Where’s the best destination for contract work overseas?  

Contract work overseas

27th July 2022

For contractors working overseas, picking a destination with favourable tax laws, easily navigated entry requirements, and above average pay rates is important. However, the quality of life you can expect to enjoy while you are on assignment is also crucial.

The recently released 2022 World’s Most Liveable Cities index, from the Economist intelligence Unit (EIU), highlights the destinations where independent professionals seeking contract work overseas should consider.

The annual report ranked 173 cities around the world on a variety of factors including health care, crime rates, political stability, infrastructure, and access to green space. Whether you are looking for a short-term assignment or a long-term placement, these are some of the best countries for contract professionals today according to the EIU:


Vienna climbed back to the top spot on this year’s EIU list of the world’s most liveable cities, scoring highly on all five metrics: it has stability and great infrastructure supported by good healthcare and plenty of opportunities for culture and entertainment. Austria, on the whole, also ranked ninth in the latest Numbro Quality of Life Index.

As The Economist highlights, Lebenskunst – or the art of living well – is part of the local culture here, and now that restaurants and museums in the Austrian capital have reopened, it is once again the perfect place to practise the art. However, contractors should be aware that the local tax system can also be fairly challenging to navigate, particularly for those who don’t speak the domestic language, so seeking expert guidance is advised.


Recently named Europe’s ‘capital of cool’ by CNN thanks to its easy everyday life, Nordic style, world-class food, and safe, clean, green environment, Copenhagen came second on EIU’s 2022 Liveable Cities list. Denmark also ranked second on Numbeo’s 2022 mid-year Quality of Life Index.

For contractor’s seeking adventure overseas, there is no shortage of exciting opportunities here, and expats can rest easy knowing that the Danish healthcare system is one of the best in the world. Copenhagen also leads the way as one of the safest cities for contract professionals.


Long-time top destination for contract work overseas, Switzerland, still offers professionals great opportunities as well as a fantastic quality of life.

Zurich was named the third most liveable city by EIU, while Geneva came in at number six on this year’s ranking. Switzerland also recently came out on top of Numbeo’s latest Quality of Life Index.

In addition, three of Switzerland’s cities featured on the latest InterNations Expat City Ranking, with Lausanne in eighth spot, Zurich coming in sixth and Basel in second place. The report highlights how, across all three Swiss cities, ex-pats are very satisfied with the public transportation system, as well as the safety and political stability.

It is also worth noting, though, that Geneva also recently came third on ECA International’s annual list of the world’s most expensive cities, which is based on everything from the price of a bottle of milk to the rate of inflation – so contractors are likely to stump up more for food and accommodation if based here.


Canada absolutely dominated this year’s EIU list, with Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto coming in at numbers four, five and eight respectively when it comes to ‘liveability’.

Calgary, the third-largest municipality in Canada, has actually jumped 15 spots since 2021, fuelled in part by the city’s early easing of pandemic restrictions. Good ex-pat salaries and universal healthcare are also big draws for those looking to relocate.

Despite top rankings for individual cities, though, it is worth noting that Canada on the whole ranked 22nd on Numbeo’s latest Quality of Life Index.


Germany unsurprisingly offers plenty of opportunities for contractors, being the largest economy in Europe and the top ‘nation brand’ on Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands Index. The country also came in at number eight in Numbeo’s 2022 mid-year Quality of Life Index.

Frankfurt ranked number seven on this years EIU ranking, jumping an impressive 32 places in a year. However, it is worth noting that operating here can be challenging from a compliance perspective. And with changes to social security afoot this year, it is advisable to check with an expert to make sure you are compliant.

Contract work overseas: compliance matters

Contracting overseas has always been a great way to not only gain professional experience rapidly but also see and experience all our world has to offer. We have listed some of the best counties for independent professionals above, but there are plenty of exciting destinations that offer fantastic career opportunities coupled with a great way of life.

When considering contract work overseas, quality of life should be a primary consideration – but staying on the right sight of local and international laws and regulations is also crucial. If you’re considering working or living in any of these countries and require guidance on tax and compliance matters, our experts are able to help.

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