Moving abroad to work can be one of the most exciting times of your career. But if you have a family, there’s a lot to consider, and one of your questions may be “Can my partner work there?”
Thanks to a decade of lobbying by Permits Foundation, thirty countries now allow recognized partners to work, depending on the type of permit the employee obtains. In other countries, partners may face long and complex procedures, strict conditions and an uncertain outcome. Some also don’t yet recognize unmarried or same-sex partners.
While we continue to lobby for legislative change, we’ve put together some useful resources to help you out.
INFORMATION, WEBLINKS AND DISCUSSION GROUP
- We suggest you start with our Global Overview to get the basic picture at a glance.
- If you have a choice of location, read our Global Summary for a guide to regulations in countries that allow spouses or other family members to work.
- If you are going to work in Europe and you are not European citizens, you may find our EU Blue Card summary useful.
- We also have more information and links on our Country Info page.
- Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. We particularly invite you to join our new discussion group on LinkedIn, where you can ask questions, share your experiences and connect with others interested in dual careers and partner employment.
SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE
If you’re going to a country that doesn’t allow spouses and partners to work freely, tell us your story. Whilst we can’t support individual applications, your feedback helps us build evidence to persuade governments to improve their regulations. If you prefer to contact us directly, rather than join a discussion group, we will treat your information confidentially. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MORE SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE
While Permits Foundation focuses on legislative change for partner work permits, we realize this isn’t the only issue.
Accompanying partners encounter multiple challenges. Whereas employees usually transfer within their company as part of their career plan, partners often have to leave their job at a time they themselves have not chosen. As well as language barriers and cultural differences, they often face the loss of their business network and salary levels can vary across the world. They may even find that their qualifications are not recognized in the host country or that their skill set is not relevant in that part of the world. And as the accompanying partner, they often become responsible for setting the family up in their new location.
Employers are increasingly aware of the importance of dual careers and many are willing to offer support. We suggest you contact your HR department staff to see if they have a policy in place. You could also refer them to our Employers section for more information on best practice and how to sponsor Permits Foundation.
See also our list of other dual career sites, which link you to external resources and services.