With the announcement of Spain and Bali’s digital nomad visas, it’s clear that countries around the world are reacting to the widespread adoption of remote working and are seeking to make the most of the explosion of the digital nomadic lifestyle.
As digital marketers, many of us enjoy the luxury of being able to work from anywhere with a good internet connection. And as the world and more countries open back up after the pandemic digital nomads are seeing a resurgence. So maybe it’s time to ask yourself, where would you rather be working? From your bedroom, or on a beach in Bali?
A nomad is someone who travels from place to place and has no permanent home. A digital nomad however is a relatively new spin on a classic, but essentially follows the same principle.
Digital nomads have no fixed address and aren’t tied down to a physical location by their work. This means the nomadic lifestyle lends itself to certain careers and industries more so than others.
Historically, the majority of digital nomads working in digital marketing were freelancers. Unsurprisingly, given that the flexibility of freelance work and choosing your own work suited those who didn’t want to work in a traditional 9-5 in an office.
There are two main contributing factors to the surge in interest of the digital nomad lifestyle:
Digital nomad visas are special visas offered with the express purpose of attracting remote workers to live in the respective country, while working for a company outside of the country you reside in. Some of these visas even exempt you from being subject to the tax laws of the country you will be living in.
There are certain criteria that you need to meet, and there are stipulations to these visas. These differ from visa to visa, so while we can offer a broad overview of what these may entail, it’s important to do thorough research into a visa before you apply. But most, if not all, follow criteria such as:
There are 35 countries we found, that offer a digital nomad visa of some variation. Although this is sure to change and this is by no means a comprehensive list:
Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Bali (Indonesia), Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Cape Verde (Cabo Verde), Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Curaçao, Czechia (Czech Republic), Dominica, Dubai (UAE), Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Montserrat, Norway, Panama, Portugal, Romania, Saint Lucia, Seychelles, Spain, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan.
Two of the newest additions to this list are Bali (Indonesia) and Spain. Both countries’ digital nomads visas can last up to 5 years.
Europe is one of the most popular destinations for digital nomad visas. Enticing aspects include the variety of European cultures, the quality of living, the ease of travel between European countries and the ease of communication, with English being commonplace.
Some of the countries on our list have a higher cost of living, meaning they also have higher minimum income thresholds because of this. The most expensive digital nomad visas on our list are:
Of course, just because somewhere isn’t on this list, doesn’t mean it’s not suitable for life as a digital nomad.
Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for digital nomads, but doesn’t currently offer any visas specifically aimed at digital nomads or remote workers that offer long term solutions. Instead, most people looking to stay for a short period of time do ‘visa runs’, staying for the 90 days allowed by a tourist visa, before leaving and renewing the visa before coming back immediately.
So even if somewhere isn’t on this list, it is well worth doing your own research to see if it’s possible. There are usually work arounds, and new visas being announced all the time.
Before you even consider applying for visas, there are some employment related barriers to be aware of. You need to not just be able to prove your income, but to be able to prove you will have employment for the duration of your stay.
Digital nomads were traditionally freelancers or business owners, due to the freedom of where to work from these jobs afforded. However the rise of remote working has opened up the possibilities to more industries and more digital marketers.
The biggest barrier for most aspiring digital nomads is having the opportunity to work completely remotely. If you work completely remotely, then congratulations! Pending visa approval, there’s no employment barriers between you and working on a sandy beach. We would still advise speaking to your employer to let them know that you will be out of the country.
If not, then the first step we suggest is having an honest conversation with your employer. If they are unable or unwilling to offer remote working then that is the time to start looking for a position that will.
Some agencies that we work with at Herd Digital offer fully remote working. Or remote working under certain conditions like for a limited number of months of a year, to allow you to work abroad.
So while your current role may not accommodate a digital nomad lifestyle, there are plenty that will. Have a look at our remote roles here, or reach out to us for confidential career advice on what remote roles in digital marketing are suitable for you.
We're here to help. Check out our FAQs, send us an email or call us on 0208 629 6006.