Knowledge Hub
  • Six Things You Need to Know When Working Abroad as a Contractor


    At NRL we regularly place candidates across a range of geographic locations and cultures and consequently we understand that mobilisation can be a stressful and lengthy process. To help make this process more straightforward our teams are on hand to provide expert mobilisation advice prior to and throughout projects.

    If you are a contractor and you are considering working abroad but you aren’t sure what to expect we have compiled a helpful list of the six main areas worth taking into consideration.

    1. You may need a visa

    Unless you are UK contractor working within the EU you will need a visa. Visa applications can be time-consuming and you may wish to seek advice before applying. Our mobilisation teams are able to coordinate visas and work permits due to our carefully managed relationships with embassies and overseas employment administration bodies. We look to minimise any difficulties involved in this process and provide a range of overseas opportunities for our contractors.

    2. Keep in mind tax laws

    Strict laws dictate the tax implications of any money a candidate may earn when working abroad and they vary from country to country. We provide all candidates with a Preferred Suppliers List (PSL) – each of whom have undergone NRL’s compliance and audit process – to ensure you receive the best possible tax and financial advice.

    3. Commercial details

    Once you understand the foreign tax laws and have your visa sorted you may think you have covered all bases. You haven’t. It is always vital to read the small print of the contract you are signing. For example, does your contract cover accommodation? This can take a big chunk out of your salary if these costs are not covered by your employer so it is critical to look over these details carefully prior to the project start date.

    4. Be prepared for a culture shock

    Working and living in a foreign country can be difficult to adjust to. Immersing yourself in a foreign culture can be one of the most challenging aspects of working abroad and can cause disorientation and anxiety at first. This is normal, especially if you are contracting overseas for the first time. Our International Mobilisation Specialists are highly experienced and equipped to ensure comfort and support for all candidates throughout the duration of the project.

    5. Take vital creature comforts with you

    Every contractor will have their own personal preferences as to how they like certain things but working in unknown territories means not everything will always be to your preferred specification. This can result in homesickness, especially if the contract is of a substantial length. To counteract this effect it is worth taking a few creature comforts along with you on your travels such as a photo of your family or your preferred brand of tea.

    6. Get the right vaccinations

    Our candidates’ health and wellbeing is of the upmost importance to us. By ensuring medical fitness prior to and throughout the project with regular health checks candidates are prevented from catching anything that may hinder their productivity. In terms of vaccinations, any that protect from common diseases are available for free on the NHS but those that are not covered must be taken into consideration by the candidate as to whether they are deemed necessary.

    If you are a exploring the options of overseas employment and would like to talk to a member of our Mobility Specialists please contact us via our website. Alternatively, feel free to ask us any questions on our Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn pages.