What are the best countries to work in as a contractor?

What are the best countries to work in as a contractor?

Dec 14, 2023

Workwell-International News

When looking to take on a contract role overseas, the choice of potential working locations can seem overwhelming. And, with market conditions varying from nation to nation, it can be challenging to keep up to speed with which economies are performing better than others. However, help is at hand. We’ve reviewed a series of studies that compared the market conditions in various nations around the world to identify where you should take your next contract role. But where are the best places to find contract work in 2023?


Dubai is the world’s expat capital city, and for good reason. Executives relocated here earned, on average, €285,000 according to research from Expatra and professionals filling contract roles can benefit from lucrative rates. Sectors including IT, energy, construction, finance and more all regularly seek the specialist skills of contract professionals, and with minimal language barriers to overcome – and a relatively manageable taxation system – it’s not surprising that so many professionals choose to work here.


Saudi Arabia and UAE

Saudi Arabia provides a potentially more challenging proposition for professionals working overseas, however it’s still a highly lucrative destination, particularly for those in certain industries. The Saudi oil and gas market regularly seeks the skills of contractors from the UK and, with Saudi Aramco – one of the largest organisations in the world – planning to boost its crude oil production capacity by 2027, it’s likely that demand will continue for some time. While it may take some adjusting to Saudi culture and to doing business in Arabic, it’s clear that there are numerous opportunities for contractors seeking work overseas.


Hong Kong

Hong Kong has an extensive history of welcoming foreign professionals into its rich cultural heritage and is recognised as a gateway into global markets for multinational firms in sectors including technology, finance, advertising and HR, amongst others. Despite being one of the world’s most densely populated cities, Hong Kong is also home to a huge number of billionaires and offers numerous opportunities for professionals looking to boost their income. The domestic finance sector, in particular, often seeks the skills of specialist professionals from other countries, although competition for the top jobs can be fierce.


Costa Rica

One of the less popular working destinations for contractors, Costa Rica offers an amazing combination of opportunities for professionals in STEM sectors, along with relatively cheap living expenses and low rent levels. It also offers a high standard of living for contractors operating here as well as the chance to explore the natural environment and experience one of the world’s highest levels of biodiversity. Outside of STEM industries, organisations within the likes of the financial and energy markets are also regularly sought after here. Taxation systems in Costa Rica are relatively straightforward, however as with working in any country, you should partner with a specialist if you’re at all unsure about your legal status.



Like Hong Kong, Singapore provides a fantastic opportunity for significant earning opportunities across a range of sectors and is one of the most popular destinations for UK-based contractors. Singaporean businesses regularly source specialist talent for businesses across a variety of industries including Business Services, Chemicals & Engineering, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Financial Services & Fintech and Healthcare & Life Sciences. Taxation in Singapore is relatively straightforward and is made easier by the widespread use of English as a business language, however, professionals looking to operate here should be aware of the relatively high cost of living compared to other neighbouring nations.



Finally, and perhaps not surprisingly, Switzerland also makes the list as one of the best countries for contractors looking to work overseas. Contractors looking to work for Swiss-based firms must contract through a Swiss Management Company authorised to lease labour in the country, and while obtaining a work permit for contractors from EU member states is a straightforward process, it is now much more difficult for non-EU nationals. Demand for skills in Switzerland largely stems from the engineering, IT and healthcare sectors, although the country is also a major hub for business and management consulting firms that are often on the lookout for talent.

If you’re on the lookout for a role in any of the above countries, or indeed in any nation around the world, one of your top priorities should be remaining on the right side of domestic tax regulations. While punishments vary from country to country, contractors can face major fines and even prison sentences for non-compliance so if you’re at all unsure of your legal status then ensure you partner with an expert before it’s too late.

6CATS International is part of WorkwellTM Group

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