Moving Overseas for Your Career: A Guide

We live in an increasingly small world. Travel between different parts of the world has become more condensed and more affordable in recent decades.

We live in an increasingly small world. Travel between different parts of the world has become more condensed and more affordable in recent decades. All of this makes the possibility of moving overseas for your career a more realistic prospect. We also can communicate back home or internationally via the myriad of digital communication platforms we have available. The advantages here make this type of career move more appealing in two ways; we can make arrangements much more easily using email, file sharing, etc. Once we have arrived, we can communicate with friends and loved ones back home in a much more intimate way.

How Long Are You Going to Stay?

Working abroad can mean a whole range of different things. It could be a permanent job, or perhaps a fixed-term contract, with or without the possibility of staying on afterward. It could be that it’s a shorter-term project that lasts weeks or even months. It is good to know before embarking on the trip what the setup is and the length of your stay? Make sure you have given enough thought. How will it affect your partner; are they coming with you? What of the children, if you have any? Will you be bringing them with you, and, if so, are they going to attend a local school, is it English speaking, an international school, or private tuition?

What About Language Barriers?

If you are going to one of the many English-speaking nations, such as Canada, the UK, Australia, or New Zealand, then this will not be a problem. If you are working in an area where English is not the dominant language, then you have some thinking to do on this. While it is true that in many places, English is considered the international language of business, it may still be beneficial to use the local language. You will gain much more respect by at least trying to speak in the local language, this shows you are not an arrogant English-speaker who expects the world to bend to them and it will make life much easier.


One important point to consider is where are you going to live? If your employer is sending you on a fixed-term project it is often a normal procedure to provide accommodation, the nature of which may depend on the employer and your circumstances. If you are of a decent paygrade and have a family you may be provided with a family home, if you are a young, single person you may only be offered hotel accommodation.

What if it Goes Wrong?

You should always be mindful of what options you have should things not work out in the way you planned? If you cannot stand living so far away, what are your options? Can you cut the trip short and come home? What if you become ill and need assistance. If it’s a professional trip then regular tourist travel insurance is probably not valid and you should look at Insurance for International Citizens instead.

Working Permissions & Visas

It is key to research what the criteria are to be awarded a working visa for the area to which you are traveling. Be sure you have all the required documentation and apply well in advance of any deadlines to ensure any delays are not disastrous. Some areas have an automatic right to freedom of movement, such as citizens of EU countries, and others have specific tests to grant a visa, such as the Global Talent Visa for the UK. It is vital to be aware of the expiry of the visa and what needs to be done if you need an extension.

Income & Tax

You will likely be required to register to pay tax on any income earned in a foreign territory. There may be exemptions if you are there for a brief period, or in some situations loop-holes allow you to be paid in your home country. One thing to avoid is getting into a situation where you have two tax authorities pursuing you for tax on the same income, this can be tricky to sort out as tax offices are generally not known for dropping a claim on our say so. Try to avoid this situation by making inquiries to both tax offices in advance and get replies in writing where possible to give proof of the advice you have.

Advantages for Your Resume

As we have noted numerous challenges to working Overseas, but there are so many positives. Learning about different cultures and meeting new people can be so rewarding and interesting. But the big gain is how positive this experience can look on your resume. If nothing else, it stands out and shows a willingness to get out of your comfort zone and go for it.

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