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Freelancing from a foreign country
Thread poster: Emmanuelle Hingant

Emmanuelle Hingant  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:28
English to French
May 15, 2008

Hello,

I am seeking some advice. I am set to going to a foreign country - outside the EU (it's not the US) - to work as a freelancer for a month. I will be working in the offices of a client, for that particular client and for my other usual clients. I would just freelance from there for a month. But I will still pay my taxes in the UK (I'm not transferring my business, I'm just going away for a month).

How does it work in regards with visa? Do I need to ask for a working permit or can I just go there as a tourist? FYI, I don't need a tourism visa to stay in that country for less than 3 months, a valid passport and a return ticket are sufficient.

I don't think I need a working permit as I am not going to work for a company in particular. But I would like to make sure I'm not going to be an illegal worker there. Have you been in the same situation anywhere in the world? I guess I'm not the first freelancer to go on a "working holiday" in a foreign country, am I?

Thank you very much for your help!

Emma


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Ivana Friis Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:28
Member (2008)
English to Danish
+ ...
Depends on the country I guess May 15, 2008

Usually work is taxed in the country were the work is performed. But if you are not a registered resident in that country I'm not sure.

Sounds like you need to contact the tax authorities in your home country as well as the country you are working in for a month. Maybe the client has a (in house?) accountant who could help you?


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nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:28
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
business visa - no working permit ? May 15, 2008

I think you don't need a working permit but maybe some kind of business visa, like people travelling for business : salepeople, people visiting a fair, experts etc.

Ask the authorities of the country - the consulate should be able to inform you.


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PB Trans

Local time: 17:28
French to English
+ ...
Freelance May 15, 2008

If it's only for one month, for your regular clients, you would just invoice them as usual (with your UK address on the invoice) and payment would be sent to you at your address in the UK.

As for working "freelance" in the other country, it depends how the client there will pay you and what your "employment" status will be. Will you be on payroll? Are you considered an "employee"? If so, there would be work visa requirements. If you are still working freelance but are physically working from the client's office, you could invoice them with your UK address and they would pay you as your other clients do.

You would then declare that income on your taxes.



[Edited at 2008-05-16 09:17]


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Emmanuelle Hingant  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:28
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Business Visa May 16, 2008

Thank you Nordiste and everyone actually. I indeed think I need a Business Visa as I am going there as a freelancer but will not be an employee whatsoever. I only thought about the Business Visa yesterday and then I saw your posts and of course, it made sense!

Plus my client just confirmed that it's only a matter of asking the customs for a Business Visa at arrival.

Thanks a lot!

Em.


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Mark Straver
Sweden
Local time: 18:28
English to Dutch
+ ...
Ask for a Business class visa May 16, 2008


How does it work in regards with visa? Do I need to ask for a working permit or can I just go there as a tourist? FYI, I don't need a tourism visa to stay in that country for less than 3 months, a valid passport and a return ticket are sufficient.


Hi Emma,

Usually to be allowed to do any sort of work, regardless of it being in employment or a business trip, you need a "work visum", meaning a visum with work permission. Most countries with this restriction have business class visas that are easy to get (but do come at a fee).

I suggest you contact the consulate of the country you will be going to in your country of residence, and get detailed information from there.

Hope this helps,

Mark.


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Mark Straver
Sweden
Local time: 18:28
English to Dutch
+ ...
Waiting until arrival time is risky May 16, 2008

Hi Emma

Plus my client just confirmed that it's only a matter of asking the customs for a Business Visa at arrival.


I would be careful about this kind of thing, it's a risk since you are already there and set; if it is refused for whatever reason you are pretty much stuck with a lot of expenses made!
(so it's smart to confirm this with the consulate first)

Mark.


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itaharold
Germany
Local time: 18:28
German to English
+ ...
Working abroad May 18, 2008

Emmanuelle Hingant wrote:

Hello,

I am seeking some advice. I am set to going to a foreign country - outside the EU (it's not the US) - to work as a freelancer for a month. I will be working in the offices of a client, for that particular client and for my other usual clients. I would just freelance from there for a month. But I will still pay my taxes in the UK (I'm not transferring my business, I'm just going away for a month).

How does it work in regards with visa? Do I need to ask for a working permit or can I just go there as a tourist? FYI, I don't need a tourism visa to stay in that country for less than 3 months, a valid passport and a return ticket are sufficient.

I don't think I need a working permit as I am not going to work for a company in particular. But I would like to make sure I'm not going to be an illegal worker there. Have you been in the same situation anywhere in the world? I guess I'm not the first freelancer to go on a "working holiday" in a foreign country, am I?

Thank you very much for your help!

