By now, most of us know that digital nomads work while traveling around the world. Although we consider ourselves citizens of the world, it is not that simple when it comes to visas. In fact, there are not many countries with digital nomad visas. But in this post, I will list all of them, or at least everything I found after a long and thorough research.
We need to clarify first that digital nomadism does not mean traveling all the time but having the freedom to do it whenever you want. However, it is not always that simple, when it comes to visa requirements, and now covid restrictions as well.
Therefore, choosing a city to live in can be a real challenge, not only in terms of costs but also living legally in a place. In most countries, we can spend up to 3 months as tourists without a visa, but what if we want to spend more time?
Not to mention that frequent travel is even more complicated with all the travel restrictions of the Covid-19 era. If the digital nomad movement was already on the rise, it has now become a real possibility for many people thanks to the popularization of the home office, and the opportunity to work while traveling or temporarily move from country to country while keeping a job.
And although digital nomads, remote workers, and freelancers are quite different, they fall into the same category when it comes to visa requirements.
This is because even though they work in any country, they are not locally employed, but neither are they tourists. Actually, professionals who travel the world while working remotely have entered the radar of countries that are realizing that these travelers can impact the local economy in a positive way.
So, the main goal with the creation of visas to regulate travelers who work in remote jobs is to improve the local economy, without overloading and generating competition in job opportunities within the country. Another objective of digital nomad visas is aimed at alleviating the losses of the tourism sector in these countries.
Until recently, entry laws in most countries had not been created to deal with this new class of modern nomads who live and work remotely. What happened, then, was that we were usually in a limbo between the tourist visa and the business visa. However, that is finally starting to change.
And what is in it for you? As a freelancer, nomad business owner, or remote worker, your financial base is likely to be in the country where you reside. As your income is entirely earned online and deposited directly into your account, there are no major barriers that prevent you from using a tourist visa to work online while discovering a new country.
However, if we analyze everything literally, you will see that this is not 100% ideal, as one of the main conditions of the tourist visa is that the individual cannot work while in the country. That is exactly why these new visas for digital nomads are so important and revolutionary – they recognize the value of the professional working over the internet and offer the opportunity for a long-term stay that is entirely legal.
Most of these programs have emerged as solutions to remedy the brutal drop in tourism, as long-term travelers pose a lower risk of Covid-19 spreading than short-term tourists. But in some countries, these initiatives to attract digital nomads have been studied for some time. For example, the Estonian Digital Nomad Visa, where tourism represents only 8% of the economy, is a project that has been in the works for a few years. The launch in 2020 just coincided with the Coronavirus pandemic.
As with any other type of visa, it is clear that the applicant must satisfy some criteria when applying for a digital nomad or freelance visa. Generally speaking, most countries ask for financial proof, that is, invoices or bank statements that show that your virtual business has earned you stable income over the past few months.
Another factor that is very common for countries to ask for is health insurance that is valid at the destination and that covers the applicant for all of their stay there. The criteria vary from country to country, so I recommend that you check the website of the embassy or consulate of the country you decide to live in for the most up-to-date information. I have included it in this list for your convenience.
The number of countries with special visas for digital nomads is not yet large, but the recent movement of several nations gives an idea of how this could become common in the short term. In fact, the coronavirus pandemic itself caused some destinations to accelerate the creation of this visa category to attract and retain remote professionals for a while in their territory, stimulating the entry and circulation of foreign currency in the country.
So, here is a list of the countries with digital nomad visa, or some sort of temporary residence permits focused on freelancers and remote workers.
To be a digital nomad do I need a work visa?
Before moving onto the list of the countries offering a visa for digital nomads and remote workers, it’s important to clarify that it is not mandatory to apply for a digital nomad visa, especially if you stay in a country for a short time. If, on the contrary, you wish to stay in a particular for more than 3 months you need to check first if the immigration rules allow you.
In some countries such as Ecuador, you are entitled to stay as a tourist for not more than 3 months and if you want to stay longer you need to apply for an extension and pay a fee of about 200 USD but after 6 months you must leave. Or in Peru, after three months you can either apply online (depending on your passport-this is not allowed for Europeans) for an extra 3 months or you have to go out to the country and get back in for a maximum stay of 6 months.
