The beachfront WeWorks. Digital nomad visas are becoming a thing

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL December 31, 2020

Klingking Beach in Bali. Photo by Alec Favale on Unsplash

Apparently, the digital nomad visa is going to ride the coat-tails of the #wfh revolution. Those who work from home are going to move their remote working somewhere nice.

Somewhere, in fact, like a palm-fringed island nation, the sort you would normally visit on vacation.

According to OZY, the seekers include the African island nation of Mauritius and the Caribbean islands of Barbados, Antigua and Bermuda. All launched one-year digital nomad visas in the past few months. Preliminary charges vary – from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. In return, tax incentives are available to the digital nomads. Estonia and Georgia also have similar provisions. And Maldives’ luxury resort island Vakkaru has packages for long-term nomadic remote workers.

Barbados was first off the mark in mid-July with its 12-month Welcome Stamp programme. In September, foreign freelancers and entrepreneurs in the Indonesian island of Bali were pushing for the government to grant them digital visas.

It’s not as odd as it sounds. The tourism sector has had a bad year and 2021 may not be a whole lot better. Unsurprisingly then, normally busy tourism destinations are pivoting to appeal to digital nomads and remote workers. No quarantines or frequent visa renewals required. As OZY says, holiday destinations are now “pitching themselves as safe and fun beachfront WeWorks”.

The digital nomad is the new tourist. The kind who stays on.