Right after the pandemic, more working professionals choose to seek out adventure and thrill, even in their daily work. This gave rise to digital nomads, effortlessly going in and out of various towns and countries and trying new restaurants and cafes to make their work life even more enjoyable.
It’s pretty easy to become a digital nomad. Get a gadget you’ll use 24/7, stable mobile data or internet connection, and you’re good to go. However, there’s one thing you forgot: being a digital nomad also means following legal policies to be able to work abroad. That means getting a digital nomad visa, ensuring you have the right insurance, and strictly following the process.
Your next question is, how can I get insurance, and what exactly do I need? Well, you’re in luck. This guide gives an in-depth overview of a digital nomad visa, its insurance requirements, and how to get one.
Digital Nomad Visa Explained
A digital nomad visa is a legal document giving you the right to work remotely in a specific country.
But don’t get confused. You don’t need to have a visa to become a digital nomad. A digital nomad visa only becomes required when you intend to stay in a country longer than the number of days or months your tourist visa allows.
Applying for a digital nomad visa in Colombia has strict requirements you must follow. With this visa, you won’t be able to get a job from a local company in Colombia.
How A Digital Nomad Visa Works
A typical digital nomad visa allows workers and freelancers to enter and stay in their chosen country for at least 90 days. These visas usually have specific parameters, including eligible countries, validity periods, and types of activities you can and cannot carry out.
Before applying for a digital visa, doing thorough research and familiarizing yourself with the terms and conditions are necessary. The main difference between a digital nomad visa and a tourist visa is the length of stay. Digital nomad visas allow you to stay for more than 90 days, alongside the other benefits:
- Run your business back home or work remotely while living in Colombia
- Because a digital nomad visa’s validity typically lasts a year, you can enjoy and appreciate what the country offers
Digital Nomad Visa Requirements
Normally, a digital nomad visa requires you to have a valid passport and a completely filled-out visa application form. Plus you’ll also need the following documents:
- Your employment contract from the company you’re working for (should not be from the host country)
- A permission letter from your boss or employer permitting you to do remote work
- A contract letter stating the length of the contract, position, and salary
- Bank statements showing proof of income
- Health insurance coverage necessary in the country where you will travel to
The employment contract, employer’s letter, and proof of income are a no-brainer because you just have to ask them from the company you’re working for. Let’s go in-depth on the type of insurance you need when applying for a digital nomad visa in Colombia.
All About Health Insurance for a Digital Nomad Visa in Colombia
Digital nomads need health insurance because it covers hospital-related medical costs, including emergencies, hospitalization, unlimited treatment for catastrophic illness, and more.
On top of that, digital nomads can opt for travel insurance. However, it’s important to be aware that travel insurance in Colombia only covers accidents or emergencies that require authorizations for hospital care. On the other hand, with private insurance, you don’t need authorizations if you’re in an emergency or an accident.
Private Health Insurance
The first type of insurance that you can get as a digital nomad in Colombia is private health insurance. Private health insurance is offered by a number of different companies, although the best company is SURA.
This type of insurance comes with a number of benefits, such as:
- Low premiums
- Private room in the hospital
- Specialists with no referrals
- Access to virtual health visits
- No out-of-pocket deductibles
- Lab work and diagnostics
- Unlimited treatment for catastrophic illness
- Best hospitals in Colombia
- Unlimited doctor visits
On top of that, it’s a comprehensive plan that you can get just with a passport. There’s no need to have local residential documents in order to get this type of insurance. Best of all, it’s extremely affordable, costing a fraction of what travel insurance or international health plans cost in the United States.
For those who are on a tighter budget or don’t want comprehensive insurance, there’s also the ASSIST Card. The ASSIST Card covers emergencies and accidents and is often used for people who are planning on participating in outdoor excursions or other tours.
While the ASSIST Card does keep you protected in case you run into real trouble, there are authorizations needed if you want to see a specialist or require special care like surgeries. So, while it’s more affordable, it’s not as convenient as a private health plan.
The good news about ASSIST Cards is that they provide coverage ranging from 3 days to 1 year. If you’re not planning on nomading for too long, this can be a good option.
What to Look for in Health Insurance for a Digital Nomad Visa
The amount of information you must familiarize yourself with when applying for health insurance might be overwhelming, especially when it’s your first time becoming a digital nomad in Colombia. To help you, here are a few things to remember:
Fits Your Budget
Some digital nomads have bigger budgets than others, so when looking for a health policy, you’ve got to keep in mind how much you’re willing to spend. SURA has a variety of plans at different price points, letting you get comprehensive private insurance regardless of what your budget is.
Digital nomads are constantly on the go, which is why digital nomad health coverage should be flexible. You’ll want to look for a policy that works for the duration of your trip while also covering basic needs while abroad, such as doctor visits and lab work.
Adherence to Government Requirements
Another thing to think about is how well the insurance policy adheres to government requirements. If your insurance policy doesn’t meet these requirements, you’ll wind up having to take out a second health plan.
In Colombia, for digital nomad visas, the policy needs to cover accidents, illnesses, and hospitalizations. It needs to be valid for the entire duration of your stay in the country. Additionally, it must be valid in Colombia for coverage. Even if you have a health plan that works back home, if it doesn’t provide coverage in Colombia, you’ll need to take out a new policy.
The Bottom Line
Digital nomads should prioritize health and travel insurance as part of the requirements when applying for a digital nomad visa in Colombia. Aside from merely being a necessary document to qualify for a visa, health insurance gives you protection and coverage when emergencies or unfortunate circumstances arise.
Angela Barrio is an insurance agent supported by SURA and can provide you with the best health insurance you need for your digital nomad visa in Colombia. Learn more about her policies and coverage today.