This is just to give you a few examples and show you why in some cases a digital nomad visa although not mandatory, can be convenient and save you from immigration-related hassles.
Having said that, here below is a list of the best digital nomad visas.
List of countries offering a digital nomad and remote worker visa
(in alphabetical order)
Anguilla digital nomad visa
The UK territory of Anguilla offers a unique lifestyle where you can balance your work time and leisure time very easily. With that in mind, Anguilla introduced the Anguilla Digital Nomad Visa that allows you to live there for three months up to a year. To be eligible for the visa you must prove to be a remote worker earning enough income to support yourself while in Anguilla, although there is no minimum income stated.
The application is performed completely online, and it takes about 14 days to be processed. After filling out the application form you need to submit a few documents including proof of employment, clear criminal record, and proof of relationship with dependents accompanying the trip. The visa fee is $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a family of up to 4 people (which you pay after your application is approved).
Antigua & Barbuda digital nomad visa
The island of 365 beaches and spectacular turquoise sea, interesting historical sites, all-inclusive hotels, and world-class cuisine, Antigua and Barbuda is renowned more as a romantic couple destination than a digital nomad hub. Until now!
With the introduction of a first-rate high-speed internet connection and a brand new “Digital Nomad Residency Program”, the government is hoping to attract more and more remote workers to stay and enjoy the beautiful island.
There is a catch, though. To be entitled to a digital nomad visa, you must earn at least $50,000 a year to live and work there for up to 2 years and must prove that. Also to apply you must pay income tax in your place of residence or country of origin.
The visa application is very simple and intuitive. All you have to do is complete the form, provide proof that you actually do remote work, and pay the visa fees. The cost for a single candidate is $1,500, a couple will pay $2,000, and for a family of three or more, it is $3,000.
Antigua is expensive, and living in Antigua and Barbuda is definitely a privilege. But being able to do it as a digital nomad will allow you to enjoy all the many things to do in Antigua, including sailing, snorkeling, discovering all the 365 beaches enjoying the vibrant life at English Harbour and much more.
Barbados digital nomad visa
The government of Barbados recently launched the Barbados Welcome Stamp Visa to encourage the arrival of long-term tourists to the country. The program allows remote workers to stay on the island for up to 12 months.
Besides proving you work remotely for a company outside of Barbados or that you are self-employed, you must have an annual income equal to or greater than $50,000. You also need to present a clear criminal record.
The remote work visa has an application fee of $2,000 per person or $3,000 per family. To apply, make sure to have all your documents scanned to attach to the form. The request is usually approved within seven business days.
Barbados is a spectacular island to live in, full of activities and great beaches, an eclectic culinary scene, and more. Surf addicts love Barbados in particular for the great swells on the East coast for pro-surfers and easy waves for beginners on the west coast.
Bermuda digital nomad visa
Bermuda is one of several destinations that are betting on attracting this new type of traveler to encourage local tourism. And it has worked: more than 400 digital nomads are already living with the new digital nomad visa on the island. And who can blame them? Bermuda is a destination of unparalleled beauty and class at only 2 hours flight from New York. So why not living like a local for a while?
The Work From Bermuda visa guarantees you up to 1 year of stay in the region. And, interestingly, the visa is not exclusively for professionals. So, if you are in remote classes, it is also possible to apply for it.
To be eligible you must provide proof of employment outside of Bermuda (or studies) and show sufficient means or a continuing source of income to support you during your stay. Among the visa requirements is proof that you have no prior conviction in court.
And even though you must pay a non-refundable fee of $263, the application fee is considerably lower than the other visas we have seen so far, making Bermuda one of the best countries with digital nomad visa.
Cape Verde digital nomad visa
Good climate, beautiful places, vibrant culture, hospitality, security, and extensive internet coverage. This is the postcard that Cape Verde is waving to foreign citizens to work from there. The program “Remote Working Cape Verde” allows remote workers and digital nomads a stay of up to six months in the country with a temporary work/tourism visa. The local government also states that “Cape Verde has a modern telecommunications infrastructure and quality, high-speed Internet at a competitive price, with wide coverage throughout the country, which guarantees ideal conditions for remote work”.
