Digital nomad remote work: How much does it cost to work from another country (2022), Money News

The pandemic has magically transformed hordes of people into digital nomads. Some companies have even downsized offices to save on rent and have asked employees to work remotely permanently.

If you can’t remember what your co-workers look like in real life and you’ve become a fixture in a hip cafe or coworking space, you might be wondering if it’s time to put on a show on the road. and travel while you work.

Work remotely from another country

Is it legal? It depends on the visa you use to enter and stay in the country.

If you only want to stay in the country for a few weeks or months, entering as a tourist will allow you to work and travel without being subject to income tax. The Singaporean passport allows you to enter most countries without a visa, but be sure to check how long you are allowed to stay.

But what if you want to stay longer or even permanently? Some countries have a non-work or non-profit visa that allows you to stay without working there. You usually need to show that you have enough funds to stay for the duration of your visa. You won’t be considered a tax resident, so you’ll still be paying tax in Singapore, which is great because we’re practically a tax haven.

That said, rules can vary from visa to visa, so be sure to check with the embassy when applying to make sure you can work remotely and that you will be tax-free. Some countries won’t let you work at all, while others are fine as long as your employer or clients aren’t there.

Another option is to get a digital nomad visa or another visa that allows you to work remotely in the country. More and more countries, especially in Europe, now offer such visas, which may or may not be renewable after about a year.

The downside is that you will have to pay taxes in the country after spending some time there, and if you are not self-employed you will need to discuss the move with your employer, as CPF contributions may no longer be compulsory.

In which countries can I travel and stay long term?

This is a very personal choice and depends on the length of your stay and where you want to go.

For longer stays, choosing a place with the lowest cost of living is obviously a wise decision. Look outside the major capitals and you will find that the cost of living drops instantly, even in the so-called expensive countries of Western Europe. You can use Numbeo to compare the cost of living between cities.

READ ALSO: What it’s like to travel to Paris during the pandemic

If you are staying long-term, you might even consider buying a house if there are no restrictions on foreigners acquiring property. Just be aware that you will have to sell it if you later decide to buy an HDB apartment in Singapore. But that’s a whole other story and is beyond the scope of this article.

Here are some countries where you test the lifestyle of digital nomads:

  • Indonesia – 60 days (renewable up to six months) on the single entry B211 Visitor e-Visa
  • Thailand — 90 days (can be renewed twice for 90 days each) on the long-stay/special tourist visa
  • Malaysia — 30 Day Visa Free Entry
  • Vietnam — 30 days visa-free entry
  • Croatia – up to one year (non-renewable) on Digital Nomad Visa, must have an income of at least €2,232 (S$3,336) per month or €26,790 for 12 months.
  • Estonia – up to one year on Digital Nomad Visa, must have a monthly income of at least 3,504 euros
  • Germany – three months (renewable up to three years) on visa for freelancers and self-employed, must have own income
  • Malta – up to one year (renewable) on Digital Nomad Visa, must have an income of 2,700 euros per month
  • Romania – up to one year (renewable) on Digital Nomad Visa, must have an income of 3,300 euros per month

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Europe seems to be ahead of the game when it comes to offering digital nomad visas. If you prefer tropical beaches, the proximity to Southeast Asian countries makes them viable even on a tourist visa.

Where to live as a digital nomad?

There are two types of digital nomads: those eager to hang out with kindred spirits in coworking spaces and those who only work in their pajamas.

If you’re the first and the idea of ​​”co-living” doesn’t sound like a nightmare, a fool-proof option is to seek out a co-working space with accommodation attached or nearby. This option is usually available in cities with swarms of digital nomads like Bali or Chiang Mai. Just be aware that co-living usually means you’re renting a room in a shared space, so you’ll likely have to share amenities like the bathroom and kitchen.

Co-living and co-working will cost more than just renting basic accommodation and working in cafes, but everything is done for you, from cleaning to setting up your workspace, and you have access to facilities such as swimming pools. Plus, you’re plugged into the expat bubble community, if that’s your thing.

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Let’s take Bali as an example to see how much it will cost you to work remotely as a digital nomad:









A common workspace

Shared office price

Co-living price

Canggu Outpost

From $49 ($65.58) per month (up to 25 hours)

Yes, from $19 per night (up to 2 people)

Dojo Bali Canggu

From 70,000 Indonesian rupiah (S$6.59) per month (up to 30 hours)

Yes, from 1140 USD per month

Hub Bali Legian

1,000,000 Indonesian rupiah per month

Yes, from 10,000,000 Indonesian rupiah per month

Biliq Seminyak

1,600,000 Indonesian rupiah per month

1,900,000 Indonesian rupiah per month

The bustle of Bali in Kuta

1,500,000 Indonesian rupiah per month

5,400,000 Indonesian rupiah per month (studio)

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What if you could do without the chic coworking space and cocktail bar on site? If you’re only visiting for a month or two, honestly your best bet would be to just check into an Airbnb or guesthouse with a good wifi connection.

For example, at the family-run Pariliana guesthouse in Ubud, Bali, prices start from 20 euros per night for a stay for up to two people in a private room with private bathroom (no nonsense about co-living). And you can work in the common areas, use the kitchen, and connect to their wifi without having to pay coworking fees.

Documents to prepare if you are traveling (long stay)

If you are applying for a digital nomad or long-stay visa, you will likely need to do so at your destination country’s embassy in Singapore. The embassy (or its website) will advise you on the documents to provide. Some countries will also require you to find accommodation first before issuing the visa.

Before departure, ensure that you have had your proof of vaccination validated and converted into a vaccination pass, if applicable, in your destination country. For example, if you are traveling to the EU, you will need to obtain a pass for vaccines online before departure, otherwise you may find yourself barred from entering restaurants, museums, etc.

Finally, check the Covid-19 testing requirements so you can stock up on ART tests and know which PCR tests you need to book before departure and on arrival.

Do I need long stay travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage?

Some countries, but not all, require you to have insurance with Covid-19 coverage. For example, there are no insurance requirements when visiting Bali or the rest of Indonesia.

But for your own safety, you’ll want to make sure you have solid travel insurance (for stays up to 90 days). You will congratulate yourself if you test positive for Covid-19 and are not allowed to board the plane, as your travel insurance will cover the cost of your ticket. Compare travel insurance plans and prices here.

You should also ensure that you are covered by health insurance once the 90 days have passed and your travel insurance has expired, either through an international health insurance plan or the security system. social of the country.

READ ALSO: AIA is one of the biggest insurance companies in Singapore, but is their travel insurance worth it?

This article was first published in MoneySmart.

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