Have computer will travel … is this you? The Canaries are calling for you to come as a remote worker

Apart from wanting to direct tourism towards more sustainable models for the future, Turismo here in the Canaries is paradoxically not just looking towards tourists at all but has launched an initiative to appeal to remote workers. In announcing the move, regional tourism minister Yaiza Castilla said that the new teleworking sector in these islands was already growing and that expectations were that it will now develop twice as fast as previously expected because of the pandemic. Castilla said that the Canaries were being marketed as “the office with the best climate in the world”!

The strategy will focus on three main approaches: generating a culture of remote work in the regional tourism sector; encouraging international companies to choose the Canaries for their employees to work remotely in islands that are ideal for offshoring; and attracting remote workers by promoting the brand values that interest them.

The initiative seeks to consolidate an annual volume of 30,000 remote workers and digital nomads, numbers that are growing all the time as people are increasingly required to work “from home” and increasingly resistant to the idea of returning to their office. Originally, Castilla said, the Government had envisaged this plan being developed over the next decade but they’ve cut that estimate in half because the sector is clearly booming. It is doing so, indeed, throughout Spain, which the country is now actively promoting, but here in the Canaries, we have a year round climate, affordable prices, a safe environment, excellent communications facilities, and an outdoor culture. If you have a “have computer will travel” attitude, the very clear message is “what are you waiting for?”!

  Here’s a video of the whole presentation from earlier today.

26 Comments

  1. If you’re in a regulated industry (eg Lawyer, accountant from the U.K.), take care, as working “from home” in Tenerife probably is not legal and if you are in a partnership back in the U.K., your other partners could get hit for tax – this is a truely complicated and a dangerous mine field. Certainly major U.K. accounting firms have instructed their partners not to work from their overseas holiday houses

  2. Author

    Anyone can qualify for a rental agreement! People can rent/let for specific purposes like working for between 1 day and 1 year under Urban Letting Legislation. No problem at all. It’s called a Temporada contract and I’ve described it fully HERE. BUt you need to see this outside a UK perspective. Anyone coming from a third-country/non-EU member state for more than 3 months would simply need a visa. and yes, obviously ideal for 2nd home owners … but I repeat, anyone from within the EU will not have this issue in any case and I would expect the majority of people doing this to be EU nationals simply for ease of movement and freedom from restriction. It won’t need saying, I’m sure, but although writing in English I am not writing “for” the English, or even just the UK.

  3. Yes I understand and appreciate the 90 day rule. It made me think though, if 90 in 180 days is the max for remote working whether finding accommodation for that period would be a problem, too expensive for a holiday let yet not qualifying for a usual rental agreement? Ideal for 2nd home owners in that position though.

  4. Thank you for your gracious reply Janet – & heaven forbid, I assure you I empathise with you about internet vitriol but as you say, that’s for elsewhere….

    I’ll follow your suggestions & give you a shout in due course under separate cover.

    Warm regards – & please keep this wonderful resource going 🙂

    Jon (mkII)

  5. Author

    The 90 day rule, as I’ve explained, is a Schengen Area rule, and since Spain is a member of the Schengen Area it can’t unilaterally undermine one of its fundamental principles, and the Canaries certainly has no such power.

  6. Thanks for your answer to my query Janet – tbh bit dusappointed its still only the 90 day rule that would apply if from outside EU. I think whats in my head is I read somewhere about Barbados offering a scheme where you work there remotely for a year to boost visitors/residents during the pandemic & I rather hoped it would be a similar length of stay allowed in Tenerife

  7. Author

    Hi Jon (second Jon without an h on this site!), I’m sure such a story will have interest for them. In what sense it would be something they could use, obviously only they can say, but why not just get in touch and offer this?! The tourism minister’s official contact details are HERE or you could even just tweet to her HERE! Thank you for your kind words about my own blog, please do give us any links to your own posts that you’d like to share!

  8. Hi Janet (& team)

    Firstly, thank you so much for all that you do – your site is my go-to destination for all current Tenerifian news.

    Secondly, the remote working story has really caught my eye.

    I’m a retired senior police officer who now operates as a consultant, & I’ve always joked that it’s something I could do from a balcony on my favourite island.

    I was last in Tenerife for a month last October, when I stumbled into blogging by accident really. This became incredibly popular, & if it wasn’t for the resurgence of this wretched virus it may well have bee run as a daily blog on the Mail online …

    So…… I was wondering if I could offer to be something of a case study for this initiative….. do you think there’s any chance that minister would be interested in me coming out, working as a remote UK consultant, & blogging about it?

    Possibly far-fetched, but I’d appreciate your thoughts.

