We can all agree that this generation’s workforce has seen a massive shift to remote work practices as many of us have turned our homes into hybrid workstations. While adjusting to a home office could be a challenge for some, beach and ocean views undoubtedly make the transition more appealing. Luckily, many islands are taking this opportunity to lure remote workers to swap their basic Zoom backgrounds for an idyllic Caribbean backdrop.
Most recently, Curaçao launched its @HOME in Curaçao program, which allows professionals to work and live on the paradisiacal island for six months, with the option of renewal.
The Dutch Caribbean island is renowned for its beaches tucked beneath coves, expansive coral reefs, and diverse aquatic ecosystems. The island also has a growing remote work community, due, in part, to amenities like co-work spaces, robust internet accessibility, and equipped data centers.
The island also has a secure banking and judicial system, considerable accommodation costs, an excellent healthcare system, leniency on taxation for remote workers.
Curaçao opened its borders to visitors from all countries at the start of the year as the island consistently maintained a minimum presence of COVID-19. Since the reopening, the number of cases in Curaçao has remained relatively low.
The @HOME in Curaçao requires a simple online application at a total fee of $294 and international insurance covering COVID-19 where available; Local insurance is another option.
To learn more about this new program, TOP’s Head Travel Writer Kashlee conducted an interview with Sam Kruiner from the Curaçao Investment and Export Promotion Agency (CINEX) and the @Home In Curaçao program. Here are the findings.
Q- In your opinion, what are the top perks/benefits of digital nomads deciding to live and work in Curaçao?
Multicultural/language work environment
– English, Spanish, Dutch are spoken here
– Beautiful weather all year and Curacao is outside the hurricane belt
– Reliable internet service providers and the only Tier4 level Datacenter (BlueNap Americas) in the Caribbean
– Several top-class coworking spaces (for example the Triangle Curacao)
– International airport with multiple direct flights to Europe/Netherlands and the US as well as the Region (Dominican Republic, Sint Maarten, Colombia, Canada, etc.).
Q- When compared to the programs of other Caribbean islands, what makes Curaçao’s program different or unique?
- The atHomeinCuracao program facilitates entry by 3 target groups: Remote workers/Digital Nomads, Hybernators, and Investors (Residency by Investment). Other programs focus only on Remote workers/Digital Nomads (DNs).
- More persons are given the opportunity to relocate temporarily or permanently. We believe that given the pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, people should be given the opportunity to choose the most suitable environment to live, work and/or invest.
- The DN visa offers a maximum stay of 6 months with the possibility of extension (further 6 months). The processing fee is 535 Netherlands Antilles Guilder (Approx.US$300), which is significantly lower than other programs.
- DNs also have the opportunity to become involved in activities such as beach clean-ups and other green or environmental programs.
- The program gives special consideration to artists who want to choose Curacao as their next temporary residence.
Q- What is something digital nomads would be surprised to learn about Curaçao?
A- DNs will be surprised to find the large number of leisure activities you can find on the island. Quiet and secluded as well as public beaches and excellent diving spots. Multi culture with a different culinary environment. Curaçao has its own pace and work-life balance, its own unique rhythm. It is a feeling that is recognized by the many visitors who have visited Curaçao and have come back for more. A feeling of being free and belonging at the same time. It is a feeling of being at home.
Q- Are there more direct flights planned soon for Curaçao?
A- International flights to the US and Europe (Netherlands) are still available as well as flights to the region (Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Aruba, Colombia, Dominican Republic). The airport is not closed, and it is expected that the number of daily flights will continue to increase.
Q- What is the digital nomad community like in Curaçao?
A- The DN community in Curacao is growing because Curacao has been effective in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of COVID-19 infections in Curaçao has remained relatively limited. The DN in Curacao has the advantage of a warmer climate. Most of the DN are from Europe although there is growing interest from Brazil, US, Colombia, Canada, UK, and Germany. There is, however, a wide selection of coworking spaces, other working facilities, and tourism facilities (beach, diving, windsurfing, etc.) that are still available.
In the effort to ‘let you know, before you go’, one can find the latest updates, travel guidelines and on island governmental preventive measures in the link here.
Q- Digital nomad visas/programs are quite new, why did the government of Curaçao decide that having their own program was important?
A- This program is aligned to the country’s economic diversification and sustainable development goals while responding to current demand for a product that addresses the challenges posed by the pandemic. DNs contribute much more than the typical “visitor spend”. They bring investments, knowledge, experience, and skills, which create a much greater knock-on effect. To counteract the effects of the pandemic on Curaçao, including rising unemployment, attracting DNs could see the arrival of new business start-ups, and the creation of new jobs for the local population. It will also nourish the local entrepreneurial scene, as incoming innovators meet and interact with local entrepreneurs… the so called spin-off effect.
For more information about @HOME in Curaçao, please visit their website.
To view Curaçao’s entry requirements, please click here.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com