Global Workplace Analytics tells us that 30% of the world’s workforce will be working from home at least three days a week by the end of 2021. It’s also true that many people that have a digital career have requested to work from home indefinitely.
So why not change your outlook, boost your creativity and work abroad, not from home, by jetting off to one of the countries where you can be a digital nomad. Now let’s have a look at where you can go.
Remote Work Programs
Remote working programs are not new, but before March 2020 there were 90-day extended visas. COVID-19 hit the tourism industry so hard that something had to be done, predominantly for countries that rely on tourism for their income.
Economic difficulties accelerated the nomad program. Forward-thinking countries realized that at the peak of the pandemic they had non-residents stranded that could not leave as well as applicants looking to get away from countries and cities where the R rate was increasing. So, to avoid an economic disaster, certain countries have made visas available.
With this in mind, the remote work program turned into a digital nomad visa. Let’s look specifically at the countries offering the work abroad, not from home, visas.
On the 24th July Barbados implemented a 12-month Welcome Stamp Plan. To qualify for the visa, you will be required to pay a fee of $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a family plan as well as have an annual income of at least $50,000.
If you’re successful, you must arrive with full health insurance, and if you are a student you must have evidence of enrolment in an up-to-date collegiate program.
These specifications seem fair when you consider what you get in return, sunshine, fresh air and beautiful scenery and a much more relaxed pace of life.
Work from Bermuda Certificate
Bermuda is a popular destination for Americans and those seeking a relaxing vacation. Now Bermuda is offering a nomad visa for up to 12 months; the government website states that they “look forward to welcoming remote workers, self-employed digital nomads and university students engaged in remote learning to our shores”.
This is great news for nomads planning to live in Bermuda, considering the fee is just $263.00 with no specific income required. Applications are being considered right now, so it seems like there’s no better time to apply! But before you do make sure you have the relevant healthcare insurance.
Mexico’s Temporary Resident Visa
A Mexico temporary resident visa gives you the right to remain for a year. After that, you can renew it annually for up to another 3 years – truly a home from home.
Mexico asks that you have a monthly income of over $1,620 and you can show this over the last 6 months or that you have cash assets of up to $27,000. This makes Mexico a reasonably cheap alternative to the west indies which leaves more money to be spent on the more luxurious things in life.
The 26 Schengen countries that offer a visa are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece. Along with Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway and Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland – great choice.
Schengen countries give you an automatic 90-day visa. If you wish to apply for a nomad visa, each country has its own rules and regulations. For instance, if you’re considering working in Germany, after 90 days you will require a Freiberufler Visa to work in Berlin.
German Freelance (Freiberufler) Visa
The Freiberufler Visa is only available to freelancers whose work is considered ‘liberal’ (creative) versus a work from home, commercial profession. One the few occasions where being creative pays off. While there are no financial restrictions, you will have to pay taxes to the German government.
Spain’s Self Employment Visa
Spain offers an excellent choice for those who are self-employed and as digital nomads tend to be self-employed freelancers, this explains why Spain could be such a great option.
Spain’s self-employment visa will grant you up to a year’s stay. When applying, there are some requirements, and you must be able to support yourself for a year or have sufficient funds to allow you to live without government support.
Just like most countries in Europe, you must pass a background check, once passed, you can join the increasing amounts of digital nomads in Ibiza or Barcelona. Just imagine working while sipping on some sangria just a short stroll from the beach…certainly beats the typical 9-5.
Arrival in any of the locations but especially the west indies – Barbados and Bermuda – require the implementation of strict protocol upon arrival. COVID-19 tests are required before you leave home and on arrival. 14 days quarantine is statutory as this means the islands can control the spread of the virus and maintain the quality of life for everyone.
Traveling anywhere requires consideration, travel restrictions are in place, and you should double-check before applying. Depending on the country and application, you might have to provide proof of address, current health records, and be prepared to allow criminal background checks.
Do all of that and the world is yours to enjoy. Being a digital nomad is no longer a dream but a reality.