Top 5 Challenges for Expats in the Shadow of COVID-19

Challenges for Expats

In the harrowing times wreaked by the COVID-19 outbreak, an increasing number of expats are pulling up stakes from their adopted home to return to their real one. All too quickly, the COVID outbreak has burdened the expat life to no end. And while statistics are hard to come across, the signals of a shift in expat life are beginning to surface.

The pandemic, which has sickened millions across the world, is afflicting pressures on emigrants. There’s been a shift in Gulf nations such as Oman and Saudi Arabia, as well as in some other Asian countries, toward hiring local personnel, which advances policies to provide more employment opportunities for nationals, who are often paid less. Working and
living abroad is becoming less lucrative for citizens of nations such as Australia and the United Kingdom (UK), where some taxation policies aren’t as favourable for those who live overseas.

1. Unexpected Healthcare Hitches

Making certain that you have adequate global health insurance while living overseas is the biggest headache that expats have today. For many of them, local plans in their host country may not meet your expectations. Moreover, local hospitals in many countries provide only rudimentary care, making health insurance essential.

Most expats want to have access to private healthcare both in the host country, regionally,
and back home. Have an international health insurance plan in place before leaving abroad. It will alleviate stress with finances, medical aid, and give you peace of mind during relocation.

2. Unexpected Tax Implications of Relocating Back

As has been the case with millions of expats in India, they have been forced to move back to their home country. As emigrants relocated to their native place, a lot of them have had to deal with excessive self-quarantine periods and tax overheads.

These tax implications of expats’ home country, which weren’t budgeted for in their host country, have displaced thousands. What’s more, as a consequence of this displacement arising from subjection to state taxes have caused expats to oscillate between legalities of two lands, often causing most of them to forego their possessions. Other potential issues
that these mobility professionals have been subjected to have ranged from tax planning, employer inability to support rapid moves, among others.

3. Housing & Lodging

Many expats have complained, in the wake of the pandemic, that employers ordering them to return home left them with no place to live as they had already given up their home country’s accommodation while relocating. This has caused massive distress and hysteria among professionals as they tried to set up camp in hotels and AirBnB(s).

As relocation issues mounted, expats were faced with hordes of other issues, which included the absence of remote work arrangements for professionals overseas, scarcity of potential work locations, and tax planning for professionals to allow them to make sound tax decisions of
where they were working from remotely.

4. Overwhelmed Healthcare Facilities

The healthcare facilities of a lot of countries have been left reeling as the aftermath of the pandemic continues. Grappling with a novel outbreak, doctors and medical professionals have been left scratching their heads as healthcare costs mounted.

For mobility professionals, these issues were more pronounced as many countries require buying into their national health system to avail emergency and timely service. What’s more, in non-English speaking countries, the hospitals that cater to English speakers are often
accompanied with bigger bills. And receiving care without knowing the language that the doctor converses in can be dangerous.

5. Novel Safety Concerns

Personal safety is a major concern for any expat regardless of the times and its accompanying situation. The pandemic has found ways to exacerbate even that for emigrants.

In the shadow of COVID-19, as the lives of millions were displaced, the sociocultural safety quotient came tumbling down as crime rates went up. Expats have had their lives upended as the local security in their host countries deteriorated, with governments being able to do little to allay their concerns.

Conclusion

Releasing health and safety orders to your mobile workers will help keep them aware and healthy during this outbreak. Taking things a step further by empathising with their circumstances and doing whatever you can to alleviate the difficulties they are facing would demonstrate that you are an organisation that cares.

Top 5 Challenges for Expats in the Shadow of COVID-19