With so many of us working from home, there’s no set definition on where ‘home’ has to be. If you’ve always wanted to live abroad, perhaps now’s the time. After all, if working remotely means you can work from anywhere… why not make it someplace you’ve always dreamed of visiting? When you’re not making coworkers jealous during your Zoom meetings, you’ll be learning how to live like a local, with the ocean as your daily view and the sand underneath your feet. It’s the ultimate work-life balance!
Altering its motto from “One Happy Island” to “One Happy Workation,” the idyllic island of Aruba is aiming its remote working program toward American travelers. A valid passport gets you permission to live and work in Aruba for up to 90 days. Can’t bear to leave your furry friend at home? Aruba allows US visitors to bring cats and dogs (with up-to-date vaccines and microchips), so you can enjoy long walks on the beach with your pup. In order to apply for the program, visitors must show valid employment with a company or be legally registered as self-employed. You also can’t work or receive income from a local Aruban company while you’re there, unless you have a separate business permit. But you also won’t be paying income tax in Aruba… just what you usually pay in the United States. Visitors must abide by the country’s COVID-19 entry requirements and rules, which includes purchasing visitors insurance.
In this gorgeous British-territory island country, remote workers are now able to live and work through extended stay visas. Picture yourself working from a deck chair and spending your weekends exploring one of the 33 white-sand beaches. If you want to park your laptop in Anguilla, you’ll have to apply online. Anguilla allows visitors to stay from three months up to a year with resorts and hotels that can accommodate the whole family. (Virtual school just got a little more exciting.) There is an extra cost, starting at $2000 per person for those staying up to a year. This fee will cover required regular COVID-19 testing and the extra costs associated with additional health precautions. And Anguilla has done a terrific job so far, because as of early November the country has reported only three cases since the very beginning of the pandemic.
In their attempt to lure weary workers away from their home offices (or kitchen tables), Barbados launched their Welcome Stamp program, which allows visitors to stay visa-free for up to a year. One of the first Caribbean islands to actively encourage remote workers, Barbados is aimed at anyone who has an independent work location. Relocating your whole family is also encouraged. All you have to do to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea in Barbados is fill out the online application form, providing valid employment and an income of at least $50,000 annually. You won’t have to pay local income tax and if you love the island life that much, you can apply for renewal after your 12 months are up.
Another country that has taken advantage of the remote work movement is Bermuda. Their One Year Residential Certification program launched this summer and allows for approved visitors working remotely and students enrolled in research, undergraduate, graduate or doctorate programs to live on the island for a year. The residential application comes with a $263 fee along with proof of legitimate employment or student registration. After you’re approved you can live anywhere on the small, 21-mile island and you’ll be asked to adhere to local COVID-19 rules.
Travelers from most states are currently allowed to visit Jamaica. Although most Jamaican travelers are given a normal 30-day visa at arrival, it’s also possible to apply for a six-months stay. Sure, it’s not as long as some of the other Caribbean options. But six months may be plenty of time to soak up that laidback Jamaican lifestyle and get you recharged to return to your everyday life. You’ll also find deals for long-term resort stays. For example, Couples Resorts in Jamaica are offering reduced rates for Americans staying at least 15 nights, as well as a free night when you stay at least 15 nights.
Los Cabos, Cancun, the Riviera Maya… if it’s a Mexico workplace you’re looking for, now’s your chance. Travelers can stay visa-free in Mexico for up to six months, but can also obtain a Temporary Resident Visa that would allow you to remain in the country for one year. And if you’re lucky enough to stay working remotely, you can even extend the Temporary Resident Visa up to three times. You’ll also be able to leave and return the country as needed without renewing this specific visa. In order to apply successfully you’ll need to prove you have sufficient funds and a steady income
Whether you’re in the travel industry looking for some amazing on-the-job experience or just need to make your downtown worth it, a working vacation may be just what you need now. Contact your GOGO-backed travel advisor to learn more. It’s also important to remember that each of these destinations has its own entry regulations and travel requirements. For up-to-date information on these or any other destinations, visit our parent company Flight Centre Travel Group’s COVID-19 Travel Map.