The following information updates and clarifies current University of Washington (UW) policy regarding international remote work.

Note: Given the diversity of individual circumstances, this policy is subject to change.

Current Policy and Practice

UW international employees are subject to all employment and other related laws of the country, city, or region where they work. A registered, in-country legal presence is required for lawful work in most countries outside the U.S.

The UW does not have a registered legal presence in most countries due to cost and legal complexities. In the countries where the UW does have legal presence, remote work is tied to specific, university-related activities and the structure of the employment relationship varies based on the specific requirements of that country. Examples include the Rome Center and countries where UW is conducting global health research at the invitation of the foreign country.

Personnel working remotely in an international location where the UW does not have legal presence or working in a location where the UW has legal presence but not connected to a specific UW project is generally prohibited. This is because it puts the University and the individual at risk for tax and employment legal violations.
Exceptions may be made in extraordinary circumstances. International remote work arrangements require central review and approval, and an understanding by the individual of their personal legal responsibilities.

Extraordinary Circumstances

In extraordinary circumstances, a unit may request central approval for a current employee to work internationally temporarily.

Applying for Approval

Requests must be submitted to prior to the employee relocating to the international location (unless the employee is out-of-country and cannot make it back due to circumstances out of their control). Addressing individual circumstances takes time and care, so units are encouraged to submit their requests well in advance of relocation.

Requests must be made by a unit head, defined as a senior leader reporting directly to the president or provost.
Requests must be for a temporary accommodation, not a permanent relocation. Typically, legal restrictions and regulatory requirements prohibit arrangements beyond 3-6 months.

If approved, Workday must be updated to reflect the international work location.

It is important to note that employees permitted to work abroad are responsible and liable for adhering to any compliance obligations associated with their time abroad, including, but not limited to, income and social taxes, health and other types of insurance, foreign bank account reporting, and immigration/appropriate visa requirements.

Employees may be required to sign an acknowledgement that they understand these obligations, and their obligation to return to the UW after the designated period to continue employment. The UW is unable to provide any personal legal or tax advice.