Pros and cons of hiring an overseas virtual assistant

overseas virtual assistant

You may be aware of some of the most popular benefits of hiring a virtual assistant from overseas. One of the most popular benefits and reasons an international virtual assistant is hired is to save money. 

In this article, we explain the main benefits as well as the disadvantages of hiring an offshore virtual assistant. We will also discuss various other benefits of hiring an international virtual assistant that you may not be aware of. 

Below is a table with an outline of the main benefits and disadvantages you may experience when hiring an international virtual assistant.

Benefits  Disadvantages
Large choice of V.A’s Language barriers 
Cheaper Time difference 
Holidays  Privacy security
Clients based overseas Quality control
Time difference


Advantages of hiring an overseas virtual assistant


Large choice of V.A’s

When hiring a virtual assistant from overseas you’ll usually be presented with a large number of virtual assistants that you can choose from. This may be because you are searching within a large country, so this gives you a wider selection of VA’s to consider. It could also be because some countries especially in Asia and Africa are known to be popular for providing virtual assistant services. 


Like the virtual assistants that are based in your country, some will be highly skilled and others will not have a lot of experience and may only be able to offer basic virtual assistant services. 


As you expand your search for a virtual assistant overseas your chances of finding specialist expert help will increase, as opposed to only search within your own country. 


Cheaper rates

Hiring a virtual assistant from overseas usually costs less than hiring a virtual assistant from your local town. This is one of the biggest advantages that attract many to the idea of hiring an international virtual assistant. 

In many countries, the cost of living is lower, so some virtual assistants may be willing to work for a lower rate than virtual assistants in your own country. 

A lot of business owners hire a virtual assistant from overseas as a full-time employee and end up spending the same amount as they would for a local virtual assistant on a part-time basis. But as we will discuss below when we cover the disadvantages of hiring an overseas VA, cheaper is not always better. 



Because you’ve decided to get a virtual assistant from overseas they usually won’t have the same national holidays as you. This means your virtual assistant can still get work done for you during the holiday season. It may also give you an advantage over your competitors who cannot offer their business services during national holidays. 

advantages of an overseas virtual assistant

Clients based overseas

If you have clients based overseas in the same country as your virtual assistant, you have the added benefit of them being able to easily communicate with your customers.

This can be due to the fact they speak the same native language as your client, or because they understand the culture and customs more than you. 



Offshore virtual assistants are usually quite flexible and don’t mind doing one-off jobs, but are also happy to do long-term projects. 

An international VA may be able to do more flexible hours, allowing you to get work completed outside of traditional working hours. 


Time difference 

If your virtual assistant is in a different time zone this can lead to you having increased availability and essentially being able to get work done while you sleep. 


Disadvantages of hiring an international virtual assistant

Language barriers

It is important to outsource your work to a virtual assistant who is able to speak the same language as you. If you outsource to an international VA  that is capable of doing your tasks but does not speak your language, this will make it challenging if not impossible to communicate effectively with them. 

Depending on how much communication is needed and the nature of the task your VA needs to have a good grasp of your language so they can understand your instructions, otherwise it will be a struggle for you to communicate with them and also for them to communicate with you.


Having communication problems and language barriers can affect the outcome of tasks as it is likely your VA will misunderstand your instructions, which will lead to time and money wasted. 


disadvantages of hiring an overseas virtual assistant

Time difference 

If your virtual assistant is based in a location with a different time zone this may cause a delay as to when you can get responses from your VA. 

If you text your virtual assistant at 10am but where they live it is 7pm there is a chance they may not be able to respond until the next morning. 

Additionally, if you require work to be completed at specific times during your working day, your international V.A. may not be available during that time if those hours are unsociable in their time zone. 

If you need to communicate with your virtual assistant in real-time it may be difficult to arrange a suitable time that suits you both. 

This website shows a calendar of public holidays and bank holidays for different countries to help plan your meetings better


Privacy security

You should be aware of what security protocols your virtual assistant has in place. This is especially important if they will be dealing with sensitive information such as your passwords. 

The laws and regulations regarding data privacy are different in each country. It is important to check and see what the laws are within your VA’s country, and then ensure your virtual assistant is following them. 


Quality control

The quality of work may not be up to par with what you expect. This may not necessarily be because the virtual assistant did a bad job, it could be because in their country they are used to doing work to a certain standard that they view as acceptable. This is why it is really important to discuss your expectations fully with your virtual assistant. 

The quality of work your international virtual assistant produces may also be negatively impacted because you may not be able to communicate as frequently with an international V.A. as you would a local virtual assistant. This may result in you receiving fewer progress reports and having fewer chances to look over their work. 


when you should hire an overseas virtual assistant

When you should hire an overseas virtual assistant

The right time to hire an international virtual assistant is: 

  • When you want to pay a lower than average hourly rate and are willing to spend extra time to give instructions and edit your VA’s work. 

  • When the tasks you allocate to your VA don’t have a deadline and are flexible, so you do not mind that you are likely to wait longer than usual to receive replies. 

  • If you don’t need support developing systems and processes and you simply want to give instructions and have them completed, then hiring an international virtual assistant is a good option for you. 

  • If you need work completed while you sleep. The time difference can be used to your advantage allowing you to have your work ready and done by the morning. 

  • The tasks you want to assign to your VA are basic and have little to no room for error. 

  • You require advanced technical skills that would otherwise cost more if you hire a local virtual assistant. 
international virtual assistant

Now that you are aware of the pros and cons of hiring an overseas virtual assistant you should be able to make the best choice for your business needs. 

If you are looking for a virtual assistant from overseas we can help to match you with the best virtual assistant for your job. Find out more here 

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