1. How will the cost of living change? It may be more or less expensive to live in your new location, based on the average cost of housing, food, transportation and other essentials. Find out if your employer will help you cover the cost of relocation, provide a housing allowance if a new place will be pricier overseas, help you sell or rent your current home or offer any other assistance to make the move less costly.
2. How will my schedule change? We’re not just talking about a different time zone. If you’re used to flexible hours or remote work, find out if they are part of the culture and still possible in your new home.
3. How long will the posting last? Are you being asked to relocate indefinitely or for a few months or a few years? If the posting is temporary, do you have the option to stay on if you choose? The answers to these questions can help you determine how well the overseas assignment will fit into your overall career plans and goals.
4. Do I have to get my own visa? Many companies will handle this for you. As part of this discussion, find out whether you will have the kind of visa that will allow you to stay in the country and find a new position if your leave your company or if you will have to return to the states once you leave the company or finish your posting.
4. How will the move affect my tax situation? U.S. residents living overseas must still file U.S. federal tax returns, although they do get an automatic two-month extension. The amount you may owe will depend on a number of factors, and you may be able to exclude some of the income you earn overseas from taxation using the foreign income tax exclusion.
5. Will the company help my spouse find work? Relocating a spouse’s career can be a significant issue when a professional goes to work overseas. It can have a significant impact not only on their income but also on the satisfaction with the move. Many companies will offer support for spouses that includes résumé writing, counseling on how job seeking and networking are done in the new location, and interview preparation.