The idea of working remotely abroad may sound like having your cake and eating it too. The good news is that such a professional and personal adventure can turn into more than a dream—if you’re willing to do the logistical work.

Before grabbing your laptop (which you’ll need to ensure has the proper-fitting charger cords for your host country’s outlets) and heading to the airport, perform plenty of research on both the process of working remotely from another country and your specific destination.

General info about working remotely abroad

Documents

Determining if you’ll need a visa should rank high on the priority list. Visa regulations differ considerably by country, so do your homework. Start early—the process can be long and involve a good deal of paperwork. This list provides a quick check of visa requirements for various places.

Even if you don’t need a visa, travel will still require a passport. You may also need to show proof of a sufficient bank account, proof of onward or return flights, and all documents required for your next destination.

Taxes

The good news for Americans traveling abroad is they will not lose their U.S. citizenship regardless of the length of stay. However, Uncle Sam is still interested in what you earn, regardless of where you choose to work, so plan on filing a return if you earn more than $10,000 (U.S.) from an employer or $400 if self-employed.

That said, the U.S. government has established measures to limit the amount of U.S. tax that remote workers abroad pay, especially if they’re paying taxes to another country or earn less than $100,000 a year. Work with an accountant well-versed in the tax laws of both your destination country and the U.S. to discuss liability and foreign tax credits.

Regional considerations about working remotely abroad

Factors such as Internet reliability, time zone in relation to your U.S. employer and clients, and cost of living can make working remotely abroad more attractive in some countries than in others.

Europe

Digital nomads often remark that Europe is one of the easier places in which to work. Many Europeans speak English, which helps with communication. Europe’s café culture allows for hours spent on your laptop without angering management, and most major cities have community coworking spaces. Remote workers with their heart set on popular France, Italy, or Spain should be aware of minimal annual income requirements to live there.

Three places to consider in terms of bang for your U.S. buck:

Australia

With English as the de facto national language, ability to understand others is a definite plus for remote workers heading down under. The country offers a variety of visa options to suit various needs and lengths of stay, so check out what’s available.

Central and South America

While every person who wants to work remotely abroad should thoroughly research the safety of destinations, such homework becomes particularly necessary for countries in this region. The U.S. Department of State offers up-to-date info and advice. Also, pay attention to required immunizations.

Three places to consider in terms of bang for your U.S. buck:

Asia

Visa requirements change frequently for countries in this region. Get the most up-to-date information directly from the consulate website. Also, pay attention to the weather patterns in your destination of choice. You may, for instance, want to avoid monsoon season. And while notifying your credit card company of travel is always a good idea, such action is particularly smart when visiting Asia. A string of charges from this region may trigger suspicions of fraud and lead to the company locking your card.

Three places to consider in terms of bang for your U.S. buck:

Africa

Internet speed can be an issue here, with places like Niger and Burkina Faso connecting at roughly 0.83 Mbps (compared to 25.86 Mbps in the U.S.). Also, note that because of the limited number of carriers flying to Africa, airfare can be expensive.

Three places to consider in terms of bang for your U.S. buck:

Ready to Begin Working Remotely from a Different Country?

Ironing out all the details of working remotely abroad does take time, but it can ultimately result in a life-changing experience. And if you’re looking for remote jobs, you’re in the right place! Browse our positions a variety of job categories, for positions that range from full-time, part-time, freelance, and more.

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