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How to Choose the Ideal Location for Remote Work from Abroad

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

Remote work is gaining popularity, and many employees wish to work from abroad without leaving their current job. Before choosing a location, it is crucial to obtain the employer’s approval and establish a contract defining the terms and conditions of remote work. Legal, tax, health insurance, visa, and professional expense matters must be considered.

The workplace should align with the company's possibilities and the employee's personal plans. Working abroad requires a specific visa, and while some countries allow visa-free travel within the European Union without a visa, most cases will require an entry visa and a work or residence permit.

Professional expenses may be covered by the company, depending on their policies. In some countries, such as France, employers are legally required to reimburse all professional expenses incurred by the employee. It is also essential to check health insurance coverage, as it depends on the amount of time spent in both the home and host countries.

Which are the best countries to work remotely? Spain, Malta, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Iceland, Israel, Costa Rica, Japan, Panama, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, among others, are some of the top places for remote work. However, the feasibility of your project should be evaluated.

Before thinking about beaches, mountains, or vast prairies, consider the time zone differences. Some remote workers choose to spend a few months in a neighboring country or within the same continent. Others opt for more distant destinations and reorganize their work arrangements with their employer (meeting attendance, deadlines, etc.).

Pay special attention to taxation. Remote work can affect the tax obligations of both the employee and the employer. Is your employer present in the chosen location? If they have subsidiaries abroad, things will be much easier as the employer already has an established ‘tax framework’ Otherwise, your remote work could be considered a form of business in the foreign country, and your employer might be subject to double taxation.

Therefore, it's understandable why companies are cautious, as different legal standards need to be verified. Generally, larger companies like Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Meta, Dell, Indeed, Philips, IBM, Shopify, Chanel, and L'Oréal are more willing to offer remote work opportunities, as they have already embraced this new form of work organization.

SOURCE: 26/7/2023

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