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A Guide to Contracting Abroad and What to Expect

Sophie Skelton our consultant managing the role
Published on 29 September 2023

The world of work is evolving, and with it, so are the opportunities for professionals seeking international contracting opportunities offering exciting prospects to expand your horizons, skills, and income potential. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the essential steps and strategies to successfully embark on an international contracting journey.


The global gig economy is thriving, with predictions of reaching a staggering $873 billion by 2028, up from $355 billion in 2021. LinkedIn's Future of Recruiting report from 2023 revealed a 26% increase in listings for contract jobs compared to the previous year, while full-time roles only grew by 6%. These statistics underscore the growing appeal and viability of international contracting. But what are the key considerations and steps to ensure a successful contracting experience abroad?


Location Research

Before you begin your international contracting journey, it's crucial to conduct thorough location research. Legal and regulatory environment must be considered. For this, research the local laws and regulations regarding foreign contractors. This includes visa requirements, work permits, and tax obligations. Another good aspect to consider is cultural differences: Understanding cultural nuances is essential for effective communication and relationship-building. Effective communication is key when contracting abroad. If the local language is different from your native language, consider improving your language skills or hiring an interpreter to bridge the gap. Consider taking cultural sensitivity training, if necessary, as respect for local customs and cultures is paramount so make sure you’re aware of cultural differences in business etiquette, working hours, and communication styles to build positive relationships with clients and colleagues.

Visa, Work Permits, and Contract Review

It is important to identify the appropriate visa category for your work, such as a business visa, work visa so be sure to gather the necessary documents, including proof of employment, a contract, and financial statements. Consult with local immigration authorities or embassies to understand the application process and requirements. It’s wise to start the application process well in advance to ensure a smooth transition.

Another important consideration is contract reviewing, ensuring international clients agree to a contract which binds them to payment laws in the country that you’ll be invoicing them from. Work with a local attorney or legal expert to ensure your contracts are legally binding and protect your rights. Clearly outline payment terms, deliverables, and deadlines in your contracts. Consider dispute resolution mechanisms and jurisdiction in case conflicts arise.

Financial Planning

Before travelling, it is beneficial to plan your finances in advance, and carefully, considering currency exchange rates, banking fees, and potential fluctuations in income. Consider setting up a financial buffer for unexpected expenses. Consult a tax expert who specialises in international taxation to understand your tax obligations in both your home country and the host country. Open a local bank account to simplify financial transactions and currency conversions. Finally, keep detailed records of your income, expenses, and any taxes paid to ensure compliance with local tax laws.

Healthcare and Accommodation

Healthcare is an important consideration so pre-emptively research the local healthcare system to determine if you need private health insurance. Ensure that your existing insurance policies, such as liability or professional indemnity insurance, provide coverage in your host country. Lastly familiarise yourself with emergency medical services and hospitals in your new location.

Ensure you secure suitable accommodation that aligns with your budget and preferences. Prioritise safety and comfort when choosing your housing – using trusted resources.

Security and End of Contract

Understand the social security system in your host country and determine if it affects your benefits or contributions. Have a plan in place for the end of your contract, whether it's renewing your contract, returning home, or pursuing new opportunities. Ensure you have a clear understanding of any notice periods or contract termination clauses.

Contracting At Quanta

International contracting offers an exciting avenue for professionals to expand their careers and experiences. By conducting thorough research, addressing legal and financial aspects, and prioritising your well-being, you can navigate the complexities of contracting abroad with confidence and success. Embrace the opportunities and challenges that come with international contracting in this dynamic global landscape. At Quanta we offer many opportunities for contracting abroad both nationally and internationally – alongside professionally refined consultancy advice and experience. We specialise in a broad range of sectors for whatever your next career journey may be – contact our team today for your next contract opportunity.