The tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat is looking to attract some of the world’s growing number of digital nomads and remote workers.
Its newly announced Montserrat Remote Workers Stamp allows approved applicants to live here for up to a year with ongoing renewals being considered as well.
Samuel Joseph, Montserrat’s deputy premier, added that this British Caribbean territory is looking for successful applicants to be “a part of the community on one of the world’s most unique destinations.” Some of this island’s natural features that will likely attract applicants include its impressive network of picturesque hiking trails, quiet beaches and snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities.
A feature of Montserrat that will be a pro or a con, depending on what applicants are looking for, is its seclusion. The only flights that operate to its John A. Osborne Airport arrive from Antigua and Barbuda’s V. C. Bird International Airport, a 20-minute flight away. However, the latter airport welcomes planes from a wide selection of cities, including Miami, New York, Toronto and London.
A significant plus for many applicants is Montserrat having been free of the COVID-19 virus for the past six months. Prior to then, only 13 people here had received positive test results.
Montserrat is an island of halves. Its southern portion was deemed uninhabitable in the 1990s due to volcanic eruptions, and its population was cut to a third of its previous number as a result, from 13,000 to 5,000. However, its northern half has remained green, lush and safe.
Interested applicants should note that an annual income of $70,000 or higher is required. Additionally, they should either be employed by and have a contract with a foreign employer, be a partner or shareholder with one that they are doing business activity for or be a freelancer or consultant with contracts with a number of foreign clients. Health insurance with adequate COVID-19 coverage is also required.
An application fee will be charged. This will be $500 in the case of a single applicant, $750 for those who will be bringing a family of up to three dependents. Any additional family members beyond that number will incur an additional charge of $250 per additional person. Processing of an application is expected to take about seven business days.
Those interested in Montserrat should also note that it is not open to tourism at this time. However, during non-pandemic times, passport holders from much of the Americas and Europe and many parts of the rest of the world can visit for up to six months at a time without a visa.
Montserrat is just the latest place to offer a digital nomad visa. In the Caribbean, places such as Aruba, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands have also announced the adoption of similar programs; elsewhere, Estonia, Georgia and the Portuguese autonomous region of Madeira have done so as well.
Remote work has become more popular over the past year as employees and employers have both started to fully realize the benefits of it. For example, employees have enjoyed greater flexibility while both sides are pleased that workers are generally just as productive while virtual as they had been in brick-and-mortar settings.