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Can You Work From Home Overseas?

  • September 07 2020

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, many people have been adjusting to working from home, and with COVID-19 not going away anytime soon and the continuation of the social distancing measures, some people might not be heading back to the office until at least 2021.

But after months of growing boredom stuck staring at the same four walls, would you consider becoming a ‘digital nomad’, pack up your home office and go work remotely from a different country?

Firstly, because of the pandemic, not every country is allowing visitors from the UK at the moment, and countries such as Australia and New Zealand have closed their borders to anyone who isn’t a permanent resident.

Many countries have imposed certain restrictions, for example, Cyprus requires a negative coronavirus test result to be presented on arrival.

However, if working from the Caribbean sounds tempting, Barbados has announced a one-year visa for working remotely that can be applied for online before you travel. You can find rules for each country on the Foreign Office website.

If your mind is set, and you’re packing your bags, you do need to inform your employer. Working abroad can cause a variety of tax and employment issues, and if you neglect to inform your boss, you might in breach of your contract, and you could end up facing a hefty tax bill.

The tax laws vary from country to country, but there could be a point at which a country decides that you should be paying tax, even if you’re paying tax in the UK still.

It varies from country to country but after some time, a country could decide you now have to pay tax there.

Depending on where you go, you may need to get a visa. Checking your emails and the occasional Zoom meeting might be fine, but if you’re going to be there for weeks and maybe months, the country might say 'This isn't a holiday any more’.

However, at least until the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, UK nationals still have the right to live and work anywhere in the European Economic Area (EEA). If you make a more permanent move to Europe before the end of the transition, you will likely be allowed to stay there but will need to be registered as living there.

There are also many data protection issues to consider. If you’re going to be moving outside the EEA for a long period, then if you and your company are transferring data internationally, it would be in breach of data protection laws.

You will need to get advice on this, as well as tax issues, and on your health insurance.

Travel insurance would typically only cover you for short trips abroad, even if it’s an annual policy, and any company-provided private medical insurance will likely not cover you outside of the UK.

Assuming your salary continues to be paid into your UK bank account, many banks charge a fee of around 3 per cent to withdraw money abroad, and with rent, taxes, and exchange rates, it could end up being very costly.

But, having considered all that, and worked out the pros and cons, and heading to somewhere hot and sunny to work is feasible, then visit our site today for holiday apartments and villas to rent!


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