printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

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.

Work Permits

  • 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)

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

Social Security

FAM Regulations

  • 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)

Publications

Teaching Overseas

Information provided by the Family Liaison Office
Contact the Family Liaison Office


Sign-in

Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.