Home Expats Living In

Living Abroad

This helpful hub page provides an overview of what expats should be thinking about when using a money transfer service in the country in which they are living. You will learn about the importance of figuring out tax laws, how to send money, and the process of choosing a top-tier money transfer service.

Updated: 08/12/2022
Read time: 9 minutes
Compare Rates
 
   
Spain
EUR
GBP
£

Introduction: 

Expats living away from home need a reliable way of receiving money. Ideally, they should have enough funds to meet all their needs. Whether they decide to have a wedding abroad or open a new business. Meeting financial needs involves choosing a money transfer service that offers a good service in the expat’s country. 

We understand that our readers might be confused about what money transfer service to use and how to pick one. Read this hub page until the end to learn everything you need to know about using money transfer services as an expat

Our top guides to living abroad

Moving to Germany: The Ultimate Guide for Expats
Checklist for Moving to Germany This little checklist should keep you company at all times and is a great start. It has the basics every world traveler needs to stay safe and avoid bureaucratic trouble. Passport Marriage certificate Birth certificate Driver’s license Diplomas and certificates Health insurance information Medical records Covid vaccine records Visa documentation […]
Moving to the Philippines: The Ultimate Guide for Expats
Moving to the Philippines: Checklist Another thing we advise before scouting for houses or looking for employment in the Philippines is to go through this checklist: Use online resources to learn about the Philippines Check job vacancies and your eligibility for work Figure out visa requirements and procedures Gather the required documents Submit the necessary […]
Moving to Indonesia: The Ultimate Guide for Expats
Moving to Indonesia Checklist Before you start packing your snorkeling gear, or go looking for houses, check out this mini guide as your starting point. Here’s our checklist for moving to Indonesia: Research expat forums to see if Indonesia is the right fit for you Pick a region or city (search for housing and transport […]
Moving to South Africa: The Ultimate Guide for Expats
Moving to South Africa: Checklist Check the visa requirements and prepare your documentation (also check what your family and pets need to join you). Get to know South Africa as a country. Decide where you’d like to live Explore job opportunities + healthcare. Administration in South Africa (banks, taxes, etc.). Create a budget. Plan for […]
British Expats in the United States
This helpful guide shares what British expats living in the United States need to know about sending money. It will help you learn about getting the best FX rates, reduce transfer times, and get quick processing speeds. We also share a few of the top money transfer services for sending money from the UK to the US.
British Expats Guide
Living In Sweden
This informative guide shares what expats should know about living in Sweden. Our comprehensive guide provides information about getting a visa, the healthcare system, banking, education, and the transport system. Also, read to the end to learn about the top places to live as an expat in Sweden.
Living In Portugal
This helpful guide shares what expats need to know about living in Portugal. You will learn why Portugal is an amazing place to live with beautiful beaches, a welcoming culture, and an affordable cost of living. We have covered everything from the local climate, top places to live, cost of living, and how to send money to your account in Portugal.
Living In
this helpful hub page provides an overview of what expats should be thinking about when using a money transfer service in the country in which they are living. You will learn about the importance of figuring out tax laws, how to send money, and the process of choosing a top-tier money transfer service.
Moving to the US: A Complete Guide
A Checklist for Moving to the US Now of course, before you begin your journey you need to have a checklist. Here’s what you need to do before you move.  Check all the requirements for permanent, temporary, and work residence. Brush up on your English and learn about American culture. Consider your job opportunities, and […]
Living in China: A Guide to Moving to and Living in China as an Expat
Moving to China Expat Guide Moving to China as a foreigner can present a number of challenges for expats. The country is known for having a long and proud cultural history spanning thousands of years, and the cultural differences expats experience when living in China can be a huge shock at first and difficult to […]
A Guide to Moving and Living Abroad in Bahrain as an Expat
Moving to Bahrain Expat Guide Bahrain is an archipelago of over 30 islands, the main three of which are linked by bridges and causeways. The largest island, Bahrain Island, can be driven across in around half an hour, so this small country is easy to get familiar with quickly. Bahrain is known to be one […]
Guide to Living and Moving to Costa Rica as an Expat
Moving to Costa Rica Expat Guide Located in Central America, Costa Rica borders Nicaragua and Panama and connects North and South America. The country has is known for having no army and a stable, democratic government and solid economy, with a generally positive and easy-going way of life. Whether you’re seeking adventure, city life, or […]
Moving to Spain: The Ultimate Guide for Expats
Checklist for Moving to Spain Relocating is one of the most significant steps people can take in their lifetime, and it’s not surprising that many people choose Spain as their destination. However, even though Spain is one of the most sought-out countries for expats, there’s still a list of things you need to consider before […]
Moving to Mexico: The Ultimate Guide for Expats
Moving to Mexico Checklist for Moving to Mexico The next thing to do before you start packing or scouting for houses in Mexico is to go through this mini guide we’ve prepared: Research forums to see if Mexico is the right fit for you Check your passport validity Create a budget Figure out visa requirements […]
Living and Working in the UK as an Expat
Moving to the UK from abroad is a major decision with a number of factors to take into account. The UK can be an expensive place to live, but that really depends on where you are moving to. London may have the most job opportunities, but the UK is also home to a number of […]
Thai Expat’s Guide to Living in the UK
If you've moved to the UK from Thailand, we help you save money in your everyday life and when transferring money home.

