Working Remote While Traveling - Digital Nomad Information Series
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Take the time to research the laws of the specific countries you
will be working in. Visit nomad forums and message boards and ask people who are either there currently or who have recently lived (and worked) there. Keep in mind that operating under a veil of ignorance could get you into trouble, which might result in your getting banned or blacklisted.
Want a quick gut-check on the countries you plan to visit? VisaCentral has an easy-to-use lookup tool (www.visacentral.com/ visa-quick-check) to help kick off your research.
HOW CAN NOMADS OBTAIN A VISA?
Some countries will require its visitors to apply for a visa in advance. Other countries streamline the process and even allow you to
easily renew a tourist visa should you choose to extend your stay. We recommend acquainting yourself with the general rigidness of
a country’s visa application process well in advance, so you can be prepared in the event of a long and drawn-out process.
Of important note: Some countries will not allow you to enter their country, or even apply for a visa, if your passport is on track to expire within the next six months. An initial step you should take in the process of becoming a nomad is to renew your passport, if needed.
U.S. → Abroad
If you are a U.S. citizen, some countries will not require you to apply for a visa up until a certain point. For example, if you are travelling anywhere Australia, a visa is required regardless if you are U.S citizen or not. However, if you are travelling to Canada, no visa is required for stays under 180 days. For specific information regarding the
visa policy for the countries you wish to visit, head over to the U.S. Department of State’s resource on Passports & International Travel.
If you do end up needing a visa, a good place to start the process
is at the embassy website for the nation you intend to visit. There, you can fill out a visa application form online. It can take anywhere from two weeks to two months to review the application, and at that point, if approved, the consulate will mail you a visa that attaches to your passport. You can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 to complete the visa application process.
Abroad → U.S.
If you are a non-U.S. citizen and your nomadic travels take you stateside, you’ll need to apply to and be approved by the U.S. Department of State. The visa requirements will differ based on your nationality. To complete the application online, visit the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA (www.esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta).
Currently, there are 38 countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VMP), which allows people from these select countries to visit the U.S. without a pre-authorized visa. If you’re from one of these countries, like New Zealand, Switzerland or the UK, you’re in luck! No visa is needed.
WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOUR VISA EXPIRES?
As you might imagine, the rules vary by country. For example, in
the U.S. you must apply with USCIS before your authorized stay, denoted on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94, expires. It’s recommended that you apply well in advance of your expiration date. The long lead times that applications can take bring up an important point. As a digital nomad you’re no doubt used to living your life on the web. Instant banking, instant communications—everything is real time. However, when working with federal agencies, things tend to move slower. A lot slower. Always build lead time into your planning
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