National Insurance if you go Abroad

National Insurance if you go Abroad

You might be able to pay UK National Insurance while you are working abroad, depending on where you are working and how long for.
 
You will protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances if you keep paying National Insurance while you are abroad.

Working in the EEA

If you work in a country in the EU or EEA or in Switzerland, what you need to do depends on your situation.

If you Work for an Employer in the EEA

You will normally pay social security contributions in the EEA country you work in instead of National Insurance. This means:
  • you will be covered by that country’s social security laws and may be entitled to benefits there
  • your entitlement to benefits in the UK (for example State Pension) may be affected as there will be a gap in your National Insurance contributions
You may still get free or reduced cost medical treatment in the country where you are working.

If your UK Employer Sends you to Work in the EEA

You might be able to carry on paying National Insurance if you are abroad for up to 2 years. This means you will not have to pay social security contributions abroad.
You will need to get a ‘Portable Document A1’ as proof. You or your employer can check if you can get one by completing form CA3822.
 
This process can take several weeks if your employer has not previously sent form CA3821 to tell HMRC about sending employees abroad.

If you are Self-Employed in the EEA

You might be able to carry on paying National Insurance if you are:
  • usually self-employed in the UK
  • working abroad temporarily (for up to 2 years)
If you can, you will not have to pay social security contributions in the country where you are working.
 
You will need to get a ‘Portable Document A1’ as proof. To check if you can get one, fill in form CA3837 and send it to the address on the form. If you’re the director of your own limited company, fill in form CA3822 instead.

If you Work in 2 or More EEA Countries

You might be able to carry on paying National Insurance if you are employed or self-employed in 2 or more EEA countries. If you can, you won’t have to pay social security contributions in the EEA countries where you’re working.
You will need to get a ‘Portable Document A1’ as proof. 
You can check whether you can get a ‘Portable Document A1’ or if you need to pay social security contributions abroad instead. How you do this depends on whether you live:
  • in the UK - fill in form CA8421i
  • in the EEA - check with the country’s social security authority

Working in Countries with Bilateral Social Security Agreements

If you start working for an employer in a country with a Reciprocal Agreement or Double Contribution Convention (sometimes called ‘bilateral Social Security agreements’), you’ll usually pay social security contributions in that country instead of National Insurance.
 
These countries are:
 
Barbados, Bermuda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Guernsey, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Mauritius, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Serbia, Turkey, USA.
 
You might be able to continue paying contributions to the UK instead of the country you are posted to if you are sent there temporarily by your UK employer. Your employer can check this by completing form CA9107. This may affect your entitlement to healthcare and other benefits - ask your employer for more details.

If you are Self-Employed

You might be able to carry on paying National Insurance if you are:
  • usually self-employed in the UK
  • working abroad temporarily
If you do, you will not have to pay social security contributions in the country where you are working. You can check this by completing form CA9107.

Working in any Other Country

You will carry on paying National Insurance for the first 52 weeks you are abroad if you are working for an employer outside the EEA, Switzerland and bilateral Social Security agreement countries, and you meet the following 3 conditions:
  • your employer has a place of business in the UK
  • you are ordinarily resident in the UK
  • you were living in the UK immediately before starting work abroad

If you are Self-Employed

You don’t need to pay Class 2 National Insurance, but you can carry on paying it if you want to protect your State Pension and benefit entitlement, as long as you meet certain conditions. Contact HMRC to find out if you’re eligible.

If you Work for the UK Government or Armed Forces

You will usually pay National Insurance if you are working abroad and you are one of the following:
  • a UK civil servant or other government worker
  • working in an embassy, consular post or diplomatic mission - or working for someone who does
  • working for HM Armed Forces

Voluntary Contributions

If you are eligible you can pay voluntary National Insurance contributions that go towards your State Pension and certain benefits and allowances if you return to the UK.
 
Voluntary National Insurance contributions paid from abroad do not cover your health insurance in the country where you live.

Apply to Pay Voluntary National Insurance

Contact HMRC if you want to check your eligibility.
 
Read leaflet NI38 and fill in form CF83 (found at the back). Send it back to HMRC using the address on the form.
 
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