A digital nomad is a person who is living a nomadic lifestyle and works remotely from outside their home country using technology. A digital nomad visa is a document or program that allows someone to work remotely while living in a nation other than their permanent residency.
Most nations that award digital nomad visas do not use the word “digital nomad visa,” instead giving their programs a distinctive name, such as the Cayman Islands’ Global Citizen Concierge Program, or using more broad phrases like residency permit. However, keep in mind that these visas may not specifically target digital nomads.
Digital nomad visas are available to workers and students, albeit the fees and restrictions differ. The Work From Bermuda Certificate, for example, requires academics to submit confirmation of enrolment in an undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, or research program with their application.
Some nations even enable companies to apply for a digital nomad visa on behalf of their employees. Dominica’s program costs $800 (in US dollars), plus an extra $500 for each employee in a company of four or more persons.
Remote Workers vs Digital Nomads
Although the phrase “remote worker” is becoming more popular, it is not identical with “digital nomad.” By definition, all digital nomads are distant employees. However, the latter phrase can also refer to persons who work from their permanent house rather than from an office. Although laws vary, visiting a nation as a tourist typically does not allow the person to work while residing there.
Working remotely (from your native country) was not as common as it is now. This is because many employers believed that if their staff worked away from the office, they would be less productive. Those who needed to work from home for various reasons, such as family obligations or a lack of office amenities, were granted special authorization.
However, telecommuting has grown increasingly popular, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses now feel that working from home might boost productivity. According to several studies, persons who work from home work 1.4 days more than those who work in an office.
Freelancers vs Digital Nomads
Freelancers are self-employed individuals who work for themselves or for other businesses. Freelancers can travel while working or work from home while staying in one area for an extended period of time.
Digital nomads are those who work from home and travel to different places on a regular basis. They employ current technology to work from coffee shops, co-working spaces, hotels, and libraries throughout the world using a WiFi-connected laptop or smartphone.
They’re similar, but they’re not identical. Both types of employees, digital nomads and freelancers, can apply for the visas indicated below.
Pros and Cons of being a Digital Nomad
It is critical for anybody considering working abroad to review and adhere to the requirements of their preferred temporary residency. While there are certain advantages to working on a digital nomad visa, there are also disadvantages.
The apparent advantage of these programs is that you can take a long vacation while still earning a steady income without having to put your job on hold. Most locations that provide digital nomad visas already have the infrastructure required to accommodate remote employees, such as good wifi as a selling point. Anguilla, for example, has two telecommunications network providers that provide high-speed internet.
Some of the regions (especially the islands) are effectively safe havens from the COVID-19 virus due to their remoteness and swift government actions. Not surprisingly, these sites frequently have stringent rules for arriving visitors. For example, someone arriving in Curaçao (a low-risk nation) from a high-risk location must get a PCR test within 72 hours of departure.
Being a digital nomad necessitates a remote and flexible employment. This is especially true when clocking in hours when there is a time difference. Although these types of occupations have grown increasingly widespread in the aftermath of the pandemic, they may be a deal-breaker for certain businesses and people.
Moving from one nation to another on a regular basis may be difficult, especially given the Omicron virus’s fast spread. It can also be costly. That doesn’t even include the cost of the visa itself. And if your application for your next destination is denied, you may be left scurrying to locate a new place to live before your current visa expires, forcing you to leave.
Moving around can also make it more difficult to build long-term connections, while the continual distance can strain existing ones. There’s little purpose in establishing roots in a place where you won’t be living in a year or two unless the government provides you permanent status after your temporary visa expires. And, although this absence of attachments may certainly be perceived as a benefit to people who cherish their freedom, anybody considering a long stint overseas should carefully consider how lonely it may be.