Working remotely has become a new reality for many people. But working remotely doesn’t necessarily mean working from home. Luckily, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the implementation of special long-term visa policies that allow people to work remotely from abroad. These new initiatives represent a big advantage not only for digital nomads and freelancers, but also for the issuing countries as they help revive their economy, especially their tourism industry. Do you want to live and work from a Caribbean island or with a view of the aurora borealis? Keep reading… Here are 6 countries that offer temporary stay options for remote workers.
1. Aruba – One Happy Workation
Aruba has created an initiative called “One Happy Workation” that allows citizens from the U.S. to stay and work on the island from a minimum of one week up to 90 days. The initiative was created in partnership with local resorts and hotels. The good news is that you won’t need to provide bank statements or bank account information. However, you won’t be allowed to work for any companies based in Aruba, meaning that you must be either self-employed or employed from a company outside of Aruba. The One Happy Workation is not an actual visa, but a program with special package deals. This means that you won’t have to spend time on paperworks, nor pay any extra fees associated with the program. Packages include private villas, condos, resorts, studios, and more with high speed Wi-Fi and all amenities you need to enjoy your workation on the island!
2. Australia – First Working Holiday Visa
Australia issues a visa called First Working Holiday Visa, which enables digital workers to spend one entire year in the country with the possibility to apply for an extension. If you decide to perform 3 months of specified work, you’ll have the opportunity to apply for a Second Working Holiday Visa and prolong your stay up to 24 months in total. The visa allows you to work from Australia, study there for up to 4 months, and travel to and from Australia as many times as you want. However, not everybody can apply. To be considered eligible, you need to be between 18 and 35 years old and provide a passport from an eligible country. If you come from Canada, France or Ireland, you can be up to 35 years old. Additionally, you cannot be accompanied by any dependent children. You must also show proof of income. Both the First Working Visa and the Second Working Visa have a cost of respectively 485 AUD per person.
3. Costa Rica – “Digital nomads” visa
In August 2021, Costa Rica passed a law to issue visas to digital nomads. The law, which came into force in September 2021, allows foreign nationals to experience the “pura vida” lifestyle by working and living there for one year. The visa can be extended for an additional year. However, to be eligible, you have to show proof of a stable monthly salary equal to or greater than US$3,000. Moreover, you have to work for a foreign legal entity and you are not allowed to be remunerated by any company in Costa Rica. The good news is that you are allowed to bring your family too! You can request a visa for your partner, your kids (under 25 years old), or any elderly adult who lives with you… But in this case, your monthly income must be US$4,000 or higher. You (and family members traveling with you) will also need to have private health insurance coverage for your entire stay in Costa Rica.
4. Croatia – Temporary stay for digital nomads
In January 2021, Croatia established a digital nomad temporary stay program. The Croatian law defines a digital nomad as “a third-country national who is employed or performs work through communication technology for a company or his own company that is not registered in the Republic of Croatia and does not perform work or provide services to employers in the Republic of Croatia.” If you fall into this group, you’ll be able to temporarily stay in the country for up to a year. Close family members may join you. However, during the application process you will need to provide birth certificates for children and a marriage certificate or prove that you are in a common-law marriage. The application process and fees differ, depending on whether you are or aren’t required to hold a visa to enter the Republic of Croatia. In any case, you’ll need to provide health insurance as well as proof of means of subsistence throughout your entire stay.
5. Iceland – Long term visa for non EU/EEA remote workers
If beaches and warm weather are not for you, then why don’t you move to Iceland? Back in October 2020, the country started issuing special remote work visas for self-employed remote workers or workers employed by companies based outside of Iceland. If you are eligible, you will have the opportunity to experience Iceland for up to 180 days! To be eligible, you must provide proof of employment, income, as well as health insurance. Additionally, you have to hold a passport from a country outside the EU/EEA/EFTA and be a visa-exempt traveler. A list of countries with visa exemptions for Iceland can be found here. The visa processing fee has a cost of US$60.