With the popularization of remote work after the spread of COVID-19 a few countries have started to offer mid-long term residence visas to attract those professionals who can work remotely, from wherever they want, and will wish to do it so from different locations that better fit their lifestyle preference.
The idea of working remotely from exotic, great weather places is not new; it has been around since many years ago with the booming of digital nomads, especially in some attractive locations offering a mix of great weather, beaches, cheaper prices and a reliable internet connection to a growing digital nomad community to work remotely. Among other hot digital nomads locations we have Bali, Chiang Mai, Lisbon or Medellin.
Now more countries want to get ready to attract the new wave of remote working professionals -that include established professionals working for top companies that have embraced remote work that could tend to have a higher buying power- who although at this time could be facing constraints to travel due to COVID-19, once the pandemic is controlled, they could be willing to give a try to live and work (at least for a while) somewhere else.
I did a poll asking about “being open to work remotely from a country offering remote work visas” if given the possibility to do it so once COVID-19 is under control: From the +200 answers, 56% said that they would like to give a try, while 23% said they preferred to stay at home, in some cases mentioning the challenges to do so with kids.
If you’re one of that majority who is now open to work from abroad, here’s a list of countries that are now offering long-term, usually 1 year visas to remote workers for living and working legally for their employer or their own company registered abroad:
Estonia is offering a Digital Nomad Visa for remote workers from outside the country and the EU, that allows remote workers -whether working as freelancers or for foreign companies- to live and work in Estonia legally for up to 1 year. The applications are reviewed within 30 days.
- Applicants must be remote workers.
- The gross monthly income of the applicants must be €3504 (tax inclusive).
- Applicants must be able to perform their work duties using telecommunications technology.
- Lastly, applicants must have an active employment contract with a company registered outside of Estonia. Check out the detailed FAQ here.
How to Apply
- Remote workers must comply with the eligibility requirements.
- Applicants must complete the online Digital Nomad Visa application form, then print it and sign it.
- Note that the state fee for a short stay visa is €80 and €100 for a long-stay visa.
- Submit application with the copies of required documents at your nearest Estonian Embassy or Consulate.
Need a complete change of scenery and love the idea to live in the Caribbean? The beautiful island of Barbados has introduced a special visa for remote workers who want to work, live, and enjoy life in Barbados legally (as long as you work remotely for companies and individuals not registered in Barbados). The new 12 months Barbados Welcome Stamp (time that that can be expanded) will allow remote workers and their family to relocate and work from sunny and safe Barbados.
- Candidates applying for the special visa must show proof of work.
- Applicants must be able to complete their work duties via the internet.
- Lastly, people who are applying must be able to afford the expenses in Barbados.
How to Apply
- Applicants must submit a passport size photograph, biodata page of the passport, and proof of relationship with family members if anyone is tagging along.
- Candidates must be over 18 and fill the online application form.
- Upon approval, individuals will have to pay US $2,000, and families will be charged $3,000.
Work and live by the beach… or the desert if you want, by applying to Dubai’s new one-year virtual working program. Dubai is offering a great chance to all the remote workers for enjoying the sun everyday while working in one of the safest and most dynamic cities in the world.
Dubai’s one-year virtual working program gives remote workers from any nationality the freedom to stay in Dubai alone or with family while working remotely, in a similar manner to residents, with access to day to day services, and option to send your kids to Dubai’s schools.
- Candidates must have a passport with a minimum of six months validity.
- Applicants must have health insurance with UAE coverage validity.
- Proof of Employment and a minimum of USD 5,000 per-month income.
How to Apply
- Check-off all the eligibility requirements and fill the online contact form so that the host can contact you.
Located at the intersection of Europe and Asia, Georgia is a breathtaking destination whose tourism had boomed in recent years. Georgia has now introduced their special remote work visas under the name “Remotely from Georgia”, allowing foreign citizens from 95 countries to live and work in Georgia for a year.
Remotely from Georgia program is specifically designed for full-time remote workers, freelancers, and business owners who are looking forward to changing their work environment during the harsh days of COVID-19.
Remote workers, freelancers, or business owners who want to stay for at least 180 days in Georgia and have earnings of at least US$2,000 per month are welcome to apply for this program.
- Candidates must prove their financial ability to pay taxes in Georgia.
- Applicants must have a minimum monthly salary of US$2,000.
- Remote workers must be willing to stay in Georgia for at least 180 days.
How to Apply
- Applicants must fill out the Remotely from Georgia online application form.
- The online application must be filled personally.
- Candidates must show all the required documents and pass the eligibility checks.
Bermuda is a safe, beautiful, welcoming, friendly Caribbean country looking to attract remote working professionals with their “Work From Bermuda” certificate, allowing professionals and students to work and study remotely from the island.
Remote workers can apply for the residential certificate to become a long-term visitor in Bermuda, including also their family. Being a residential certificate holder of Bermuda means that remote workers can enjoy the vibrant culture, unique hospitality, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences in Bermuda, while having access to day to day services as another resident of Bermuda. It’s important to note how in terms of earnings, there isn’t a minimum requirement in this case to apply and after applying, remote workers will receive an answer in just 5 business days.
- Candidates must be at least 18 years old and be eligible to pay the application fee of US$263.
- Applicants must not have been convicted of a crime.
- Must possess valid health insurance coverage.
- Demonstrate employment proof with a legitimate company or enrollment in research, undergraduate work, etc.
- Lastly, applicants must have a continuous source of income.
How to Apply
- The applying process is simple, remote workers just need to fill in the online application form for Bermuda Certificate.
- The application process requires candidates to fill the form with valid information.
- Supporting documents required in the application form must be in English.
- Color scan of visa information and passport photo page is also required.
6. Greece 
Like other touristic countries, Greece is also looking forward to welcoming remote workers with a program they’ll introduce in 2021, that will offer tax incentives for “digital migrants” looking to move there: “A worker from abroad who moves to Greece will be eligible for a 50% exemption on income earned here for seven years under the plan”, said Alex Patelis, from the Greek government. This program will not only be available for foreign professionals but also companies looking to relocate workers to the country.
There won’t be restrictions based on the income level or work types to apply for the visa. Greece is really looking to attract back around 800,000 Greeks who left during the financial crisis.
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