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?
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.