If you’re a remote worker who’s tired of the same grim corner of your home, why not pack up shop and move to Hawaii? The government program is offering out-of-state remote workers free round-trip tickets to Oahu for those willing to live and work there while contributing to the state’s economy.
A temporary residency program, known as “Movers and Shakas,” is accepting its first group of applicants until December 15. You can apply here. Fifty people will be chosen at first, although later applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis. The program offers discounts on lodging and working spaces as well.
According to the program FAQ, the ideal candidate “is a fully-employed individual with the flexibility to work anywhere, lives the ‘Aloha Spirit,’ and is looking to invest themselves into the community they choose to call home.”
What’s the catch?
It’s not really a catch, but if selected, you’ll be expected to join the state’s Pledge to Our Keiki program, which involves volunteering a few hours of your week to improve the local community through local nonprofits like the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii or Girl Scouts of Hawaii. Hawaii has been battered by the pandemic with the loss of tourism (the unemployment rate is 14.3%), so the idea behind the program is to inject money and skills into the local economy.
“Beyond bringing in valuable dollars into our local businesses, the real value is bringing talented knowledge workers who will both help to build our communities through volunteer work and to make our economy more resilient,” Richard Matsui, a founder of the program, told CNN.
Requirements and other considerations
Aside from sharing your time and skills, the program has a few other requirements or considerations to think about before applying.
- You must be a remote worker based in the U.S. and at least 18 years old.
- The program does not support people working in the U.S. on work visas.
- If selected, you will have less than one month to move to Hawaii.
- Participants are required to spend at least 30 consecutive days in Hawaii.
- While Hawaii has the lowest rate per capita of COVID infections in the country, travel restrictions are still in place. A 14-day quarantine must be observed when you arrive, though a negative test provided to the state prior to departure may allow visitors and residents to bypass the quarantine requirement.