Bespoke Living

The 4 Countries That Want You to Work as a Digital Nomad

These high-end resort locations are vying to attract the world’s top remote workers with incentives that can make living—and working—in paradise a reality

Richard Branson, arguably the world’s most famous digital nomad, says that he’s never worked out of an office and vows he never will. And James Hamilton, the top engineer for Amazon Web Services, works remotely from a 52-foot (16 m) yacht; occasionally biking to Amazon’s headquarters when berthed in Seattle, but often sailing to Hawaii—and working from there.

While the trend of working remotely from anywhere in the world is nothing new—consultancy MBO Partners estimates that the number of digital nomads in the U.S. alone increased by 49 percent in 2019—the pandemic has given it added fuel. Now, many blue-chip destinations are luring remote workers to their shores with extended-stay visa programs and enticing leisure and financial incentives.

From idyllic islands to a picturesque European capital, here’s everything you need to know about four of the most appealing spots for work-from-anywhere executives.


A sail boat anchored in a bay with blue waters—the ideal place to work as a digital nomad
Thanks to its ideal weather, calm and clear waters, and rich maritime heritage, Bermuda is a top sailing destination and regularly hosts prestigious sailing events such as the America’s Cup. Image: Alamy

Bermuda’s One Year Residential Certification grants foreign nationals the right to work or study on its gorgeous, tax-haven shores for 12 months with unlimited entries and exits. Applicants must be employed by an overseas company, which can include one they own; be able to support themselves and their families, and have medical insurance. Students are also welcome to apply as long as they are enrolled in a research, undergraduate, graduate or doctorate program.

The application fee is $263 per person, for which you gain entry to one of the most beautiful and luxurious blue-chip destinations in the world, with a worldwide reputation for financial stability and excellence. High-speed broadband, top-tier healthcare and schools, and opportunities to network with professionals in a range of sectors, including shipping, aviation, insurance, and asset management, make it extremely attractive to entrepreneurs.

Add to this a thriving cultural scene that nurtures sophisticated living, overwhelmingly beautiful landscapes and beaches, an international airport for commercial and private jets, and fortifications that are listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, and you’ll need to work hard to find an excuse not to go.


Heavily forested mountains viewed from across a bay in Dominica
According to Forbes, a green economic focus has made Dominica the fastest growing economy in the Caribbean—and its unspoiled natural surroundings and environmentally conscious approach make it a haven for eco-enthusiasts. Image: Alamy

Dominica launched its Work in Nature long-stay visa program in April 2021, offering 18 months’ restriction-free living and a range of financial benefits, including duty-free shopping. For many people, though, it’s the island’s incredible natural beauty, leisure opportunities, and eco-credentials that prove irresistible.

Known as the nature island of the Caribbean, Dominica has promised to become the first climate-resilient nation in the world, with a ban on all single-use plastic and the requirement that resorts buy food locally, reducing their carbon footprint and giving a helping hand to local producers. And its eco-focus has worked: its waters are home to droves of whales, and, on land, you’ll find untouched waterfalls and hot springs amid lush tree-lined canopies—about 60 percent of the island is forested.

Dominica hopes to attract a demographic of younger digital nomads as well as families, with a family bundle that enables parents to enrol their children in local schools. The application process is straightforward and can be completed online. It costs $100 to apply and there is an additional visa fee of $800 for individuals and $1,200 for families.


A hawksbill sea turtle
The crystal-clear waters surrounding Barbados are ideal for leisure activities like snorkelling and diving, allowing sightings of creatures such as hawksbill sea turtles and lionfish in their natural habitat. Image: Alamy

Barbados entices with well-developed amenities, social stability, amazing beaches, and an extremely attractive fiscal environment,” says Ronald Ndoro Mind, CEO of WorkMango, a private members club that facilitates moves to the island. “It also offers a vast range of outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking, snorkeling, diving and kitesurfing. And should guests be tempted to make their move permanent they’ll be pleased to hear that they are no restrictions to investing in real estate.”

Applying for the island’s Welcome Stamp visa costs $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for families. Applicants must earn at least $50,000 and have health insurance. Like other Caribbean destinations, Barbados does not permit those entering the country on the Welcome Stamp to work for a Bajan company—they must be employed by a company registered and operated elsewhere.

The Welcome Stamp was launched in July 2020, and the then chairman of Barbados Tourism Marketing and the Barbados Tourism Product Authority flagged the island’s “fast fiber internet services—the fastest in the Caribbean,” and its “range of flexible office space locations,” as major draws for a digital nomad.

Tallinn, Estonia

Scenic summer aerial view of the Old Town architecture in Tallinn, Estonia
Relatively unaffected by COVID-19, Tallinn is both a safe haven and a cultural delight—it houses 44 art museums within its city limits. Image: Getty Images

The capital of Estonia offers a wealth of history, architectural delights, and world-class dining. The city has a well-earned reputation as a global high-tech hub and leader in innovation, and was Big 7 Travel magazine’s best city for remote working in 2021, primarily because of its booming digital economy.

It’s also a thriving cultural hub, with galleries such as the Kai Art Centre—in a former submarine warehouse alongside the harbor—and Fotografiska, a sister gallery to the ones in New York and Stockholm, offering a range of contemporary art exhibitions and artist-in-residence programs.

Estonia’s Digital Nomad Visa, launched in August 2020, hopes to attract high-earning professionals from a range of sectors, including property, I.T., and finance. The visa, which costs €80 ($96) or €100 ($120) depending on length of stay, “enables people to stay for up to a year while continuing to work freelance or for a foreign employer,” says the country’s ministry of the interior. “Estonia is renowned for novel technological solutions and is an attractive proposition for an international digital nomad.”

Banner image: Getty Images