Working Remotely From Another Country: US Guide

Panna Kemenes

By 2025, a whopping 32.6 million Americans are predicted to be working remotely.¹ That’s 22% of the workforce.

Remote employees earn an average of $19,000 more compared to office-only workers and enjoy a greater work-life balance.¹

Here’s a guide to working remotely from another country. It’ll cover the pros, cons, legal and tax considerations that remote workers have to deal with.

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Is Working Remotely From Another Country Possible?

Yes, working remotely from another country is possible. In fact, there’s never been a time when more people have been working remotely.

But you’ll need to pay attention to visa, tax and other labor laws when working remotely from another country.

Ways of Working Remotely From Another Country

Here are the main ways of working remotely from another country.

Remote Employee

Remote employees work solely outside of their company’s office. They could be full-time or part-time, but don’t need to be in the same country as their company.

As they are employed, remote employees are entitled to statutory employee benefits.

For example, employee benefits in Canada differ from employee benefits in the Philippines.

Independent Contractor

Independent contractors offer their services to clients on a project-by-project basis. They have the freedom to decide their working hours and how they perform the work. They’re also usually the ones supplying the tools to complete their work.

The only controlling factor is the deadline by which the service or product needs to be finished.

Unlike fixed employees, they don’t receive statutory employee benefits.

That said, they typically build long-term relationships with certain clients. This may lead to them converting into employees after a while.

It’s crucial to ensure you're classified correctly as an independent contractor. Double-check that your working relationship isn't closer to that of an employee-employer relationship. If it is, but you're classified as a contractor, your client could face legal issues. That’s because if you’re an employee, they owe you certain statutory employee benefits.

🔍 Read the guide to becoming an independent contractor.

Hybrid Worker

Hybrid workers are employees who work both from home and at the office.

Hybrid working environments increased in popularity during the Covid-19 Pandemic. They’ve remained ever-popular since.

Currently, 28.2% of employees work on a hybrid employment basis. They also earn the highest salary compared to fully remote or office-only workers.¹

A hybrid worker may work either:

  • mainly from home with a few set days in the office; or
  • mainly in the office with a few set days working from home

In contrast to remote workers, hybrid workers need to go to their company’s office for part of the week. For that reason, they usually live close to the office rather than in another country. That said, some companies offer a certain number of days per year that employees can work abroad. The number of days is limited due to tax implications.

Digital Nomad

Digital nomads are fully remote workers with freedom to travel as they like. They could be independent contractors or remote employees.

Digital nomads need to pay special attention to tax implications and visa requirements.

How Long Can I Work Remotely From Another Country?

How long you can work remotely in another country depends on a few factors.

It partly depends on whether you’re a hybrid worker or digital nomad.

For hybrid workers, you may only be able to work remotely for a set number of days per year abroad. This is because working abroad for longer could make your business liable to pay taxes.

On the other hand, digital nomads have more freedom in this respect.

The amount of time they work in another country depends on tax and visa regulations.

Some countries offer digital nomad visas. These can range from a few months to several years and often offer tax incentives for digital nomads. However, in most other countries you’ll need to apply either for a work permit, residency or both.

You’ll also need to find out when you become liable to pay tax in the foreign country you’re working in. This can affect how long you spend working in another country.

Remote worker

Benefits of Working Remotely From Another Country

Working remotely from another country comes with a range of benefits.

Better work-life balance

Remote workers often have more flexibility with their working schedule. Given that time-zones can be different between employees, work is often performed asynchronously. This gives you more freedom to design your working hours to fit around your personal hobbies.

You can also work from home and save time on commuting, giving you more time to spend with your family.

Better quality of life

Many remote workers opt to live in countries with a lower cost of living than the US. This gives them greater purchasing power, allowing them a higher standard of living.

Digital nomads are also able to travel and explore countries. They can often do this without having to use up their vacation allowance.

Increased productivity

Remote workers can enjoy a greater work-life balance and quality of life. They’re also not stuck in a daily commute, giving them more time to focus on their work.

