The three most frequent countries for international job assignments from the UK last year were the United States, India, and Switzerland, according to Cartus.
For UK expats, each of these destination countries poses its own unique and often formidable challenges, according to Cartus’ recent Trends in Global Relocation: Biggest Challenges survey.
“Although companies in the UK are transferring employees to numerous destinations throughout the world, the United States, India, or Switzerland were the three most frequent destinations in 2015,” says Robert Abbott, Vice President UK and International Client Services for Cartus. “Whilst these countries offer exciting new opportunities for employees and companies, advance preparation is the key to successfully overcoming challenges in these new destinations.”
United States: Top Destination, Top Challenges
UK expats and their companies can expect significant challenges when it comes to transferring employees to the United States, especially in the area of housing where the rental market for expats is becoming tighter, costs are rising and some landlords are requesting more payments up-front. Rural locations, not traditionally a destination for incoming expats, pose issues in terms of lack of available housing. Ongoing exchange rate fluctuations have also affected some expat housing budgets.
Curriculum challenges can also be encountered by UK expat families with school age children. Whilst this is not necessarily an issue at the point of departure to the U.S., it can be a problem at the end of an assignment when children can experience difficulties re-enrolling into the UK system upon their return.
India and the UK Expat: Start Your Housing Search Early
India received the second-highest number of transferees from the UK in 2015, and these expats will have found that locating suitable housing is one of this country’s biggest challenges, along with the high demand for, and limited availability of homes in many of the country’s gated communities. Further complications arise in home finding as online listings can be unreliable and outdated with landlords often continuing to show a property until the lease has been signed setting unrealistic expectations about available homes.
Switzerland: Geneva High Housing Demand, Zurich Rates Decreasing
Relocating to Switzerland can also expect housing challenges for UK expats. In Geneva, for example, while rental rates have not changed significantly, demand has increased, and focus is on value and price-especially in the apartment sector. Conversely in Zurich, the situation is more stable because demand and rental rates have decreased slightly over the past year.
To request the Cartus Trends in Global Relocation: Biggest Challenges survey, click here.