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I am a programmer working for an employer in the US who is willing to let me work remotely from another country. I would like to travel abroad and visit different countries with my wife and kids. Tourist visas are easy to come by for short time periods, but we want to stay in each country for closer to a year and country hop for a few years, possibly in Europe, Asia, and Central and South America. Because of the extended stays, it's not clear to me what kinds of visas would allow me to do this. I'm not close to retirement age, so a retirement visa doesn't seem like a possibility.

  • What type of visas would be best suited for this type of extended tourist type travel?
  • Where can I find information about which countries offer extended tourist/visitor visas? or other visa related information for a large number of countries?
  • Might it be feasible for me to set up a US LLC to obtain a Business visa to establish my business in a foreign country? If so, what sort of cost range would I expect for this type of visa?
  • Does this plan sound feasible (from a visa perspective)? I don't hear of many people doing this, but that could be for a lot of reasons. Are there others that you know of who pull off something similar?
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closed as off topic by littleadv, HaLaBi, DJClayworth, Karlson, mindcorrosive Aug 22 '12 at 8:33

Questions on Travel Stack Exchange are expected to relate to traveling within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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WRT the expat part of the question, consider posting on International Man or InterNations (if you already have an international presence). You might also want to follow the Expatriates proposal on Area51. In the meantime, I've also set up an Expat Q&A community for related questions; see my profile. –  todofixthis Aug 19 '12 at 6:35
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1 Answer 1

You need to first identify the country in which you want to reside, and then learn its immigration laws. The IATA site referenced by Andra is not a good source of information, it may have enough for tourists and business travelers, but that's not what you're going to be. I've just checked it for a couple of combinations that I can relate to and it didn't provide any useful results.

You would also need to deal with taxes, and plan it accordingly. There are tax treaties with certain countries, but not with others, that reduce your tax burden there, and in the US. If there are no tax treaties, you will be subject to double taxation. The US treaties won't reduce your US taxes, but might help you reducing or eliminating your local taxes in that country.

You should not compare yourself to volunteering organizations such as the Peace Corps, as they work in an entirely different legal framework. What their members/volunteers can do - you are not necessarily able to (and most likely - cannot, in most places).

Specifically to your questions:

What type of visas would be best suited for this type of extended tourist type travel?

This is not tourist type travel. You need a temp. resident/foreign worker visa, in most countries.

Where can I find information about which countries offer extended tourist/visitor visas?

Embassies.

Might it be feasible for me to set up a US LLC to obtain a Business visa to establish my business in a foreign country? If so, what sort of cost range would I expect for this type of visa?

Depends on the country, and you should consult an immigration attorney in that country. In your own country (the US) - this is not an option readily available for foreigners. Why would it be different elsewhere? My default assumption is that it wouldn't.

Does this plan sound feasible (from a visa perspective)? I don't hear of many people doing this, but that could be for a lot of reasons. Are there others that you know of who pull off something similar?

Doesn't sound feasible to me.

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I would appreciate the downvoter not to hide, and explain what it is he/she is disagreeing with. –  littleadv Aug 18 '12 at 23:13
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My downvote is because this is not a travel question. Answering just encourages people. –  DJClayworth Aug 20 '12 at 3:21
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You've got the taxes the wrong way around there: you're first and foremost liable for taxes to the country you legally work in, and the US takes this into consideration when taxing you on top of that. (Most countries, on the other hand, don't tax you at all on overseas income if you're no longer a resident.) –  jpatokal Aug 20 '12 at 6:45
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@jpatokal oh, but here's the nice part: the OP earns money in the US. His employer is US employer, his income is US income. From the host country perspective - you're right. They'll want priority on their share. But from the US perspective - its US income, and no foreign deduction will be allowed. That's why unless there's a treaty, the OP will almost certainly get taxed twice (and even with treaty he may get taxed more than he would have living in the same country as his employer). BTW: I have some experience here, I've got hit with double taxation myself. –  littleadv Aug 20 '12 at 6:49
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@jpatokal and as a general point - US government is very aggressively attacking foreign tax shelters in their various shapes, including some of the schemes you've described. Unless the payment flows through an unrelated foreign employer, the US citizen working abroad for a US employer is in a tax nightmare. What people could do and get away with until recently, is no longer possible with the enactment of the new FATCA rules, and the punishments are severe. –  littleadv Aug 20 '12 at 7:34
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