For these reasons, remote workers often report higher productivity.

Drawbacks of Working Remotely

Alongside the benefits of working remotely from another country come a few drawbacks.

Time-zone difficulties

If you need to work at the same time as others in different time-zones, remote working can prove challenging. You may end up working irregular hours which could disrupt your personal life.


Burnout can be a serious challenge for remote workers. This is particularly true for independent contractors. They always need to find their next client and receive no employee benefits.

You could end up working far more than a regular employee, with zero benefits. This may affect your work-life balance.

Taxes, visas and penalties

Working remotely from another country means complying with tax and visa requirements. Failure to do this could lead to your income being taxed doubly.

Failure to comply with visa requirements could also lead to fines and in the worst case deportation. This can affect your ability to apply for visas and citizenship in the future.

Data protection laws

If you’re a full or part-time remote employee, you’ll need to consider data protection laws.

For example, if the US company you work for can’t meet the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), working remotely in the European Union would be a struggle.

You’ll need to ensure you can access company data securely. The use of data encryption and virtual private networks (VPN) will be crucial for secure data storage and access.

Tax Implications of Working Remotely From Another Country

You’ll need to consider the tax implications of working and living as a digital nomad.

After living and working in a foreign country for a certain time period, you’ll be liable to register for and pay local taxes. Here you need to consider the risk of double taxation.

Double taxation occurs when both your original home country and your new country of residence tax your income. In effect, your income is taxed twice.

Many countries have double taxation agreements with each other to avoid this problem. But it’s something you’ll need to research and consider.

Taxation laws can also vary within a country. Laws can vary from state to state or city to city. Depending on how your business is structured and your residency status, you’ll be liable to pay different types of taxes.

For this reason, it’s essential to do your research. Consulting a local tax expert is also a solid option to consider.

How to Get Paid as a Remote Worker From Another Country

As a remote worker, you’ll need to decide on a way to get paid.

You’ll need to balance transaction and currency conversion fees with the convenience of the payment method for your clients.

Open a Wise Business Account

Wise Business is a Money Services Business (MSB) provider that enables you to make multi-currency transactions.

You can access up to 9 local account details for a one-time fee, enabling you to get paid like a local, with no hidden fees.

You can also hold 40+ currencies in your account. When you convert between currencies, you’ll have your money exchanged at the mid-market rate. This rate is free of hidden fees and markups, making international business cheaper.

Whether your clients pay you in USD, EUR, GBP or the local currency, it’ll be easy to manage your money.

Find out more about Wise Business


Open a Local Bank Account

If you want to establish a long-term presence in the country where you work, you may consider opening a local bank account.

This would be especially convenient for receiving and making local payments. It can also be a prerequisite to setting up larger business entities within the country.

However, opening a business bank account abroad can be complicated or even impossible for non-residents. For example, opening a business bank account in the UK as a non-resident requires more background checks and is offered on a case-by-case basis only.

This process will take longer and could have more initial costs than opening a Wise Business account, for example.

Discover Wise Business: The Simple Way to Get Paid as a Remote Worker

If you want to avoid high fees and start getting paid immediately, a Wise Business account can help you as a remote worker.

There are no monthly maintenance fees, no setup fees and no minimum balance requirements.

Wise is not a bank, but a Money Services Business (MSB) provider and a smart alternative to banks. The Wise Business account is designed with international business in mind, and makes it easy to send, hold, and manage business funds in 40+ currencies. You can get major currency account details for a one-off fee to receive overseas payments like a local. You can also send money to 160+ countries.

It’s easy and stress-free to open an account online. Once you’re up and running, you can manage 40+ currencies all in one place.

Find out more about Wise Business

You can also use your Wise Business debit Mastercard to spend in 160 countries across the globe.

Read the guide on how to open a Wise Business account
Some key features of Wise Business include:


  1. Remote Work Statistics & Trends In (2024) – Forbes Advisor

All sources checked February 2024.

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This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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