The concept of remote work is reaching the peak of its popularity. With remote work becoming increasingly available and more popular, more and more employees opt to work partly or entirely out of their office. Many of them even work from abroad. What rules apply for remote work in individual destinations?
If you are a digital nomad, i.e. an employee who works remotely from various places, or an employer who finds this work setup interesting, you may ask yourself what country might be worth working from. The good news is that numerous countries offer special visa regimes that enable the opportunity to work from different places worldwide. You simply have to choose a country from the Caribbean to Europe to the Middle East that fits your interests and requirements, obtain the remote work visa, which is a matter of a few days, and you can start packing.
If white sand, crystal clear water and palms appeal to you, you can travel to the Caribbean, a favourite destination among digital nomads.
In Antigua and Barbuda, a special digital nomad visa programme, the so-called Nomad Digital Residence (NDR), was launched. The visa fee amounts to USD 1,500 per person. The visa applicant has to earn at least USD 50,000 per year and have adequate health insurance. After obtaining the visa, the applicant is allowed to stay on the islands for up to two years.
Barbados has introduced the “Barbados Welcome Stamp” which is a special twelve-month visa for employees who work remotely and are employed in a company registered and operating outside Barbados. The visa fee amounts to USD 2,000 per person. The visa is valid for a maximum of twelve months. One of the conditions to obtain the visa is an annual income of USD 50,000. Those who qualify for the programme can choose from a wide range of accommodation depending on what they can afford.
Bermuda is another destination in the Caribbean. This country offers a programme called “Work From Bermuda”. The conditions to obtain a visa include entrepreneurship or employment in a company registered outside Bermuda and having sufficient financial means or a constant source of annual income. The visa fee is USD 263. The duration of stay is set for one year.
The Cayman Islands is a splendid destination that offers the “Global Citizen Concierge Program”. This programme allows digital nomads to live and work on the islands for up to two years. The applicants have to be employed outside the Cayman Islands and prove an annual income of at least USD 100,000. Health insurance is also an obligation.
Are you interested in history and fascinating architecture from various periods? Several European countries are also opening their doors to remote visa applicants.
A short-term residence permit is issued for remote work visa applicants who work remotely for a company registered outside Croatia. The permit it issued for a period of up to one year and the applicant can be joined by family members. The applicant must have a clean criminal record and is obliged to submit a health insurance certificate and an employment contract. The financial means to cover the twelve-month accommodation costs must amount to at least EUR 3,802.
Estonia is also listed among those few European countries which introduced a visa programme for digital nomads. The requirements to obtain the visa include an employment contract with the company registered outside Estonia, own entrepreneurial activities within a company registered abroad, or freelance work and provision of services to clients predominantly outside Estonia. Prior to submitting the application, the applicant has to prove an income of EUR 3,500 in the past six months.
Georgia introduces its “Remotely from Georgia” programme, which targets foreign freelancers, full-time employees or business owners based outside Georgia. The maximum length of sojourn for applicants is 360 days without a visa. The applicant’s minimum monthly wage has to be EUR 1,694. Applicants must have health insurance for the whole duration of their stay in Georgia.
Iceland issues one of the shortest digital nomad visas available: for only six months. Visa requirements include employment with a company based outside Iceland, a monthly income of USD 7,800, and health insurance.
The Portuguese island of Madeira has created a “Digital Nomad Village”. The village offers employees a free workplace with a desk and a chair and free internet daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the John do Passos Cultural Centre in the village centre. In terms of the legal framework, digital nomads have two options for working remotely from Portugal: the so-called D7 visa (widely referred to as the “digital nomad visa”) and the D2 Migrant Entrepreneur / Independent Worker Visa. While the D7 allows digital nomads to stay for up to one year (if you earn EUR 665 a month or have savings of EUR 15,960), the other option is suitable for longer sojourns in the Portuguese territory.
Luxury, futuristic architecture, artificial islands – this is the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates keeps up with the times and offers its own remote work programmes.
Dubai offers a virtual work programme valid for one year. The applicant must earn at least USD 5,000 per month and must provide proof of ownership of a company or proof of employment from the current employer. With regard to employment, the employment contract must be valid for at least one year. Health insurance is also a standard requirement. The visa fee is set at USD 611.
The popularity of remote work on the rise
The list of countries that offer visa programmes for those interested in remote work is expanding every day. While some countries introduce special remote work visas, or digital nomad visas, others allow digital nomads to reside and work on the basis of a business visa or similar authorisation. Currently, everyone has the opportunity to choose the option and location that suits them best. Although the current global pandemic situation has created many restrictions, it has also contributed to major developments in the field of remote work visas and remote work itself.