    Regards

    Jon

  9. Can i say i run an international business based in zurich out of my canarian house 1km up the side of teide with 600mb fibra optica from movistar and my london agent runs his out of essex with 4mb adsl from BT …

  10. Author

    I agree, Jon, and I’ve run this site for a decade and a half with just ADSL and no problem. and we live very remotely … and even so are about to get fibre optic!

  11. Robert. I assure you, living here in a little 40-resident village on the slopes of Gran Canaria, the 600mb fibre connection that I enjoy is way in advance of the levels of service offered by the UK providers…. unless you want to pay an insane premium.
    Our cabildos are paving the way by paying for the installation and the installers are flying along up here putting places BT would only sneer at on the system.
    I would certainly jump at the chance to bring my pre-retirement work out here…. but being a bus driver makes that a little unlikely.

  12. Author

    I doubt I will ever live down the carrot at the end of the tunnel one … 😅

    edit … but I don’t see why a bandwagon or any other type of wagon can’t be steam propelled, and so have a head of steam … 🤔 🤐

  13. Very amusing Mencey, we all need a little humour at the moment, well done and keep up the good work both of you.

  14. Author

    The Queen of mixed metaphors strikes again! Keep it going, perhaps a competition for the best one, acting like a carrot at the end of the tunnel.

  15. Author

    Not true. It’s already happening, and as I said above, in fact it’s happening so much that the regional Government has halved its initiative timing estimates because it’s taking off anyway! And it’s so throughout Spain. What the Canaries are doing is, effectively, just getting on the bandwagon that’s already got a head of steam up nationally.

  16. It is a nice idea, BUT internet access infrastructure in the Canaries is years behind what is necessary to support such a technical solution.
    Without the government mandating expansion of both geographic coverage and system capacity this idea is dead in the water.

  17. Author

    You can do as you want … they want people to come here and live while working elsewhere. You don’t need to “apply” you just come … but within the legal requirements of 90 day maximum without a visa, or with a work visa straight off for more than 90 day visits. What this is is an initiative to make people aware that they can come here and work from here as long as their employer doesn’t mind them not trekking into the centre of whichever city they’re based in in whichever country they’re a national of …

    This isn’t complicated. It’s just a matter of whether someone works telematically – works form home or always online wherever they are – and then can come and live here, contribute to society and economy here … just making people think of the option rather than, say, being employed by France Telecom and working from their bedsit in Fontainbleu rather than taking the train into Paris every day, or being a British Transport Police administrator currently working from their study at home in Swindon rather than going into London … encouraging them to come here and work from here instead.

    There’s no “system for application”, there aren’t any “jobs” … it’s just where do you want to be when you are working if you don’t physically have to go into your employer’s premises to work … . If you’re self-employed, I guess you won’t have much of a wait for an answer … 😀

  18. So could I apply to work from the Canaries running my housing rentals business in the Uk as self employed do you know?

  19. Author

    Technically, biologically, and in reality, you are still one person whichever passport you use and your individual rights are limited to 90 days. Given you have two passports, you might get away with it for the next year (but that’s as much reassurance as you can get and it wouldn’t reassure me) but after the ETIAS visa system comes into force, anticipated for next year, I would expect it to be impossible. See HERE. For all the fuss currently being made about the 90 day allowance I don’t think it’s dawned on anyone yet that that’s only a problem for the next year. After that they don’t get any allowance without a visa!

  20. Hi Janet, thanks for the information and link to the presentation. I have a puzzler for you: as a dual national, could I stay in the Canaries for 90 days on my UK passport, leave and then return the very next day to stay for another 90 days using my Canadian passport?

  21. Sounds good to me. It’s the way of the future.

  22. I have a client at work whose villas are currently filled with remote workers from all over the world. I’m also doing a copywriting course with a Canadian girl who has people all over the world and there are 3 of us actually based in Tenerife, so it seems this island is definitely ticking the boxes if that’s what they are trying to market.

  23. Author

    You’d be considered a remote worker if you were employed elsewhere and based here while working remotely from where your employer is. I don’t know what you mean by “does one get paid”. They aren’t offering jobs but suggesting people who already have work come here and do it remotely from where they would normally be based. Since the trend everywhere is for people to work from home, they may as well be based here as in the UK, or anywhere else …

  24. Could I be considered as a remote worker if I live in the canaries? I can only speak English but am studying The Spanish Language, and does one get paid?

  25. Author

    Why not three months here? Or register as a resident? Or get a work visa for 90+? And you are making the assumption that they are appealing specifically to UK teleworkers. There is a whole wide world out there … and they are already looking well beyond the UK because that has decided to pull up its own drawbridge. Apart from countries like Canada, the US, Ireland, and Australia, any nationals of EU member states wouldn’t have a problem with the 90 day rule anyway. This isn’t to do with the UK specifically, though any British nationals interested will be as welcome as anyone else of course!

  26. 90 in 180 days ? Or have I missed something?

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