One of the any things 2020 taught us is that working remotely isn’t just for freelance writers and software designers. In fact, much fewer jobs than we could have dreamed of really need workers to go in to the office every day. This means that the life of the digital nomad may become even more popular than before and a growing number of countries are offering work visas especially for remote workers.
We’ve rounded up some of the best destinations to work remotely for Canadians. Before you put your stuff in storage, pack your laptop and book that flight to your dream destination, though, remember to check the Covid-19 situation there, since restrictions and regulations can change seemingly overnight.
Internet is fast and Barbados generally falls outside of the hurricane zone. Barbados is a member of the Commonwealth too and English is the main language spoken here. While the country has seen a spike in Covid cases at the end of 2020, it has generally managed to keep the infection rate low.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates have managed to keep their rate of Covid infections generally in check but it’s wise to take extra care when entering the shopping malls and restaurants Dubai is famous for. While working remotely in Dubai allows you an exotic and exciting experience, there are some drawbacks, though: the heat, the high cost of living and the less than stellar treatment of women, for instance.
You need to earn at least about $10,000 per month to qualify and Iceland is one of the most expensive countries to live in. However, you get great infrastructure, breathtaking scenery and the opportunity to really get away from people. If you do have to deal with people, you’ll find that most Icelanders are able to speak perfectly good English.
However, the countryside offers fairytale scenery complete with medieval castles, forests and lakes. While Estonia, like most European countries, saw a second wave of coronavirus infections towards the end of 2020, the country has so far managed to keep the situation under control.
At around $345, the application fee for this visa is much more affordable than for the similar visa for Barbados, but Bermuda also has a much higher cost of living: among the highest in the world. Still, you get fast internet, laid-back Caribbean vibes, great weather – except during hurricane season – and the privileges afforded to fellow members of the Commonwealth.
One of the requirements for getting a Temporary Resident Visa is a monthly income of around $1,600 in the previous six months and if you can maintain that income while living in Mexico, you can live very well indeed. The quality of the internet and infrastructure depends on where in the country you find yourself. However, it’s worth remembering that Mexico has one of the highest rates of Covid-19 infections in the world, with a surge in new cases in December 2020 attributed in part to Americans entering the country to flee the virus in their own country.
In the more remote areas, the language barrier might be a problem – Georgia even has its own, unique alphabet – but in larger population centres you’ll find growing expat communities and plenty of English speakers. The country saw a short-lived wave of coronavirus infections in December 2020 but has managed to bring the numbers down again.
For that price, you’d want to get your money’s worth and the internet speeds on the islands are indeed among the fastest in the Caribbean. The islands have managed to kept coronavirus infections under control so far. However, earthquakes and hurricanes can be a threat.
The quality of the internet and infrastructure depends on where on the island you are but can be very good: if you choose your location wisely, the most annoying thing about working remotely here will be keeping the beach sand out of your electronics. English and French are widely spoken throughout the island. Mauritius has kept its Covid infection rates low, for instance through a mandatory quarantine for foreign visitors.
The city is one of the safest in the world and has thriving expat communities to help you through the culture shock. While accommodation is a little pricey, you can make up for it with cheap yet tasty food and widely available free Wi-Fi. Like most countries in Asia, Taiwan doesn’t offer digital nomad visas yet. However, Canadians can stay for up to six months on a visitor visa. If you want to stay longer, you’ll need to apply for a resident visa.