Dreaming of working abroad?

Dreaming of Working Abroad?

Working abroad is a dream many of us hold, offering the opportunity to experience everyday life in a different part of the world. There are a number of ways in which you can make working abroad a reality. From migrating permanently to a country, to seeking out a role locally that involves extensive overseas travel. If you’re keen to work abroad, there’s bound to be an option that suits you and your circumstances.

Here are some of the most common ways to work abroad.


Global mobility has risen considerably for more than a decade with record numbers of people making relocating permanently to other parts of the world. Australia has long been  a popular choice for British citizens with 1.27 million British born residents and North America is home to a whopping 1.43 million British citizens (758,919 in the USA and 674,371 in Canada).

The way in which you apply to immigrate abroad varies from country to country so you will need to consult the relevant official government immigration department’s website to learn about the process on the basis of your individual circumstances.

Australia: Australian’s skilled independent and entrepreneurial visas are the most popular routes of entry for those of working age with skills that appear on the Skilled Occupation List.

USA: Those wishing to migrate to the USA will generally need to either be sponsored by a relative or be lucky enough to win the Diversity Visa Lottery Program (also known as the Green Card Lottery).

Canada: There are several ways to migrate to Canada including the Express Entry visa scheme for skilled workers, family migration and a number of entrepreneurial/self-employment visa types.

Another way in which some people migrate to another country is by way of dual citizenship or acquired citizenship for example if you are eligible to obtain citizenship of another country due to acquired rights or your parent or grandparent having been born there. The eligibility for this varies according to each country as does your ability to obtain second citizenship (some countries for example don’t allow dual citizenship so you would need to give up your current citizenship).

EU Freedom of Movement*  

Many British citizens have taken the opportunity to establish new lives across the EU with an estimated total of 1.2 million of them living predominately in France, Spain and Ireland. While a proportion of these are retirees, many British expats have successfully purchased or established businesses within the hospitality and tourism sectors, others manage to secure salaried employment in their country of choice.

Employer Sponsored Overseas Deployment

If you work for a company that has offices abroad, might be able to request a transfer or to travel abroad regularly as part of your work. Both options will generally require a visa as it is illegal to work on a tourist visa in most parts of the world. Check with your company’s HR team to see what possibilities are available to you as many international companies have employee mobility schemes.


If you are an experienced or budding entrepreneur with a sound business idea and plan along with adequate funding to ensure success, a self-employment or entrepreneurial visa is an option in many countries around the world. Each country’s requirements vary but you will generally need to demonstrate a good knowledge and relevant skills that relate to your business idea and have conducted market research that bolsters the viability of your business in the host country.

*Note: The EU Freedom of Movement rights for UK citizens is under threat due to the impending exit of the UK from the EU (Brexit). Those with other EU citizenship will continue to enjoy freedom of movement across the remaining 27 member countries after the UK has left the EU (unless continued freedom of movement rights are retained during negotiations between the UK and the EU). 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is general in its nature and is not intended to be relied upon in the place of thorough research in respect of your own personal circumstances and consulting with respective government immigration officials, seeking professional migration or legal advice from a suitably qualified professional as required.

Picture of Lisa LaRue, MCareerDev,  RCDP, MAC

Lisa LaRue, MCareerDev, RCDP, MAC

Career Coach, EMCC-Accredited Master Practitioner Coach and CDI-Registered Career Development Professional with more than 20 years’ experience helping achieve successful and fulfilling careers.



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