Lawyer Monthly - October 2022

About Alex Christen Alex Christen is a senior associate in Capital Law’s employment and immigration team. With over six years’ experience in providing businesses and individuals with immigration advice and praise from The Legal 500 for her professional approach, she supports clients across a range of industries on all manner of employment law. About Capital Law Capital Law is a full-service commercial law firm with offices in Cardiff, London and Paris. Its clients include businesses of all sizes, from start-ups to large corporates. It also works with a growing number of notfor-profit organisations in education and social housing, as well as with regulators and governmental bodies. As a member of several international legal networks, its lawyers often advise overseas clients and general counsel in global companies. Similarly, the employee could be entitled to Italian employment rights from day one of their remote working, despite what their contract may state about the law that governs the employment relationship. It is therefore important to check local legislation and guidance before authorising a request to work remotely and ascertain whether the employee may be afforded additional protection under local employment laws – and, if so, what these are. Other considerations include whether there are any local H&S compliance issues, whether the employee would need to be registered with local authorities and whether cross border data transfers are protected. Employers must put safeguards in place and ensure compliance with GDPR where appropriate. The visa is not a free pass for everyone; employees still need to meet eligibility and visa requirements. Each host country has their own requirements and policies which should be consulted carefully before applying, with some countries requiring applicants to attend interviews. The processing time varies, although it can take up to one month before it is approved. The required documents may include any of the following: • A valid passport; • Proof of remote work/employment contract; • Valid health insurance; • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination; • Background checks, and/or • A fee. Employers may decide that they wish to offer the option of international remote working in their organisation. If so, I recommend putting in place a clear policy and process to ensure that employees understand the requirements for the visa and how and when an application should be made. Employers will need to make it clear that responsibility (including the fee, unless agreed otherwise between employer and employee) lies with the employee if they wish to work remotely, although the employer may need to provide supporting documents in some cases. The employee should also be aware of any impact remote working could have on their ability to settle in the UK permanently if they do not already have an indefinite right to work here. For example, if an employee is sponsored in the UK under the Skilled Worker route, after five years’ continuous residence they can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK. However, lengthy absences from the UK may impact that application. Overall, the digital nomad visa is a forward-thinking immigration solution which provides flexibility to employees in light of the rise in remote working following the pandemic. As more and more countries continue to follow in Dubai’s footsteps, it seems this new visa concept here to stay – and will therefore require consideration amongst employers and employees alike. Contact Alex Christen Senior Associate, Capital Law Capital Building, Tyndall Street, Cardiff, CF10 4AZ Tel: +44 02920 474423 E: The digital nomad visa is a forwardthinking immigration solution which provides flexibility to employees in light of the rise in remote working following the pandemic. 42 LAWYERMONTHLYOCTOBER 2022

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