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, to schedule an appointment, 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 with career development and identification of employment opportunities. GEI establishes partnerships with multinational corporations, organizations, and NGOs to provide US Department of State and other Foreign Service agency family members with the contacts necessary to develop and sustain their career ambitions while living abroad.
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.
Tax Issues and the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
IRS - Taxes on Income Earned Abroad
Note: The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) is looking at an issue related to tax provisions that impact Foreign Service family members employed in the private sector abroad. The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion allows citizens, who are not government employees and are living outside the U.S. , to exclude some of their foreign-source income if they meet certain requirements. However, in 2006 the IRS changed the way they require the excluded amount to be calculated. Previously, families with one member employed on the local economy overseas took their total income and then removed the excluded income and paid tax on the remainder. The change now requires that you take your total income and figure what your tax would be, then deduct the tax that you would have paid on the excludable income. For example, in 2006 this produced a $3,745 tax increase for a Foreign Service member earning $80,000 with a teacher spouse earning $30,000. Before AFSA can engage on this issue, they need to find out how many Foreign Service family members are taking advantage of the Foreign Earned Income Tax Exclusion. If you are impacted by this IRS rule change, please send AFSA Executive Director Ian Houston an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with details.
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 should notify the Principal Administrative Officer at post before acceptance of intended outside employment)
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