The best part about work and travel is that the cash rolls in, while you’re having fun. At least that’s what Google’s been telling me.
While the idea of earning and traveling seemed appealing to millennials, there are darker sides to this idealism. Aside from uncertainties of income and settlement, your visa issues- for one, should not be taken lightly.
So before you start packing your bags and leaving your country on the pretense of “taking the big leap,” you may want to bear in mind of this petty visa caveat, before you land in trouble like some nomads. Lucky for them, it was just a false alarm.
Here are some key takeaways about the nomads’ visas before you got all excited and booked your next flight out:
Is there a special visa for nomads-on-the-go?
Although we wished for such a visa, nomads would usually carry a tourist visa, and if their passports allow, they won’t need to apply for one. (Check here to see if your passport is powerful enough to get you to places)
Despite having a powerful passport, you must bear in mind that you’re only allowed to stay in a country for a stipulated period of time. Thailand, for example, allows up to maximum 60 days per each entry. And if you’re a Malaysian like myself, I can only stay in Thailand for up to 30 days before I get myself into trouble.
The safest move? Just stick to the date of your entry validity as stated on the stamp when you’re entering the country.
Isn’t tourist visa sufficient to pull me through the days of working in that country?
This is a tricky question with a more vague answer. First of all, do you need a work visa if you’re a digital nomad working in various countries on the go? Your first stop might be Bangkok, but suddenly you get the twitch for Vietnam and off you go on your next flight, booked the night before.
If you have secured a long term job in that country and working offline, then the answer is a definite yes (read: work permit)
But when it comes to running a store or business online, regulations has become less explicit – even immigration offices have yet worked out on tackling digital nomads who make money online. Because there won’t even be documentation and tax filing when you’re there for only 30 days.
As Victoria, from Bridges and Balloons puts it, “our logic is that so long as you’re paying tax somewhere, it should be okay.”
Fair enough? But she also warns that if your job takes you somewhere for more than half a year, then you’ll have to think hard of where that tax should go, which might inevitably call for an application of working/resident visa.
What if I’m only there as a business consultant?
If your clients are or based in the country you’re travelling to, in this case, the process will be more complicated. There are some countries like the U.S. that issues business visas, and business/ tourist visas. When you’re in this situation, best is to consult your local embassy or consulates and some advice from an expert.
How easy or complicated can a visa processing be?
Some visas can be easily renewed by entering into a neighbouring country and then re-entering on a new visa. Other places will only allow you to renew within the country and some are stricter, which takes more time and steps to processing.
Oh man! As easy as you made it sound, whom can I seek for help if anything?
If you have visa issues or work related questions in places like Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Jakarta (Indonesia), Singapore, Bangkok (Thailand) and Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam), you can always consult Tribehired for advice. However, if it’s countries apart from the South East Asia regions, you’ll have to call the embassies and consulates for more information.
Ps: Got other questions about visa issues and/or digital nomadism? Even if you’re thinking about long-term employment in other countries, we can help you with the switch! Just talk to us and we’ll try our best to help you 🙂