Working abroad can be challenging, exciting and rewarding but also stressful. You may be new to working outside your native country or you may be a seasoned professional, but either way our experienced recruitment consultants can help and advise you about the benefits and pitfalls of working overseas. We can also point you in the right direction for professional advice from 3rd party organisationsspecialising in tax matters, social security obligations, insurance and visas.
We will ensure that candidates starting projects abroad adhere to national and international rules and regulations, but we are also on hand to offer advice on matters such as accommodation, transport and even social opportunities in your new locality. Our consultants have accumulated this knowledge from personal experience and from speaking to candidates and contacts who have worked in the same locations and customer sites before you.
We encourage feedback from our consultants about their experiences working abroad. If you have some valuable or interesting information you would to share with our network of candidates on matters such as accommodation, travel, local regulations or even the best places to go out in the evenings, then please send your comments by using the Quick Contact function on the Home Page. We will make this information available to other candidates who would benefit from your insider knowledge.
Work permits and visas
At LINK Payroll our main geographical focus is providing consultants throughout Europe. Citizens of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) full member states are able to live and work freely in any of the other member states. However, if you fall outside of these member states, you will have to apply for a work permit to work in the relevant European country. You should contact the embassy of the country you want to work in, as they will be able to offer you the best advice on the requirements for obtaining a work permit or visa.
Please refer to the list below illustrating the Member States:
EU – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK.
EUA – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK.
EFTA – Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland.
Umbrella Company or Limited Company
When you are offered a contract position, whether in your home country or overseas, one of the first things you must decide is how you will manage your affairs as a contractor. Rules and regulations vary from country to country and are subject to change. Generally speaking you can either work through your own company as a self-employed contractor or through an umbrella or management company. We can offer advice and guidance on solutions which are compliant with local requirements but strongly advise contractors to also seek professional independent advice.
Umbrella Companies can help with your paperwork including invoicing, ensuring you are legally compliant and your tax and NI contributions are paid. You will be charged for their services either on a percentage or fixed fee basis, but a lot of contractors prefer this option as good advice can save time and money in the long run. It is always best to compare several umbrella or management company solutions and decide which is best suited to your needs.
There is a lot of information on the web about working abroad as a contractor. Many umbrella companies have detailed and very useful information about working and living in all the major European countries and there are online forums and communities which can provide you with the latest up-to-date information. Expactica is a good site which offers advice on a range of subjects, which you will want to know as a contractor working abroad.
If you are thinking of working abroad, but not sure what to expect or how to survive those first few days, read the tips from the experts, well-travelled contractors who have done it all before.
Be collected from the airport
It’s not easy arriving at a foreign destination in the middle of the night. Make sure your client sends someone to collect you. It can be difficult to find a taxi at some airports and you’ll be disorientated anyway. You need to get to your accommodation as soon as possible – you may be working the very next day.
Carry $100 dollar bill in your passport
If you’re travelling to places where it’s well known officials expect a cut, a $100 bill can help you through customs and red tape. If asked what the note is for, never admit it’s a bribe – you may end up in the clink. Instead say it’s there in case you had to pay extra to get your documentation sorted out or needed cash in the airport to sort out transport.
Case the neighbourhood
Book into a hotel for the first few days where you’ll feel safe and looked after. You’ll want to find your own accommodation soon – it’s safer to drive than walk around an unknown city, and ask work colleagues for recommendation, too. Always look for somewhere on the border of student and middle-class land where it’s decent and where there are likely to be shorter term lets.
Barter for accommodation
If your stay is shorter, weeks rather than months, a serviced apartment may make more sense. Some place are prepared to discount if you block-book for a couple months. In Luxor, Egypt, Colette Mason negotiated a 50% discount on her apartment, which worked out at a very reasonable $20 a night.
Use a local SIM card
One of the experts took their iPhone and planned to use the Vodafone service. However they found it incredibly expensive for each megabyte of data and it took them a while to get data roaming sorted out. If you buy a local Sim card instead, it will work out much cheaper. But remember to unlock your phone in advance.
Allow three days for red tape
Even if you’re contracting within the EU, there are more forms to fill in and places to register than you can shake a stick at. In Germany, most of this is centralised at the Bezirksamt –district office – while in France, for example, the process is more convoluted. Another aggravating factor is that many of these offices are closed over lunchtime. Best thing is to bite the bullet and allow a few days to get all the paperwork done and stamped.
Get paid in a convertible currency
Make sure the currency you are paid in is convertible. US dollars are a good fallback, as is Sterling and the Euro. However, if you travel to parts of Central America say, or Central Asia, the local currency may not be willingly converted by a money exchanges.
Eat local food straight away
For many Brits working in exotic destinations, ‘Delhi belly’ is an issue. It’s probably nothing to do with bad food or bacteria, more likely that our stomach is not acclimatised to the local flora and fauna.
Best thing about contracting abroad
“You can get things done. After three months you can actually turn around and say I built a really good thing.”
“It’s an opportunity to have a change of scene, see how other cultures approach problem solving, and to acquire new skills and perspectives.”