Practicalities of working abroad

If you have decided to work abroad, there are some important practicalities to think of and preparations to make.

Departures board Once you have decided to work overseas, you will need to find out as much as you can about the country you are travelling to before you go. This would include investigating the local customs, traditions and laws.

It would also include practical things such as whether you will need to change your driving license when you move abroad, whether you will need a visa or a work permit and provisions you will need to make for pensions and healthcare.

Visa and earnings

If you are moving between European Economic Area (EEA) countries, you have the right to go and live there as an EEA national. If you are moving to another country, you should consult the local embassy of that country for advice. Arranging visas and work permits can be rather time consuming, so be sure to allow yourself time to arrange this before making your move.

Some countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) only allow people to work in the country if they are sponsored by a company. Also, in the UAE the money you earn has a direct connection to your nationality. For example, an employee from India would earn less than an employee from the USA doing the same job. As long as you have researched this, you will be well prepared for any such irregularities.

Paperwork and preparations at home

Many countries only allow you to travel if your passport has at least six months until it expires. It is recommended that you make several photocopies of passports, insurance documents, certificates etc. for when you move.

You may need to alter the style of your CV when applying to different countries and some countries require a photograph along with your CV. You also need to check that your qualifications are recognised.

Other countries may have a higher rate of unemployment than your own and this may affect your ability to find a job and may mean than any salary you earn may be lower than at home. The cost of living should also be looked into.

You will need to decide what to do with your home if you work abroad. How long you are gone will dictate whether you decide to rent it out for some extra income. Agencies can assist you with this.

Where to go for help

When living and working in a foreign country, it is essential to find out where you should go for help should you run into difficulties. This information should be researched before you move so that if you face any problems, you know straight away where to go for help.

Expatriate communities can be a useful tool as they will know who to contact and how to go about it. You may also find that there is an IET Local Network in the country, which can offer another point of contact as well as useful networking and social opportunities.

The local embassy should usually be your contact in any emergency. They can give you advice and help you out with general enquiries about schooling, births and marriages.

Updated August 2016