MSEJ February 2018 - Page 23

focus on the work agreements. In some countries, if you are not a citizen you will not be granted the right to work in the local economy. Other countries do allow non-citizens to work as a part of their SOFA agreement, however you will require a work visa or permit to do so.

If you do choose to obtain a work visa, you need to do a little more research before you start filing any paperwork. Before you commit to a work visa or permit, make sure you check to see if doing so will impact your base privileges or your ability to leave the country. Some visas require applicants to stay in the country without leaving for a specific length of time.

Where do I find my SOFA information?

Currently, there is no comprehensive catalogue of SOFA; however, each Combatant Command Headquarters and Embassy has access to their individual agreement. I strongly encourage anyone facing an overseas PCS to contact their sponsor as soon as they receive

orders. A sponsor is the best source of information about your new home, and can point you in the right direction when it comes to researching and planning for your move.

Once I’ve researched SOFA (I can work!), how can I find a job?

Your career options in your new location will depend in part on whether you’re allowed to work in the local economy. Some find that their best option is to work on base or for US contractors. These jobs do alleviate some of the legalities and tax concerns. If you’re interested in this route, try checking with the local ACS and Family Support Center for open positions as well as your local Embassy.

Other options might include working remotely or freelancing, starting your own business, or working in sales online. These are all viable options—but only if you check with a lawyer before getting started to make sure you’re legally allowed to do this, and to make sure you know how taxes are accounted for (remember, you have to pay taxes to someone). Be prepared and be patient. In many cases, it can take anywhere from three to eight months to land an overseas position.

Are you legally allowed to work in the country?

Do you have to possess specific documents to work?

What taxes are you responsible for?

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