Visas and Work Permits 6 min

How to manage authorization for remote work

Written by Sally Flaxman
June 28, 2024
Sally Flaxman


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The rise of remote work has opened up boundless flexibility and opportunities for both businesses and employees worldwide. Businesses can tap into a diverse pool of global talent, broaden their market reach, and improve retention by enabling employees to travel for short assignments or leisure or to adopt a more transient, digital nomad lifestyle where they can live and work in different locations as they see fit.

While there’s never been more opportunity for global work and operational flexibility, there’s also more complexity while hiring abroad. Successfully navigating these challenges is crucial for both employees and employers to ensure compliance, maintain productivity, and leverage the full potential of the global workforce.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the challenges of remote work, how you can simplify remote work mobility, and how you can get started with your mobility request via an employer of record like Remote.

What are the challenges associated with remote work?

Whether you’re looking to hire remote employees or some of your existing employees want to work and travel across borders short-term, there are some difficulties associated with hiring abroad. Let’s take a look at a few challenges below.

Immigration and visa requirements

Each country has its own set of immigration rules and visa requirements. For remote workers traveling for short-term work, this means ensuring they have the correct documentation to legally work from their chosen locations. This often involves navigating processes to obtain appropriate work visas and making sure both the employer and worker comply with immigration laws. Failure to adhere to local regulations can result in legal issues, fines, or deportation.

Tax Implications and liabilities

Tax regulations vary significantly across countries and even within regions of the same country. Working remotely from other locations, even for short periods, can trigger multiple tax obligations as an employer, including income tax, social security contributions, and potentially double taxation if not managed properly. Employees must navigate these obligations to avoid unexpected tax liabilities, while employers need to ensure compliance with local and international tax laws to prevent financial penalties.

Compliance with labor laws

Labor laws govern various aspects of employment, including contracts, working conditions, employee rights, and benefits. These laws differ widely across jurisdictions, making it crucial for employers to understand and comply with local regulations. Non-compliance can lead to legal disputes, fines, and damage to the company's reputation.

Socio-political factors The political climate and safety conditions in different regions can significantly impact the feasibility and security of remote work. Employers must assess the stability and safety of potential remote work locations to ensure the well-being of their employees. This includes monitoring socio-political developments, travel advisories, and potential risks such as political unrest or natural disasters.

How to simplify remote work mobility

At Remote, we’re dedicated to making global remote work as straightforward and stress-free as possible, allowing both employers and employees to focus on their core activities without worrying about compliance issues as they work, live, and travel across the globe.

When do you need work authorization for remote work?

Work authorization is required for remote work whenever an individual performs their job in a country different from where their company is based or where they are a citizen. This includes both short-term stays and longer relocations.

Regardless of whether an employee works from a home office or a coworking space, the legal requirements remain the same. The need for work authorization arises because each country enforces its own employment laws and immigration requirements to protect local labor markets and ensure that all workers, domestic and foreign, contribute appropriately to tax and social security systems.

Consequently, even remote workers must comply with these regulations to avoid legal complications such as fines, visa denials, or deportation.

Is authorization needed for remote work in the US?

Yes, authorization is necessary for remote work in the US if the worker is not a US citizen or permanent resident.

Non-residents, including those on temporary visas or tourists, typically cannot legally work remotely for a foreign employer while physically present in the US without the correct visa and work permit.

The US immigration system does not broadly accommodate the concept of 'remote work' as an exemption to traditional work visa requirements. Therefore, any non-resident wishing to work remotely from the US must ensure they have the appropriate authorization, which usually involves securing a work visa aligned with the nature of their stay and employment. Ignoring these rules can lead to severe immigration and legal consequences.

How to get authorization for remote work?

We’ve integrated the submission and approval process for remote work travel requests into the Remote platform, making it easy and compliant for employees to request authorization and for employers to approve it.

Employers benefit from our comprehensive compliance checks, reducing any potential legal and financial risks. Approved travel enables employees to work from international locations, enhancing job satisfaction and work-life balance.

Here’s how to get started with your mobility request:

As an EOR employee, initiate a remote work authorization request in the Request hub. Your request is first forwarded to your employer, who can provide approval and add comments.

Our mobility team conducts a thorough analysis, providing insights into relevant immigration and tax considerations. We ensure compliance with local labor laws, tax codes, and immigration requirements, minimizing risks for both employers and employees.

We’ll check several key factors, including:

  • Nationality and residence. We verify whether the employee’s nationality permits visa-free travel and review the type of residence permit held if the employee’s nationality differs from their country of residence.

  • Absence check. We assess any restrictions on the number of days an employee can be absent from their resident country to avoid legal or tax complications.

  • Historical travel data. We examine past travel records stored on our platform to ensure compliance with current and future travel regulations.

  • Visa conditions. We determine the necessity for specific types of visas based on the planned activities in the destination country. We also evaluate whether any of the intended daily activities fall outside the permissible actions under the visa conditions.

  • Activity and location review. We carefully analyze the job duties planned for the visit, and make sure all activities are eligible under local laws and aligned with visa restrictions.

With Remote, it’s simple for employers and employees alike to navigate the complexities of international regulations for short-term travel with ease.

Find out more about our mobility services and how Remote can help your team members relocate across the globe.

You can also contact your Remote representative for guidance, or if you’re an EOR employee, submit your remote work request today! 

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