Since the start of the World Wide Web, boundaries of countries have become more porous in such a way that international commerce is no longer confined to big business deals like the export and import industry. Today, one can get employed by a foreign company without leaving the United States of America or even his own home. There are several job opportunities that will involve an individual dealing with another who is staying in a foreign country. Getting paid with these type of business transactions or sources of income may be a bit tricky when you are chosen to be paid with a check. Getting an international business deal is easy; as easy as online shopping. You just need to log on to the internet, look for another individual willing to out-source projects. You communicate with each other, lay down the rules between the transactions and there you have it. It would be in your best interest to require that payment be made through cash transfers or through the popularly used PayPal services.
That would be easy if your business transaction is with a country that has a culture of using credit card transactions or cash transfers. But there are still countries that nurture old commercial practices, particularly in Europe where checks are heavily relied on by the citizens rather than credit cards. Most European countries even allow personal checks to be used to pay almost any transaction. Another option is to open a foreign bank account in the place your checks are coming from. This way, checks issued in payment to you would be cleared like a local check.
Then you can just make the withdrawal from that foreign bank account and transfer it to your local bank account. Clearing a check means that when a check is deposited to an account, the bank does not automatically credit the face value or the amount of the check into the account. Clearing means that they have to check if the issuing account has enough funds to back up the check issued. Local checks, even from the same bank but different branches, take at least three days to clear. It would take longer if the check is from another bank.
There is what is known as a clearing house in the banking industry. Representatives from the banks involved meet and make sure that the accounts are sufficiently funded. The process involves actual legwork. The checks have to be physically examined for the authenticity of the signature and that the amount stated therein was not fraudulently placed there.
Now just imagine how long it would take to clear an international check deposited in a bank account in the United States of America. Once a check has been physically sent and deposited in the bank in the United States, which actually take some time as well, the process of clearing will just about to start. So the check has to be sent back to the issuing bank for verification and clearing. The back and forth traveling of the check would take about two to three weeks. So a month or so period to clear an international check is just normal