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Contracting abroad: here’s what to expect

There are a number of benefits to contracting overseas.

Not only do you get to explore different cultures, meet new people and sometimes even enjoy warm climates, but you also have the opportunity to work on exciting cutting-edge technology, further your career and expand your CV at the same time.

But what about the logistics of contracting abroad? After living in the regimented lifestyle of the army, being unleashed into a world of total career freedom is a big change, so it’s only natural that you might feel nervous about leaving the safety net of the forces. 

So, if you are considering contracting abroad, read on to discover our must-have working abroad advice and find out how it all works...

A family affair?

One of the most common questions we’re asked by candidates who are new to overseas contracting is whether they can take their families with them – and this typically depends on the specific role.

At M&E, some of our roles are in destinations that are suitable for families, so if you want to bring your family along with you it’s worth asking your recruiter about the jobs that enable this.

It’s usually best to bring your family with you for long term contracts as opposed to short term – and if you do land a contract for 12 months in an area that’s suitable for families, it can be a really fun opportunity for your children to join you and experience life in a different part of the world!

Of course, bringing your family with you does add additional logistical arrangements. For example, you will need to research schools and apply to local services such as doctors’ and dentists’ surgeries, so it’s important to allow enough time to prepare for everything fully.

What to do about visas

When contracting abroad, if you are working outside of the EU, you will need to obtain a visa before beginning your role. However, wherever your role is based, we support all of our contractors as much as possible.

If we are recruiting for roles in Europe where visas aren’t needed, for example, our specialist team will still help our contractors to obtain all the other documents they need.

You may need to obtain health insurance, undergo a medical or set up new bank accounts, and a good employer or recruitment agency will always advise you directly on this.

In fact, at M&E Global, we can even apply for a lot of the necessary documentation on your behalf – all you have to do is fill out a registration pack and we will take care of the rest!

If you are applying for contract roles further afield – for example, in the Middle East – our team will also apply for visas and book flight on your behalf; so there is plenty of support available!

In fact, any reputable overseas employer should provide you with the correct visa for the duration of your employment – and if they do ask you to arrange your own, this should trigger alarm bells.

Getting there and settling in

If you have never worked in an overseas contract role before, the first few days might be daunting. But rest assured, the first week or so is spent settling in, getting to know your new environment and meeting your colleagues.

If you are contracting for M&E in Germany, for example, you will typically arrive on a Friday ready to start work on the Monday – so you will have the weekend to settle in and get to know the area.

On the other hand, if you are heading out to the Middle East, you will spend the first five to seven days in Dubai completing a medical before flying on to your final destination.

It goes without saying that we will also book flights on your behalf and help you source your accommodation ahead of your arrival. So, all you need to do is focus on settling in and making yourself at home when you get there!

Ongoing support throughout your contract

At M&E, we won’t just place you in a role and then leave you to it. Our recruitment, HR, admin and payroll teams are all on hand to help throughout the duration of your contract and provide working abroad advice from start to finish.

What’s more, you will also have a dedicated point of contact for any admin, welfare or personal issues who will be there to support you every step of the way as well.

In fact, if you are working in a contract role overseas in Germany, we even have a base in Germany, which means we are on the ground to assist you with whatever you need.

Ready for your next adventure?

At M&E Global, we are experts in overseas contract recruitment and have more than 20 years of experience working on a variety of contract positions across a range of sectors all over the world.

So, whether you are looking for opportunities in aviation, land or marine, our dedicated team of expert consultants will be there to support you every step of the way and provide helpful working abroad advice.

Find out more about contracting overseas with us in this helpful FAQ blog, or for a first-hand account of working with M&E, you can hear from our longest-serving contactor all about his experience of working with us here.

Alternatively, why not contact us or give one of our friendly team a call today to find out more on 01834 221133.

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