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An international virtual assistant is someone who provides various supportive services to another individual using various electronic means of communication. While virtual assistants may reside in the same country as their clients, many also have an international clientele. Many people hire an international virtual assistant because the assistant may live in a country where wages are typically lower, reducing the cost of having an assistant. Another advantage to hiring internationally is that the international virtual assistant may be in a different time zone and can provide various services while the client is sleeping or away from work. The tasks completed by a virtual assistant vary considerably according to the assistant's own abilities as well as the needs of his or her clients.
Many business owners and people in a variety of professions, including homemakers, rely on a personal assistant to help them manage both work and personal responsibilities. While it is possible to hire an assistant who can work in a person's own office or who is available to run local errands, such services can often be expensive. The cost can be particularly high in industrialized nations that have strict minimum wage and employment tax laws. An alternative to hiring an assistant to provide in-person services is hiring a virtual assistant, who may live very far from his or her employer and provides only those services that can be accomplished from a remote location. In many cases, a virtual assistant works from home and may provide services to several different clients.
Clients with limited financial resources may choose to hire an international virtual assistant, as these professionals may charge far lower rates than those working in industrialized nations. One significant benefit to hiring internationally is that businesspeople who interact with clients and associates in other countries can rely on their international virtual assistant to serve as a point of contact when the business person is unavailable. This can be of significant benefit to the owner of a small business who wants to offer consistent service to international clients.
Many virtual assistants provide basic office administration services, such as word processing, sending out communications, and maintaining spreadsheets and databases. The virtual assistant may have other skills, however, and those who have technical, writing, or language skills may be in high demand by employers. This type of international virtual assistant may also be able to command a higher wage than virtual assistants who specialize in more mundane administrative tasks.
@Mammmood - I think it should be pointed that you can work as a virtual assistant in the United States for a company that is located in another country.
In other words, it’s not simply U.S. businesses hiring foreign workers. Foreign nations can hire U.S. workers as well.
Obviously these would be countries where the national currency is stronger against the dollar, like European nations for example. I’ve done some part time work for a client in England and he is only too happy to pay me in pounds (which I convert to dollars).
I am considered affordable by his standards. Obviously I can’t make a full time living at it, but it helps to supplement my income.
I see the international virtual assistant as an extension of the outsourcing concept; except that instead of brick and mortal operations, it’s more or less online.
There are even websites you can go to if you want to hire these virtual assistants. You can state what your project is, how much you're willing to pay, and have potential virtual assistants bid on your work.
I realize that some people deplore the state of our economy which forces so many companies to outsource, but I believe that’s just the way things are. In some respects, for really small businesses, I can’t imagine how they could work without these virtual assistants.
These small businesses simply don’t have the staff to hire people full time, and yet they have work that needs to be done. This is just the reality of doing business in the age in which we live.