(more…)

8th Quarter Summary – Who said turning two is terrible??

I can’t believe that Every Day Adventures in Asia (Mostly) is now two years old!!

What an amazing journey so far! With folks from nearly 150 countries tuning in, over 33,000 views and 2,200 comments, 220+ posts, 867 followers and counting… I’m still amazed the semi-regular ramblings of a Canadian woman about her every day life in Asia is of interest. (more…)

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