From what most of us know, working remotely during the pandemic was the equivalent of working from home. Not quite as exotic as one would expect.
However, many might already be marveling at their post pandemic future working remotely from all over the world.
There are many reasons that make the idea appealing. Most remote work destinations have good weather and scenic beauty since they often are also top tourist locations. Working as a digital nomad also often means being exposed to a less stressful working environment, no need to commute or dress up and more flexibility in general.
Legal difficulties for digital nomads
One would however take into consideration the compliance of working in a country other than the one where your company is located. Foreign nationals are technically not permitted to work remotely without a valid visa, which leads to digital nomads being exposed to a number of potential legal issues.
Since the employer is based outside the country in which the digital nomad is working, gray areas might arise when it comes to questions such as where the employee should pay his/her taxes.
Remote working visas
Many countries are seeing an opportunity in attracting a remote workforce. In most cases, digital nomads are established professionals that work for top companies that embrace a remote work approach. These professionals are likely to have a higher buying power, supporting the local community as well as tourism.
To not miss out on digital nomads, more and more countries have open their doors to remote workers from all over the globe by for instance improving their internet setup, making sure that an essential as a stable connection is a given for employers but also, most importantly by offering mid-long term residence visas or remote work visas, making this approach more compliant and less risky.
Top 5 countries in 2021 that offer a remote work visa
Already in 2014, Estonia introduced the e-Residency scheme, allowing foreigners to become legal residents without a physical presence in the country and thereby access to banking services, payment processing, company formation as well as taxation.
From August 2020 however, it is also offering a Digital Nomad Visa (DNV) for remote workers from outside the country and even outside the EU, which allows workers to live in Estonia legally for up to a year, no matter if freelancers or while working for foreign companies.
But who is eligible to apply for a DNV?
- Applicants must be remote workers
- The gross monthly income of the applicants must be 3504EUR, including tax.
- Applicants must be able to perform their work duties using telecommunications technology.
- Applicants must have an active employment contract with a company registered outside of Estonia.
Find out more details on applying for a DNV in Estonia.
Since July 2020, the island of Barbados has introduced a visa for remote workers allowing them to legally work and live there for 12 months with a possibility to extend together with their family.
In order to access this visa, candidates must
- show proof of work.
- be able to complete their work duties via the internet.
- must be able to afford the expenses in Barbados.
As an applicant, you will also have to pay a fee of $2,000 as an individual and $3,000 for a family within 28 days of stamp approval.
During the 12-month stay the holder of the stamp will not be liable for any local income tax.
Find out more details on applying to the Barbados Welcome Stamp.
Dubai offers a one year virtual working program giving remote workers from all over the world the opportunity to stay by themselves or with their family while working. The participants of this program will have access to day to day services and will also be able to send their children to Dubai’s schools.
In order to be eligible, candidates must hold a valid passport, a health insurance with UAE coverage validity, proof of Employment and a minimum of $5,000 monthly income.
Find out more details on applying for the one-year virtual working program.
Since August 2020, “Remotely from Georgia”, a new state programme allows foreign citizens from 95 countries to travel to and work remotely from Georgia for at least 180 days.
This program is designed for full-time remote workers, freelancers as well as business owners that are able to prove their financial ability to pay taxes in Georgia and a minimum monthly salary of $2,000. Digital nomads will also have to be willing to stay in Georgia for at least 180 days.
Find out more details on Remotely from Georgia program.
If you wish to work remotely from Bermuda either by yourself or with your family, you should apply for the residential certificate to become a long-term visitor. With this visa you will have access to day to day services.
You will not need to prove a minimum monthly salary, however other requirements are established:
Applicants must be at least 18 years old and be able to pay the application fee of $263. Furthermore, one must prove that there is no entry in their criminal record, the possession of a valid health insurance, demonstrate employment proof as well as a continuous source of income.
WorkMotion ensuring compliance
All together, even though more and more countries are starting to regulate the process of allowing remote workers to work from their country, the rules are still rather hazy.
If you are a company with a hybrid or even remote-first approach, it is important to ensure compliance when it comes to the mobility of your employees.
WorkMotion can help you sponsor employees who need visas or work permits for 75% of the countries around the globe. This service will be provided by our local experts, who will assist you and your employees with visas or work permits.