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Advice needed on international project day rate

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    Advice needed on international project day rate

    have recently finished a project for a client in London where I'm based. I used my normal day rate for the contract.

    They have now asked me to work with them on a new project based in New York. The project will mean being in New York each week for at least 2 months, possibly 5, and flying to and from London frequently. It will likely impact my weekends when needing the fly on a Sunday afternoon. The client will cover all flight and hotel expenses from their own travel budget.

    I'm trying to decide whether I should increase my day rate for this project or not. Does anyone have thoughts? How much more would you charge if so and what rationale have you used if you’ve done the same in the past?


    Advice needed on international project day rate

    You have a work visa ?

    I would charge 30% more

    Sent from my iPhone using Contractor UK Forum


      1. They sort out the work visa
      2. They pay for travel time - if you leave on Sunday, you get paid for Sunday
      3. Minimum business class.
      4. They cover all expenses - not just flight & hotel, but all food & drink, travel to & from airport, hotel doing your laundry, etc.
      5. If you choose not to fly home on a weekend, they cover your weekend sustenance & accommodation, and car hire, should you choose to want to drive out of the city.
      6. Expectation of not working more than 9hr per day 5 days per week, on average.

      But the bigger question is around your personal life - will your partner/family be happy with you travelling that much - cause basically the weekends will be about catching up on sleep.

      If you get all that sorted, I’d stick with the current rate. If they push back on any of it, then 20-25% increase.
      …Maybe we ain’t that young anymore


        As Tarbie says, you better have an employment visa or a GC or be a citizen, otherwise you can’t do productive work in the US. Obviously, WFH is fine. In my experience, rates on the top end in the US are much higher than the UK (50-100% or more), and somewhat higher in the mid-range, but it’s a massive market and it varies a lot.


          Thanks all for your thoughts.

          Visa - don't have one yet. Client thinks ESTA is enough but my research so far is telling me that's not enough as it would be productive work more than just meetings. There would be some time WFH in UK but only 4 days a month. Assuming a B1 Visa also not enough as only covers meetings type business activity?

          Invoicing/payment - will be through my Ltd company, likely via their London office who I have the relationship with and supplier to already.

          Day rate - my usual is £500 so I'm assuming £700 would be more like it?

          @WTFH your points about all expenses are very useful thanks. And yes being away from wife is a challenge we are considering. She would likely fly out to see me once a month. Your point about sleeping all weekend makes sense, I have worked in San Diego in a previous role for one work bursts which mean weekends jet lagged when back in UK.


            Thanks for replies

            Visa - I don't have a visa or GC etc. The client thinks that ESTA will work for this, but my research so far is telling me ESTA would not be enough. It seems that you all agree? As I said I would be working at their office in New York the whole time apart from around 4 days per month. Those 4 days would be WFH in UK.

            Another idea was to fly UK to NYC and back every week - being in NYC Sun to Wed and back to UK Thur to Sun. I imagine US border would start to question what I was doing if did that using ESTA?

            Invoicing/payment - would be through my Ltd company to London accounts department of the client, double-checking this as imagine invoicing through their US office would cause headaches for me.

            Day rate - it sounds like that could be increased, currently mine is 500. Maybe 650/700 works better?

            @WTFH - your comments were very useful and yes am discussing with my wife if we want me to do this project. Agree with you weekends would mean being tired.
            Last edited by jameslmorgan; 20 July 2019, 13:56.


              Yes, visa waiver or a B visa won’t work. With few exceptions that will be relevant to you, the type of work you do must be so-called non-productive, which basically means things like meetings () and discussions with the client. You cannot be sitting at a desk “producing”. Yes, very regular trips within a short space of time will likely lead to questions about what you are doing, but it just depends who you get at the port of entry. Whatever you do, you must answer any direct questions directly and truthfully, because they can check, otherwise you risk being deported with no chance of returning. Bottom line, don’t even consider doing this on a visa waiver. It needs to be WFH with occasional meetings there or nothing (or an H-1B employment visa, for example, which seems unlikely).


                BTW, invoicing a US client is no harder than invoicing a UK client or an EU client or an anywhere client. You need to be aware of the VAT treatment (outside of scope, most likely), but it’s otherwise the same.


                  You can check out this option, since it's just a short term project.

                  B1 in lieu of H1B Visa faster alternative to the US L1 and H1B visa
                  I'm alright Jack


                    Originally posted by BlasterBates View Post
                    You can check out this option, since it's just a short term project.

                    B1 in lieu of H1B Visa faster alternative to the US L1 and H1B visa
                    That’s an employment visa, so the OP would need to completely rethink and become an employee of the non-US branch of the multi-national (i.e., the current UK client).