With the vast and ever-changing restrictions facing travelers due to today’s pandemic world, you are not alone if you’re feeling a pang of wanderlust, or simply need some adventure or simply a change of scenery.
Seemingly ironically, for many of us as of late, our traditional corporate workday structures have shifted to that of remote, socially distanced, and location independent ‘WFH’ lifestyles.
While the premise of travel and vacationing has undoubtedly changed, at least for the time being, believe it or not, the ramifications of the current globally paralyzing scenario has indeed brought with it some truly once in a lifetime opportunities. Looking to temporarily escape your day-to-day routine for six months to a year? (Worth considering, right?)
…Enter the age of Global Nomad Visas.
Instituted by various national governments in response to local economic challenges posed by COVID-19, the new visa programs are tailored to attract foreign remote workers looking to live and work legally abroad temporarily for anywhere from 6-12 months. These newly minted lifestyle/travel experiences are now offered by some of the most celebrated and scenic travel destinations across the world:
Looking for a faster-paced, Cosmopolitan island-vibe? The birthplace of rum – and Rihanna, Barbados, is now accepting applications for its new ‘Barbados Welcome Stamp’ —a special visa for remote workers who want to trade home for island life for up to a year at a time. The program is open to anyone with an expected annual income of $50,000 USD. (The application fee is somewhat pricey; you'll have to pay a fee of $3,000 USD if you’re looking to apply with a spouse or children, or $2,000 USD for an individual application.)
Seeking a bougie year-long beach excursion on world-famous pink sands? For those currently employed and working from home or enrolled in education or remote study, Bermuda is now offering its new ‘Work from Bermuda Certificate’ Visa program. A solid option for those of us looking for a slower-paced, ‘island-life’ retreat, the application fee for the 12-month valid program is reasonable, at $263 USD for an individual (each family member must file separate applications). The approval turnaround time is also agreeable, with most applications allegedly processed and a response issued within five business days of submission.
For a creative sidestep around the current EU restrictions placed on American travelers; look no further than Estonia! A picturesque, old-world marvel, you surely be ‘whelmed’ by the history and beauty of this fairy tale land. Not only is the cost of living typically regarded as 30% less than that of the U.S., the American remote workforce can enjoy the added lifestyle benefit of the +7 hour (EST) European time zone… allowing for added daytime explorations, productivity, and work/life balance.
Applications for the Baltic nation’s 12-month ‘Digital Nomad Visa’ program for remote international workers are now accepted, costing around 100€ (roughly $120 USD). While reasonable in cost, bear in mind you cannot apply online but instead must visit your nearest Estonian Embassy or Consulate to apply.
Do Your Research Ahead of Time
While these enviable lifestyle alternatives are yours for the taking, remember to consider the following before embarking on any pandemic travel: research the costs of living associated with the locality, in addition to the relevant online international Visa application fees and international health insurance costs typically required of applicants.
Furthermore, remember to frequently monitor both international and national travel advisories issued by your home country and your desired destination in the wake of the global battle to contain COVID-19.