In 2014, around 320,000 people left the UK to go and live abroad, with many of these expats choosing Spain, France, Australia and the US. Moving abroad for work reasons may be common, but it’s not without considerations. Here are some essentials you need to consider before you take the plunge.
Getting a Visa
Pending the Brexit-discussions, British citizens currently don’t need a visa to move to another country in the European Union. However, if you’re looking to move outside the EU for work purposes, it’s likely you’ll have a large paperwork trail. In addition to this, you’ll also have to line up a job to find an employer who is willing to sponsor you.
As a result, the location that you choose to move to may be dependent on whether there is a skills shortage there or not. Finding an area with a skills shortage is often the best way of getting a visa.
However, in addition to this, if you’re moving as part of a company restructure, then it’s vital that your employer has devised an immigration strategy in order to transfer you to an overseas office, ensuring that you’re compliant with acceptable immigration and labour rules. If this is the case, it could be worth persuading your employer to seek expert advice for a smooth process.
Payment of Tax
When you sell your property in order to move abroad, it will be subject to capital gains tax. However, depending on the country you’re moving to, you may be charged capital gains tax on your new home as well, as a form of “double hit”. Some countries, such as Canada, have agreements with the UK, but make sure you do your research so you know how much you can expect to pay.
If you move within the European Economic Area, you’ll still receive the annual rise in your state pension (some external countries also have agreements). However, America and Canada, for instance, do not have this agreement, so the country you move to could impact on your future pension, so ensure that you research this.
Cost of Living
Before you make the move, it may be best to speak to your employer about salaries. This is because, in countries such as Australia, the cost of living is much higher than it is in the UK, so the same money won’t stretch as far. This could be something worth considering discussing with your employers. Make sure to look at a number of factors, such as:
- Housing costs
Also never assume that the exchange rate will stay the same. As recent political events have shown, rates can fluctuate rapidly, so don’t leave yourself exposed if the rate turns against you and ensure you can live comfortably on your salary.
Moving abroad can be complex, and there are many legal and financial implications. However, that’s not to say that the whole process isn’t worthwhile. Instead, ensure you consult expert advice before you leave to make sure you have all bases covered.