Where can digital nomads work? Croatia, Dubai, Estonia and tropical islands


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People working from home have more options than ever to earn a living abroad.

In addition to countries that initially opened up to remote workers last year, new destinations have launched programs to encourage workers to leave their home offices for tropical shores and year-round sunshine.

What is needed? Employment outside of intended destination (a must), proof of sufficient funds to support a long stay (usually required), medical insurance (a good idea although not mandatory) and negative Covid tests, of course . Add in handling fees and a few other superficial requirements – travelers can secure seaside workplaces until winter 2022.

Here are seven new options.

Montserrat

Tourists cannot enter Montserrat at this time, but remote workers can.

Announced on January 29, Montserrat Teleworker stamp allows travelers to live and work on the small Caribbean island for up to 12 months.

“The response to this initiative has been overwhelmingly positive,” Warren Solomon, tourism director for Montserrat, told CNBC Global Traveler. “The geographic distribution of applicants matches our major international source markets, namely the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Europe.”

Known as the Emerald Isle, Montserrat is home to the Soufriere Hills volcano, which erupted in 1995.

Westend61 | Westend61 | Getty Images

Remote workers (including freelancers and consultants) must have medical insurance and an annual income of at least $ 70,000. The fee is $ 500 for individuals – or $ 750 or more for families – to apply.

Applicants know within a week if they are approved.

One of the 14 British Overseas Territories, Montserrat is home to around 5,000 people, meaning that “everyone knows everyone”, according to the tourism site.

Teleworkers must test negative for Covid-19 and quarantine for 14 days in accommodation of their choice. Only 20 cases of Covid have been confirmed on the island to date.

“Stamps” cannot be renewed, although workers can reapply to stay for an additional year.

Bahamas

People who think they may get tired of staying on an island can enroll in the Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay program.

The new 12-month residence permit, called BEATS in short, allows remote workers and students to live and move between 16 different islands in the Bahamas, including Andros, the Exumas, Eleuthera and Paradise Island.

The Bahamas have over 700 islands and cays; telecommuters and students can live on 16 of them, including Eleuthera (pictured here).

Sylvain Sonnet | The image bank | Getty Images

Applications are processed within five days and cost $ 25 per person. Workers must provide proof of employment, while students must present proof of school enrollment and funds to cover living and travel expenses. For an additional fee, students can access the University of the Bahamas for technical support and other educational services.

If approved, the principal applicant must pay $ 1,000 and $ 500 for each accompanying dependent. Renewals are possible, for a maximum stay of three years maximum.

Travelers need a negative Covid-19 test result (no more than five days prior to arrival) to request a Bahamas Travel health visa, which is an additional requirement. As of November 1 this year, visitors no longer need to self-quarantine upon arrival.

Dubai

All nationalities can apply Dubai’s new remote work program, provided they earn $ 5,000 per month.

Travelers who are unsure of whether to commit to the program can enter Dubai on a tourist visa and then apply for the work program during their stay.

At $ 287 to apply, the fees are lower than most other programs. Applicants must have valid health insurance in the United Arab Emirates and present proof of income in the form of payslips and bank statements.

Like other programs, workers can leave and return at will, but stays can be revoked if travelers leave for six consecutive months.

Dubai is known for its modern architecture, most notably the Burj Khalifa, which at 2,700 feet tall is almost double the height of the Empire State Building.

Fraser Room | The image bank | Getty Images

Workers can hire nannies and drivers, rent cars, and enroll their children in the Dubai school system.

To enter Dubai, travelers must arrive with a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test performed no more than 72 hours before departure. Additional tests may be required upon landing, and residents of South Africa or Nigeria are currently barred from entry.

The emirate adopted tough new measures earlier this month to curb record infection rates that followed a much criticized December travel season. The rise in infections coincides with a robust vaccination campaign, in which the UAE is just behind Israel in the percentage of its population that has been vaccinated.

Mauritius

Remote workers looking for a ‘Covid-safe’ place to overcome the pandemic may consider Mauritius, according to local tourism officials in the island nation in south-eastern Africa.

