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Telecommuter's visa?
Thread poster: Patrick Yancey

Patrick Yancey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:52
Member (2005)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Jul 5, 2006

I wanted to get some discussion going on a particular issue of vast importance to those of us who work via Internet: the work visa.
The nature of the telecommuting translator's job means: 1) we do not take any work from locals and 2) we draw (possibly large) sums of money into the local economy. From an economic point of view, every country in the world should be courting us and offering us incentives to live there. Yet, this couldn't be further from the case. Presumably due to the relatively recent appearance of the Internet, not one single country offers such a visa, nor officially recognizes or does justice to the enormous economic advantages that telecommuters have to offer. In fact, a google search on "telecommuter's visa" or "telecommuter visa" produces 0 results!
Perhaps it is up to we telecommuters ourselves to raise awareness on the issue and bring this to the attention of the relevant legislative bodies, to the greater good of ourselves and the countries we hope to migrate to.
I would appreciate any thoughts, views, opinions, comments, doubts, ideas, or revelations on this topic.


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Benno Groeneveld  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:52
English to Dutch
+ ...
The beauty of telecommuting is Jul 6, 2006

that you don't need a visa to work.

You are in your own country (or a country where you are allowed to live), you access the world through the Internet, you receive your work through the Internet and you deliver your work through the Internet. Often, you even get paid through the Internet.

Why would you want a visa for that? You don't even need a passport to telecommute.


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:52
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
I am afraid I do not understand Jul 6, 2006

quine wrote:

... From an economic point of view, every country in the world should be courting us and offering us incentives to live there.
... to the greater good of ourselves and the countries we hope to migrate to.



Would you care explaining "every country in the world should be courting us and offering us incentives to live there"? Mind you, not only the visa.

Frankly, if you want a work visa to go live somewhere else, then why do you call yourself a telecommuter?

I am afraid I do not understand.
Sorry, one last question, what do you call a telecommuter visa?

[Edited at 2006-07-06 00:29]


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xxxsarahl
Local time: 19:52
English to French
+ ...
and the question would be... Jul 6, 2006

why do you want to live here, Sir/M'am?

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Patrick Yancey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:52
Member (2005)
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
... Jul 6, 2006

Benno Groeneveld wrote:

Why would you want a visa for that?


I mean for living in countries other than your country of citizenship.


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Patrick Yancey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:52
Member (2005)
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
... Jul 6, 2006

Luisa Ramos wrote:

Frankly, if you want a work visa to go live somewhere else, then why do you call yourself a telecommuter?



[Edited at 2006-07-06 00:29]



I call myself a telecommuter because that's what I am. I work over the internet. I enjoy the freedom that the telecommuter life offers, but it has been extremely difficult to live in any country other than my own. (For those of you who are EU citizens, it's really hard for the rest of us to live anywhere other than our home countries.)


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:52
You are not alone... Jul 6, 2006

quine wrote:
...but it has been extremely difficult to live in any country other than my own. (For those of you who are EU citizens, it's really hard for the rest of us to live anywhere other than our home countries.)


It happens almost everywhere in the world. I believe the two countries that accept the largest number of immigrants are the US and Canada; and yet, not everybody is welcome there (just ask the 12 million illegal immigrants that are trying to regularize their situation in the US).

Why would any country relax their entry requirements for telecommuters? Why would they be so special? Just because they will spend part of their income in the country to which they emigrate? I do not think this reasoning would convince most governments... For instance, I think that businessmen willing to bring and invest considerable sums to create industrial infrastructure and jobs; even retirees who bring their retirement income with them would definitively be more welcome.

My two cents.

[Edited at 2006-07-06 01:26]


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Patrick Yancey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:52
Member (2005)
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
... Jul 6, 2006

Rosa Maria Duenas Rios wrote:

Why would any country relax their entry requirements for telecommuters? Just because they will spend part of their income in the country to which they emigrate?



[Edited at 2006-07-06 01:26]


My reasoning is:
The only argument for keeping an immigrant out would be that they will take a job from a citizen and be a strain on the country's resources. This argument does not apply to telecommuters (who have pre-existing clients from all over the world).

Rosa Maria Duenas Rios wrote:

.... even retirees who bring their retirement income with them would definitively be more welcome.



[Edited at 2006-07-06 01:26]


why is that? a telecommuter is effectively a productive retiree.
Example: Say you live in England and have clients all over Europe. If you then migrate to France, then England loses your tax revenues and spending and France gains them. Your clients are the same, you do not take any jobs away from a French person. But you live in France, spending your money, supporting the local economy and paying your taxes to their government. Whichever country you choose to live in profits greatly, and in fact does not suffer any disadvantage for it.


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 21:52
English to Russian
+ ...
How do you mean? Jul 6, 2006

quine wrote:

The nature of the telecommuting translator's job means: 1) we do not take any work from locals


I thought it was exactly the opposite - the "world" rates on the US market, for example? Before telecommuting something like 0.08/word in the US would be but a hearty laugh. Or do I miss something? Or should Immigration Services base their decision on translator rates? Or should they prohibit telecommuters from taking any other jobs or benefits for the rest of their lives? A translator's visa?

I'm truly sorry, but your post is so naive...


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Patrick Yancey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:52
Member (2005)
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
... Jul 6, 2006

IreneN wrote:


I thought it was exactly the opposite - the "world" rates on the US market, for example? Before telecommuting something like 0.08/word in the US would be but a hearty laugh. Or do I miss something?
...

