Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many people around the world have chosen to work remotely. The pandemic forced many businesses to close offices and require workers to work from home. Employees and independent contractors could get work done on their computers anywhere they could get an internet connection. After businesses were allowed to have their staff back at the office, many people decided they liked freedom and work/life balance.
The ability to work from anywhere has allowed these remote workers to become digital nomads, people traveling to locations from which they want to work and getting work done from all over the world. Many countries have relaxed visa requirements, allowing more people to enter the country and work there remotely for a longer duration.
Work visas serve as proof of permission from the local government that a foreign individual can work there temporarily without becoming a citizen. This visa, or work permit, is a requirement of most countries for individuals wishing to enter a nation to work or study. Each country has its types of visas and conditions for each type.
Remote work visas allow people to visit and stay in the country and work remotely for foreign companies. The new remote work visa laws for these countries are described below.
Countries Offering Remote Work Visas in 2024
Countries worldwide, including Russia, Australia, Colombia, New Zealand, Panama, Hong Kong, Poland, and the U.K., have been modifying their employment laws to include remote work, homeworking, teleworking, and flexible working.
Some of these laws include new rights for employees. For example, in the United Kingdom, an employee now has the right to request flexible working. Some labor laws require employers to provide a safe working space, even at the employee's home, and to reimburse the employee’s expenses for equipment necessary for remote work, such as computers and an internet connection.
Other nations have included permission for foreign nationals to work in the country remotely using remote visas, as is the case in the countries below. These countries may see an increase in digital nomads and a concomitant boost to their economies.
The following countries offer remote worker visas as of 2024. Other countries may follow, especially as remote work becomes more popular.
Digital nomads may find Latin America’s tropical settings attractive places to get their work done. Panama has created remote worker visa laws, the first country in Latin America to do so, to attract digital nomads for remote work.
With this visa, called the Short Stay as a Remote Worker Visa, employees or independent contractors can work in Panama for nine months with the option to extend their stay another nine months.
The Northern European country of Estonia has created a digital nomad and freelancer visa, which allows people to come to Estonia and work remotely for one year. This visa, along with the country's welcome culture for remote workers in its cafes and wide-ranging free public WiFi, make the country an attractive choice for digital nomads.
The visa is for any digital nomad or freelancer who can work remotely independent of location. The process can take 30 days from application to approval. An e-residency is also available for remote entrepreneurs to access the country’s e-services, such as setting up a company online from anywhere in the world, managing the company online, and conducting secure e-banking.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Dubai is a city and one of the emirates of the UAE. Recently, Dubai has created a virtual working program to encourage people to relocate to Dubai from outside the UAE and to continue working remotely for the company they already work for. It is valid for one year and can be renewed. There are plenty of beautiful beaches to work from, and there are no personal income taxes in UAE, which may be a reason for a nomad to stay and live in the country after their remote working visa expires. Online application is available.
The Republic of Croatia, a country in Eastern Europe, allows a temporary stay for digital nomads permits. The Croatian government defines a digital nomad as anyone not from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland employed or self-employed remotely by a company not registered in Croatia. The visa is good for one year, not extendable. Close family members may join the digital nomads for their stay. Application may be made online. The country has numerous towns and cities with fast internet, co-working spots, cheap short-term rentals, and digital nomad programs, making Croatia an attractive choice for remote working.
The South American country of Ecuador, located ideally on the equator and boasting an annual temperature variation of only a few degrees, can be the perfect location for a digital nomad who enjoys tropical weather. The country has started a digital nomad visa for visitors to live in Ecuador and work remotely for two years.
Other South American countries offering remote work visas include
There is no shortage of tropical island nations offering remote work visas for digital nomads who love working on the beach. Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, launched its premium visa, which is good for one year. The government claims the country is open to everyone, with no restrictions and no testing or isolation required.
Saint Lucia, an island nation in the Eastern Caribbean, is promoting its new Live It visa with a slogan. Visitors can stay in Saint Lucia and work remotely for one year.
Many Caribbean island nations are also offering remote work visas. Other countries include:
- The Bahamas
- Antigua & Barbuda
- The Cayman Islands
The nation of Georgia is a country between Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Like many other countries on this list, Georgia is trying to boost tourism by attracting digital nomads. The country has started remote work permission called remotely from Georgia, which allows individuals to live in the country visa-free for up to a year. Applicants provide proof of income and, once approved, can move with their families to Georgia to work remotely.
Other European nations offering visas include:
- The Czech Republic
Also known as Cabo Verde, is an archipelago nation formed of volcanic islands in Western Africa. It is known for its tropical climate, vibrant musical culture, and local wildlife, such as humpback whales and loggerhead turtles. Nomads can have a tax-free stay in Cape Verde for six months to work remotely.
Along with Cape Verde and Mauritius, Seychelles is another African nation offering a remote work visa called the Workation Retreat.
Remote visas allow digital nomads to live in a country and work for a foreign country for an extended amount of time. This can result in an influx of foreign individuals to the country and thus boost the local economy. The pandemic has hurt many nations' tourist industries. Allowing remote workers to come and live in the country and work on beaches or other exotic and beautiful locations can provide income to the nation’s tourist spots.
Countries with remote work visas can attract foreign nationals to live in the country temporarily without becoming citizens. These remote work visa countries may see their tourism and other economic sectors prosper thanks to the increase in digital workers. Taxes such as VAT and additional tax revenues may also increase, giving these countries extra revenue.
Employers expanding globally can hire individuals in a foreign country with visas to work there. Ensuring visas are correct for each employee is part of the compliance responsibility of the company or its international partner.
Skuad, an international partner offering employer of record (EOR) services, can ensure compliance for companies wishing to hire individuals who hold remote visas. An employer of record can do more than just compliance.
An employer of record can:
- Hire remote international employees
- Onboard new hires
- Accurately process payroll and issue payslips
- Handle payroll taxes
- Administer statutory benefits
An employer of record can take care of all of these human resources responsibilities for your company without the requirement of establishing a local legal entity. An employer of record already owns the entity needed to hire local employees. Skuad can enable organizations to hire employers in over 160 countries and pay contractors and employees in over 100 currencies.
To know more about Skuad, book a demo today.