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While over the past decade or so, working from home has steadily gained in popularity around the world, for employees working in the tech industry or for large multinationals, COVID-19 has taken it one step further. Homeworking has been extended to all industries and all sizes of businesses, and forced experience has shown that homeworking can in some cases be the rule rather than the exception.
After being confined or at least severely restricted in their movements, entrepreneurs and employees are now putting themselves forward and trying to reconcile the work they do and the place in which they want to live, at least for a little while.
In this context, it is logical to note that since 2020, many countries have created a new type of visa often called “digital nomad visa” allowing these entrepreneurs and employees to work from a country other than their country of nationality and also other than the country where their business or employer is based, as a means of supporting tourism and economic stimulation. Countries offering digital nomadic visas are often attractive residency bases for a number of reasons such as low cost of living and warm climates.
“Digital nomadic visas” go by many different names, for example “remote visa” or “freelance visa”. This is a booming visa flow that combines the advantages of working remotely with the advantage of living abroad. A digital nomad visa allows the individual the legal right to work remotely in a country other than their country of nationality or the country where their company or employer is based. This type of remote work allows individuals to live in a country with a lower cost of living, thereby saving more on their income. Some nomadic visas also allow foreigners to subsequently acquire temporary or even permanent residence in the country where they work.
Holders of digital nomadic visas typically hold a position that gives them the freedom to work regardless of location. While this job description has traditionally been understood as freelancers or entrepreneurs, a growing number of professions have now allowed remote work since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Typical or traditional ‘office jobs’ have now been adapted to more flexible remote working options, and employees and job seekers are also placing more emphasis on flexible workplaces and better balance. between professional and private life. Thus, it is not surprising that the concept of digital nomadic visa has seen a resurgence of interest.
Currently there are around 28 locations that offer some form of digital nomad visa.
Harvey Law Group has provided an easy reference table with hyperlinks to the relevant official sources below:
Present and future impacts
Following this trend, other countries, from Central America to Europe, via Africa and Asia, are also exploring or soon opening digital nomadic visa flows. Several countries with upcoming visa plans include Belize, Costa Rica, Greece, Indonesia, North Macedonia, Romania, Thailand, South Africa, and Sri Lanka.
As the concept of “working from home” has become ubiquitous, the “digital nomad visa” has also grown in popularity. As such, Harvey Law Group anticipates digital nomadic visas as an alternative to explore for people seeking to immigrate, travel or work abroad.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.
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