Anyone wishing to join the program can do so on the official website, by filling out a form. The minimum requirements are proof of a monthly income of €1,500 per person and/or €2,700 for families, and payment of a fee of €54/person. And, best of all, the visa can be renewed!
Cayman Islands digital nomad visa
Known as a tax haven for the wealthy class, Cayman Islands bets on the luxurious lifestyle to attract the well-heeled to the destination. This way, in 2020, the Cayman Islands launched the Global Citizen Concierge program. This is a special visa with a duration of up to 2 years for those who want to live and work there.
To apply for the program, singles must prove an annual income of $100,000. For couples, the income to be proven is $150,000 or $180,000 if they have a child. In addition, the program requires proof of employment with a company outside the Cayman Islands. The application fee is $1,469 per person, plus $500 per dependent.
Costa Rica is a very popular destination for those interested in becoming a digital nomad, mainly because of its perfect beaches for surfing and its privileged nature. So, in 2020, the country decided to facilitate the process and launched Rentista , a remote work visa for freelancers that allows foreigners to live up to 2 years in the country. To apply you must have a guaranteed regular monthly income of at least $2,500 or a bank deposit of $60,000 in a Costa Rican bank. The visa already covers the possibility of including a spouse and children under 25 years of age or older with a disability.
The application fee is only $250 and besides filling out the form and scanning all documents, you must also translate them all to Spanish. And if you can show that you lived at least 4 months a year in Costa Rica, you can extend it. In fact, Costa Rica is so welcoming to foreigners that if you stay there for 3 years, you can even apply for a permanent visa.
Croatia digital nomad visa
In January 2021, Croatia officially began operating its new Digital Nomads Incentive Program , which allows remote workers to legally remain in the country for up to 1 year. As stated, the program aims at facilitating the bureaucracy involved in admitting residents in Croatia. It is still a recent initiative, but very promising, as Croatia is usually a frequent destination for digital nomads.
To apply for the visa, you need an employment contract or other document that proves that you carry out work through technology for a foreign employer or your own company. You also need to prove your livelihood. This includes a monthly income which cannot be less than €900 per month. Lastly, you must not be a convicted criminal and still present an address where you will be staying in the country. To get a visa, applicants need to fill out some forms and pay a €116 fee.
Although the temporary stay cannot be extended, a new application for this digital nomad visa can be submitted 6 months after the end of the previous stay. In addition, digital nomads can still bring close family members.
If you dream of the blue Caribbean Sea, living in paradise may be more affordable than you think: Curaçao wants to attract more residents. Curaçao closed its borders in March 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, and it is now looking for qualified residents to shake up the local economy.
As a result, the government of the Dutch island launched a program for digital nomads, long-term visitors, and investors to live on the island, with a visa that allows them to live and work there legally. The program is called @Home in Curaçao. To apply, applicants must fill out a form on the official website, send some documents, and pay a fee of $294. The documents include financial proof, a recent statement from the employer in the country of origin, or a recently certified copy of an employment contract.
Czech Republic digital nomad visa
Commonly seek by digital nomads due to its cheap prices, the Czech Republic is another European country that encourages the entry of digital nomads through the “Zivno”, a kind of long-term business visa for freelancers and other self-employed workers.
This long-stay visa allows you to stay up to 12 months provided you have accommodation sorted before arriving in the country. It sounds great but the Czech Republic freelancer visa is a little more complicated than the other visas on this list because the candidate must obtain a commercial license. In addition, you must have at least €5,000 in your bank account. With this visa, you also need to commit to paying the local tax every month ($80).
Due to its complexity, it is recommended that the application to the Czech Republic digital nomad visa be placed through a specialized agency. The processes will include putting together all the documentation, visiting the embassy, and paying the fee (€100).
It’s advisable to apply for the Czech Republic’s digital nomad visa at the Czech embassy in one’s country of origin or country of long-term residence as it is mentioned on the ETIAS official website.
