It’s safe to say that the remote working revolution is here to stay. While COVID-19 my have ushered in the rapid transformation, those who joined the millions of digital nomads and other remote professionals learned the truth—all those meetings could have been emails after all!
With all this flexibility now at your fingertips, there’s no reason not to trade your $2000/month studio apartment in the city for a $400/month beach bungalow in Thailand.
But before you pack your packs and buy those plane tickets, here are a few things you should pay attention to before taking your job abroad.
1. Take a Good Hard Look At Your Job
The only thing that all remote work has in common is that the internet largely makes it possible. However, so much depends on the exact nature of your job. Are you trying to take a salaried position halfway around the world yourself, or is your company relocating you? Or do you have your own freelance-based business?
Either way, you need to make sure you’ll still take care of things from wherever you. But if your company is relocating you, then you’ll likely have a large amount of assistance including a relocation package, visas, accommodation, and even transportation paid for you.
If this isn’t the case, don’t worry, you can still take your job abroad, you’ll have a few more things you’ll have to take care of on your own first.
2. Understand the Visa Requirements
Whether your employer will sponsor your visa, or you have to navigate the system yourself, you should know exactly your legal status in the country you will live and what you’re allowed to do.
Each country has different types of travel and work visas. Many now even have digital nomad visas!
Balance out the requirements to find the best fit for you. Some people don’t mind using tourist visas and having to take quick international trips every 30-90 days. While others want to stay put as soon as their flight lands. Find the best visa solution for your needs.
Don’t forget that if your employer sponsors your visa, then you will have less flexibility. You won’t have much freedom to look for other jobs and will have to leave your new country soon after your employment terminates for any reason.
3. You Must File Your Taxes Back Home
When you leave the country, you’re still obligated to file taxes. However, depending on how much you earn, you may not have to pay any taxes back home. For US Citizens living abroad, the foreign earned income exclusion is now up to $105,000 per year.
Do yourself a favour and clarify what taxes you’re obligated to file and pay both in your old and new home. Otherwise, you might find yourself with an unpleasant tax bill due one day.
4. Banking Can Get a Little Complicated
This again will have a lot to do with whatever visa you end up with. If you’re on a work visa, you should be able to open a bank account in most countries.
Next, do your research on things like bank deposit minimums, international fees, and if the bank has apps.
Whether you open a local account or not, every expert international traveller will advise you to take advantage of no international fee credit and debit cards.
If you are a US citizen, look into the Charles Schwab High Yield Investor Checking Account. This bank card has zero international fees, reimburses international ATM transaction fees, and no minimum balance requirements making it the perfect solution for when you need to take out cash.
Finally, whether you have a local bank account or even a work visa, getting credit in your new home country will be difficult. If you want a local credit card, you’ll likely need a sponsor letter from your company and meet a certain deposit threshold at the bank.
5. Keep a Close Eye On Your Online Security
Honestly, this advice applies regardless of whether you move halfway around the world or stay home. Still, it’s easy to get distracted with so many things going on as you move to a new place.
You have to be careful if you’re moving your business data outside of a protected network. Cybercriminals can and do target remote workers all the time. It’s easier for them to identify IP addresses to track internet activity, intercept data packages, and wreak all kinds of havoc.
You naturally should be now thinking, “how can I hide my IP?” This is actually very easy to do. With a VPN or virtual private network, you can conceal your IP address and encrypt your internet connection to improve your privacy and security.
This will allow you to create a secure channel between your devices and company servers and other important internet destinations like your email and bank accounts.
All you do is turn on your VPN anytime you’re online, and you’ll have this added layer of protection. It’s particularly essential when you connect to risky public WiFi networks.
6. Reach Out to The Local Expats and Business Community
Regardless of your industry, there’s so much to learn about the local business culture of wherever you’re headed to. Nobody can give you a better insight into this, especially from an outsider’s perspective, as a fellow expat.
Just about everywhere you go, find locals who will have all sorts of useful information, including how to find housing, what banks you can use, shopping advice, and more.
This also a great place to make professional connections that will help you advance your career.
7. Make Sure You’re Ready to Work
Your laptop is your lifeline to your work. Before heading out, you need to make sure it is in perfect shape. When’s the last time you did an antivirus scan? How is battery health?
The last thing you want to happen is for you to be working on an important assignment, and your computer dies on you.
Do a little system maintenance and overhaul and consider even taking it to a repair technician if your computer is more than 1-2 years old.
Next, check you have the right power adapters, extra batteries, protective cases, and everything else you need to keep all your digital devices in good working order. Wherever you move to will likely have plenty of electronics stores, but this is the last thing you’ll want to deal with when you arrive.
The same also goes with your phone. Is your phone unlocked? Will you be able to use and purchase a local SIM card? Even if you can, it’s a good idea to have an international roaming plan for the first few days after you arrive until you get that figure out.
Get Ready For The Next Chapter in Your Life
Taking your job is amazing. It opens up an entirely new adventure in your life while also guaranteeing your financial stability.
Wherever you’ll go, you’ll be rewarded with the experience of a lifetime. So, don’t wait any longer and start planning your relocation now!