Many expats move abroad without a contract in place, but if you’re lucky enough to be transferred within your existing organisation or if you have been head-hunted by a company abroad, you’ll be in a good position to negotiate a comprehensive expat contract. To assist you with your negotiations, here are some things to consider:
What expats should consider before negotiating an employment contract
Research the cost of living
If you are moving to a country where the cost of living is higher than your current one, you could justifiably use this to request a higher salary. Before you start negotiating your salary and any living costs your new employer might cover, do plenty of research and ensure you have the prices to reflect your claims.
Clarify your accommodation costs
When negotiating your contract, it’s important to clarify whether you will be responsible for paying your accommodation costs out of your base salary or whether your new company will be providing you with accommodation or even an accommodation allowance. If you have to cover the costs out of your salary or use an allowance, ensure that you have sufficient funds to pay for accommodation similar to your accommodation in your home country.
Solidify schooling costs
If you are being relocated abroad, your company should cover or contribute towards tuition costs at your local international school where your children can continue their education in their home language. International schools are private and their costs are significant, so it’s important to ensure you are being remunerated for these. Top schools often have long waiting lists, so check with your company whether they are able to guarantee your child a place at one of these schools before signing your contract.
The country you are moving to might not have a good state healthcare system in place, in which case it’s important your healthcare insurance covers all your day-to-day medical and dental procedures.
If you are moving to a country like Australia or the UK, where there is a good state healthcare system in place, it’s important to check whether you are able to access the state system. In many countries you require permanent residency to receive day-to-day healthcare from the state healthcare system.
Even if you are covered by the county’s state system, it’s worthwhile negotiating private healthcare insurance to cover procedures that might have long waiting lists.
Define your taxes
The last thing you want to have to face, as an expat, is double taxation. Some countries tax expats on their worldwide income, while others only tax them on their earnings inside the country. Check whether the country you are immigrating to has a Double Taxation Avoidance (DTA) agreement in place – as this will protect you from paying double. If your move means you will face double taxation, you may be entitled to claim compensation from your employer.
If you’re planning on immigrating and need advice on your financial migration, contact us today. We’re here to help put you on the path to financial freedom in your new home.
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