Visas for digital nomads could provide a loophole to cross-border immigration policies, but there are checks employers should make before going down this path, say Alex Christen and Emily Allison.
Digital nomads are those who combine work with travel, using technology and the internet to log on from any location. This work/travel formula is not new but, after the success of remote working during the pandemic, and now that borders have reopened, more people want to try it.
While technology has made working remotely very accessible, historically the immigration status of digital nomads has been a trickier issue, with many working without immigration permission from the beach of their choice. This is because most countries only offer work visas where the employee is sponsored and employed by a local company, guaranteeing they will be paid a minimum salary and meet certain skill requirements. This doesn’t always work given the transient nature of digital nomads, who are often self-employed and do not need or want a sponsor tying them down to work in one place.
However, countries such as Dubai, Italy and Brazil have spotted this as an opportunity. Dubai was one of the first countries to offer a remote working visa, giving high-earning employees the opportunity to work for their employer remotely from Dubai for up to one year. It wasn’t long before Brazil and Italy followed suit, offering similar visa routes. But why?
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