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The 3 Best Destinations to Be a Digital Nomad in Latin America

New technologies increase remote work, and this has caused an increase in digital nomads. These are the 3 best destinations in Latin America to live and work remotely

Aerial view of Costa Rica

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LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Lozano Cortés

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Leer en español: Los 3 mejores destinos para ser nómada digital en Latinoamérica

Digital nomads are people who chose remote work as a lifestyle, use the Internet as the fundamental means to carry out their work functions, market their ventures to other people and/or promote their economic activities through social networks, while move freely through different geographical locations.

In this way, digital nomadism is not a type of work, but a decision at the labor level that implies rejecting traditional offers, to carry out a position in person, in order to have the opportunity to carry out one or more professional activities and economic regardless of the location where they are made.

Destinations to Ba Digital Nomad in Latin America and the Caribbean

Due to the rise of this lifestyle, various countries are beginning to offer different immigration facilities so that people who opted for digital nomadism can visit and stay for short periods of time within their territories, while they work and make expenses that promote the economy of tourism and other sectors in these nations.

Costa Rica in Search of the Economic Potential Generated by Digital Nomads

In our continent, there are countries that have taken the initiative to attract people who are interested in teleworking from abroad. In this sense, the government of Costa Rica issued executive decree No. 43619-H-MGP-TUR with the regulations of the Law to attract remote workers and service providers of an international nature (10,008).

The decree provides that “ digital nomads will be exempt from paying income tax and import taxes on basic equipment, computer personnel that allow them to carry out their work remotely such as: personal computer, cell phone, the tablet, the camera, and recording devices such as voice recorders and accessories”.

According to the Minister of Tourism of Costa Rica, William Rodríguez, through the physical and digital channels, enabled by the General Directorate of Migration and Immigration (DGME), an application can be processed that would allow this type of visitor to stay in his country for one year, which could be extended for another additional year.

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The head of the tourism portfolio specified that “Costa Rica seeks to capture 0.25% of the 35 million digital nomads that exist globally, with which the country would receive an income of around $3,125 million annually.”

Mexico and Unexpected Labor Migration

Pedro Casas, one of the authors of the report "Mexico How Are We Going? (MCV)" affirmed that one of the most notable social effects of the Covid-19 pandemic is "the great resignation in the United States" and the strengthening of the possibilities of remote work. "There is a huge market of digital workers with high purchasing power, with the ability to spend and invest, who are looking for places in the world to reside for short periods of time."

To explain this surprising change in the composition of the migratory flow that is arriving in the Aztec country, the researcher relied on statistics from the United States Census Bureau. According to figures from this organization, since the beginning of the pandemic, 4.5 million US citizens have resigned from their jobs, mainly citing reasons of "life-work reevaluation" , which has caused large gaps in the industries of the North American country and the change of the paradigm where the new preference is entrepreneurship and remote work. Similarly, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the number of people who voluntarily quit their jobs each month “increased from 1.6% in April 2020 to 6.4% in August 2021, the highest number since that there is a record”.

Additionally, the (MCV) report proposes to guide migratory and tax facilities to this population that, according to figures from the Airbnb platform, is looking for 60% of accommodation possibilities in its properties for work stay purposes. This being another indicator of the growing number of visitors with these characteristics who are arriving in Mexico.

In this sense, the Mexican government has emphasized that the temporary residence visa is the migratory permit that digital nomads must use to travel to this territory, since it allows them to regularly stay in Mexico as a foreign citizen. This visa is for a period of more than 180 days of authorization for tourist purposes. This permit can be renewed up to three times.

Finally, according to the Worldwide Broadband Speed League 2022 report, in which the network connection speed of all countries was tracked, Mexico is lagging behind in its digital infrastructure in several regions of the country, with an average of download speed of 27.62 Mbps. This is an aspect to take into account when choosing this destination for this type of labor migration.

Curaçao Wants to Establish Itself as the Main Option in the Caribbean for Digital Nomads

The autonomous government of Curaçao launched the “Home in Curaçao” initiative that, through flexible work arrangements and income tax exemptions, wants to attract remote workers who are looking to stay temporarily in its territory.

According to a report by the human resources company Zenefits, Curaçao stood out as the best tropical island in the world to work. The study highlights its value for money for digital nomads looking for a place to spend their working day.

According to the same report, one of the efforts that the Curaçao authorities have been making to adapt to the island is the launch in 2018 of a program called Smart Nation. This initiative seeks the development of a digital infrastructure. This in order to help improve employment and economic growth, which has consolidated this destination as one of the best connectivity and Wi-Fi quality in the region.