Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >
Is translation actually considered working?
Thread poster: DJHartmann

DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
May 18, 2015

-Travelling as a Translator-

This is a question that has me wondering, are translators able to travel and effectively 'work' in countries where a 'no work clause' is stamped on their travel visa?

Considering that the vast majority of our work is online and thanks to the great functionality of portable laptop computers, are we able to fit into a grey area of working but not actually working? Are we able to claim that we're not working from our current location but in fact working from where our business is registered?

Can anyone shed some thoughts on this issue?

Regards,

DJH


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Bouchra Rebiai
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 20:12
English to Arabic
+ ...
Yes, and no, I guess? May 18, 2015

First off, I'm not a lawyer nor do I have much experience in this matter, but IMO since the work is entirely online, and you're receiving payments on a bank account not within that country, then I believe, that you aren't working in that country.

I mean, if a person was traveling to a place, and staying there for a while, say 3 - 6 months, would they say their primary residence is in that country? I think not. Same applies to work, I think.

For example, if one were to travel to Germany, and stay there for 3 months or so, would they say that they're based in Germany? Or currently traveling within Germany?

There are some very prominent people who do this "earning in one country while living in another," such as Tim Ferriss. I've read his book, 4 Hour Work Week, and it never mentioned anything about not working due to a "no-work" clause on visas.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:12
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
I don't see why not May 18, 2015

See it as sending a (very) long email. If you translate from your home or from a beach in Thailand, you are still registered in your home country, where you pay your taxes, and you don't 'steal' any jobs from the local population.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
golf264  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:12
English to Dutch
+ ...
It is working, but usually not anything illegal (check with your residence country) May 18, 2015

As long you are working in Freelance designation (self-employed) there can be no harm done.

Some countries require you to document this however, to prove your income(s). Especially countries with some type of social benefits structure - they want to make sure you can support yourself and will not come knocking on the door in hard times.

And moreover, by registering with them, you are entitled to a longer stay. If you can prove you are working and earning enough.

If it is your plan to eventually settle there, it is better to document from the beginning.

Generally applies the following rule, no countries have problems with wealthy migrants or settlers, most countries have problems with poor or demanding.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 00:12
English to Indonesian
+ ...
183 days May 18, 2015

Robert Rietvelt wrote:
...you are still registered in your home country, where you pay your taxes

You pay tax in the country where you stay for longer than 183 days (give or take a day) in a row. This may depend on the laws of both countries, but there don't seem to be countries that don't apply this rule.

DJH wrote:
...are translators able to travel and effectively 'work' in countries where a 'no work clause' is stamped on their travel visa?

Yes. But it's a grey area. I like it, I'm grey myself. Bald, soon.

Cheers,

Hans


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:12
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not for such purposes May 18, 2015

You are not working on the local economy, so I cannot see how it could be any violation. Moreover, how could any authority find out?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Avoid local clients then? May 18, 2015

I agree, one wouldn't be contributing to the local economy, so shouldn't have a problem unless they had local clients, correct?

There are many ways that they would find out, but biggest risk would be getting reported.

What is the legal stance on this? I'm sure it also applies to other mobile/online based professions too.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:12
French to English
+ ...
Not necessarily a concrete answer... May 19, 2015

DJHartmann wrote:
What is the legal stance on this? I'm sure it also applies to other mobile/online based professions too.


You may well find that the legal stance is essentially "who knows", and in any case would depend on the country in question.

I recall that UK tax law (but specifically tax law, not immigration necessarily) does make provision for the idea of people working "incidentally" in the UK, and specifically states, for example, that if you go to a UK client's premises for a business meeting, or if you're, say, an artist on tour in the UK, you don't need to pay tax in the UK for those purposes (which you might interpret as "not being classed as work" in some sense).

I suspect that it's a bit of a grey area for the time being, though. Clearly there are various countries issuing visas that supposedly prohibit people from "working". Yet at the same time, said countries have whole hotel wi-fi industries built around the fact that large groups of professionals are staying in the hotels and using the wi-fi for purposes other than watching cat videos (at least sometimes).

I guess as more and more jobs become effectively "premises-less", the situation may be clarified. For the time being, I don't think you'll find immigration police roaming the beaches of the Côte d'Azur for translators illicitly editing Word documents while on holiday.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 01:12
Chinese to English
Don't ask don't tell May 19, 2015

I agree with Neil. The law just hasn't caught up with mobile working yet. If you're a businessman on holiday and you take a work-related phone call, no-one's going to bat an eyelid. But I would definitely never tell a US immigration official that I planned to be translating documents while I'm on a trip to New York.

So long as you're not obviously taking the mickey, I can't imagine you'd ever get in trouble for working on holiday.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Getting paid May 19, 2015

OK, so what about receiving payments?

Let's say, rather than doubling up on bank fees by drawing from your home country bank account, you have a local bank account and direct payments to this account. How much will this complicate things?

Would, "my business is paying my salary" be a good enough excuse if questioned?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

liviu roth
United States
Local time: 12:12
Romanian to English
+ ...
another point of view May 19, 2015

The agency or direct client for whom you worked will report & deduct the money they paid to you to the local revenue authority. I don't think it matters where they sent the money. Therefore, you have to report your income and pay your dues in your base country.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lázaro Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:12
Member
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Revenue System May 19, 2015

DJHartmann wrote:

OK, so what about receiving payments?

Let's say, rather than doubling up on bank fees by drawing from your home country bank account, you have a local bank account and direct payments to this account. How much will this complicate things?

Would, "my business is paying my salary" be a good enough excuse if questioned?


Ohh that sure will be a problem if the country you are have a good and vigilant Revenue Taxation System.

If Brazil is a country in your bucket list, doing that (receveing money in a Brazilian account), you can cut it off your list.

Altough I have been talking with my accountant about money received by the PayPal, and this money is tax exempt. But still I have to provide to PayPal a Brazilian Individual (like a US SSN) Register Number in order to manage a withdrawal to a Brazilian account.


[Edited at 2015-05-19 02:40 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:12
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Translation is working May 19, 2015

Most countries would expect you to do your tax revenues locally if you are working from within their territory for more than 6 months in total every year. This is the case of all EU countries, for instance.

Specific law would vary from one country to another, but I am pretty sure all countries would consider translation on their territory as work for which you have to pay taxes if you are staying in the country for a long period, even if you do not work for local customers.

If you plan to be traveling from one country to another, i.e. a fortnight on each country or so, you can safely work without anybody asking what you do. It would be best not to open any account locally, but keep your usual account in your "base country" and draw money at cashpoints.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
mariealpilles  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:12
Member (2014)
English to French
+ ...
Working while on "holiday" May 19, 2015

Any lawyer, for instance, may review a case or work on a tricky case while resting on "Holiday" if needs be and there is no infringement there. The same applies to you. If you are working on a translation from your own computer - registered where you live and pay taxes - there is no infringement either. You are not working illegally in another country, you are just staying there. Your IP address has not changed and you are just carrying out what you do from your home. It is a different matter if you try to find local clients.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 01:12
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Unnecessary risks May 19, 2015

Don't work with clients from that country.
Don't receive money in accounts from that country.

As long as you keep to these rules, kind of hard for anybody to find out.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Is translation actually considered working?

Advanced search







CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search