Whereas over the past decade or so, work from home arrangements have been slowly gaining in popularity throughout the world, for employees working in the tech industry or for major multinationals, COVID-19 has taken this a step further. Work from home has been extended to all industries and sizes of businesses, and the forced experience has shown that work from home can in some cases be the rule rather than the exception.
After having been in lock-down or at least having their movements severely restrained, entrepreneurs and employees alike are now putting forward and trying to reconcile the work they do and the location in which they wish to live, at least for a little while.
In this context, it is only logical to note that since 2020, many countries have created a new type of visa often called “digital-nomad visa” allowing those entrepreneurs and employees to work from a country other than their country of nationality and also other that the country where their business or employer is based, as a means to support tourism and economic stimulation. Countries offering digital nomad visas are often attractive residence bases for a number of reasons such as low costs of living and warm climates.
“Digital-nomad visas” go by many different names, for instance “remote visas”, or “freelancer visas”. This is a burgeoning visa stream that combines the perks of working remotely with the bonus 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 country where they business or employer is based. This type of remote work affords individuals to live in a country with a lower cost of living, thus saving more from their earnings. Certain nomad visas also allow foreigners to acquire temporary or even permanent residency afterward in the country where they are working.
Holders of digital-nomad visas typically hold a job position that allows them the freedom to work independent of location. While that job description may have traditionally been understood as freelancers or contractors, a growing number of professions now allow remote work since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Typical or traditional ‘office positions’ have now been adapted to more flexible remote work options, and employees and job seekers are also placing a higher emphasis on flexibility of work locations, and a greater work-life balance. Thus, it is no surprise that the concept of digital-nomad visas has experienced a surge of interest.
Currently, there are roughly 28 places that offer a form of a Digital-Nomad Visa.
Harvey Law Group has provided an easy reference table with hyperlinks to the relevant official sources below:
|Cabo Verde||Remote Working Cabo Verde|
|Mauritius||Mauritius Premium Travel Visa|
|Seychelles||Seychelles Workcation Program|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Nomad-Digital Residence Visa|
|Aruba||One Happy Workcation|
|Bahamas||Extended Access Travel Stay (BEATS)|
|Barbados||Barbados Welcome Stamp|
|Bermuda||One Year Residency Certificate Policy|
|Cayman Islands||Global Citizen Concierge Program|
|Curaçao||@HOME in Curaçao|
|Dominica||WIN (Work In Nature)|
|Mexico||Temporary Resident Visa|
|Montserrat||Monserrat Remote Work Stamp|
|Iceland||Work in Iceland Visa|
|Sri Lanka||Digital-Nomad Visa|
|Andorra||D.1.2. Residència per a professionals amb projecció internacional|
|Croatia||Digital Nomad Visa|
|Czech Republic||Zivno Visa|
|Germany||Aufenthaltserlaubnis für selbständige Tätigkeit (Freelancer visa)|
|Greece||Skilled Digital Nomads|
|Malta||Nomad Residency Permit|
|Norway||Independent Contractor Visa|
|Romania||Digital Nomad Visa|
|Spain||Self-Employment Work Visa|
|Dubai, UAE||1-year Virtual Working Program|
|Australia||Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417)|
Present and Future Impacts
Following this trend, other countries from Central America to Europe, to Africa and Asia are also exploring or opening digital nomad visa streams shortly. Several countries with forthcoming visa plans include Belize, Costa Rica, Greece, Indonesia, North Macedonia, Romania, Thailand, South Africa, and Sri Lanka.
As the concept of ‘work from home’ has become ubiquitous, the “digital nomad visa” has also grown in popularity. As such, Harvey Law Group foresees that digital nomad visas as an alternative avenue to explore for individuals seeking immigration, travel or work abroad.
About Harvey Law Group (HLG)
Harvey Law Group (HLG) is a leading multinational law firm headquartered in Hong Kong. Founded in 1992 by Jean-François Harvey, HLG has an impressive track record and deep sector expertise in immigration law. The HLG team provides legal and advisory services to individuals and families on immigration, residency and citizenship, as well as a comprehensive range of business services for international corporations across multiple jurisdictions in Asia, North and South America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. HLG has a presence is over 20 countries. HLG is a Foreign Law Firm registered with the Law Society of Hong Kong. Its lawyers are qualified and registered in various jurisdictions including, Québec and Ontario Bars in Canada, England & Wales, France, Thailand, Vietnam, and Grenada. https://harveylawcorporation.com/
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