How to Get Paid (for freelancers outside of the US, UK and Canada)

I have mentioned this topic briefly in past posts but I still get the same question over and over. So I thought it appropriate to dedicate a post to this very legitimate problem.

For Jamaicans, and for foreigners (outside of the US, Canada and UK) in general, it is very difficult to acquire money and payments lodged to Paypal. We get paid and it sits there. This is as a result of several:

  • Paypal does not offer a wide variety of withdrawal options for foreigners
  • Paypal’s Debit Card is not accessible to us
  • Most companies will ONLY pay you through Paypal

I have encountered all of these issues. So I will expound briefly on them and attempt to offer you a solution.


Paypal provides Jamaicans and other foreigners only two withrawal options:

  • Cheque (Check): which takes 4-6 business days. (This service costs US$5. Not to mention the entire month it will sit in your account until it is cleared IF it arrives.)
  • Bank Withdrawal: only available if you have a US Bank account. (mmhhhhhhmmm)

My biggest issue has always been getting my money out of Paypal and into my hands. And applying for a cheque never seemed at all practical. It is also very odd to me that in order to activate your account you must load a credit/debit card. You are able to add funds to your Paypal account using your credit/debit card but you cannot withdraw funds to it.

Paypal does offers a Paypal Debit/Credit card… but sadly, not to foreigners.

Unless you have a US Bank Account or wish to wait for a cheque in the mail, then you are plum out of luck. And so was I till I thought about this:

My Solution

Please note, this solution is not instant. At most it will take 4-5 days given no one procrastinates. But, it does work and with the options I was presented it seemed worth it. Here is a run down of my simple plan:

  1. Find a trustworthy relative or friend residing in the U.S with a Paypal account. Please note: trustworthy.
  2. Send your money to them via Paypal.
  3. Have them withdraw it from Paypal to their US Bank account. (takes maybe a day or two to clear for them)
  4. They then visit Western Union or any other applicable money transfer center and send your money to you. (They can either swipe their bank card there or withdraw your cash beforehand. You may want to have couple bucks reserved for fees.)

Ok, I know what you are thinking. Sounds exhausting, especially for the person on the other end.  The truth is, it really isn’t. For one, transferring your cash to them via Paypal is done online, and so is transfering that to their US Bank Account. The only travelling I can imagine is visiting Western Union and going through that process.

I had a friend do this for me on more than one occasion and the only time she left home was at step 4.  So if your Aunty starts bawling about how she has no gas to drive up and down for you… tell her this. *wink*


Payoneer is a payment solution for freelancers. It is a payment solution service and offers foreigners a Debit Mastercard that can be loaded and used anywhere in the world. You receive a physical Mastercard which can be used at ATMs or in-stores, gas stations etc. I have had a Payoneer card for some time and it does work! My employer pays me through Payoneer and I get the money in a few hours. I can then use my card anywhere in Jamaica. (my review)


Most employers (Freelancer, Elance,  London Brokers ) are now offering payments through Payoneer. Once you sign up for this service through these websites the card is issued to you. It arrives in about 2 weeks and all you do is activate it online and it is ready to go. Family members can load your card using any card of theirs as well.

So there you have it. I hope this post has been very helpful to you all. Good luck and Happy Writing.

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How to Not Stop

After quite a long dry spell I am back. With a words of wisdom and a confession.

Freelance writing was once something I did daily. And when I first began I was doing work for chum change. I pay my own bills and I do this full-time so at some points I would be doing maybe 20 articles a day in order to make a substantial amount of money to live. This, as you can imagine, became more of a chore than ‘something I love to do’. And sooner rather than later I became annoyed with freelance writing and tried my hands at other things. Nevertheless, as a full-time freelance writer, as many of you can attest to, sometimes you slow down until you rather do nothing than write a 500 word article on massage therapy… or even worse, ingrown hair.

Once you stop it is hard to start again. Let me reiterate: once you stop working you don’t want to start again. And this is what happened to me. There were days when I would stare at the job board on content mills and pretend I didn’t see the plethora of articles waiting to be taken. Why? I was tired. Not physically, but mentally tired of writing. And worse, tired of writing where it seems I do not get a substantial amount of money in return.

Once you stop it is hard to start again.

I am now one of those persons who hates content mills. So I took the next step. I faced something I was always fearful of. I applied to a news publication. And as of now I am shortlisted to become a permanent provider for them (more info coming if I get the job).  I cannot really tell you why I was afraid of writing for publications? Maybe it is because I have no actual formal training when it comes to writing. Writing for me in inate and I have always done it and enjoyed it and, if I might add, I am very good at it.

Try applying for a job at a publication.

What happens when you tire of writing for content mills, where you sign over your work and you can’t put it on your resume as something you have done? Try applying for a job at a publication (you can also say ‘ try applying directly to the client’). There are many. In fact just simply googling ‘Write for Us’ will bring up a plethora of options. And they pay handsomely as well. Some articles, if approved, can earn you up to US$100. If you are good at graphic design or health writing, find a website or publication that caters to that and send them a fresh article to show your skill. This is the next best thing and will surely help you pay those bills without having you fall asleep on your couch after staring at the text on your screen all day (yes, this happens to me a lot).

Since I have said that I will be trying to provide you all with Write for Us information from varying sites and I will create a new category just for these posts. I know it may be difficult to pull yourself from the writing you are doing now to search for more jobs. Trust me, I know. So I will help.

I hope you found this post helpful and feel free to comment.