How to Work Remotely in a Different Country

With many countries giving out new remote work visas, it's never been more possible!
Michael Michael (175)

Have you always dreamed of living in another country for a year, but couldn't take time away from your job to do it? Maybe you imagined yourself at a little beach cafe sipping an iced coffee while writing those reports? Or maybe you imagined yourself in an ancient city with the sounds of busses, trams, and tourists outside of your apartment window, while you cozily sink into your chair to work?

Stop imagining!

Who knows how long the remote-job boom will last, so this year should be the year you commit to something new. And there are plenty of tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom to help you get the job done. It won't be easy. But we've got just the guide to walk you through it!

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For Hire Sign

Okay. I don't want to turn this into a guide on how to find a job. Heaven knows there are plenty of resources and overlooked resources out there for finding jobs, and there's absolutely no way I could hope to capture them all here.

I will list a few major places to start your job search:

You should also browse any useful articles on finding remote work specifically. Just be sure to make it clear to the potential employer that you want to work remotely for a specific period of time. Some employers might still expect you to attend an occasional meeting in-person, for example, and unless you plan to fly back home, that's not an option.

This step could take a week (lucky you!) or many months. So polish off those resumes right away and start applying!

If you already have remote employment, great! Then you're ready for Step 2.

Researching Countries on Map of World

While you can travel just about anywhere from the US as a tourist, you're limited to how long you can stay (up to 90 days in Europe, for example). So, unless you want to be flying back and forth - and risk being turned away when trying to reenter a country - you'll need to have an official work visa.

Work visas used to be hard to come by. You had to be both an in-demand worker and sponsored by a company abroad, which could be very hard for most people.

In an effort to incentivize economic growth, select countries have made it easier to obtain a work visa by offering temporary remote work visas (sometimes called digital nomad visas) to foreigners looking to live and work in their country.

Here's a list of the countries currently offering remote work visas or long-term visas:

And I have a hunch there are others. You'll have to do a little research to find out which other countries offer long term visas, such as these.

Pay attention to each country's individual requirements when deciding on where to move. For example, some countries only allow you to obtain a work visa if you meet certain salary requirements.

I would also consider things like cost of living, language knowledge, and general work culture when considering an option.

Person Researching Budget

So you've decided on a country? Wunderbar! (You might want to tell your employers and family!)

Now you'll need to budget your income versus your planned expenses. Don't worry if this isn't perfect or exact at this stage. It's just to give you an idea of how much you can afford to pay in rent for example, and where in the particular country you can afford to live.

You'll want to note things like:

  • Your expected income for the year abroad, minus taxes (yes, you still must pay taxes)
  • Cost of living in different parts of the country (city versus town, for example)
  • Cost of apartments/housing
  • Any expenses you might still have in the US

Once you have a good idea of how much you can afford to spend on rent, food, etc., you'll know where to look for an apartment and what your price range will be.

City Apartments

Decide on the dates for your move into the country and start looking for a place to live. Remember that you'll want to take a few days off from your remote position around the time of your move, so plan that accordingly as well.

Many of the countries listed previously have their own resources for finding a place to live. I'd take a look at those, as well as my own recommendations below.

If you're open to a roommate, then you should have no trouble finding a reasonably priced flat or room. If you're wanting something private, then you'll have to see if your budget allows it. I'll give you resources for both.

Resources if wanting a roommate:

Resources if wanting entire place:

As always, have your wits about you when renting a place abroad. Be careful of scams asking you to send money to random bank accounts, for example. Try to check things out with reputable real estate agents local to the area, if you need to.

Another option is to rent an Airbnb for a few days, so you can find a place in person.

Packing Computer in Bag

There's a bit more to it than just that!

You'll need to:

  • End your current lease with your landlord; or, decide what to do with your property while you're gone
  • Store or sell your vehicle
  • End all utilities that will be in your name
  • Notify your work of the move and request off
  • Make a detailed list of everything you need to pack
  • Check what TSA-approved things you can bring on the plane and what you'll need to pack
  • Decide how you will get those things to your destination (ship internationally/carry-on/etc.)
  • Book your flight
  • Make sure your living arrangements will be set when you arrive
  • Submit an official change-of-address with the Post Office
Plane Taking Off

Enjoy your time abroad! And get ready for some jet lag!

Make sure not to work too much and plan some time to actually see the country you're living in! You might also use this opportunity to take trips to surrounding countries while you're there. Or learn a language!

Whatever you do, be safe, and have fun!

And check out our list of some great products to outfit your remote work-space, wherever it might be!

Jamie Jamie (33)

Have you ever heard that annoying ding, notifying you about something running in the background on your computer?