National Insurance if you work abroad
You might have to pay National Insurance in the UK while you’re working abroad. It depends on where you’re working and how long for.
Working in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland
Check whether you’ll pay National Insurance in the UK or social security in another country when you go to the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.
Working in countries with social security agreements outside the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland
You’ll usually only have to pay social security in the country you’re going to if you work in any of the following:
Barbados, Bermuda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Chile, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Kosovo, Mauritius, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Serbia, Turkey, USA.
If you only pay social security in another country, it may affect your entitlement to UK benefits and healthcare.
If you’re working abroad temporarily
You’ll usually pay National Insurance in the UK if you’re sent by your employer to work abroad temporarily.
You or your employer will need a certificate proving you do not have to pay social security contributions abroad.
If you pay social security in the country you’re going to
You might be able to make voluntary National Insurance contributions while you’re paying social security abroad.
Your payments will protect:
- your benefit entitlement if you return to the UK
- your State Pension whether you choose to return to the UK or stay living abroad
Voluntary National Insurance contributions do not cover your health insurance in the country where you live.
Working in any other country
If you’re not covered by a social security agreement, you may need to pay social security contributions in the country you’re working in.
You’ll still need to pay National Insurance in the UK for the first 52 weeks of working abroad if you meet all of the following conditions:
- you’re working abroad temporarily
- your employer has a place of business in the UK
- you’re ordinarily resident in the UK
- you were living in the UK immediately before starting work abroad
If you work for the UK government or armed forces
You’ll pay National Insurance if you’re working abroad for HM armed forces.
You’ll usually pay National Insurance if you’re working abroad and you’re 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
Find out more about social security contributions for Crown Servants.
If you work at sea
Whether you pay UK National Insurance depends on things like:
- where you normally live
- where your employer is based
- where you work
- the type of work you do