Where can digital nomads work? Croatia, Dubai, Estonia and tropical islands


People working from home have more options for making their living abroad than ever before.

In addition to the countries that initially opened to remote workers last year, new destinations have launched programs to tempt workers to ditch their home offices for tropical shores and year-round sun.  

What’s necessary? Employment outside of the intended destination (a must), proof of sufficient funds to support a long-term stay (usually required), medical insurance (a good idea even if it isn’t compulsory) and negative Covid tests, of course. Add in application fees and a few other perfunctory requirements — travelers can secure beachside workplaces through the winter of 2022.  

Here are seven new options.

Montserrat

Known as the Emerald Isle, Montserrat is home to Soufrière Hills volcano, which erupted in 1995.

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Remote workers (including freelancers and consultants) must have medical insurance and an annual income of at least $70,000. Fees are $500 for individuals — or $750 or higher for families — to apply.

Applicants know within a week if they are approved.  

One of 14 British Overseas Territories, Montserrat is home to around 5,000 people which means that “everyone knows everyone,” according to the island’s tourism website.

Remote workers must test negative for Covid-19 and quarantine for 14 days at an accommodation of their choice. Only 20 Covid cases have been confirmed on the island to date.

“Stamps” cannot be renewed, although workers can reapply to stay another year.

The Bahamas

The Bahamas has more than 700 islands and cays; remote workers and students can live on 16 of them, including Eleuthera (shown here).

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Applications are processed within five days and cost $25 per person. Workers must provide proof of employment, while students need to show evidence of school enrollment and funds to cover living and travel expenses. For additional fees, students can access the University of The Bahamas for tech support and other educational services.

If approved, the main applicant must pay $1,000 and $500 for every accompanying dependent. Renewals are possible, for a maximum stay of up to three years.

Travelers need a negative Covid-19 test result (taken no more than five days prior to arriving) to apply for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa, which is an additional requirement. Starting Nov. 1 this year, visitors no longer need to quarantine upon arrival.  

Dubai

Dubai is known for its modern architecture, including the Burj Khalifa, which at 2,700 feet tall is nearly twice the height of the Empire State Building.

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Workers can hire nannies and drivers, rent cars and enroll their children into Dubai’s school system.

To enter Dubai, travelers must arrive with a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departing. Additional tests may be required upon landing, and residents of South Africa or Nigeria are currently restricted from entering.

The emirate enacted strict new measures earlier this month to curb record-breaking infection rates that followed a highly-criticized December travel season. The rise in infections coincides with a robust vaccination campaign, whereby the UAE is second only to Israel in the percentage of its population that has been vaccinated.  

Mauritius

Concierge services are being planned to help digital nomads and retirees locate homes, cars, banks and telephone companies, according to Mauritius’ official tourism website.

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There is no fee to apply, though applicants need long-term accommodation plans, travel and health insurance and proof of sufficient funds to stay in Mauritius, which is defined as at least $1,500 in monthly income. Savings of $18,000 is sufficient, said Muhammad Muhsin Mowlabaccus from Economic Development Board Mauritius.

The new visas, which launched in November 2020, are open to residents of more than 100 nations, although travelers who have been in the U.K., South Africa, Japan and Brazil in the past 15 days cannot enter until Feb. 28.

Croatia

“Croatia has a chance to become among the top destinations for digital nomads,” said Jan de Jong, who said workers will be attracted to its islands and coastlines as well as its inland mountains, forests and national parks.

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Workers must also show they have enough money to support their stay, but this can be proven through monthly income or savings, said de Jong.

“The minimum amount you need to have per month is 16,142.50 kuna ($2,590),” he said. “For those digital nomads who don’t have a steady income every month, it would also be enough to show you have enough savings for those 12 months, meaning some $31,000.”

Remote workers should also plan to stay for no more 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. Workers can reapply six months after a previous stay has expired. 

Madeira

Puerto Rico

Americans can work and live in Puerto Rico without a remote worker visa.

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American travelers must show proof of a negative PCR test result to enter, but Covid tests aren’t needed to return to the U.S.

The territory has several coworking spaces and hotels with packages catered to remote workers. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has deemed Puerto Rico a Level 4 travel destination and recommends against traveling there. To date, the territory of 3 million people has confirmed more than 133,000 Covid cases.



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