“Home Office is The Here and Now” Digital Nomad Visa Systems and Remote Work-Focused Leisure PoliciesIgnasi CAPDEVILA, José Ignacio SANCHEZ-VERGARA, Marko OREL
To attract highly qualified remote workers to their cities and countries, governments have implemented mechanisms for the stay of digital nomads, thereby promoting local economic development. To manage the entry and stay of this professional class in these regions, future residents are required to obtain special visas for digital nomads. However, the guidelines and regulations for these visas are not clearly established, and the policy frameworks that apply have not been studied extensively. Thus, this paper explores how countries develop policies to attract digital nomads, support business development and position themselves as ideal territories for these knowledge workers. The study uses an interpretative policy analysis approach to examine and comprehend the purpose behind leisure policies and digital nomad visa systems from 24 countries that have introduced them over the past decade. Findings reveal that digital nomadic visas are framed as an engagement experience with the destination and its leisure facilities. Also, facilitating these policies are government strategies to promote a business environment and strengthen a high-level entrepreneurial ecosystem. The primary research contribution has been to outline the relevant policy mechanisms that support the attraction of highly skilled mobile workers to a specific area or region and debate their intended efficiency.