Dominica digital nomad visa
Popular among independent travelers and eco-adventurers, Dominica (the small island in the Lesser Antilles not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is an island known for having volcanoes amidst tropical forests and hot springs, besides being one of the best and underrated diving destinations in the Caribbean.
With the decline in the tourism industry, the local government started an initiative to boost its economy while promising to provide a safe place for people to work remotely in a “tropical environment”.
Called Work in Nature, Dominica’s digital nomad visa allows remote workers to move there for up to 18 months. To apply for a visa, applicants must demonstrate that they can support themselves in some way or that they expect to receive $50,000 or more within the next 12 months. Single applicants pay $100 for the application plus $800 for the visa itself. Anyone who wants to go with the family must pay $1,200 in total. The family program encourages children to attend school on the island.
The city of Dubai (and not the United Arab Emirates) recently launched a “virtual work program”, the Remote Work Nomad Visa, which allows remote workers and their families to stay in the city for up to a year while working for companies based abroad.
The great advantage of this program is that it allows you to enjoy the same services offered to residents, including access to telecommunications, public services and even enroll your children in Dubai’s school system.
People of all nationalities can apply for Dubai’s digital nomad visa and travelers who are not sure they want to commit can enter the city on a tourist visa and during their stay, apply for it. However, it is not very simple to get this visa.
One of the requirements to apply is that you prove that you earn a minimum of $5,000 per month by showing proof of work, last month’s payslip, and three months of bank statements. The entire cost of the application and bureaucratic process, all the way to your Emirates ID, costs around $611.
Estonia digital nomad visa
The first country to create a specific teleworker visa for digital nomads, Estonia is also at the top of the digital nomads’ preference list. In fact, Tallinn, its capital, was chosen by digital nomads as the best destination of 2020, especially because it has a relatively low cost of living and offers great digital infrastructure and easy access to fast internet.
Before the creation of the Digital Nomad Visa in mid-2020, Estonia had already created a digital residency program called e-Residency. However, with the new visa, professionals can move and live legally in the country.
There are two options for Estonia digital nomad visas. The “type C” visa for a short period (6 months) costs €80 while the “type D” visa for a long period (1 year) costs €100. With this visa, digital nomads from all over the world can spend up to 1 year in the country, being able to renew it. The requirements include working remotely for a company outside Estonia and having a minimum income of €3,504 in the six months before application. After filling out the online form and paying the respective fee of the desired visa, you need to make an appointment at the nearest Estonian Consulate.
Just be aware that Estonia is very strict with the protection criteria concerning Covid-19 and that is why they are only accepting foreigners from a small group of countries. But nothing prevents you from applying when the pandemic ends.
Former Soviet republic between Europe and Asia, Georgia is yet another country betting on digital nomads to heat its economy, which was further weakened by the pandemic. The Remotely From Georgia program allows remote workers to stay in the country for up to a year, long enough to enjoy the famous mountains of the Caucasus region. In addition, the place has a low cost of living, which makes it even more attractive for those looking to save money!
The requirements to get the visa include working remotely for a company outside of Georgia and have a minimum monthly income of €2,000. However, there are the same limitations as Estonia for protecting the local population. That is, immigrants of some nationalities are only allowed after the pandemic.
Germany is one of the most desirable countries to live in the world and its quality of life and German education makes the country a perfect place for young digital entrepreneurs. And interestingly, Germany was the first to offer long visas for freelancers in Europe.
The Germany digital nomad visa is called Aufenthaltserlaubnis für selbständige Tätigkeit , or Residence Permit for Self-Employed Work, and it allows remote workers to stay in the country from 6 months to 3 years. However, one of the conditions is that the candidate must have German clients, as the ultimate goal is to foster the local economy.
To apply you need a home address in Germany, proof of income, and a demonstration of the type of work done so that the German government can identify if it can be useful for the economy. To obtain the visa, it is necessary to gather all documents, schedule the visa interview and pay the fee of €100. You must also have a German bank account and be registered with the Tax Registration Office.
Iceland opened its borders to remote workers in late 2020 with the Work in Iceland program : an initiative that allows foreign professionals to live and work in the country. Compared to the other countries above, the Iceland digital nomad visa offers a shorter duration with a maximum of 6 months. But it is still an excellent alternative to explore this country that is simply unique!
