Wednesday, 7 November 2012

And ... we're done. Registering yourself in Denmark.

After a month of silence where I was sorting everything out pre-move, I am now proud to declare that I am officially a resident of Denmark. Was it easy? Well ... yes. But I was very lucky as I have a Danish fiancé that is able to vouch for me in terms of funding until I get on my own two feet which, realistically, I don't think will happen until January at absolute earliest. So, this is how I/we did it.

Getting the CPR number was easier than I thought and took just three hours; however as I say I was very lucky. If you are considering moving here with no significant ties to Denmark such as Danish family/fiancé/etc., then I suspect it will be more difficult. Let me go through what I did and what the more difficult parts were, step-by-step.

Your first port of call should be Borgerservice (here), which I guess translates as Citizen Service. The international Services desk however is only open on Wednesdays and Thursdays at certain times - see this link for opening times and what you'll need to bring. My one tip is to get there as close to opening time as you can with all the documents you can possibly arm yourself with - when I got there an hour after the international desk opened there was already a fairly lengthy queue.

Documents I took with me that were needed:
  • Passport
  • A complete registration permit form - this is needed before you get the CPR number, even if you are EU - the application form is here
  • My fiancé with his bank statements - as I am now unemployed I came here under 'sufficient funds', which means I have to prove that I or someone can fund me during my stay in Denmark, which my fiancé can. I imagine that this would be absolutely vital if you are self-employed.
  • Two passport pictures - they provide this at Borgerservice but you will need these before you queue up at International Citizens Service so perhaps get there before the International Citizen desk opens in order to get these done (fee applies)
  • Handwritten and signed letter from the person responsible for loaning me the flat (happens to be my fiancé in this case)
Documents that I didn't need but if you are not moving under 'sufficient funds' they might be useful (though obviously I would advise you to contact Borgerservice if you are unsure):
  • Full driving licence with paper counterpart
  • Proof of residency in Denmark such as rental agreement
  • Letter from employer
Once your residents permit has been approved by somebody in this department, you will then be asked to fill in an application form for the CPR number which you can complete at the office and then see somebody about straight afterwards.

I must reiterate again that I was very lucky in that I have a Danish fiancé who is familiar with the Danish systems and is able to vouch for me; therefore before going to the Borgerservice office I would most definitely recommend giving them a call to see exactly what documents you need before you visit them in person. There's little point filling out the application forms before you leave for Denmark as this will not save any time however it would definitely be worth collating all documentation such as the above (plus anything else you feel would be useful) prior to departure, to save hunting for it when you get here.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The relocation to Denmark is going surprisingly smoothly so far ...

It's been busy - hence the gap between posts - but the pre-relocation steps have been surprisingly easy so far. Not sure if I'd be saying that about the US or Australia but my experience so far is all good. For those of you that are thinking about or about to relocate within the EU, here's an update on my previous post - hopefully somebody will find this useful.

1. Sort out clothes/towels/bed linen
DONE - was tough to throw out clothes, even the ones I didn't wear anymore, but I had to be ruthless. As a result, the clothes in my (massive) suitcase I know I will wear again and I only have to ship one box over, which will be summer clothes. No danger of needing those in Scandinavia during the autumn months.

2. Find a shipping company
I have to admit that Philip, my fiancée, took care of this one. Luckily, he knew someone that knew someone who has been able to help us out. The company we have settled for is called Quebix and the lady that's handling our move is able to do everything in one day. Once we have moved and gotten the TV back intact I'll write a short review.

3. Call the 'officials'
This has been easier than I thought! I always fear that dealing with these sorts of companies would be headaches but not at all. A lot, if not all, of this will be obvious but when you're relocating abroad I've found that it's so easy to overthink things and forget that it's just a case of being organised rather than things being overwhelming.
  • Bank - I'm keeping my UK account open even though there is no Danish branch. I'm allowed to do so as my mum's address will be the correspondence address. I'm pleased about that. Although whilst on the phone to HMRC, they warned me that any savings in my account would be cut by 20% automatically so that's another call to HSBC, I think ..
  • HMRC - all I need to do is complete a P85 form and attach it to the P45 given to me by my former employer, which can be downloaded off the website. Then just give HMRC a forwarding address and ... done (apparently).
  • Orange - they'll send me a PAYG SIM card which effectively ends my contract as soon as that's put in. EASY.
  • Orange home broadband - just need to call them on the day where I don't need the internet anymore so an automatic disconnection. EASIER. Need to call them back about what I do with the router, though ..
  • Energy companies - same old, same old. Contact them with meter readings, transfer the account to the estate agent as per their instructions. Done.
  • Still to contact: DVLA, Pensions and the council. Will do that today though, since I'm off sick.

4. Sort out DVDs, books, CDs
See clothes

5. Serve notice to my landlord
Done. Always make sure you check your contract before agreeing to a move to ensure you're keeping in line with the agreement. Obvious, but when one is overwhelmed it might be easy to forget.