The country of nearly 1.3 million people has recorded 610 cases of Covid to date, few of which have occurred in 2021.

Digital nomads and retirees keen to follow its “stringent” sanitary measures can apply for a “Premium Visa” to stay for one year, according to the country’s official tourism website. To enter, travelers must self-quarantine for two weeks and pass four Covid-19 tests.

Concierge services are planned to help digital nomads and retirees locate homes, cars, banks and phone companies, according to the official Mauritius tourism website.

Andrea Comi | instant | Getty Images

There is no charge apply, although applicants need long-term accommodation plans, travel and health insurance, and proof of sufficient funds to stay in Mauritius, which is defined as a monthly income of at least 1,500 $. Savings of $ 18,000 are sufficient, said Muhammad Muhsin Mowlabaccus of the Economic Development Board Mauritius.

The new visas, launched in November 2020, are open to residents of more than 100 countries, although travelers who have visited the UK, South Africa, Japan and Brazil in the past 15 days cannot enter before February 28.

Croatia

As expected, Croatia started welcoming digital nomads in January.

Applying to live in this popular Mediterranean coastal country is not as easy as other destinations. However, that may soon change, said Jan de Jong, president of Digital Nomad Association Croatia.

“At the moment, it is only possible to apply for a local police station in Croatia,” de Jong told CNBC. “We expect that by March… we can start accepting applications online.”

Remote workers who need a separate visa to enter Croatia can apply for the program at the nearest Croatian embassy or consulate – there are 10 in the US – but de Jong said they can also email documents to police stations in Croatia.

“Croatia has a chance to become one of the main destinations for digital nomads,” said Jan de Jong, who said workers would be drawn to its islands and coasts as well as its inland mountains, forests and landscapes. National parks.

Jorg Greuel | Stone | Getty Images

Workers also need to show they have enough money to finance their stay, but this can be proven through monthly income or savings, de Jong said.

“The minimum amount you need to have per month is 16,142.50 kuna ($ 2,590),” he said. “For digital nomads who don’t have a regular income every month, it would also be enough to show that you have enough savings for those 12 months, or around $ 31,000.”

Teleworkers should also plan to stay no longer than a year. Temporary stays for digital nomads are “granted for up to a year (maybe even less) and … cannot be extended”, says government website. Workers can reapply six months after the expiration of a previous stay.

Madeira

Madeira not only welcomes digital nomads, it hopes to form a whole community for them.

The archipelago, which is an autonomous region of Portugal located 320 miles from Morocco, is home to an initiative called Digital Nomads Madeira. The pilot program provides free workspace in the village of Ponta do Sol from February 1 to June 30.

“The workspace is capable of accommodating 30 to 40 people per day,” said Micaela Vieira, project manager at Startup Madeira, an organization working with local government to develop the program. “So far we have received over 4,800 registrations from [more than] 90 countries. “

Vieira said that more than 250 digital nomads are currently working on the island, either in free workspaces or in cafes and restaurants with free Wi-Fi.

Most come from countries in the European Union or the Schengen area, due to EU travel restrictions.

Still, it is possible for others to join through “a popular visa used by digital nomads, the D7,” Vieira said, referring to the Visa which allows non-EU citizens to obtain Portuguese residency on condition that they earn at least 7,620 euros ($ 9,250) in annual passive income (not linked to a salary).

Porto Rico

While no official program exists, Puerto Rico is open to American teleworkers who don’t want to be bothered with application forms or fees.

As an unincorporated territory of the United States, Puerto Rico allows US citizens to enter freely. They do not need a passport to visit and can even bring their pets, according to Discover Puerto Rico, the island’s official destination marketing organization.

Americans can work and live in Puerto Rico without a telecommuter visa.

Megan Vazquez / EyeEm | EyeEm | Getty Images

US travelers must show proof of a negative PCR test result to enter, but Covid testing is not required to return to the United States

The territory has several coworking spaces and hotels with packages aimed at teleworkers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considered Puerto Rico to be a Level 4 travel destination and recommend not to travel there. To date, the territory of 3 million inhabitants has confirmed more than 133,000 cases of Covid.

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