The Indicator from Planet Money - WFH From Barbados

The Barbados economy depends on tourism, so travel restrictions have been devastating. But the island nation has come up with an innovative stopgap: A visa that lets visitors work remotely from Barbados for a year.

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Sean Parker Beck charts and graphs for a real estate company. She's a business intelligence analyst living in Charlotte North Carolina and at the very start of this year. She had a wish that to myself out loud. I would love to just go to a beautiful Island by myself and just sit on the beach and be one with self.

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She lived in Charlotte for years. Her only son had just graduated college, so I didn't have to pay tuition anymore help with no school supplies or groceries or whatever. So I just kind of put I put it into the universe for the universe there plans pandemic. It borders closed around the world. It was a really hard time for international travel soap Sean carried on working remotely from Charlotte until this summer when she happened to be scrolling through Facebook Barbados is a beautiful island in the Caribbean advertisement and I was like, wow that looks happy man with a cocktail shaker looks pretty happy. I really like the horses in the ocean. How could you not want to go to the birthplace of rum?

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The home of Brianna welcome to Barbados refrigerator. She would have seen an ad just like this one on Facebook, which is emphasizing the welcome stamp visa. And this whole scheme goes out to people all over the world people like Shawn fly into Barbados, please but don't come as a tourist cuz you know, they want to keep the coronavirus out but stay here for an entire year set up your laptop and just work remotely for your employer back home. I'm just sitting here working this job. And Barbados is like beer and it's beautiful. Why not give it a shot. Why not go horses on the beach. There is no time zone difference, but there was one obstacle Sean had to sell this to her boss. It was kind of nerve-racking because I wasn't sure what they were going to

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Play this is the indicator from Planet Money. I'm Stacey Vanek Smith Today Show working Without Borders. Will there be a wave of people dying in the morning meeting from tropical beaches? Maybe you also while riding a horse and facing it will be.

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Global tourism as you might expect has been way down this year. The number of people going overseas on vacation declined by a massive 65% in the first half of the air but this hit was especially bad for Barbados. The Caribbean island nation has built its economy around tourism. And normally this is a really great business more than a million tourists typically visit Barbados every year and they're all these businesses that depend on these tourist hotels and restaurants and like local farms that Supply the restaurants and all of these people count on the tourism sector. It makes up about a third of Barbados GDP as people started to Halt their plans for trips to places like Barbados those jobs and businesses. They took a huge hit the country's prime minister Mia mottley. She had an idea and I spoke to you see skeet about this. He's the US director at the organization that promotes tourism to Barbados.

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We have an opportunity to welcome these individuals who working remotely to come to Barbados. Enjoy all that the Ellen has to offer and still be able to work. So what it is that it allowed us to look Beyond a short-term visitor and create long-stay visitors on the island the government developed a special new Visa 12 months long and there just a few conditions. You have to work for your employer back home and at least $50,000 a year that is you know, you're not getting a job in Barbados. Also you pay a $2,000 application fee and you need your own health insurance which travel insurance Kentucky cover approved. You can set up your laptop in a hammock. Overlooking the Caribbean on Horseback Amoco horseback. Take your pick probably not very surprisingly Darien after having seen that sad over 2,000 people like Shawn have applied for the welcome stamp Visa.

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If it doesn't feel like a ton, but you say explain why this is actually a really important economic boost. We have to find a place to live. They have to eat this for legal to participate in a lot of the attractions and activities in addition to that, you know become because I can guarantee you want to come into the Rock and stamping Barbados. They're not going to want to leave. So they're also become part of the voice that tells your friends and family that you must visit Barbados and I think that then has even long-term benefits and I think that's certainly a win.

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Of course this question comes up in my head, right? Like could it really be this easy it mean if it is maybe the entire population of the world is going to end up in the Caribbean but to check this out. We went to talk to Tim Burgess. He's the co-founder of an international Workforce company called Shield Geo. He says working nationally is not always so simple and so I guess I hate you so I've been mistreated issues, but people don't think about in this contact working from home. So first of all, if you were going for a long like the time like at least six months, you have to start thinking about taxes employee Mexico income tax state health insurance.

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The France the employer cost goes from about 15% on top of the salary 247 to 50% on top of the brick in Paris snag. They said you do not need to pay taxes in Barbados with this particular Visa. Just keep paying your taxes and Social Security to your home country. But Timbers is a stick industry, which is if you will say working for an American company, but want to work of the Seas the company you work for will start to need to comply with your new countries regulations and labor laws. Like maybe you'll be forced to take the minimum 24 vacation days required by German law if you relocate to Berlin, which would be sad, but I would be up for tackling that has really turned this great area into a very simple and clear invitation to remote workers. They saw this opportunity and Saudi Arabia.

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Yeah, we got to talk about this. We were wondering like is this the wave of the future and it should have ended a great model that people could follow a lot of other countries have realize there is a huge opportunity here Estonia has launched its own Visa. So has Bermuda business intelligence analyst from Charlotte. She's a pistol case hair company said yes and to a Visa was approved and the horses in hammocks exactly like oh my God. This is actually going to happen Sean paid her $2,000 visa fee and she now has her flight's booked for just a couple of weeks from now. Are you looking for to buy step out of a dose?

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The food tasting some new flavors are flying fish is like they're her go to national dish. It's something called Flying Fish. I have no idea what that means csac. I'm going to go to Barbados and see whether the fish really do fly.

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Which episode of the indicator was produced by Jamila Huxtable? It was fact-checked by Sean Saldana Patty Hirsch is a editor and the indicator is a production of NPR.
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