I Don’t Live in the United States – Can I Apply for U.S. Freelance Writing Jobs?

I receive a lot of emails and comments on Freelance Writing Jobs posts asking the same question:

I don’t live in the United States.  Can I apply for U.S.-based freelance writing jobs?

Since it’s such a common question, I want to provide an answer publicly.  Here goes…

Can you apply?  Yes.  The hiring manager will determine whether or not they’re willing to work with a writer outside of the United States.  You’ll never know if they’re willing to do so if you don’t apply.

When it comes to freelance writing, you’re not an employee.  You’ll either be paid as a contractor or a vendor and that means you’ll receive that payment as miscellaneous personal income or as earnings for your business.  Tax rules vary from one country to another, so what really matters is how the client is willing to pay you and how they want to report those payments to the Internal Revenue Service.

These days, many clients are happy to pay via PayPal, which offers an automatic currency conversion (which may or may not require you to pay fees depending on how both your account and your client’s accounts are set up).  That means they can simply send money to you via PayPal as they would any other vendor and PayPal takes care of the rest.  Banking-related issues that used to make it more difficult for clients to pay vendors outside of the United States are not as prevalent anymore thanks to tools like PayPal.

Keep in mind, I’m not an accountant, and this answer is based on my own experiences writing for clients outside of the United States and witnessing clients who pay multiple writers in various countries around the world without any problems.  However, the bottom-line answer to this common question is still yes.  There is no reason why you can’t apply for freelance writing jobs if you’re not from the United States unless the job description specifically restricts applicants to U.S. citizens.

A final suggestion: it is worth your time and effort however to consult with someone in your country who understands business, income, and tax-related issues so you set your freelance writing business up in the best way from the start.

Image: stock.xchng


6 responses
  1. Amy Ali Avatar

    Great informative post– as always!

    Just wondering how about countries with NO PayPal. I live in Egypt, and because PayPal does not support Egypt I feel like I miss out on so much.

    I am cornered into jobs from Odesk and what have you.. can’t get any good gigs!
    I Wonder if that’s ever gonna change….

    1. Ray Villadelgado Avatar
      Ray Villadelgado

      Try Western Union. To me, there are the safest way to receive money because you do not need to give your address or even bank account number. The sender just needs your complete name and the city you live in. For you, you just need to get the MTCN from sender. PayPal has been a pain in the ass for me and I am speaking from personal experience. Others may have a different experience. Good luck! Ray Villadelgado

  2. Shaun Avatar

    Could we maybe get a post one day on the content sites that accept international writers? I’m so confused and have no idea where to start.

  3. Milky P. Pescasio Avatar
    Milky P. Pescasio

    Good day! I read this article from you and I learned something. I just want to ask how to start in this field. I really like to write articles about a particular topic and I want to share those things to the people all over the world. I am a Filipino. I wonder if I could share things about here through this.

  4. Sarah Avatar

    I have the same problem as Amy Ali – PayPal is also not supported in Zimbabwe, where I live. Is there any other payment option available to writers like us who want to write freelance?

  5. elaine Avatar

    Hi! I am working as a freelance writer for several years now and I am not based in the US and I am not a US citizen as well. Though that is the case, I am able to get writing jobs abroad. There are employers who do not care where you are from as long as you are qualified for the position and are able to deliver quality work.

    If you are just starting up in this field, there is really no harm to try and apply. You just have to make sure that you could deliver the work required of you. Having a Paypal account is also handy when applying.

    Good luck!

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