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COVID-19: The impact on expats

The ongoing situation regarding COVID-19 has resulted in many difficult decisions for expats, with many countries enforcing Government-imposed lockdowns.

This has meant that expats have faced the difficult decision of whether to leave their homes or to remain in an uncertain situation abroad.

Many countries have taken action to ensure that expats are accounted for, particularly in this time where healthcare provisions are a key concern for everyone.

The UK’s tax authority, HM Revenue & Customs [HMRC], has assured expats and non-doms that they will not face unexpected tax bills should they find themselves stuck in the UK because of the coronavirus.

HMRC has extended the 183-day limit before people have to start paying tax on their overseas and UK earnings, with those that are forced to stay because of the outbreak being able to claim 'exceptional circumstances'.

The United Arab Emirates [UAE] has eased the rules around renewing working visas as it shuts public transport for two days because of the virus.

Expats account for approximately 85 per cent of the population in the UAE, with the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation stating that labourers and domestic helpers will be exempt from mandatory medical tests for visas.

This means that work permits and residence visas will be issued and renewed for labourers and support service staff, as part of their precautionary measures.

Countries around the world are issuing guidance and taking precautionary measures for expats, with Government’s aware that this represents a potential issue for travel and healthcare provisions.