The visa application fee is $60 and there is an additional $43 fee for passport processing. Even though the fee is relatively lower than in other countries, you need to prove that you have an annual income of at least $88,000. You also need to prove that you do not work for an Icelandic company.
Due to its perfect climate along with the ease of travel to anywhere in Europe, Malta has been considered an alternative to Thailand and Indonesia, destinations already well known for those who follow the digital nomad lifestyle.
Spending a season there may cost you a little more than if your stay in Asia, but the charm of the Game of Thrones archipelago setting has placed Malta on the top of the European destinations. Another reason why Malta has become so popular among digital nomads is its 5G network coverage nationwide.
Recently, Malta launched the one-year-long Nomad Residence Permit, which can be renewed and covers remote workers’ families as well. The visa costs €300 and is directed towards Non-EU remote workers. In addition to proving an income of at least €2,700 per month, you also need to show a rental contract or property purchase documents when applying for the visa.
Washed by the Indian Ocean and close to the African continent, Mauritius is also ready to receive remote workers. The special Mauritius Premium Visa, created in 2020, allows travelers to stay in the country for one year (and it is renewable).
Interestingly, the remote work visa is issued free of charge. Besides some basic immigration requirements, you need to prove that you are a self-employed professional or that you work for a company outside Mauritius. Applicants must also prove that they have a monthly income of at least $1,500.
The application is performed online, and you receive your visa by email. Mauritius is one of the most accessible countries with digital nomad visas and it almost sounds too good to be true, huh?!
Mexico digital nomad visa
Although Mexico has a tourist visa with a maximum duration of six months of stay, nowadays the country also offers a Temporary Residence Visa. The Mexico digital nomad visa provides the nomad with a one-year stay and the possibility of renewal for up to three years.
The application process asks for an income of more than $1,620 per month, or a bank account balance of more than $27,000, to ensure visitors can support themselves. To apply, it is necessary to have a publicly-held company or work for another company outside Mexico. The application is no different from the others. The form must be completed, and the documentation must be organized. Once this is done, you must simply schedule an appointment with the consulate to submit your documents. Not forgetting the payment of the fee, which is issued at the consulate.
If you want to spare some hassle you can seek help from a Mexican laywer as well to facilitate the process.
As a side note, Mexico has recently become one of the most popular places to live both as a digital nomad or expatriate, not only for its exceptional beauty the great food, and incredible natural wonders but also for the loose covid restrictions which allow you to enter the country without any test requirement. And yes if you are wondering, it is safe to travel to Mexico right now.
Even though tourists are currently banned from the Caribbean island of Montserrat, remote workers are still welcome. Announced in January 2021, the Montserrat Remote Workers Stamp program allows travelers to live and work locally for up to 12 months. Visas to stay on the island are not renewed, although it is possible to reapply the application for a new annual stay.
The application fees are $500 for one person or $750 or more for families. The approval response is given within a week. Other than that, applicants must have an annual income of at least $70,000.
Norway has one of the most expensive visas for self-employed people in Europe: it costs €600! You must have €35,700 in your bank account, in addition to various documents and proofs that must be sent online through the official website. The Norway digital nomad visa is called Independent Contractor Visa . And after filling in the application you also need to take it to the nearest Norwegian Embassy in person.
Curiously, there is an archipelago in Norway called Svalbard that does not require a visa to work there. You will gain a lifetime allowance on the condition that you have the means to support yourself there, which is NOT CHEAP. It might sound like an attractive alternative to the digital nomad visas but the question is if you would want to live somewhere so isolated and cold!
Insider tip – The Svalbard islands are renowned for their spectacular nature and wildlife and usually visited by cruises.
Portugal is one of the most popular destinations when it comes to living abroad. Whether for its culture and cuisine, the charm of its cobblestone streets, or beautiful beaches, the destination also attracts the attention of digital nomads. So, it is no surprise that Portugal also offers temporary residence visas options.
