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Hiring Abroad

Overview: Staffing Options Overview (PDF)

Guide: Hiring Options Abroad (PDF)

Workflow: International Hiring Workflow (PDF)

Hiring abroad is a complex process due to several elements associated with working in foreign countries. When beginning international activities, program leaders and principal investigators should consider the country in which the activity occurs, the activities of the project, and Tufts' status in that country. It is important to contemplate:

  • Agreements between U.S. government and foreign governments or sponsor-specific agreements
  • Employee classification and associated social tax withholdings and statutory benefits
  • Local labor laws
  • Proper in-country work authorization (visa, work permits, licenses, etc.)

These are just a few aspects to be addressed to mitigate the immediate and long-term challenges and risks associated with international staff. Tufts Global Support is here to assist with understanding the complexities for planning for personnel needs abroad.

Why is hiring abroad different than hiring on the Tufts campus?

  1. The global employment environment is complex, and each case is unique. Visa requirements, work authorizations, employment laws, tax regulations, and employee benefits vary by country, and they can change with little notice if any. Additionally, the compliance landscape has changed in the last ten years through evolved immigration and taxation systems across the globe.
  2. We need to be cognizant of each country’s regulations and practice to responsibly and fairly engage staff to balance the financial, legal, and reputational risks for the university and our staff members.
  3. The University’s systems are not capable of processing multi-currency payrolls or complying with country-specific tax regulations. The University’s payroll is intended for employees based in MA (and select other states) for the majority of the year. While it is possible for an employee to work abroad and be paid through the payroll system, it does not mean that it is compliant with the local laws of the country.

What is an overseas hire?

If your hiring needs meet any of the following criteria, they are considered an international hire:

  • A current employee of Tufts on the Tufts payroll working overseas for more than 6 months or 183 days in aggregate in a 12-month span
  • A current employee of Tufts on the Tufts payroll system, working the majority of the time overseas if employed less than 6 months
  • A U.S. citizen who will live and work in a foreign country (“Expatriate”)
  • A non-U.S. citizen/Green Card Holder who will work in their home country (“Local National”)
  • A non- U.S. citizen/Green Card Holder who will work in a country that is not their country of citizenship (“Third Country National”)

If any of these criteria apply to your hire, you’ll need to explore overseas hiring options. None of them can be paid compliantly via the Tufts payroll system.

Five Options for International Hires

The following options are based on university policy and guided by county laws. The option must be approved by Global Operations. The information below will inform you about each option, but should not be seen as a replacement for consulting Global Operations.

  1. Engage as an independent contractor
  1. Remain on, or join, Tufts payroll with frequent travel
  1. Affiliate with an established organization in the host country
  1. Contract with a professional employment organization (PEO)
  1. Hire via Tufts Global, Inc.
Questions about Hiring Abroad
The Global Operations team is here to help