The big question: Can I proofread legal transcripts if I live outside the United States?
It’ll depend on the court reporter, but I do have program grads living in the UK, Canada, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Kenya, Mexico, and even the Philippines who’ve had success finding clients and are now working — you really only run into possible issues with time zones and payments, not ability.
NOTE: If your native language is not English, you will have issues getting clients. If you’re unable to adapt to the rules of American English from your dialect, you will have issues getting clients.
Will being a different time zone be a problem?
Time zone differences can also be a great friend, though, as being 5–9 hours ahead of your clients could also work to their advantage. If they send you stuff at night while you’re asleep, you can start working on it while they’re still asleep! Payment agreements should always be made upfront, and platforms like PayPal work best for proofreaders in the UK/Canada.
How can I get paid if I live outside the US?
PayPal does charge the client a small fee to send to foreign accounts, I think, and I’ve learned that Skrill is a great option for accepting payments internationally. For personal transactions, it’s only a 1% fee to send, and you could simply discount your services 1% to cover your clients’ costs if they have any issue, but most do not, especially if you’re good and dependable.
From Skrill’s website:
At Skrill we are committed to keep our fees permanently low and totally transparent.
- Sending money costs 1% of the amount sent but is capped at a maximum of $10
- Paying at a shop or transferring funds with any merchant is free
- Receiving money is free of charge
- Uploading funds into your Skrill account is usually free, but some options involve a small charge
Occasionally you’ll run into reporters who only want to send checks, but those are becoming few and far between, as online payment is so much faster these days.
Ability and availability are paramount for court reporters… if you suck or can’t take their jobs when they need you, THAT will be the reason why they don’t use you, not where you hang your hat.
Your course looks really interesting and helpful. I’m a Canadian living in France and I’m seriously looking in this course in order to earn some money working from home while caring for my kid.
My question is, do I have to set up as a business in France to bill the court reporters or agencies? How is the transaction considered?
thanks a lot for your help,
That is a good question, but not one I have a concrete answer for, ’cause I’m neither Canadian nor familiar with how things are in France w/ working and stuff — you may want to contact someone familiar with the business system in France to be sure. Some reporters will want to give you a tax form, too, whereas others will just send PayPal.
I’m definitely going to check out this Skrill thing, as i’m only familiar with PayPal. Since I’m looking into moving to Costa Rica, I did some research and PayPal will end up charging you 10% of your income monthly! That’s a charge of $200 if you made $2,000 for the month 🙁 Yikes. This is the fee for having clients from the U.S. pay you and then the currency conversion charge from dollars to the Costa Rican colone. If there’s any proofreaders reading this from Costa Rica, please tell me it’s not true!
With Skrill, however, it worries me that clients won’t feel comfortable using it as it’s not as popular.
I live in New Zealand and am contemplating doing your general proofreading course. Are there any reasons you can think of why your course would not be suitable for me, based on my location? TIA
Hi, Paula. Students from all over the world have successfully taken the General Proofreading course. I can’t think of any reason why it wouldn’t be suitable for you based on your location. 🙂
I’m in NZ too and considering this course. Have you enrolled or completed it.