The country has a special visa for self-employed workers for one year, the Independent workers and entrepreneurs visa. The requirements include a financial proof with a minimum monthly income of € 600 and a criminal record.
After filling out the forms, you must print all the documents, make an appointment at the nearest Consulate of Portugal, and pay a fee of €83.
And like Costa Rica, Portugal facilitates the process for those who want to settle there. After 5 years of living in the country and renewing your temporary residence, you can apply for a permanent residency.
With paradisiac scenery, Seychelles has been trying to attract remote workers by selling the idea that you can work and play at a unique retreat such as the archipelago. Visitors holding the “Visitors Workcation Permit ” can work from Seychelles for 30 days up to one year. The program invites both self-employed digital nomads and remote workers (employees) provided that you can prove your qualifications and job. As in many other countries in this list, Seychelles also invites family members to join in the Workcation program.
As part of the program, you will have access to health care facilities and discounted rates in long-term accommodations with a Wi-Fi connection. To have a successful permit you must submit your documents and application at least 60 days before arriving in the country and pay the €45 fee. Although a specific value is not stated, you also need to prove your income.
There is still no program aimed at digital nomads specifically, but Spain offers a special visa for self-employed workers, allowing travelers to live and work there for a year. The process requires a declaration of employment and passing a criminal background check.
The basic conditions include having financial means such as investment or retirement (minimum €2,151 per month) or €25,816 in the bank account and present professional qualifications or business projects. To apply you must first gather all documents and arrange a visit to the Spanish embassy closest to you.
Be aware that all documents must be translated into Spanish and authenticated. You will also need to take an oath that you will not work for companies in Spain and pay the €130 fee.
Spain also has a so-called “non-profit” visa for one year with the possibility of renewal. It is a visa suitable for those who are self-sufficient, retired, enjoying life in a more relaxed lifestyle.
Even though Taiwan does not have a visa specific for digital nomads, they offer a unique opportunity to start your life there, as long as you can prove to have a monthly income of at least $5,700. The open work permit of the Taiwan Employment Gold Card,allows you to work for any company you want and stay up to 3 years in the country. The permit also gives you plenty of benefits such as tax deduction. And, your family can apply for residence to join you in Taiwan.
What is interesting about Taiwan’s initiative is that as long as you are a skilled professional you can apply for a visa and look for a job in Taiwan. With over 1,000 successful applicants, this is Taiwan’s strategy to grow its community of foreign workers.
Those wishing to spend a season in The Bahamas can enroll in the Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay program. The 12-month residency permit allows remote workers and students to live and move among its 16 islands.
Interested parties must provide proof of employment and an international yellow fever vaccination certificate (Required if traveling from a country with risk of YF virus transmission and ≥1 year of age, including transit >12 hours in an airport located in a country with risk of YF virus transmission.)
For students, they need proof of school enrollment and funds to cover living and travel expenses. And for additional fees, the University of the Bahamas can be accessed for support and other educational services.
Applications are processed in five days and cost $25 per person. If approved, the applicant must pay $1,000 (and $500 for each accompanying dependent). You can also renew your permit for a maximum of up to three years.
Wrapping up on the remote working visa for digital nomads
Remote work visas for digital nomads are still new; however, some countries offer other types of stay permits for long-term travelers. In addition, countries such as Argentina, Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, and Thailand have already announced that they will launch new visa modalities soon. Stick around if you want to receive updates on that.
And the trend is that the list of countries with digital nomad visas will increase as more countries begin to realize the economic potential of receiving foreign remote workers. This way, living abroad while traveling is becoming an increasingly possible dream to be fulfilled even for those who need a bit more stability than the typical nomad life entails. So, where do you want to go now?
Digital Nomad jobs inspirations: interviews with nomads interpreneurs and freelancers
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About the Author
I’m Camila, an Oceanographer from Brazil which is where my journey began. My studies have taken me to unique places around the world since I was a teenager. I found in my academic career the chance to come across different cultures and languages while working as a scientist. By having lived in several countries I have been able to share my experiences as a travel content writer for the last 4 years and I still have plenty more to tell. I have a great passion for the outdoors and animals, especially dogs and seals (which, let’s be honest, are basically sea dogs!).