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Expats Abroad in 2020 – How the Coronavirus Affects You

3 min read

There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted on many aspects everyday life. From local lockdowns limiting where you can travel, to working from home for the unforeseeable future, life as we once knew it has changed significantly. Instead, there is no telling just how long this pandemic will last or if there will be second waves around the world.

In particular, those that are expats and are currently living abroad may find that COVID-19 is disrupting their plans. Let’s take a look at what you should know if you are an expat during the pandemic.

Worries About Your Visa

You may be worried about your visa. For example, many find that their visas have expired during lockdown but are forced to stay in the country because of the pandemic. In some cases, avisa might be automatically be extended. For example, this is something that is happening in the UK. Ultimately, every country is going to have a different policy. Ensure that you do your research so that you can avoid getting into trouble. There will be a solution.

Job Uncertainty

A lot of people that live abroad work in tourism. This can include hotels, tour guides or other popular tourist sites in your preferred country. Of course, since nobody is freely able to travel to different countries, this might mean that you cannot work. Indeed, you may be worried that you will lose your job altogether. So, in case you think you may be laid off, you should do adequate research and get some good advice if you lose your job, know the consequences and what you can do about it.

The truth is, nobody’s job is going to be 100 percent safe from COVID-19. So, this might be a good opportunity to brush up on your skills during the lockdown. For example, you can take online courses and start applying to other jobs. If you can be ahead of the game, you can secure your finances and not be disadvantaged by the coronavirus.

If you are experiencing job uncertainty, make sure that you are looking after your finances. Try to reduce your spending and have a budget. In addition, if you are retiring soon, you may want to look into an overseas pension.

The Inability to Travel Home

Unfortunately, the country you are currently in may be enforcing lockdowns and preventing you from leaving. Of course, we all know that this the best solution to reduce the spread of the virus. But it does mean that you might not be able to travel home and see your family. This can be a lonely time for expats.

While you may have lived in another country for several years, you might still feel like a foreigner at times. In particular, this could be one of those moments, especially if you are living alone. The best thing you can do is try to keep yourself busy, perhaps learn a new skill or start writing. You can also keep up with family on Facetime and through messaging. Being patient will be very important.

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