How You Could Move Abroad – Without Leaving Your Job
Remote working has become the ‘new normal’ for many of us over the past few months and a complete return to the office seems unlikely even when normality is restored. For many, working from home permanently would be the chance to ditch the city commute for good, but that’s not the end of the story.
Christopher Nye, Senior Editor of Property Guides – the experts in overseas relocation – explains how countries around the world are unveiling visas to attract remote workers looking to make the most of their new freedoms.
Governments court remote workers
How many of us have wished we could move to our favourite holiday destinations, but can’t justify sacrificing our career to do so? Well, now you can have the best of both worlds.
A number of quick-off-the-mark governments have announced new visa programmes to attract remote workers – so you can keep your job in your home country and enjoy all its benefits, while also having the adventure of a lifetime in some of the most beautiful parts of the world.
Why work remotely from another country?
Firstly, you could enjoy significant financial benefits. Imagine earning a London salary while living somewhere with half the cost of living! You could enjoy a higher standard of living, all while managing to return to the UK with a good sum of savings.
Remember too that if you’re declared resident in your new country, you will pay tax there – so you could pay a lot less than back home if you choose carefully. Some countries, independently of digital nomad visas, have special tax schemes to attract foreign investment. In Portugal, for example, you could pay either 0% or a very low flat rate on any income earned outside the country: perfect for the WFH-er employed by a foreign business.
Secondly and perhaps most importantly, it’s the experience. If there’s one thing the coronavirus lockdown has taught us, it’s that you never know what’s going to happen. Why, then, put off your dreams? In fact, when we recently surveyed our Property Guides readers, over a third told us that they were even more likely to move abroad than before.
Which countries let you work remotely?
Whether you’re looking for that tropical island ‘I’m on holiday’ vibe all year round, or you’re imagining yourself living in some of the world’s coolest cities, there are a plethora of options for would-be digital nomads. Here are some of our favourites.
If you’re after buzzing cities, great transport links for travelling throughout Europe and an entrepreneurial culture, look no further than the Netherlands. From the lively Randstad cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht, to smaller choices like Maastricht, the Dutch digital scene is well set up for remote and co-working. It’s no surprise then that the country offers a special visa for independent entrepreneurs, including freelancers. If you earn more than €1,270 per month and you can show that you have at least one Dutch client and a viable business plan, then you could receive a residence permit for up to two years. Citizens of some countries, like the US, Japan and Turkey, are exempt from needing to show a business plan.
The new digital nomad visa scheme gives remote workers the chance to experience life in this beautiful Baltic nation by either securing employment outside of Estonia or working as a freelancer for clients abroad, with an income of a minimum of €3,504.
Estonia is already known for its digital mindset, named by the WEF as the most entrepreneurial country in the world and birthplace of tech trailblazers like Skype and Nortal. On top of that, you can enjoy a high quality of life; the country is clean, safe and green – you are never more than 30 minutes’ drive from a lake or forest, according to the government. It’s also the chance to gain a deeper insight into a region of Europe few people experience outside of a short holiday.
Baltic weather not quite your thing? Pack your bags and get yourself a ticket to Bermuda, where the recently announced remote visa allows you to spend a year living or studying on this beautiful island. That’s if you can find time between soaking up the sun on the gorgeous beaches and diving the beautiful reefs that encircle its coast.
The visa has an application fee of just $263 at the time of writing, so there really is no excuse not to go for it!
These countries are, we predict, only the tip of the iceberg, with others from Croatia to Indonesia being lobbied to implement similar visas. Whatever country comes next, one thing’s for sure, remote working is opening up the world more than ever before.
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