Dominica is the latest island nation to launch an extended-stay visa programme in the hope of attracting digital nomads to paradise. Olivia Palamountain reports
Dominica has joined many of its fellow Caribbean island nations in launching a long-stay visa aimed at digital nomads, academics, families and those on sabbaticals, seeking a healthier work-life balance in an exotic location.
Dubbed “Work in Nature” (WIN), the scheme provides the opportunity to work remotely for up to 18 months on the island, with a host of additional incentives, such as duty-free goods and discounts from various service providers.
Applications cost US$100 and can be submitted online here. Responses will be provided within seven days and confirmed applicants will have a three-month grace period to relocate to Dominica. Fees for the visa are US$800 for individuals and US$1,200 for families.As the programme gains popularity, the island envisions a WIN Village – a remote worker community with various types of accommodation from basic to luxury, an array of support services, shared social and entertainment venues and co-working spaces.
According to research from Santander’s international money transfer service PagoFX and YouGov, British people are ready to embrace “digital nomadism”.
In a survey of more than 1,200 UK adults in employment, conducted between September 30 and October 1, 2020, 45 per cent said that they could do their job just as well from abroad. (19 per cent said that they could do so if they stayed in the same time zone.)
So, with so many extended-stay visas now in place across the Caribbean – think Barbados, Antigua and Anguilla to name a few – is Dominica the right choice for you?
The island offers high-speed internet and technology services, modern health care facilities, educational options for families, and opportunities for impact volunteer programmes with NGOs and private sector entities.
Additionally, the island – nicknamed the “Nature Isle of the Caribbean” – is, as the name suggests, rich in natural beauty. Full of lush, and varied flora and fauna (which is protected by an extensive natural park system) it’s awash with waterfalls, hot springs, hiking trails and excellent diving opportunities.Dominica’s Covid-19 protocols have kept the infection rates very low, and the island has been awarded a “Safe Travels Stamp” by the World Travel and Tourism Council which signifies that the destination’s health and safety protocols meet globally accepted standards.
Denise Charles, Minister for Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives, says: “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.
“Stakeholders and island partners have all collaborated to provide an attractive programme which will assist with economic recovery.”