People who work from home have more opportunities to make a living abroad than ever before.
In addition to the countries originally opened to remote workers last year, new destinations have launched programs to encourage workers to leave their home offices because of tropical shores and year-round sun.
What is necessary Employment outside of the intended destination (a must), proof of sufficient funds to support long-term residence (usually required), health insurance (a good idea, although not mandatory) and of course, negative Covid tests. Add in registration fees and a few other superficial requirements – travelers can secure jobs on the beach until winter 2022.
Here are seven new options.
Tourists cannot go to Montserrat at the moment, but distant workers can.
The Montserrat Remote Workers Stamp, announced on January 29, allows travelers to live and work on the tiny Caribbean island for up to 12 months.
"The response to this initiative has been extremely positive," Warren Solomon, Montserrat Tourism Director, told CNBC Global Traveler. "The geographical distribution of applicants corresponds to our main international source markets, namely the USA, Canada, Great Britain and Europe."
Known as the Emerald Isle, Montserrat is home to the Soufrière Hills volcano, which erupted in 1995.
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Remote workers (including freelancers and consultants) must have health insurance and an annual income of at least $ 70,000. Fees are $ 500 for individuals – or $ 750 or more for families.
Applicants know within a week whether they are admitted.
Montserrat, one of 14 UK overseas territories, is home to around 5,000 people, which, according to the island's tourism website, means "everyone knows everyone".
Remote workers must test negative for Covid-19 for 14 days in an accommodation of their choice and quarantine. So far, only 20 Covid cases have been confirmed on the island.
“Postage stamps” cannot be renewed, although workers can reapply to stay for another year.
Individuals who believe they might get tired of staying on an island can apply for the Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay program.
With the new 12-month permit, BEATS for short, remote workers and students can live and relocate between 16 different islands in the Bahamas, including Andros, Exumas, Eleuthera and Paradise Island.
The Bahamas has more than 700 islands and bays; Remote workers and students can make a living on 16 of them, including Eleuthera (shown here).
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Applications are processed within five days and cost $ 25 per person. Employees must provide proof of employment, while students must provide proof of enrollment and funds to cover living and travel expenses. For an additional fee, students can gain access to the University of the Bahamas for technical support and other educational services.
If approved, the lead applicant must pay $ 1,000 and $ 500 for each accompanying family member. Extensions are possible for a maximum stay of up to three years.
Travelers must have a negative Covid-19 test result (no more than five days prior to their arrival) to apply for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa, which is an additional requirement. From November 1st of this year, visitors will no longer need to quarantine upon arrival.
All nationalities can apply for Dubai's new remote working program. assuming they make $ 5,000 a month.
Travelers who are unsure whether they want to get involved in the program can enter Dubai on a tourist visa and then apply for the work program during their stay.
At $ 287, the fees are lower than most other programs. Applicants must have valid health insurance in the United Arab Emirates and provide proof of income in the form of pay slips and bank statements.
As with other programs, workers can leave and re-enter as they please. However, stays can be revoked if travelers leave for six consecutive months.
Dubai is known for its modern architecture, including the Burj Khalifa, which at 2,700 feet is almost twice as tall as the Empire State Building.
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Workers can hire nannies and drivers, rent cars, and enroll their children in Dubai's school system.
To enter Dubai, travelers must arrive with a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, which is carried out no later than 72 hours before departure. Additional testing may be required upon landing, and residents of South Africa or Nigeria are currently not allowed to enter.
The emirate enacted tough new measures earlier this month to curb record-breaking infection rates after a heavily criticized travel season in December. The surge in infections coincides with a robust vaccination campaign that puts the UAE in second place after Israel in terms of percentage of the population vaccinated.
Remote workers looking for a "Covid-safe" place to weather the pandemic can consider Mauritius, according to local tourism officials for the island nation in southeast Africa.
The country of almost 1.3 million people has so far registered 610 Covid cases, only a few of which occurred in 2021.
Digital nomads and retirees willing to adhere to their "strict" health measures can apply for a "premium visa" for one year, according to the country's official tourism website. To participate, travelers must be quarantined for two weeks and passed four Covid-19 tests.
Concierge services are planned to help digital nomads and retirees find homes, cars, banks, and telephone companies, according to Mauritius' official tourism website.
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There is no fee to apply, although applicants will need long-term housing plans, travel and health insurance, and proof of sufficient funds to stay in Mauritius, which equates to a monthly income of at least $ 1,500. Savings of USD 18,000 are sufficient, said Muhammad Muhsin Mowlabaccus of the Mauritius Economic Development Board.
The new visas, which were introduced in November 2020, are open to residents of more than 100 nations, although travelers who have been to the UK, South Africa, Japan and Brazil in the last 15 days will not be able to enter until February 28.
As expected, Croatia started welcoming digital nomads in January.
Applying for a life in this popular Mediterranean coastal country is not as easy as it is in other travel destinations. However, this could soon change, said Jan de Jong, President of the Digital Nomad Association Croatia.
"Currently it is only possible to apply to the local police station in Croatia," de Jong told CNBC. "We assume that we will be able to accept online applications from March."
Remote workers who need a separate visa to enter Croatia can apply for the program at the nearest Croatian embassy or consulate – there are 10 in the U.S. – but de Jong said they could email documents at too Send police stations in Croatia.
"Croatia has a chance to be among the top travel destinations for digital nomads," said Jan de Jong, who said workers are drawn to its islands and coastlines, as well as its inland mountains, forests and national parks.
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The workers must also prove that they have enough money to support their stay. However, this can be evidenced by monthly income or savings, de Jong said.
"The minimum amount you will need per month is 16,142.50 kunas ($ 2,590 USD)," he said. "For those digital nomads who don't have a stable income every month, it would also be enough to show that they have enough savings for those 12 months, which equates to about $ 31,000."
Remote workers should also plan not to stay longer than a year. Temporary stays for digital nomads are "granted for up to a year (possibly even less) and cannot be extended," according to a government website. Employees can reapply six months after an earlier stay has expired.
Madeira not only welcomes digital nomads, but also hopes to create a whole community for them.
The archipelago, an autonomous region of Portugal 320 miles from Morocco, is home to an initiative called Digital Nomads Madeira. The pilot program provides for free work space in the village of Ponta do Sol from February 1st to June 30th.
"The work area can accommodate 30 to 40 people per day," said Micaela Vieira, project manager at Startup Madeira, an organization that works with the local government to develop the program. "So far we have received over 4,800 registrations from (more than) 90 countries."
Vieira said there are currently more than 250 digital nomads working on the island, either in the free work areas or in cafes and restaurants with free WiFi.
Most of them come from countries in the European Union or the Schengen area due to EU travel restrictions.
Still, it is possible for others to join via "a popular visa used by digital nomads, the D7," said Vieira, referring to the visa that allows non-EU citizens to obtain a Portuguese residence permit, provided that they earn at least EUR 7,620 annual passive (not derived from salary) income.
Although there is no official program, Puerto Rico is open to American remote workers who do not want to worry about application forms or fees.
As an unincorporated region of the United States, US citizens can enter Puerto Rico freely. According to Discover Puerto Rico, the island's official destination marketing organization, they don't need a passport and can even bring their pets.
Americans can work and live in Puerto Rico without a remote worker visa.
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American travelers must provide evidence of a negative PCR test result in order to participate. However, Covid testing is not required to return to the US.
The area has several coworking spaces and hotels with packages for remote workers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has rated Puerto Rico as a Level 4 travel destination and do not recommend traveling there. To date, the territory of 3 million people has confirmed more than 133,000 Covid cases.