Working Abroad: Countries that offer remote work visas
May 19, 2022
As companies embrace remote-first work environments, why not switch up your office atmosphere and work from another country? Companies like Airbnb provide the same salary to their employees–regardless of their location’s cost of living. So, pull out your map, dip into your wildest dreams and start packing!
Remote workers who have the flexibility to work from anywhere now can do just that. Some countries offer special visas just for remote work. These digital nomad visas allow employees to work for their U.S.-based job abroad. Some countries even launched specific programs to recruit remote workers to help the local economy recover from the pandemic. Barbados launched a “Barbados Welcome Stamp” program, and one plan calls for entire Italian communities to become remote worker hubs. Other countries may allow long-term travel and remote work without an explicit policy.
While traveling for remote work might not be quite the same as doing it for fun, it’s a middle ground if you don’t have vacation days to spare or want to make your vacation more permanent.
While each country has different restrictions, many require proof of income. Depending on the country, visas can last from six months to two years, but some programs allow you to reapply and extend your stay.
These countries offer specific visas for remote workers:
Antigua & Barbuda
France - stay-long visa
Italy - Limited to certain regions
Other countries don’t offer visas designated for remote workers but may not place restrictions on working.
Requirements for remote work visa travel
Before you apply for the visa, be sure to do in-depth travel research on your chosen country and gather all required documentation. Besides your passport, you may also need:
Background/criminal record check
Proof of income
Proof of employment or company ownership
Health and/or travel insurance
Proof of accommodations
Some countries, like the Cayman Islands, require a notarized reference letter from your bank.
Which countries are best for remote workers?
When deciding where to live, consider language, culture, and even the time zone you’ll be in if you have frequent virtual meetings. Some countries even require you to pay local income tax. Plus, the internet connection strength will be crucial.
Many of the countries in the Caribbean islands were - or still are - British colonies, so English is spoken fluently there. These countries include Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and Montserrat.
Costa Rica, Mexico, and Spain are predominantly Spanish-speaking countries. Don’t be surprised if the language still takes some getting used to: dialects can vary wildly between continents, countries, and even regions.
You’ll also want to consider the cost of living and the culture of the country you’re going to. As a foreigner, you won’t necessarily be expected to assimilate with the general population - but it’s still important to understand what you’re getting yourself into.
Tools to prepare you to become a digital nomad
Moving - even temporarily - to another place takes some preparation. You’ll need to select a bank with minimal international fees that you can access. If it’s a U.S.-based bank, it may also require a U.S. address. You may also need a U.S. address if you’re self-employed and need to keep your business based here.
A virtual mailbox with Earth Class Mail can help with your transition. Virtual mailboxes allow you to select from 80+ addresses in the U.S. and access any mail you receive while overseas online from any device.
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