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Working Remotely From Another Country: 3 Things You Should Consider

By June 1, 2022October 3rd, 2022No Comments

With advancements in technology, opportunity, and employer attitudes, it is truly possible to work from anywhere. For some, that might mean overlooking ski slopes from a chalet in France, while others might want to watch the waves crash into the shore from a luxury condo in the Bahamas. Whatever your speed, it’s more possible than ever to get there.

When the COVID-19 pandemic pushed employers to consider remote work, many offices either stayed remote indefinitely or started to adopt more flexible policies for their rosters. That means that many companies now have employees that are located throughout the globe.

If you’re interested in working remotely from another country, it’s possible to get started. Our team of experts put together some tips on what to consider before jumping on a plane to work remotely from anywhere.

1. Visas 

For starters, you’ll need to figure out the legality of staying in the country you’re working from. Usually, this means getting the appropriate visa.

If you’re planning to work from a specific country for a prolonged period of time, a tourist visa usually won’t be enough to keep you in the country (though sometimes it will be). In those cases, you’re going to need to apply for a digital nomad visa.

Countries that offer a digital nomad visa include:

  • Germany
  • Iceland
  • Portugal
  • Greece
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Seychelle
  • Thailand

This visa allows people to stay (and work) in a country for a prolonged period of time. However, as visa requirements for remote workers vary country to country, you’ll need to do your research to determine exactly which visa you’ll need.

2. Taxes

For the most part, you’ll pay taxes to your resident country. So, if you’re a resident of Mexico, for example, you’ll pay taxes to Mexico no matter where in the world you’re signing on from.

However, some countries’ remote tax laws vary. In some locations, an employee setting up shop (even temporarily) constitutes a permanent establishment, which means the employer will then have to pay taxes to the country you move to.

When deciding where to settle down, do your research about taxes. Make sure a digital nomad or tourist visa will exempt you from local income taxes, even if you work from that country for a prolonged time period.

3. Classification

As digital nomads can create compliance headaches for your employer, they might want to convert your status to an independent contractor rather than an employee. While this can help dodge some tax hiccups, it can also cause another set of issues.

For example, if you’re doing work as an employee but are misclassified as an independent contractor, it could put your employer at risk of noncompliance penalties.

Before starting to work abroad, talk to your employer about your classification as a contractor vs. employee and what that will mean for both you and the company.

4 Tips For Working Remotely in Another Country

While most may assume that digital nomads are freelancers or independent contractors, there is a growing number of people with full-time careers that now work from around the globe. Because many offices are starting to go remote, there are more possibilities for people to log on to their full-time job from an exotic location.

Here are some tips for successful global remote work.

1. Practice Asynchronous Communication 

Asynchronous work means that you aren’t expected to be online and working at the same time as your coworkers. Because this is inherently more flexible than synchronous work, many remote and global teams have adopted this model to allow employees to log on when it makes sense for their time zone or productivity.

However, asynchronous communication can be tricky. When you aren’t guaranteed a timely response, you need to make sure that your messages are clear, concise, and helpful. Practice communicating with your colleagues asynchronously before making it your only option.

Tip: Occasionally check in with your team and ask them how you can be clearer or if they need anything else from your communication.

2. Create a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Most people become digital nomads to see more of the world or experience new things. So in that case, you don’t want to spend nights and weekends at your computer working overtime. But at the same time, you don’t want to let your enthusiasm for your new locale lead to neglect of your work.

While adjusting to life in a new country, make sure to focus on leaving your computer at a healthy time to avoid burnout (even if that means you aren’t online with coworkers in different time zones), while also completing your work in an efficient and satisfactory way.

Tip: Develop a strong routine to maximize your productivity each day while making sure you’re still logging off at a reasonable time.

3. Calculate Your Cost of Living

One of the main draws of the nomadic lifestyle is that it allows professionals to work from beautiful locations that may have a lower cost of living, so you can travel while remaining financially secure.

However, becoming a nomad still requires smart budgeting. You’ll want to save up enough money to not only take you from point A to point B, but also to sustain your lifestyle there. That means you should calculate your cost of living before jumping into a new location.

Calculate things like rent, bills, food, clothes, transportation, and experiences. When picking where to work from, research the average cost of essentials — from rent to a cup of coffee — in that area and use it to inform your decision.

Tip: You should also prepare for the unexpected. In your budget, include money that you put away in the event of an accident or emergency.

4. Make the Most Of It 

The opportunity to become a digital nomad is unique and exciting. So if you decide to make the plunge, you should make the most out of your experience. This could mean integrating yourself in the culture of your chosen country, traveling to other areas that are close to where you’re living, making friends, or learning more about your locale.

Tip: Joining online communities of digital nomads can help you meet people who are going through the same experience you are.

FAQ

Have more questions about working remotely from another country? We have answers.

Can I Work Remotely From Another Country? 

It is legal to work from many countries throughout the world even if you aren’t a resident of that country. However, you’ll need to comply with your chosen country’s visa and tax requirements in order to stay there legally. A compliance partner can help you sort through these requirements.

What Countries Can I Work Remotely From? 

Many countries offer digital nomad visas to people who want to work remotely there, so you can work remotely on almost any continent you choose. Countries like Thailand, Portugal, Mexico, Norway, and the Czech Republic welcome digital nomads.

Will My Employer Let Me Work From Another Country? 

If your office is already fully or partially remote, your employer has already taken the first step to letting you work in another country. However, going global runs various risks, like misfiled taxes or accidental permanent establishment. It’s best to discuss your global plans with your employer before you start making moves.

Want to Work Abroad?

Working remotely from another country can be a rewarding experience. You get to see more of the world, experience new cultures, and learn new things without worrying about income.

But remote work also comes with legal and financial compliance requirements. And in that case, a global compliance partner like Velocity Global can step in to make sure you only have to worry about getting your job done (and having fun).

Contact us to see how we can help you in your digital nomad journey.