Are you considering working abroad remotely since you can theoretically work from anywhere in the world? Some countries are openly inviting the remote worker from the United States because the local tourism dollars are down and they want to revive their economy. So where should you consider, what should you be concerned about, and what are the hidden issues that can cause you difficulty later? Read on.
These are the countries that are actively making it easy for the remote worker: Albania, Antigua, Barbuda, Barbados, Bermuda, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Jamaica, Republic of Georgia, Germany, Mexico, Portugal and Spain. There may be others over time. Many of these countries have a low number of Covid-19 cases at this time. Some countries are closed to outsiders: Australia, New Zealand, and some European countries. A website called ThePointsGuy.com gives updates periodically.
Of course, there are different hurdles to overcome before many countries will admit a remote worker. Here are some that needs to be checked out:
- You’ll need a valid passport
- Most require a negative coronavirus test within a day or so before departing
- A few have a special visa permit for a 6 or 12 month stay
- Some ask for a special fee – from zero to as much as $3,000 for a family
- Some want proof of health insurance, employment and a minimum income, while other countries don’t ask for much of anything.
The upside of working remotely from a “paradise” or interesting foreign location are fairly obvious, but some of the downside reasons are not. Here are some of the things you need to consider before launching into a decision without thinking it through completely:
- Is the technology adequate to support the internet, videos, conference calls and major uploads and downloads? How about data security?
- Will you be in competition with local workers? If so, you can be shut out.
- What is the currency exchange rate? Will it put you at an advantage or disadvantage?
- Will there be a language problem, especially for computer technical assistance?
- What’s the cost of living differential? Some are exorbitant, while others are low.
- Should you tell your boss? If you don’t and something happens (like a special or emergency in-person meeting) it will spill the beans. But there are other considerations where your company is involved.
- Will your company medical insurance cover you if needed?
- What other insurances are in jeopardy? How about Workers Compensation?
- What are the tax implications? Will your host country tax you in addition to the U.S.?
- What are the implications for a significant other or family considerations?
- What about education for children? Many don’t allow for public education, only private.
While the image of working remotely from a once in a lifetime location is appealing, the realities suggest you research and plan, then triple check your answers.
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