I'm truly sorry, but your post is so naive...


I'm truly sorry, you've misunderstood. I'll try to explain more clearly for you.

If you are a telecommuter, then it doesn't matter where you live (you work via the Internet, and therefore can do your job from anywhere)

Whatever country you live in will be receiving the financial benefits. (taxes from your income, your spending on goods and services)

-Of course you will still be a competitor for other telecommuters (anywhere in the world), just as you would be no matter where you lived. That really isn't relevant to this discussion thread.

-As for people seeking visas to take advantage of a country's social funds, that's really outside of the scope of this discussion as well. We can assume for now that we are talking about full-time professional translators with proper records and documentation.


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Vladimir Dubisskiy  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:52
English to Russian
+ ...
but your physical presence implies smth (lighter side) Jul 6, 2006

..as you will be there in tne new country thus you will become a burden (to a certain extent) to this country's environment (especially if you smoke a lot and, say, use a lot of hairspray)

quine wrote:
Whichever country you choose to live in profits greatly, and in fact does not suffer any disadvantage for it.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:52
English to French
+ ...
I get the idea Jul 6, 2006

A little bit like the idea of baby-boomers that everyone seems to try to please right now - even if it means taking something away from others.

I don't know about this idea, it's actually too new for me to be able to comment on it right away. However, I've always wondered why I had to pay as much taxes as I do (a freelancer pays much more tax than people with regular jobs gaining the same revenue, at least in Canada) all the while creating a job for the economy and investing each month to keep that job alive, as well as not getting any of the fringe benefits most people get. I just find I'm paying a little too much taxes considering how much more I spend on my job than others. I kinda feel like a milk cow. But I agree that it looks like telecommuting/freelancing is too new an idea for our respective governments to have realized all this by now.

Maybe in time, something will somewhere be done...


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 21:52
English to Russian
+ ...
All right, then... Jul 6, 2006

As an American citizen I'm under worldwide income - worldwide deduction law so for me it would only mean double taxation avoidance headache and the US will still get it's fair share.

"Taking advantage of social benefits" happens automatically to very good people:-) or are they not supposed to walk clean streets, get sick, have children, use public libraries, beaches and parking lots etc. before they pay a nickel in taxes? An angel requiring no food, water or even oxygen? Just Internet, some nectar and ambrosia? And producing, producing, producing and spending, spending, spending for the benefit of a new country?

What about the rest of good professionals with papers? Discrimination? Why producing in the office (for which you pay one heck of a rent or real estate tax) is any worse or disadvantageous for any country? Office means becoming a paying customer of so many businesses and municipal providers...

Really, we are not talking about Exxon taxes to praise the benefits from translator's moving to another country (and becoming that new country's full responsibility and burden otherwise).

I'm a passionate shopper in Europe:-) Time to think of what EU owes me by now:-)

A freelancer's "Clients all over Europe" claim is no guarantee for any reasonable government - clients come and go, and the person stays.

Now, the most important point - you obviously misunderstand the entire principle behind immigration. It is NOT about benefits and taxes, this is NOT a corporate world. Immigration is entirely about human rights, and in the US, for example, it is ILLEGAL and DISCRIMINATING to ask questions about your diplomas, income etc. during the interview because it would otherwise prove that a handicapped, uneducated, unlawfully prosecuted or in any other way disadvantaged person will have lesser or no chance for any better future for himself or his children.

The rest is covered by "outstanding scientists" and it is... funny to isolate translators into some privileged category.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 05:52
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Some would gain, some would lose Jul 6, 2006

Most people like to live where they grew up, have friends, can speak their native language, can buy the food they like, have education for their children etc.
So if these conditions are met, people stay where they are, even if they work via the net. And if the spouse has a normal physical job, its out of the question to leave.
But if some country like let's say Estonia would take up the idea of a telecommuter's visa, what would happen?
Practically its easy to set up business in EU-countries, and Estonia is very kean on getting high-salary individuals from abroad (did you know that the software for Skype was programmed and is continually updated by an mixed national group of software engineers in Tallinn?).
The commuter's visa would be misused by people from countries with low standard of living (I do not mention any country here, otherwise Ralph would get angry feedback from there). These people would call themselves translators, and who can prove. that somebody is not a translator?
And the country that offers such a generä visa would encounter shortage of housing, racial conflicts and a lot of other negative results.
I myself could easily move some 80 km to the south to Tallinn and pay less tax there than here in Finland, but my wife works with people in Helsinki, and must be physically present there every working day. We actually would like to move to the north, to some small country town, but there are no jobs for her.
If I could chose I would move to Madeira perhaps or Italy, and visa would be no problem, because they are in the EU.
Every day boats full with perspective translators are already now coming to the Canaries.
Regards
Heinrich


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:52
It then seems to me... Jul 6, 2006

quine wrote:
My reasoning is:
The only argument for keeping an immigrant out would be that they will take a job from a citizen and be a strain on the country's resources. This argument does not apply to telecommuters (who have pre-existing clients from all over the world).


a telecommuter is effectively a productive retiree.
Example: Say you live in England and have clients all over Europe. If you then migrate to France, then England loses your tax revenues and spending and France gains them. Your clients are the same, you do not take any jobs away from a French person. But you live in France, spending your money, supporting the local economy and paying your taxes to their government. Whichever country you choose to live in profits greatly, and in fact does not suffer any disadvantage for it. [/quote]

... you have a lot of convincing to do, albeit not among us, but rather among the governments of the countries where you would like to live.


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