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What to Do If a Key Member of Staff Moves Overseas



There are many reasons an employee may have to make a big move to another country. It could be that they want to be near their family yet still retain their job, or that their spouse is starting a new position. Perhaps you, their employer, have decided to transfer them in order to supervise your business’s international expansion.

Maybe they just want to experience a new locale! Whatever the reason, an overseas employee can greatly benefit your company – but the situation does come with a few challenges. Here’s how to tackle the problems that can arise when setting up expat staff, so your business can take advantage of new markets.

Paying Expat Employees
Payroll is one of the trickiest parts of having employees abroad. Expat staff may require salaries, taxes and social security to be calculated and paid differently from other employees. You may be surprised to learn that many countries have no rules which govern where and how salaries are paid to expats. You will still need to pay their payroll taxes overseas regardless of where you pay their salaries.

Oftentimes, your expat staff will also need to file and pay taxes in their home country as well, so payroll should have a full understanding of the employee’s nationality and tax residency status. Still, it’s usually best to pay your employee in the currency of the country they’re working in – otherwise, payroll calculations can become overly complicated.


Work Permits and Visas
Your employee will need to apply for all the necessary immigration visas and work permits for the country they’re moving to, and these documents must be obtained before the expat can gain entry to and work in this new country. This exact process differs from country to country; sometimes, the employee needs to be present overseas before all the necessary documents are issued.

Make sure that you are well aware of all the immigration laws of the expat’s new country well in advance, so you can overcome any obstacles you may encounter. You should also wait to apply changes to payroll until all work permits and visas are sorted, as delays can often occur.


Extra Training
Depending on the country your expat staff is setting up in, you may need to provide your employee with training to deal with language barriers and cultural differences. You want to ensure that they have all the tools they need to represent your company effectively in their new location, and this training can help them develop solid relationships with new customers, suppliers and partners.

Navigating the world of overseas employment can be complicated, so careful planning and research is key. It can also be helpful to employ an expert to aid you in the process of moving an employee and doing business abroad – international expansion concierge services like Galvin International can explain your options each step of the way and help you with payroll, documentation, HR needs and any other aspects of global growth.


With the right preparation and expertise, you can set up expat staff seamlessly, allowing your employee to seek out new experiences while helping your business expand.

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