The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a new wave of remote workers: digital nomads. And ICYMI, some people opt to work from their fave places instead of from a home office. Think: cafes, bookstores, Barbados beaches. Because a good location can make it easier to WFH.
What is a digital nomad?
A person who lives the nomad lifestyle while using technology (hi, Zoom and Slack) to work. And it’s gaining popularity. Mostly because of the pandemic’s remote work boom, but also because of the gig economy and good Wi-Fi connections.
The lifestyle comes with tons of freedom and flexibility. But it’s not without downsides. If you’re traveling alone, it can be lonely and difficult to build long-term relationships. Plus, keeping up with deadlines from different time zones can be a challenge.
Sounds expensive. How much do digital nomad jobs pay?
Since “digital nomad” isn’t an actual job title, it varies. Roughly 18% make over six figures (think: computer programmers). But on average, most are making around $50,000 or less per year.
Do digital nomads need a visa?
Depending on how long they plan to stay and where they’re planning to work from, digital nomads traveling internationally may need a visa. Visas, sometimes called resident permits, allow digital nomads to work remotely while living abroad if they plan on staying more than 90 days.
How does digital nomad health insurance work when living abroad?
Health coverage is important. And living abroad can make it difficult to stick to check-ups at home. Which is why travel health insurance providers are a great option for digital nomads.
Some insurance companies offer plans tailored to coverage for digital nomads living abroad. One example is World Nomad plans, which cover everything from trip delays and baggage loss to emergency healthcare needs.
Where are digital nomads welcome?
Some countries have implemented policies designed to encourage digital nomad stays. If you're interested in being a digital nomad, we suggest checking out...
The Work from Bermuda Certificate allows digital nomads to stay for 12 months, as long as they don’t have a criminal record. Applicants are required to submit proof of income, proof of health insurance, and a $263 application fee. And, in about five days, the process is done.
The Caribbean nation was one of the first countries to jump on the trend. In June 2020, it welcomed digital nomads to a 12-month, income tax-free stay. As long as you make over $50,000 per year, and pay the $2,000 application fee.
In October 2020, Iceland hopped on board with an optional long-term visa for remote workers. As long as digital nomads can provide proof of at least$1,000,000 Icelandic Krona (almost $8,000 USD)per month, they can stay for up to 180 days. Applicants are required to send a recent passport photo, proof of health insurance, proof of purpose to stay, and may have to submit to a background check.
While Spain doesn't have a program just yet, it's eyeing a 12-month visa through new legislation called The Startup Act.
BRB…gotta go pack.
Not so fast. Just because you’re a remote worker doesn’t mean you can spend the next year in Reykjavík. Your employment contract might not include working abroad as an option.
Talk to your employer to see if this is something they can support.You’ll also need to read up on how taxes would change for you. PS: Even if you live abroad, you’ll still be required to file US taxes if you make more than the minimum required to file, which is $12,950 for singles under 65 this year.
The digital nomad lifestyle is gaining popularity. Some countries are creating new policies to get in on the movement. But you’ll need to read the fine print of your employment contract before you book a one-way ticket to Barbados.
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