The Ultimate Guide to Working Abroad: Eight Tips to Make the Move Easier


If you work for an international company, there’s a good chance that job opportunities open up all over the globe. Since larger companies are more likely to hire from within their pool of employees, you have a good chance of working abroad if you apply and are open to making the changes in your life. Working internationally can be extremely exciting, though there are a lot of things that you need to take into consideration; especially if you’ve never been out of that country before.

Ensure Your Employer Helps You

When negotiating the terms of you working abroad, ensure that you are covered and that the company includes living expenses and a relocation package with your compensation. You should also make sure that the company is going to be there to provide you with temporary housing if needed, payment for shipping your belongings, and even help you sell your property. An excellent global company is going to take proper care of you and ensure you understand local laws, taxes, leasing, and culture before you uproot your life.

Know Your Visa

Depending on the type of work visa you have, conditions vary. If you resign from your position, or get fired, the regulations of the permit might state that you aren’t able to look for other work, and require that you return to your home country. The best thing that you can do is research the regulations of your visa before you leave. Most times, the company you are working for is going to take on the responsibility of obtaining a work visa for you. However, it is a complicated process, and there is a lot of paperwork to do.

Keep Hold of Your Visa

One of the most important things when traveling back and forth between counties is your visa. Your passport isn’t going to be enough. There’s a high chance that you are going to need the additional paperwork when making multiple trips. Working abroad isn’t easy. There is a lot of preparation that goes into it. So, if you are working out of the country, but plan on visiting home for Christmas; make sure you have your work visa and your passport with you so you can gain entry once your holiday is finished.

International Taxes Are Complicated

Taxes and banking in different countries are going to be different from what you’re used to in America. First and foremost, you need to research to determine if you’re going to be an American employee working abroad on assignment or if you’re going to be a regular employee in your new country. This information is going to determine the amount that you’re going to get taxed in America. Which leads to filing with the United States IRS.

While you are working internationally, it’s suggested that you speak with an international accountant to give you all the information you need. Most likely, while working abroad, you’re going to pay taxes for the country that you’re in and are not liable for American taxes up to a certain amount. That said, unless you have become a permanent resident of the country, you are still required to file your taxes with the IRS to show that you’ve paid international income tax. Otherwise, you could find yourself in a position where you end up paying both.

Obtaining Credit Might Be Hard

Obtaining credit while working in a different country can be one of the hardest things you do. Those who have worked abroad recommend getting a credit card with an international company before you leave, as transferring the card is much easier than getting credit when there. It’s possible that the company you work for might need to vouch for you, but there is still no guarantee that you can get credit.

Complicated Banking

Before you leave home, ensure that you investigate opening and setting up a bank account abroad. It’s best that you understand who the local banks are and what their policies are on transfers, fees, minimums, and online capabilities. It’s also recommended that you have a letter of reference from your American bank to bring with you when opening an international account.

Language Barriers

While you might get lucky and end up transferring somewhere where English is the primary language, you also might end up somewhere with a significant language barrier. Before you move, soften the language barrier by taking some courses and studying the language so you at least have some basic conversational skills and can do some navigating.

Get Familiar with the Culture

Understanding the culture in the country that you’re going to work in is highly essential. Many countries have different “rules” that they abide by. While nothing is stating that you need to follow anything you aren’t comfortable with, as a matter of respect, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the culture, so you aren’t making anyone else feel uncomfortable. Especially in office settings.

Alternatively, learning about the pop culture ahead of time is also something recommended. Get familiar with the local lingo and popular hangout spots. Read up on local magazines and websites to find out where the trendy parts of towns are, so you can ensure that you know where to go to find the activities and things that you’re interested in most. Art fanatic? What better way to make international friends than by visiting an art expo and starting up conversations?

Even with an incredible and highly supportive company standing behind you, making the move to work internationally is challenging both physically and emotionally. There is a lot of paperwork and a lot of small details that need to get taken into consideration before the move. The above tips should help you get started on your newest journey.

Have you ever worked abroad or know someone that has? What tips do you suggest?


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The Ultimate Guide to Working Abroad: Eight Tips to Make the Move Easier

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