Emma


I disagree with what is said below. You do not require a work permit as a freelancer, as you are more than likely not going to achieve any income from sources in that country. I have worked in various foreign countries while on vacation and most certainly did not need any permits to do that. Not registering in the country you are only visiting does not make you an "illegal worker".
Roughly said, most countries have signed treaties to prevent double taxation, that is, if you stay in a foreign country for a period up to 186 days, you are not liable for taxation in that country and you have to pay your dues to revenue in your home country (where you are resident). After that 186-day period, you pay taxes in the corresponding foreign country. For details, refer to the Double Taxation Agreements on the Internet at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/international/treaties1.htm.


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Emmanuelle Hingant  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:28
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
We agree May 19, 2008

itaharold wrote:

I disagree with what is said below. You do not require a work permit as a freelancer, as you are more than likely not going to achieve any income from sources in that country. I have worked in various foreign countries while on vacation and most certainly did not need any permits to do that. Not registering in the country you are only visiting does not make you an "illegal worker".
Roughly said, most countries have signed treaties to prevent double taxation, that is, if you stay in a foreign country for a period up to 186 days, you are not liable for taxation in that country and you have to pay your dues to revenue in your home country (where you are resident). After that 186-day period, you pay taxes in the corresponding foreign country. For details, refer to the Double Taxation Agreements on the Internet at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/international/treaties1.htm.



Then we agree. I just need a Business Visa, i.e. a visa so I can work in the country where I'm going for a short period of time without establishing myself in that country. A lot of engineers and reps do that all the time (and ask for the visa upon entry) so I don't see why freelancers wouldn't do it either.

Emma


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:28
Member (2005)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Not commenting on the subject, sorry... May 21, 2008

I opened this topic from the "MOST RECENT POSTS" list, and when I went back to the list, this topic wasn't there any more. It wasn't at the bottom of the page, therefore it couldn't have "fallen off", and I couldn't find it at all, so there wasn't any recent entry either, which would have made it jump up to the top.

I could still access it by backtracking on my computer, but that's all. So I am posting this note here to see, would it reappear again or not?

Maybe a moderator to this forum can shed some light to what happened. I am simply curious about the disappearance, because it is not logical. Does it happen to topics often, and why, how and when does it happen?


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Emmanuelle Hingant  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:28
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
It's here May 21, 2008

I don't know Juvera, the thread looks fine to me. It appears as the second post of the "Being independent" forum now. But maybe because you just posted something, that's why it came back to the Top 5!

I don't see why that topic should be deleted anyway, nothing controversial here. You should check the super-heated conversations on the French forum!

Em.


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xxxMihai Badea  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Thread not appearing on the "Most Recent Posts" page May 21, 2008

juvera wrote:

I opened this topic from the "MOST RECENT POSTS" list, and when I went back to the list, this topic wasn't there any more. It wasn't at the bottom of the page, therefore it couldn't have "fallen off", and I couldn't find it at all, so there wasn't any recent entry either, which would have made it jump up to the top.

I could still access it by backtracking on my computer, but that's all. So I am posting this note here to see, would it reappear again or not?

Maybe a moderator to this forum can shed some light to what happened. I am simply curious about the disappearance, because it is not logical. Does it happen to topics often, and why, how and when does it happen?


Hi juvera,

I can’t see this thread on the "Most Recent Posts" page either and I don't know why it does not appear there. I think this may be due to a technical problem. I’ve just notified the staff about this.

Mihai


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Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Be careful! May 25, 2008

itaharold wrote:

Emmanuelle Hingant wrote:

Hello,

I am seeking some advice. I am set to going to a foreign country - outside the EU (it's not the US) - to work as a freelancer for a month. I will be working in the offices of a client, for that particular client and for my other usual clients...


I disagree with what is said below. You do not require a work permit as a freelancer, as you are more than likely not going to achieve any income from sources in that country. I have worked in various foreign countries while on vacation and most certainly did not need any permits to do that. Not registering in the country you are only visiting does not make you an "illegal worker"...


Ohhhh, please be careful of sweeping generalizations!

It does appear from what Emma originally stated that she is going to work "in the offices" of a particular client - this means that even though she will be generating "freelance income", the work in that particular case is most definitely occurring *inside* that country.

Double taxation treaties notwithstanding, countries can be very particular about the types of activities going on within their borders!

Once I was almost not let (back) into Australia at the airport by border officials - even though I had a short-term business visa - I was told that even my own freelance work carried on from a "base" outside of Australia (at that time headquartered in Germany) was considered *illegal work* here!! According to these officials, even with the business visa, I was not permitted to do any work whatsoever, only participate in conferences, meetings, etc.

I would advise at the *very least* to get a business visa, but more importantly, to contact the country's embassy - even if you choose to do so anonymously - to at least find out the rules and risks.


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