Countries granting visas to remote workers during the Covid-19 pandemic


Always wanted to live abroad? Now, this might be your best chance.

More countries are urging travelers to trade in their headquarters for the opportunity to live and work abroad during the pandemic.

Stanford University economist Nicholas Bloom estimates 42% of the US workforce now works from home full time. And workers might not be returning to the office anytime soon.

As the pandemic progresses and companies like Facebook announce that employees don’t need to return to the office until mid-2021 (or never in the case of Twitter), some countries are moving away from traditional tourism models that rely on them. on a short-term flow. visitors in favor of fewer travelers willing to stay longer.

These destinations are attracting this new batch of ‘digital nomads’ with low Covid-19 rates, a drop in the cost of living and a slower, more relaxed pace of life.

Home office or paradise island?

From August 21, teleworkers can apply live and work on the 35 square mile island of Anguilla, a British overseas territory which has so far only recorded three cases of Covid-19.

A press release issued by the Anguilla Tourist Board on August 19 quoted Kenroy Herbert, the chairman of the board, saying that the territory “is targeting a new clientele that we call digital nomads, who will come to work remotely from Anguilla with extended stay visas “.

The Altamer Resort in Anguilla covers government traveler’s fees as part of its Digital Nomad package, which starts at $ 2,000 per week.

Jay Stearns, Monument Photography

Priority to enter Anguilla is given to applicants from “low risk” countries, defined as those with an infection rate below 0.2%, as well as long-stay travelers.

A stay of less than three months costs $ 1,000 for individuals and $ 1,500 for a family of four. The entrance fee, which doubles for longer stays, covers two Covid-19 tests, a digital work permit and other fees.

Unlike other destinations, Anguilla only requires a “brief description” of the type of work that will be done there.

Travelers who apply for new one-year work visas Barbados find out within five working days if their visa application is confirmed.

12-month Barbados welcome stamp costs $ 2,000 for individuals and $ 3,000 for families

Abstract aerial art | Digital vision | Getty Images

The visa, or “12-months Barbados Welcome Stamp,” was issued on June 30. As of this week, more than 1,350 applications have been submitted, 40% of which are from US residents. The visa is valid for 12 months from the date of arrival, and holders can leave and re-enter the island during this period.

“All we got from Covid is uncertainty,” Prime Minister Mia Mottley said in an interview with Sky News. “We can give you the certainty for the next 12 months that you can come and… work from here.”

There is free Wi-Fi throughout the island, including restaurants, cafes, public libraries, and public parks. Visa holders can send their children to private schools or pay a small stipend to attend a state-owned public school.

Bermuda appeals to those working in cramped home offices by touting its pink beaches, crystal clear waters and 18 miles of walking trails as reasons to apply for its new “Work from Home” certificate.

Certificates to work or study remotely in Bermuda are valid for 12 months.

Jared Kay | 500px Prime | Getty Images

Applications cost $ 263 per person, and travelers must be employed by a business outside of Bermuda, enrolled as a student in a college-level program, or demonstrate “substantial means” or ongoing annual income.

“These visitors can reside in Bermuda… and will promote economic activity in our country without moving Bermuda into the workforce,” Labor Minister Jason Hayward said in a parliamentary address.

Family members and pets (the latter, with valid import permits) are welcome, and children can attend public or private schools in Bermuda. The application website includes booking information for beachfront villas, electric cars and co-working spaces.

Europe or the Caucasus for a year?

Remote workers from 95 countries, including the United States, can apply to live and work in the country of Georgia.

Announced mid-July, around 2,700 applications was recorded on August 5, although the program, called “Remote from Georgia”, was not officially launched until later that month. It allows workers to stay in Georgia for at least 360 days without a visa.

Travelers must have a minimum monthly salary of $ 2,000 and agree to undergo a 12-day quarantine in a hotel at their own expense upon entry.

Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, sits near the crossroads of Europe and Asia and is known for its low cost of living.

Tanatat Pongphibool, Thailand | instant | Getty Images

The Caucasus nation cites its low Covid-19 infection as an attempt to attract remote workers to the program, although cases have increased dramatically this month. Just under half of the country’s total infections – more than 1,300 cases – have been recorded in the past two weeks.

Estonia launched a 12 month period Digital nomad visa last month that may seem like a response to the pandemic, but the program has been in the works for years.

Known as one of the most advanced digital companies in the world, the Baltic nation – which has earned the nickname of E-stonia – has not made the visa process as user-friendly as others. Applications must be submitted via appointment at an Estonian embassy or consulate and take 30 days to be reviewed.

Estonia combines technological progress with medieval architecture like the Saint Catherine’s Passage in the capital Tallinn.

Thomas Roche | instant | Getty Images

Applicants must also show monthly income greater than € 3,504 ($ 4,152) for the previous six months.

The new visas cannot be used to circumvent Estonia’s border restrictions. Currently, only residents of the EU, the Schengen zone, the United Kingdom and a limited group of approved countries, such as Australia, Canada, Japan, and South Korea, can apply.

Which country is next?

Last month, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic suggested the country would welcome digital nomads soon.

In a Twitter post on August 26, he said Croatia would be “one of the first countries in the world” to legally regulate the stay of digital nomads.

The post included a photo of Plenkovic with Dutch entrepreneur Jan de Jong, who posted a open letter to the Prime Minister on LinkedIn two months ago, calling for the creation of digital nomadic visas in Croatia.

The letter led to the meeting, and de Jong, who has lived in Croatia for 14 years, is now working with the Croatian government to create the new visas.

“There is still a lot of work to be done, but we aim to complete this whole process… so that Croatia can start welcoming the first digital nomads in 2021,” de Jong told CNBC.


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