Besides getting your documents together there are also other official concers back home, such as your pension fund, health insurance, reporting obligation… I am writing this as an Austrian citizien so some points can differ, or may not apply to you at all. I hope you understand that I can’t provide detailed information for every nationality reading this guide. Please double check yourself.
Health insurance in your homecountry
Since most insurance providers don’t cover your homecountry you are responsible for covering it yourself. You won’t actually need the coverage unless you have really bad luck. That’s either when you need transportation back home or when you become sick during the time span of returning and your next job.
For Austrians: Apply for self-insurance at your federal state´s medical insurance. It’s about 2 sheets of paperwork. The costs depend on your past years revenue so I can’t tell you the exact amount. In most cases it will be more than 100 € per month. Whether you want to take the risk or not is up to you.
There is 1 option to get the insurance cheaper though. In case you know someone who owns a company you can ask him for a marginal employment. The maximum limit is 425 € per month, (if I recall right, can be 400 € aswell) and like this self-insurance will only cost you around 60 € a month. I got told that you should get paid atleast 200 € a month. Otherwise the insurance might get suspicous. You can answer e-mails, maintain the company´s website or whatever you might agree on. Working the hours before you leave or paying your revenue straight back, just to get the insurance cheaper, would be illegal so I can’t recommend it…
If you are still young and your trip is not too long you might be able to get co-insured by your parents.
Travelling for a year means a missing year in your pension fund. If you don’t have a private pension insurance you should probably think about how to not lose that year.
For Austrians: You have 2 options. The first option is, as already mentioned above, the marginal employment. If you manage to get a marginal employment during your trip it will automatically count for your pension fund. The second option is self-insurance again. Costs depend on your revenue, the rates are quite high.
Of course you can just ignore the pension fund aswell. You are not forced to contribute to it. With the constantly raising retirement age I’m just trying to show ways for not losing a year.
During your travels it is of advantage to have a registered place of living. If you don’t have a residence you might get problems with your bank and probably with insurance aswell. Usually you will give up the appartment you had before travelling, so you will need to declare a new domicile.
There is just 1 little problem. Where is your new residence?
For Austrians: If you plan to stay outside of Austria for more than 3 months you are supposed to inform authorities of your foreign residence. Authorities definition of residence is “center of personal relationships”. Since you are travelling the world that’s a little bit hard to determine. It’s always changing.
Deadline for informing authorities of canceling/declaring your residence in Austria is usually 3 days after change. If you get caught ignoring this deadline you can be fined 726 – 2180 €.
Therefore, if you’re on a longer trip you are somehow screwed. If you withhold your journey when informing authorities about your new residence you will be liable to prosecution, since you are lying straight into their faces. I can’t recommend deciding to travel the world after you declared a new domicile either… That would be morally reprehensible and illegal aswell.
You’re lucky if you are a woman. No need to read and concern yourself with that topic. If you are male and haven’t finished your military conscription yet I urgently recommend you to do that before you go on your trip. You don’t want to be forced to come back home and serve your duty during your travels. After enjoying the freedom of travelling you don’t want to do it either.
For Austrians: If you stay outside of Austria for more than 6 months you are forced by law to inform the competent military authority. In general Austrian authorities won’t deliver conscription orders to destinations outside the country.
In case you leave the country and disobey the conscription order after it was already delivered to you, you risk imprisonment of up to 1 year upon re-entering the country.
Now there is actually still 1 topic left: unemployment benefits. I mention it now, for the sake of completeness. It is a very complex topic and I have little to no knowledge about it. Also, usually it’s not that important. Therefore, it’s up to you to gather more information about how to get the most out of it.
As always you are very welcome to leave additions/suggestions/opinions in the comments!
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