The number of Caribbean islands offering remote-work visas expands

Zoom backdrop? Little Bay in Montserrat; the island is now offering long-term visa options for visitors who want a remote-work option.
Zoom backdrop? Little Bay in Montserrat; the island is now offering long-term visa options for visitors who want a remote-work option.

Dominica and Montserrat are the latest destinations to offer opportunities for digital nomads to power up their laptops in a tropical setting.

Remote-work programs have sprung up across the Caribbean, as islands look to entice long-term visitors who contribute to the hospitality economy. The programs require visitors to stay in certified, approved properties -- hotels, resorts, villas and Airbnbs. Many are beachfront, and some properties offer discounts for long stays.

The chance to relocate and work remotely was first launched by Barbados with its Welcome Stamp program in July and was followed by Bermuda's One Year Work program in August, which allowed non-Bermudians to relocate their home and office to the 21-square-mile island for research study or remote work.

Others islands followed: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

Hotel brands and properties got in on the remote-work initiative as well, including Playa Hotels & Resorts, several Marriott properties in Puerto Rico and the Beach Enclave Turks and Caicos.

All of the current remote work programs require adherence to entry protocols in addition to proof of health insurance by several of the programs; some require application fees, which can range from moderate to hefty.

Although the border in the Cayman Islands has not yet reopened for leisure visitors, the destination launched its remote work Global Citizen Concierge Program last October.

The program includes a nonrefundable, annual fee of $1,465 for up to two people with an additional $500 yearly per dependent. It recently added a $250 incentive for travel advisors for each successful referral.

The destination has netted more than $170,000  in application fees since it began the program, according to the Cayman Compass. As of mid-March, 129 applications had been received and of that number, 73 applications covering 178 people have been approved.

The newest entry is Dominica with its extended-stay visa program dubbed Work in Nature (WIN), which offers remote workers, digital nomads, academics, families and those on sabbaticals to work remotely for up to 18 months on the island.

Dominica has high-speed internet, modern health-care facilities, educational options for families and opportunities to join for volunteer programs.

"This is one of the initiatives which will help boost our tourism industry in our phased tourism recovery approach, while providing a safe environment for persons to work remotely in a tropical environment and discover the many wonders of Nature's Isle," said Denise Charles, the country's minister for tourism, international transport and maritime initiatives. As the program grows, the island envisions a WIN Village: A remote worker community with a range of accommodations from moderate to luxury, an array of support services, shared entertainment areas and work spaces.

Online applications are $100. Responses are provided within seven days and confirmed applicants have a three-month grace period to relocate to the island. Visa fees are $800 for individuals and $1,200 for families.

Montserrat recently debuted its Remote Worker Stamp, a 12-month travel permit that allows a non-national who is employed and a resident in another country to visit and remain on the island for up to a year.

A response to applications come within seven days.

Those who are approved must provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within five days of departure, have health insurance and must self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival in one of five approved properties.

Fees are $500 for  a single applicant, $750 for families with up to three dependents and $250 for each individual member.


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