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5 December 2018

5 tips to become a freelancer abroad … before leaving

Maybe you have already looked at the Message In a Bottle’s website before. If so, you know that for the past 14 months I have been living in Asia, more precisely, in Singapore 🇸🇬.

With this small step back, I decided to share 5 tips to become a freelancer abroad before leaving your current life. This can save you some disappointments and above all, allow you to choose the right destination.

1. Visas to be freelancer abroad

Accustomed to navigate on Internet, we sometimes forget the borders. In real life, the one that is not virtual, there are laws, agreements between countries and rules to respect. You can not put your bag everywhere and start your new life with a snap.

So, do not forget to check what are the different types of visas that exist in your ideal destination and the conditions to obtain them. You may not be able to work with some types of visas and with others, you will have no problem.

For example, in Singapore, you can not work if you have a tourist visa, or even look for work.

For information, you can obviously consult the website of your country of destination and the website of your country of origin. The second will also give you information on the agreements that exist between your country and the one where you want to settle down.

This is a significant point, because currently, we are not all friends. Actually, I hope on this blog, yes😊.

Last warning, this information is to check often: the laws change and sometimes, very quickly.

2. The law and the freelancer status

Likewise for visas, the law varies according to the country. And if you are a freelancer, know that this status does not exist everywhere.

In Switzerland, this status does not exist. There are only self-employed. You will tell me I’m playing on words, but no. Sometimes, a name changes everything: the law, obtaining visas, finances and other taxes, etc. It is better to open the eye!

3. The cost of living

As you know, the cost of living varies greatly from country to country. It can also be higher when you are a stranger. It happens you pay your potatoes 4 times the price when you go to the market, that sort of thing…

And believe me, when you add that kind of little “details”, it starts to make some money especially when you have just arrived and you start your business.

In addition, you will have important expenses at the beginning to install you. All at the same time, obviously. Otherwise, it would not be funny. So, it is better to have some savings.

Then we must be careful to try to calculate in advance the fixed costs that you can not avoid and that can really change your standard of living. I am thinking, among other things, of rent, sickness / accident insurances, telecommunications, etc.

But where to find all this info? Read the next point …

4. Information

Read as much information as you can about your destination. Nowadays, there are plenty of blogs, Facebook groups or websites created by expatriates that answer a lot of questions.

Is it worth remembering that it is better to consult recent opinions? I repeat it just in case …

You will find there contradictory information, opposing opinions. Do not worry, it’s normal. It will allow you to prepare for all eventualities … or almost. And to check, you can always ask questions directly to the source.

5. The network

I often receive messages or emails through social networks, expat websites, etc. to ask me a lot of questions about Singapore. I always answer with pleasure.

Do not hesitate to ask questions to people who are there and have been there before you. They will answer you easily for the most part and can guide you to new sources of information.

One last tip before leaving

Thanks to these few tips, you will be able to be better informed but also to test your motivation before leaving. If you get discouraged at the slightest administrative constraint just by reading it, maybe you still have to think a little bit about it.

In my opinion, it is better to be prepared as much as possible, because once there, you will have many surprises. Bad sometimes, I cannot hide it but most of the time, it will be good surprises, precisely because you will be ready!

Where do you go? Tell me, I am curious!

tips freelancer abroad

par Delphine Berclaz