Digital nomad visas open travel doors for SA Interview

More than 25 countries have launched digital nomad visa programmes to streamline the process of moving abroad for work. The main requirement is proof of employment outside of the destination country. Offering both traditional and remote career opportunities, the teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) industry provides the perfect match for locals who would rather see the world than the inside of an office cubicle.

“Digital nomad visas give travellers the option of staying in a country for longer periods of time than the usual tourist visas. It’s also easier to secure than a regular work visa. This gives you the chance to enjoy your travels, and explore new cultures, while maintaining a stable source of income – without putting your career on hold,” says Rhyan O’Sullivan, Managing Director at The TEFL Academy, South Africa’s leading TEFL qualification provider. 

Additional requirements for securing a digital nomad visa vary from country to country. Typically, this entails evidence of civil documents, such as a CV, proof of accommodation, travel insurance, and minimum monthly earnings to ensure that visa holders can support themselves, without taking local jobs. Most countries also charge a fee for the visa application.

“As part of the process, visa applicants must prove that they won’t become a liability to the country in any way. For example, in Mexico you need to show a monthly income of more than R27 000, while other countries, like Taiwan, simply assess your professional skills. This is a small price to pay to live in countries that offer higher earning potential and the option to work anywhere, from tropical beaches to trendy cafes,” says O’Sullivan.

With average salaries of between R190 and R560 per hour, depending on experience, teaching English online offers an opportunity to meet these requirements, while still working less than the traditional 40 hours a week. To secure a job overseas, prospective teachers require a TEFL qualification – the globally accepted qualification to teach English abroad. When studied full time, a TEFL course can typically be completed within four to six weeks.

“The TEFL industry has been offering online teaching as an option for years. Many schools are well-acquainted with the digital nomad lifestyle and offer support to those who are looking to teach from anywhere in the world. For locals wanting to adopt the digital nomad way of life, this can also end up being a smart financial move, should you choose to relocate somewhere with a low cost of living, like Thailand,” says O’Sullivan.

Offering accessible, flexible and cost-effective ways to get TEFL qualified, The TEFL Academy provides internationally accredited and regulated online courses. The company, who were selected as the Overall Top TEFL Course Provider of 2021 by Go Overseas, also hosts a jobs board on their website where potential teachers can browse through over 1 500 international teaching opportunities. For more information, visit