Overseas - Working on the Local Economy
Many Foreign Service family members have professional skills and qualifications that they can transfer to jobs on the local economy when they are assigned overseas. The experience of working overseas can provide challenging and unique opportunities for family members who wish to maintain or broaden their professional skills. Employment opportunities, eligibility, and compensation will likely vary depending on the country, and in some cases may be significantly different than comparable employment in the United States. To learn more about working on the local economy or to speak with an employment specialist please, contact the Family Liaison Office.
Family Liaison Office Programs for Working on the Local Economy Overseas
Global Employment Initiative (GEI)
The Global Employment Initiative (GEI) is a Family Liaison Office program designed to help Foreign Service family members through the exploration of employment opportunities and career options. GEI provides resources, contacts, and facilitates skills development. Home-based Business Guide - This FLO publication provides answers to many questions regarding starting and operating a home-based business.
Bilateral Work Agreements / de facto Work Arrangements - Foreign Service family members seeking employment on the local economy overseas, whether interested in international business, teaching at a local school, or freelancing, need to be aware of the work permit regulations in their host country.
Chief of Mission Approval – Once a job offer is received, family members must notify the principal Administrative Officer at post before acceptance of intended outside employment. Family members can use the Memorandum to Request Chief of Mission Approval Template (pdf).
Tax Issues and the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) produces a comprehensive and detailed tax guide specifically geared for members of the Foreign Service, whether serving at home or abroad. It is released in February of each year, contains important information such as the following:
Homebuyer Tax Credit
Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
Extensions for Taxpayers Abroad
Home Leave Expenses
Official Residence Expenses
Vehicle and Energy Provisions
Rental of Home
Detailed State-by-State Tax Regulation Overviews
3 FAM 4123 - Restrictions on Employment and Outside Activities
3 FAM 4125 - Outside Employment and Activities by Spouses and Family Members Abroad (3 FAM 4125 b - states that a spouse or family member must notify the principal Administrative Officer at post before acceptance of intended outside employment.) Family members can use the Memorandum to Request Chief of Mission Approval Template (pdf).
15 FAM 246.2 - Housing Abroad Policy: Using Residential Space - Businesses (governs the use of government housing for home-based businesses, allowing family members to work out of their USF-leased or owned properties)
Information provided by the Family Liaison Office
Contact the Family Liaison Office