Understanding local tax laws for money transfers

Expats need to understand the local laws of the new country they have moved to. They might be very different from the laws back home, which means they will need to adapt. More specifically, expats should find out how taxation applies to money transfers. 

You will need to learn about what transaction must be declared. For example, in the United States, transactions of $10,000 and above must be documented with the Internal Revenue Service. Also, some transaction types will incur taxes while others will not. Find out what taxes you have to pay to ensure your finances are in order. Hiring a local tax accountant that understands the relevant laws will help. 

How to send money to an expat

We understand that expats want to have options when sending and receiving money. This section outlines the common transfer methods expats will encounter. 

  • Bank transfer: sending money with a bank transfer means the expats need to open an account in the country they are currently living in. Some banks require proof of residency. Most bank transfers have a fee of $20-50, and the processing time is around 2-7 days. 
  • Card: you can send money to expats with a debit or credit card. It is a fast way to send money and is widely available since most people have a card. However, the cost can be as high as 1.5-3% of the transaction amount. 
  • Money transfer company: you can use specialist transfer providers to send money via a balance transfer. This is a good option if you need fast transfer speeds and want to enjoy low fees. However, the recipient must also have an account with the same money transfer company. 
  • Cash pick up: when the recipient does not have a bank account or access to a transfer provider, then cash pick up is a good option. The sender needs the recipient’s name and chooses a brand to collect the money. 

How expats can choose a money transfer service

Finding a reputable money transfer service can be an intimidating process for new customers. This section shares what expats need to know about the process of finding a good specialist transfer provider. 

  • Available in their country: ideally, the service will provide transfers to and from the country the expat is living in. Also, a worldwide network of 150-200+ countries is desirable since it will be competitive. For example, services like TorFX and WorldRemit have a global network for hundreds of countries. 
  • Payment options: expats may require different payment options to have as a backup. Therefore, choose transfer providers that include methods like bank transfer, card, balance transfer, cask pick up, mobile app, and more. 
  • Costs: to save money on fees, find a transparent money transfer service and charge competitive fees. For instance, Wise clearly displays the fees and helps you choose the cheapest way of sending money. 
  • Currency exchange: expats will likely need good FX rates to convert money into the local currency. Therefore, find a money transfer service that does not profit from currency conversions. For example, Instarem is a transfer provider that matches the mid-market rate, offers 150+ countries in their global network, and 24/7 customer support.
  • Reputation: expats need financial stability in a foreign country, which means a reputable money transfer service is important. Consider checking the online reputation of a company before creating an account. For instance, you can look at social media websites and TrustPilot to see user review scores. 

Reasons why Expats might need to send money

There are many reasons why expats may want to send money. It could be to fund a wedding, buy real estate, pay for living expenses or send money back home to help family members. The different reasons for sending money should be checked against local taxation laws to avoid legal trouble. 

The best money transfer companies will accommodate all transfer types. For example, if expats have a business, then they can use services like Key Currency and TorFX. These have features that are aimed at business customers. 

Common concerns for Expats sending money

One of the common concerns that expats face with money transfers is finding good FX rates. While living abroad, currency exchange is usually required to spend money locally. However, poor FX rates can lead to a loss of money during a transfer. Therefore, the top money transfer companies match the mid-market rate for money conversions, which is ideal for expats. 

Fees are another concern that expats share when transferring money. However, it is possible to avoid high bank and credit card fees by taking advantage of balance transfers. These offer fast processing times and fees that are a tiny fraction of the transfer amount.

Stay up to date with the latest news and regulations

Related guides for expats

8 Best Cities for Remote Workers
MoneyTransfers.com took a look at some of the latest research into remote workers’ attitudes towards their setup, and the best places to work remotely.  The city that came out as the best for remote workers was Lisbon, per a ranking put together by rental site Holidu. The hilly Portuguese capital on the west coast has […]
British Expats in the United States
This helpful guide shares what British expats living in the United States need to know about sending money. It will help you learn about getting the best FX rates, reduce transfer times, and get quick processing speeds. We also share a few of the top money transfer services for sending money from the UK to the US.
British Expats Guide
April Summers

April is a trained journalist and the Content Editor for MoneyTransfers.com. She has 10 years experience writing about a diverse range of subjects, from financial services to arts and entertainment. When she’s not writing about global remittances she can be found daydreaming about her next holiday abroad.

Companies
All Services