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I am looking for Remote Jobs worldwide. It confuses me a lot that some US companies say that I have to have permission to work in the USA and some don't.

I am not sure if the first kind of job ads have that in since it is a standard phrase of the company and they forgot to leave it out for remote jobs or if the second kind doesn't have it in since it is assumed to be common knowledge.

Is the answer one of these, or is it more complicated?

As requested by @Fattie

https://neuvoo.com/view/?id=0d1eb65198ec

Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis now and in the future.

This position does not offer sponsorship.

I think, I haven't seen one, that specifically said, that you could live overseas but need authorization to work in the US. Maybe they all meant candidates have to live in the US, but could live anywhere in the US.

  • 1
    Something of interest: here. – Sourav Ghosh Apr 25 at 10:43
  • What kind of visa do you mean? A US visa? – user1602 Apr 25 at 10:58
  • Yes, I mean an U.S. work visa – a.j. tawleed Apr 25 at 11:05
  • You utterly, absolutely, do not need a US work visa or US papers of any kind. – Fattie Apr 25 at 11:29
  • @a.j.tawleed , can you post an example of a REMOTE ad where they say "you must have permission to work in the USA". That simply makes no sense, and I have never seen that. I think you got mixed-up. – Fattie Apr 25 at 11:59
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This is completely, totally, normal.

(Just by way of example, as of writing we've placed three (3) software engineers, specifically working for US companies, who live in Europe. ("C" - Italy, major US corp. "S" - Poland, large US social startup. "M" - eastern europe, US startup.))

It confuses me a lot that some US companies say that I have to have permission to work in the USA and some don't.

If it's for a position working in the USA:

  1. For every single programmer job ad, companies get many, many resumes sent in from folks who live in India, Europe etc, where those people are hoping to get a work visa supplied by the company.

  2. Since there is always a "flood" of such requests, often in (on site) job ads you will see something like "We will not provide a visa" or "Please don't bother applying if you need a visa" or "You must be able to work in the US" all of which mean ... "Don't apply if you're in India or Europe!"

If it's for a remote position:

  1. Many companies simply only want USA workers, even if remote. In this case they'll state "USA only".

  2. Right now on the jobs site I see 20? 30? US companies, with a remote position, where it's fine if you're living overseas, and a few for a remote position where you have to be in the USA.

  3. I have never seen a case of a remote job ad where they say you must have papers to "work in the USA". That makes little sense.

  4. Caveat: since the US is mainly a military power, you do see a cohort of job ads which involve security and or military/government contracting: those usually require US passports, various security clearances, etc. This would seem to obviously be outside the scope of this question.

So!

You ask, "But Fattie, why will some companies who use remote developers, only hire USA developers?"

There are two reasons:

  • "Language time-zone convenience" The fact is many clients prefer, quiet naturally, teams that work in aligned-time rather than asychronously, and indeed who are native Korean, Hindi, Marathi, Spanish or English speakers like programmers who live in the US. Note for example that one of the largest freelance agencies has exactly this policy - they tell their clients "we're the freelance agency that only has on-shore talent!"

  • Exactly as ReadyPlayerOne explains, due to "paperwork issues". (For some US companies there can be more paperwork in hiring freelancers in certain US states or certain overseas countries.)

You now ask, "But Fattie, like in high school, can you follow up with an example of what you mean?" Why, yes!

HERE'S AN EXAMPLE OF THAT:

https://stackoverflow.com/jobs/251495/mobile-engineer-energy-worldnet-inc?so=i&pg=1&offset=24&q=ios&r=true

Look down the bottom:

"Must NOT reside in California, New Jersey, Hawaii, Alaska or Massachusetts"

So yes there are some cases where - for paperwork reasons - companies won't hire remotes who live outside the USA, or indeed, in certain US states.

(But I'd say the more usual reason companies won't hire remotes who live outside the USA is very simply "time zone / language".)

So OP ...

I am not sure if the first kind of job ads have that in since it is a standard phrase of the company and they forgot to leave it out for remote jobs or if the second kind doesn't have it in since it is assumed to be common knowledge.

So, I have never seen a case of a remote job ad where they say you must have papers to "work in the USA". That makes little sense.

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    Wait what? The way you phrase it, as long as you live in the US (legally or not), they will hire you. Surely that cannot be the case. – dan-klasson Apr 26 at 6:36
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It's more complicated.

You can work as an independent contractor from outside the country without a visa.

However some companies will not want to employ overseas contractors for reasons including (but not limited to):

  • Timezone differences

  • Employment law differences

  • Payroll difficulties

If you see a requirement for a visa you can assume you need to be in the country. If you don't see it listed then they may think it's assumed that you'll be in the same country, or they could be well aware (and even hoping) that they will get applications from people outside the country.

This is not just limited to remote jobs in the US - it will be similar for companies in most countries advertising for remote workers.

  • So, if I am employed by the company, I always need a visa? I can only circumvent that by being a contractor? – a.j. tawleed Apr 25 at 10:56
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    @a.j.tawleed no, if you're employed by the company you won't need a visa. I've worked for companies in Australia and Canada from overseas with no visa. They likely won't be able to employ you without you being a contractor though. If they had a local office that could employ you as a regular employee then you wouldn't be a remote worker. – Player One Apr 25 at 10:58
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    Maybe I don't understand it right because English is not my native language, but how can there be any "payroll difficulties" if you're working as a contractor ? Wouldn't you just be like any other supplier billing their services to the company ? – Laurent S. Apr 25 at 11:09
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    @LaurentS. I'm not an accountant so I don't understand it either, but I've had an application process for a remote role stopped by the company I was applying to when they learned I intended to move out of the country. They gave payroll difficulties as the reason. – Player One Apr 25 at 11:15
  • @Fattie it's not, but it's more complicated than either of the options the OP was considering. Which was his question :) – Player One Apr 25 at 11:26

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