10 Questions to Ask Your Future Expat Employer Before Taking an Overseas Job

by David Tompkins

Future Expat Employer

Learn About The Questions to Ask Your Future Expat Employer Before Taking a Position Overseas

One of the best ways to become an expatriate is to work abroad as a global nomad or digital nomad. Still, for most expats, they will rely upon multinational organizations and companies for overseas jobs. Working abroad can be very rewarding, financially, and culturally. You can learn a new language and advance your career – as a global work posting is considered by many employers to be an asset. However, before you sign on the dotted line on that expatriate job, what are the questions to ask your future expat employer? These are the ten questions to ask your global mobility or HR manager:

Questions to ask your future expat employer

1. What is the foreign office like?

It is one of the most common questions to ask your future expat employer. If you are about to take a position abroad, you will want to make sure you will like the work culture and environment there. It may be wise to ask if the company can send you to the overseas location for a short visit so you can meet your future co-workers.

future co-workers

2. Is the company paying your housing costs?

Many expatriate employers will pay for your house or apartment rental costs when you are sent abroad for an overseas position. You may want to make sure that all the costs associated with the housing situation are paid for, or you will at least know the total costs that you will have to pay. You may want to check out the accommodations via the rental site and check reviews as well.

global health insurance coverage

3. What global health insurance coverage am I being provided?

One of the essential questions expatriates should ask before taking a position abroad is what health coverage is being offered while you are working abroad. Some expatriate employers may want you to go on the local health plan, which also covers the local nationals. In most cases, this is not advisable as an international health insurance plan is much more appropriate for expatriates and provides the global care that you will require.

Only an international plan will provide you coverage locally, regionally, and even back home – local plans are mean for locals, not globally mobile expatriate employees.

Also, the local healthcare and coverage in your new destination may be deficient and not up to what you are used to.  Expat Financial offers excellent global benefit plans for expat employers and also individual global health policies. Some expatriate employers will not have a group plan so that they will ask the expats to source their coverage. One of the follow-up questions to ask your future expat employer is if the plan will cover your dependent family members.

4. Am I receiving any disability or life insurance coverage?

It is also one of the most important questions to ask your future expat employers. In most cases, your employer will provide you coverage. However, some companies may want you to get your disability or life insurance coverage. It’s best to be clear on who is paying for what. It is important to note that regular travel insurance won’t cover your healthcare needs.

5. Is the company providing expatriate tax advice or resources?

For more expatriates, working abroad means paying taxes in the home country and host country. Do your research before asking the question as it’s different in each country, and you want to where you stand and if you need additional resources. Important questions to ask your future expat employers are as follows:

  • Tax savings: Expats have some benefits such as double taxation agreements, foreign tax credit, etc. You won’t know these details unless you have someone to advise on this, so ask your employer if they will give you access to expat tax advice and resources.  Furthermore, your expat tax advisor will have information on tax return deadlines, conditions for residential status, exemptions, and deductions.

Questions to ask your future expat employer

6. Can I speak to another expat employee?

It is a great way to gauge the working environment and the expat lifestyle. Ask your HR manager if you could speak to another expat employee who will give you invaluable information to make key decisions. They will likely help you with questions regarding cultural differences and moving to the country. This information will make your move smoother.

7. How long is the contract?

This is one of the most vital questions to ask your future expat employer. Some companies might be open to short term freelance work or contract-based work., and internships. Other companies require one to two-year fixed employment. Asking this question earlier will help you plan the directions you need to take.

8. Will the employer arrange for my visa?

This is the ultimate question to ask, as it is the biggest barrier when it comes to working abroad. Unfortunately, most employers won’t sponsor your employment visa as it is expensive, time-consuming, and overall a frustrating process. This is why most smaller companies would prefer you already have a working visa, or they will simply reject you as they don’t want to go through the hassle.

If it comes down to you handling it, you want to make sure you’re prepared mentally and physically to go through the process. On the other hand, some companies are willing to take over the visa process for you. If that’s the case, make sure you are working in tandem and providing all the necessary information to ensure a smooth experience for both parties.

9. How much will I be paid and in what currency?

This is an obvious question – you want to know how much is your salary. Don’t be misinformed on the currency and ensure you have a clear understanding of the breakdown. Before negotiating your salary expectations, make sure you do your research and budget your living cost, general expenditure, and traveling cost. You want to make sure you’re able to live reasonably with your salary and have some savings at the end of the day.

10.  Will I be asked to travel?

This is also an important question to ask. If you’re required to travel within the country, do you need your transportation? In that case, you need to find out if your driver’s license is valid or if you need to get an international driver’s license. On the other hand, if the job required you to travel to different countries, you need to make sure your passport is valid and ensure your working visa allows you to do so. Some countries require a special visa, and it’s important to know who will be handling the process and cost.

Bonus tip: Get everything in writing!

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