So, you’ve been offered your dream job – congrats! But there’s one challenge: you’ll have to pack up your home and move overseas. But if an international corporate relocation will allow you to take advantage of a hot career opportunity and a bigger salary, why not? Uhm, relocation costs, for one!

Relocation costs can add up to tens of thousands of dollars, which is why it’s important to negotiate the best relocation package with your employer. Most companies offer corporate relocation packages to help make overseas moves as smooth and pain free as possible for their best talent.

Of course, moving can be rather stressful, so uprooting your life to a new country is a decision that requires some serious consideration.

How to Negotiate Your Corporate Relocation Package


In this post, we will discuss the best ways for you to approach the discussion about your relocation package.

Step 1: Consider what matters most to you

The key to negotiating a relocation package is to address your most pressing needs. Consider what you want before limiting yourself to the bare necessities. Some of the less-obvious – but very important – needs you might have, may include:

• a look-and-see visit
• a subsidy for increased cost-of-living
• a housing subsidy
• a subsidy or assistance finding a good school for your kids
• travel allowances if you move ahead of your family
• storage costs if you’re not able to move into your new home right away

Knowing what kind of help you need will help you prepare for the relocation package negotiation.

Step 2: Find out what your company typically offers

Knowing what the company usually offers provides a good basis for preparing your relocation package negotiations. You can find out what is typical by asking the HR department at your new employer whether they have a written relocation assistance policy.

Most companies offer assistance with:

• moving company costs
• temporary lodging expenses
• assistance in selling your home
• job search assistance for your spouse
• flights back home if you move ahead of your family

You could also connect with other expats on online forums who work for similar companies about their experiences. Remember however, that every company’s policies will differ, as well as the individual’s circumstances.

If you’re working with a recruiter, he or she may also provide guidance.

Step 3: Mutually beneficial negotiations

Companies are usually happy to negotiate relocation packages, and are flexible with their most valuable talents. If you make suggestions that benefit the company too, your employer will be more likely to agree to your suggestions.

Let them know you will be able to immerse yourself in your work quicker if you can settle important issues quickly.
If they don’t want to set a precedent by providing extra assistance, you could recommend they refer to it as a ‘signing bonus’ instead of a relocation package with additional zeros.

Step 4: Make sure it’s signed on the dotted line

Once your company agrees to the terms of your corporate relocation negotiations, be sure to sign an international move compensation agreement that stipulates amounts and dates.

Types of Relocation Packages

Companies offer relocation assistance in different ways, namely:

• lump sum – the company agrees to pay you a set amount of money to use as you wish.
• re-imbursement – the company agrees to reimburse you for some of your moving costs.
• direct bill – the company pays some of all of your expenses directly and coordinates the moving services on your behalf.
• or third party relocation – the company outsources your move to a relocation services broker who will coordinate your needs.

You can negotiate your needs around the company’s offer, but be firm and weigh up the options carefully. Moving abroad is a big life event and you want to start your new life from the best possible vantage point.