Digital nomads are astonishingly increasing every year. As a result, many countries are jumping on the digital nomad visa bandwagon.
Countries like Vietnam, Barbados, and Greece have already launched the special digital nomad visa to draw hundreds of thousands of workers overseas to work legally.
It may disappoint many digital nomads that the UK government has not yet developed a digital nomad scheme to welcome the cadre of digital nomads. Fortunately, if you want to relocate to the UK and work remotely, there are other ways.
Does the UK have a digital nomad visa?
As of writing this, the UK has no immigration provision for digital nomads to work remotely. Temporary workers are welcome to the UK to work and live for a short time under different categories like Seasonal Workers and Government Authorised Exchange.
An individual willing to work in the UK must obtain a work visa sponsored by a trading UK company and approved by the UK Visas and Immigration Agency. And if you’re from commonwealth countries or British Overseas Territories, you can work remotely in the UK without a visa.
Can a digital nomad work remotely in the UK?
Many digital nomads often ask the question: can I live and work remotely in the UK? And the answer is YES. You can live and work legally in the country as a citizen of a foreign country.
But, for no more than 90 days. However, if you intend to stay longer than 90 days, you must apply for a work visa, which hugely depends on your nationality and current residence status.
If you are a non-EU citizen, you’ll have to obtain a work visa. And if you are an EU or EEA citizen you do not need a work visa to work remotely in the UK for up to six months.
What are the types of work visas in the UK?
There are three types of UK work visas:
- Short-term UK work visas
- Long-term UK work visas
- Entrepreneur, business start-up, and talent visas
Short-term UK work visas
A short-term UK Work visa, also known as the UK Temporary Workers Visa, is for temporary work placement in the UK for six months to a year. Applicants can extend their visas under certain circumstances.
As far as requirements are concerned, apart from specific work requirements, applicants need to have work offers from a licensed sponsoring organization. In most cases, there’s a financial requirement as well.
The short-term UK visa has 5 subcategories:
- UK Charity Worker visa
- UK Youth Mobility Scheme visa UK
- Graduate visa
- Government Authorized Exchange visa
- UK Government Authorized Exchange visa
Long-term UK work visas
As the name suggests, a long-term UK work visa is for those applicants who want to hold a longer residency in the UK. This visa is valid for at least 2 years, with the possibility of renewal.
With this visa, applicants can also apply for UK citizenship. A long-term UK work visa has a points-based system meaning applicants must score 70 points to qualify for the visa.
Long-term UK work visa can be broadly divided into the following visas:
- Intra-company Transfer visa
- Health and Care Worker visa
- Skilled worker visa
- Specialist Worker visa
- Representative of an Overseas Business visa
Entrepreneur, business start-up, and talent visas
Entrepreneur, business start-up, and talent visas, in simple words, are for those remote workers who want to work as freelancers or entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas for the UK market.
The business idea will be assessed and approved by an endorsing body. To apply for this visa, apart from meeting stipulated requirements, you must be at least 18 years old, have enough funds to support yourself, and meet the English language requirement.