Global event and tourism industries, in particular, have taken a major blow since the start of the pandemic as countries worldwide closed their borders to control the spread COVID-19. Now, in an attempt to reignite tourism, a number of regions have decided to encourage long-term vacationers with remote-work or digital nomad visas.
Digital nomads are people who can work remotely and only need an internet connection, a laptop and a phone to do their job. They tend to move between countries or cities to satisfy their wanderlust while maintaining employment. There has been a significant rise in remote workers since the start of the pandemic, many who were traditionally employed permanently now have the freedom to work anywhere they please as companies begin to embrace the remote-work trend.
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While travel restrictions may hinder your ability to enter some of the countries below, it’s worth noting every country offering digital nomad programmes as travel restrictions are constantly changing.
If Bermuda’s pink sand beaches sound like the perfect work-from-home destination to you, then you’ll be excited to know that the government have announced a new residency programme that will allow remote workers and students to spend a year on the island.
Eligible individuals can apply for the visa which will cost roughly R4 300. But in order to qualify, you must be older than 18, have health insurance, supply proof of employment or enrolment in an educational program, plus proof of a sufficient or continuous source of income.
Applications are due to open on the government’s website on August 1 2020, and the government has promised that processing will be swift. Bermuda has also extended its tourist visa from the typical 90 days to 180 days. Visit the official Bermuda government website for more information and to apply for the visa
Georgia opened its borders to all international tourists in August and also launched its long-term visa which welcomes those who want to work remotely from Georgia for up to six months. The programme is part of the country’s plan to support its tourism sector which has been gravely affected by global travel restrictions.
In order to qualify for the visa, interested applicants will need to fill out an online form and submit preliminary confirmation documents such as; proof of travel insurance, a certificate of employment, and personal information. Those who qualify will also be expected to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days (at your own expense) when arriving in Georgia.
For more information and to apply, visit the official website, right here.
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua’s shoreline is washed almost exclusively by the Caribbean Sea and is hugged by 95 miles of superb coastline. Her sister Barbuda, is surrounded by protective reefs and features a large lagoon and Frigate Bird sanctuary. The islands are best known for their friendly and welcoming people, pink and white-sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and the most satisfying and enjoyable climate in the world.
The island nation’s Nomad Digital Residence visa is valid for 2 years and costs $1,500 (around R25,000) for an individual, $2,000 (R32,500) for a couple and $3,000 (R50,000) for a family of three or more. Applicants must prove that they can support themselves and family members with a minimum income of at least US$50,000 per year (R812,000). They should also have health insurance and prove that they’re employed by a foreign company. For more information and to apply, visit the official website, here.
Estonia, a country in Northern Europe which borders the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland, is known as one of Europe’s most spacious countries. With a territory roughly matching that of the Netherlands, it is home to only 1.3 million people. In Estonia, you are never more than a 30-minute drive away from a forest or a lake. The living environment is very clean, relaxed and safe. According to the World Health Organization, Estonia has the best overall air quality in the entire world.
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The Baltic state’s new digital nomad visa hopes to encourage foreign remote workers – especially those in tech, finance and marketing fields – to stay longer in what has been called, the Silicon Valley of Europe. To be eligible for a 1-year visa, you must prove you are employed for a company outside of Estonia and have a steady income of at least €3,504 per month. Estonia will be limiting these visas to 1,800 succesful applicants. To find out more and to apply, click here.
United Arab Emirates (Dubai)
Dubai is a connected city with a strong digital infrastructure and some of the fastest internet speeds in the world. It’s also one of the safest places in the world, with a blend of cultures from around the globe. With sandy beaches, incredible dining and world-class entertainment, you’re offered a great quality of life and a range of attractions – with world-class safety and hygiene measures.
The Dubai government announced one of the most attractive digital worker visa programmes. For as little as $287 (almost R5,000) applicants and their families could enjoy most of the benefits UAE residents have, for up to a year. For more information and to apply, visit the official website, here.
Barbados is an eastern Caribbean island and an independent British Commonwealth nation known for its tropical beaches, phenomenal surf and the birthplace of Rihanna and Rum. On June 30, 2020, the Barbados Government announced the introduction of the 12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp.
This new remote work programme establishes a visa to allow people to work remotely in Barbados for a maximum for 12 months. The visa is available to anyone who can meet the visa requirements and whose work is location independent. Applicants must have a minimum annual income of at least $50,000 (R812,000). With a price tag of $2,000 (R32,500) per remote worker. To find out more and apply, click here.
One of the most visited countries in the world, Germany is offering freelancers a long term visa programme. The German ‘Freibe Berufe’ visa is an attractive option for specifically for freelancers working in what the German authorities refer to as “liberal professions”. Liberal freelancers, according to German immigration law, are people working as freelancers in tax, business consulting, information technology, linguistics, law, scientific research and healthcare.
Also welcome are artists, who can apply for a specific artist visa to live and work in Berlin. Visas are usually granted for three months and can be converted into residence permits which can be extended for up to three years. To find out more and to apply, visit the official website. right here.
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