No doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has shaped the face of tourism for 2020 and most likely beyond. With countries around the world closing borders in order to control COVID outbreaks and restart tourism, it's become virtually impossible to enjoy your dream vacation in 2020. As more and more companies are allowing work from home and remote work travel as a possibility however, taking a workation can be the perfect way to visit your ideal destination.
While being a digital nomad is not a new trend, working for your company while taking a long holiday is becoming more and more common this year. Some countries are even creating new visas allowing foreigners to enter the country to live and work for short periods in order to restart tourism in hard-hit places. If keeping your old job, getting paid to work while relaxing on beaches and sipping on pina coladas is your thing, here are some countries without closed borders where you can travel to work in for a period of time.
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Work from Paradise, Countries Open for Travel Offering Remote Work Vacation Visas
What is a Workation
A 'workation' is simply taking a vacation while doing remote work. Instead of working from home, you could be working from idyllic locations such as picture-perfect beaches in the Caribbean or working from a café in your favorite foreign city. While a business trip usually involves lengthy meetings and occupies most people's time, workations can be a great way to enjoy yourself and relax a little while not needing to take time off work.
Remote Work Travel Will Depend on Your Home Country
While many these countries are allowing work-related travel or immigration for most countries around the world, it will of course depend on your nationality and resident country. While we will post updates on this article, be sure to also check the official policy posted by your destination's government.
Countries with Remote Work Opportunities:
Barbados (Remote Work Visa)
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The 12 Month Barbados Welcome Stamp allows digital nomads and remote work professionals to live, work and travel in Barbados for up to 12 months. The visa will cost US$2,000 for single applicants or US$3,000 per family.
There are some other conditions too including earning above US$50,000 per year and having valid health insurance, either personal or through your company.
Barbados is quick to process the remote work visa, applications usually take less than a week to be accepted. With hot weather almost all year round and the 'hurricane season' about to end on the island, it's the perfect time to pack up and set up your beachside office in Barbados. The island is full of beautiful resorts and hotels to stay at if you're looking to get a taste of Caribbean life. Otherwise head to the capital of Bridgetown for more affordable apartments. Living costs are fairly low compared to major cities and capitals around the world and Barbados offers a good healthcare system.
Here's the official government website to see more information on COVID-19 entry requirements and guidelines in Barbados.
Estonia (Remote Work Visa)
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Even before COVID-19 Estonia was welcoming remote workers and digital nomads to this Eastern European nation. Estonia's E-residency program has made remote work in the country easy and simple since 2014. However the government has recently launched a new Digital Nomad Visa from August 1st 2020, making it even easier for working remotely in Estonia.
The Digital Nomad Visa allows remote workers to temporarily stay in Estonia for up to 1 year. Candidates will need to be earning $3,530 or more per month on a job allowing remote work or as a freelancer.
As Estonia is part of the Schengen area, holders of the visa are able to visit other Schengen countries easily, although quarantine may be required depending on current COVID conditions in Estonia and Europe.
With Estonia already well known for its digital connectivity, remote work locations and cafes are common in the country and easy to settle into a remote work environment.
Dubai (Remote Work Visa)
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If lazy days by the beach in Barbados aren't quite your style, the glitzy modern metropolis of Dubai is surely a tempting offer. Dubai currently offers 'work from home enthusiasts' a 'one-year virtual working programme' that allows workers earning a minimum of $5,000 to stay for up to one year. The remote work visa for the city of Dubai was recently unveiled recently and the UAE reopened to all foreign tourists on July 7. Would-be applicants need to pay a $287 fee to apply and have a valid medical insurance plan in place.
Bermuda (Remote Work Visa)
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To revive the economy hard hit by lack of tourism, Bermuda recently released a “One Year Residential Certification” program for those wanting to work for up to a year on the island's pristine beaches.
Also known as the 'Work From Bermuda' certificate, it'll cost $263 for the visa, but there are no minimum salary requirements for remote workers to apply for it. Both Bermuda and Barbados, along with most other Caribbean countries, have managed to keep COVID cases low on the islands, with Bermuda now being declared COVID-free, an attractive option for remote work.
Jamaica (Six Month Visa or Visa Exemption)
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There isn't a specific remote work visa in place for Jamaica, however it's possible for visitors to apply for a six-month stay instead of the normal 30-day visa, with some countries not needing a visa at all. Visitors from the USA, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Mexico or Panama will require a negative COVID-19 PCR test to enter the country.
Cases of coronavirus in Jamaica are slightly higher than other Caribbean islands, it's best to watch the situation over the next few months.
Mexico (Remote Work Visa)
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As tourists are allowed to stay for up to 180 days in Mexico, it's a popular spot for remote working. Especially with the beautiful resorts and beaches along the Caribbean coast. Now Mexico is also offering a Temporary Resident Visa allowing remote workers who earn over $1,620 USD per month or have $27,000 in the bank to stay in the country for one year, with the option to renew for another 3 years.
Note that numbers of COVID-19 patients in Mexico are currently quite high and increasing (especially around Mexico City), while you can work here remotely, it isn't quite as safe yet as other countries on this list.
Various Other Countries with Remote Work Visas
Anguilla allows stays of up to three months for a price of $1,000.
Antigua & Barbuda is offering the Nomad Digital Residence (NDR) allowing stays for up to two years.
Georgia offers a visa called 'Remotely from Georgia' that allows workers to stay in Georgia for at least 360 days.
Costa Rica has a 'freelancer visa' however it's only for self-employed people, company employees cannot apply for it.
Croatia is currently considering some kind of digital nomad or remote work visa, however it's still in the work with little concrete information yet.