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At present, one of the greatest transformations that the countries of the world are undergoing is being caused by migratory effects. The idea of expanding horizons in another country is increasingly tempting, a question that may sound very simple to say, but complex to execute.

Another situation arises if the boss of the company where you work has come up with the idea of expanding his business to other countries and has decided that you will be one of the "expatriates" term we will be talking about in this article.

It is important to know what we are talking about, because hearing the term we may feel a little lost; what is an expatriate worker? is no more than a worker who is providing his services or, in other words, performing his work as a professional either temporarily or permanently for the company in which he is employed, outside his country of origin.

However, this is not as simple as one reads, since every person under this condition must comply and/or abide by a set of laws or better said, security regulations of the country where they are received. The expatriate management is fundamental to the success of the person or family moving.


Regulations for expatriate workers

As in all cases of transfer of persons to other countries, there is a regulation, for an expatriate worker is no exception. If the country to which you are moving does not belong to the European Union, but there is some kind of social security convention, the duty is to be governed by that rule.

In the event that there is no agreement, no stipulation or simply no record of it, the regulations set out in the Ministerial Order of 27 January 1982 are followed. This says that the workers are in an assimilated situation of high and the contribution must be made in Spain, this provided in case of any eventuality that may occur and that the destination country does not cover.

As far as the tax regime is concerned it is a little more complex, but explained in an easy to understand way it would be this way:


Tax in Spain

This is the least common form of taxation, it is usually more frequent to be taxed if you are in the first year of relocation and you made the close of the year.

The only way for this to be possible is for the worker in question to reside in Spain for at least 183 days of the year.


Tax only in the destination country

As in the previous one, an expatriate worker to pay tax only in the destination country must live at least 183 days in this country; in addition there must be a double taxation agreement that exempts him from paying taxes in both countries; in this way the expatriate can be considered a tax resident of the country in which he works.


Tax in Spain and in the country where you work

In general, this is the most common way of doing this; it is used when there is no agreement between the two countries to avoid double taxation. At least in Spain you will enter a section called "Impuesto para no Residentes".


Advantages and disadvantages of an expatriate worker

However, every action has its advantages and disadvantages, in the case of being expatriate we have some:



  • In general, when you are an expatriate worker it is because you have a higher wage income than in Spain.
  • The cost of living in the country of residence is likely to be cheaper or may be entirely in line with your salary.
  • As stated above, purchasing power increases.
  • Being an expatriate often implies economic bonuses, which include access to housing and payment for transport or travel; as well as opening a current account in Spain if you are a foreigner (if you are an expatriate to Spain).



  • Contributing to Spanish social security may trigger a later retirement than expected.
  • When the time of residence in Spain is short, the Social Security system is noticeable, as it excludes coverage for certain illnesses.



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