Key Highlights

  • Global hotspots open for digital nomads
  • Countries shifting marketing from short-term tourism models to working travelers wanting extended stays

Want to Live and Work Abroad?

Global hotspots have been opening their doors to digital nomads. As early as last August, Nicholas Bloom, a Stanford Universityeconomist, estimated that 42% of the US labor force was working from home on a full-time basis.  Even if that estimate is just semi-accurate, countries around the world want a piece of that remote working action to help boost their economies.

First Countries to Jump On Board with Digital Nomad

The US territory of Puerto Rico has been offering the easiest access to American remote workers.  No application forms or fees or even passports are required.  Its “Discover Puerto Rico” also welcomes US pets (as we know since Tim and Julie’s two French bulldogs are enjoying life in San Juan.)  Although the CDC is recommending against traveling to Puerto Rico due to the territory’s high rate of COVID cases, travelers only need to show proof of a negative PCR test result.  No such negative tests are required to return to the US.

The British overseas territory of Anguilla invited digital nomads to its 35-square-mile island in late August of last year.  The country requires only a “brief description” of the type of work one does plus a nominal fee ($1,000 for individuals and $1,500 for a family of four for a stay under 3 months and double for longer stays) that covers COVID tests, a digital work permit and other costs.

Barbados established a  “12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp” in June.  Applicants know within 5 working days whether or not their yearlong visa requests are confirmed.

Bermuda opened its pink beaches and crystal waters with its “Work from Home” certificate to digital families, pets and students who don’t displace “Bermudians in the workforce.” Applications for this yearlong work visa cost $263/person.

Applications to live and work in Georgia for at least 360 days without a visa are available to remote workers via its “Remotely from Georgia” program.  Estonia, one of the most advanced digital societies in the world, launched its Digital Nomad Visa” on top of its already existing international work program.

Latest Travel Hotspots Now Welcoming Remote Workers

The seven countries now opening their doors to remote workers all require remote work verification, proof of sufficient funds to support a long-term stay, medical insurance, negative COVID tests and variable-cost application fees and other token requirements.

Montserrat has opened its gorgeous Caribbean island to remote workers, though not tourists yet, for up to 12 months via its “Montserrat Remote Workers Stamp.”  Sixteen different islands in The Bahamas now offer its “Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay” program, also called BEATS, to both remote workers and students for up to one year.  One benefit of this program is that renewals are possible for maximum stays of up to three years.

Dubai’s new “Remote Working Program” is open to travelers both certain and uncertain about committing to the program. Those uncertain about making the commitment can enter Dubai on a tourist visa and then apply for the work program during their stay.  Applicants must have health insurance valid in the United Arab Emirates and show proof of income for $5,000/month.

The island of Mauritius southeast of Africa has instituted its “Premium Visa” program to remote workers and retirees for a one-year stay.  Health measures are a bit stiffer in this island nation but financial requirements are a bit looser.  Applicants must have a monthly income of $1,500 and/or a savings of $18,000.

Madeira, an autonomous region of Portugal just 320 miles from Morocco, is doing more than just opening its doors to digital nomads…it is hoping to establish an entire community for them.  This initiative is called “Digital Nomads Madeira.”

Croatia opened its popular Mediterranean coastal doors in January of this year to digital nomads.  Currently, applicants must apply for the “Digital Nomad Association Croatia” at one of 10 Croatian embassies or consulates in the US or via email to police stations in Croatia.  The government expects that by the end of March, “we can start accepting online applications.”  Double check on this one.


Thanks to CNBC.


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