6. Sell and/or give away furniture
Fold away chairs sold, still have a coffee table, chest of drawers and shoe rack to clear. We've set a date with my parents who are helping us move everything to the tip on 14th October - so if we don't have it away by then, off to the tip it goes.

So there you go - that's where we are so far. The flat is looking relatively bare at the moment and will look even stranger once the furniture goes. I'm quite an emotional person anyway but it's getting slightly more difficult. Still, that's a whole other post. I'm sick right now and am in desperate need of some chicken soup.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Moving to Copenhagen, part 1: The (pre move) To Do List

So as you know I'm moving to Copenhagen with my fiancé at the end of October. Up until very recently it was just something that we were going to do eventually; however within the last month I have handed my notice in at work and we've booked our one way ticket on 25th October. It's all VERY real now. 2-and-a-bit months seems like a lot of time but there is a LOT that needs sorting out. So I am making a To Do List. If you've read my very first post, you'll know that I'm aiming to document things related to the move, marriage etc., so I'm sharing my To Do List. Hopefully it'll be a handy reference for people considering to move to Copenhagen in the future. There are loads of websites with what to do in terms of bank accounts, CPR number etc but all the bitty things beforehand I think could quite easily be overlooked in terms of the prep. So here we go.

1. Sort out clothes/towels/bed linen
I have loads of clothes. In a box under the bed, in the wardrobe, in bags at my mum's place ... too many. I need to be ruthless, which will be difficult for a natural hoarder like myself.

2. Find a shipping company
I have no idea what I'm doing in this regard. I'm always wary of anyone I find on Google as I have no idea whether I'll be able to trust them (yes, I'm paranoid). So I need to ask my expat friends scattered around Europe and UAE for their recommendations. I'll of course post who I used, complete with review.

3. Call the 'officials'
By this I mean companies like Inland Revenue, DSS, pension companies, DVLA, my bank etc etc.

4. Sort out DVDs, books, CDs
See clothes

5. Serve notice to my landlord
Sounds like a really obvious point but I have it on my list as it's pretty damn vital.

6. Sell and/or give away furniture
I don't have that much as our flat was furnished but what I do have needs to be out of the flat by 20th October.

Other stuff we've taken care of already - booked the coach tickets to the airport, booked the plane tickets and checked our respective apartment contracts to make sure that we're not breaching agreements.

It's also worth mentioning at this point that there's no point me applying for a bank account or CPR number in Copenhagen right now - it won't save me any time so there's little point worrying about that before I move.

So, yeah, it's all good fun - planning a wedding and a move abroad at the same time is pretty epic ...

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Hashtag Olympics

I have to admit that I'm well and truly gripped by Olympic fever. Sports I didn't know existed (canoe slalom?) I suddenly care about. Even watching the ping pong table tennis is fascinating viewing, though neither of the two playing at the moment are as good as Forrest Gump. As Denmark has a contender I am at the same time absorbing new choice phrases in Danish, which have been mumbled and bounced around our living room walls since Denmark took Spain in the handball (HVORFOR-SKAL-HAN-VAERE-SAA-GODE?!) so that's good, it gives me something to shout at when I go to see FCK.

The more I watch the Olympics, the more I love it. The more I hear people naysaying the Olympics, the more I love it. Though since the Olympics has started, the naysaying was killed - maybe it's because I've hidden the miseries on facebook or maybe it's because people got sucked into it as soon as Sir Steve handed the baton to our future athletes. I hope it's the latter because the atmosphere it's given London is undeniably incredible.

Well, I cannot write anymore because Philip has been watching the table tennis ... the German player cried like a Samurai every time he won a point (against Michael Maze of Denmark) and it actually has put me on edge slightly.

I'll leave you with a picture from my living room.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Me, my blog and I.

Ok, so not the most original of post titles. And I don't exactly have the writing style of ... well, I can't think of a good example right now (Austen a bit too prim, Atwood a bit too 'out there') but I do hope that you take some time to read this and, if you wish, leave me some feedback.

I'm Nicola. I work in marketing. I hail from Essex, live in London, and am of both English and Filipino origin (with a dash of Irish and twist of Spanish thrown in for good measure). I'm quite tall for a girl with Filipino blood (5'8"). I've been with my wonderful man for just over two years, who I am marrying in April 2013. 
On a somewhat superficial level, I like cheap regal tat and polka dots. On a not-so-superficial level I like the music of Debussy and Google Analytics, not that the two can be immediately linked. I also have a massive love/hate relationship with the Sunday morning television debates that the BBC inflict on us, or, to put it another way, I inflict on myself. Never has a Sunday morning gone by where I don't want to throw something at a pompous person with an opinion on the telly.

Anyway, the main reason for starting this blog is because 2012 has been the biggest year of my 31 years on earth - I've lost a dear family member, I've just gotten engaged and I'm emigrating - and I guess as so much has gone on and is going on that I want to document this, even if just for my own sake. My goal isn't to become a "famous blogger" or to have a super cool writing style ... ideally I'd love it if someone found my blog useful to them, be it for weddings, emigrating or dealing with every day stuff. Who knows.

And that seems as good a place to sign off as any, so I'll write again soon. Probably tonight.