Accompanying a Service person overseas presents an amazing opportunity to experience another culture. Embracing an overseas opportunity will involve large amounts of change, and in some instances a degree of sacrifice.

Before your partner applies it is important to factor our employment considerations.

Overseas employment scenarios for RAF spouses and partners

If you’ve decided to take the plunge and pursue the travel and cultural experiences on offer, it’s important to have your eyes open when it comes to your own career and employment – any progression may need to be paused. Here we guide you through the possible scenarios and signpost you to the support available if you want to:

I want to retain employment by a UK business

If you have a UK employer and are able to carry-out your duties remotely, you may want to speak to your employer about working for them remotely whilst overseas. Here we provide useful information for you and your employer:

Tax information for business with employees working overseas

Some employers may be uncertain about keeping you on because they are uncertain of the foreign tax implications. Visit GOV.UK for the latest guidance. If you require further advice or guidance specific to your individual circumstances contact HMRC direct.

Search for remote UK employment

If you are unable to fulfil your role remotely, you may want to search for employment where you can. Browse ‘home-based’ job vacancies at Forces Families Jobs.

Remote working support

If you go from office-based employment to working remotely you may feel disconnected. The MilSpo Network and the Military Coworking Network provides and online community for Service spouses and partners that promotes remote working and provides virtual networking opportunities.

I want to run my own UK business overseas

Getting set up

Forces Families Jobs provides a gateway to business start-up training and supporting peer networks. The Government provides guidance too, including business licensing.

Tax implications for individuals

If you receive a UK income, including from self-employment, and you live abroad you will need to understand what UK tax is due. Read advice on tax at GOV.UK. You need to be aware, the country where you live might tax you on your UK income. However, if it has a ‘double-taxation agreement’ with the UK, you can claim tax relief in the UK to avoid being taxed twice. To get further advice, specific to your individual circumstances, contact HMRC direct.

Additional resources:

If you are planning to seek employment in-country you need to be aware there may be some barriers, including limited opportunities and visa restrictions. Forces Families Jobs now includes job listings for vacancies on overseas units – so make sure you look at their website as part of your search.

If you manage to find employment it is important to consider:

Personal tax

You may need to pay UK Income Tax on your foreign income. Foreign income is anything from outside England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. View the Government guidance on GOV.UK. For further advice, specific to your individual circumstances, contact HMRC direct.

National Insurance (NI) Credits

Make sure you apply for NI Credits – they are important as they fill gaps in your National Insurance record. NI credits can make sure you qualify for certain benefits including the State Pension upon your return. See more detailed information on GOV.UK.

I will not be working whilst overseas

There are many reasons why working overseas may not be practical, for example, childcare limitations, visa restrictions or challenges finding work in-country.

If you are not working you may have some concerns, perhaps regarding the financial repercussions or the implications of returning to work after a career break. Here we share suggestions to help plug the gap and signpost to some useful resources:

Skills training

To fill the gaps in your CV on return to work you might want to consider completing some skills training.

Forces Families Jobs – share free training and offer interim career support.

Military Coworking – career support based on your circumstances.

Stay connected

It’s beneficial to maintain connections and reach out periodically to former employers and colleagues. LinkedIn is the perfect platform to keep in touch and get notifications of any opportunities as they come available.

Additionally, you may want to network with other spouses and partners. The Milspo network provide a supportive online community and regular networking opportunities.

Volunteer strategically

If you are unable to find paid employment volunteering is a good way to fill gaps on your CV, particularly if you are strategic and do something related to what you want to do upon your return. The FFJ website offers advice on Volunteering as well as the ability to search for voluntary positions.