Cabo Verde: Country wants to attract foreigners to stay, work remotely from archipelago

Cabo Verde intends to seduce European, American and Portuguese speaking citizens to work remotely from the archipelago through a programme that allows six-month stays with a temporary work visa. 

The “Remote Working Cabo Verde” programme emerged when the archipelago, currently with a low incidence of Covid-19, but virtually no tourism since March, tried to revive international interest as a sun and beach destination, reinforced by the safe environment in the face of the pandemic, after strengthening laboratory capacity to detect the disease and already with internationally certified health units. 

Officially launched by the Cape Verdean government this month, the programme consists of a temporary working visa for six months, with the possibility of renewal for the same period, at a total cost per person of €54, providing exemption from the payment of income tax for the self-employed who settle in the archipelago by teleworking.

Sun, beach, hospitality, tranquillity and a guaranteed high-speed internet connection to “work while enjoying the natural beauty of the country” are arguments put forward in the campaign abroad, consulted by Lusa, which is valid for self-employed workers and their families.

The programme, whose applications may be submitted electronically, is aimed only at citizens of countries in Europe, North America, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). In addition to a negative test for Covid-19 to enter the archipelago, it requires proof of income, namely an average bank balance of at least €1,500 over the last six months for an individual visa and €2,700 for a family visa. 

According to Carlos Santos, the minister for tourism, this is a programme that is part of the recovery of tourism in Cabo Verde. He adds that it comes at a time when working remotely is gaining strength in the context of the pandemic, since “people have suddenly realised that it is possible to work away from businesses”.