(Editor’s note: Some countries such as Hungary and Mexico have digital nomad visas, but we can’t in good conscience recommend them because of crime or authoritarian governments.)
The question we get more than any other is “What’s the easiest route to living in Europe long-term?” In the past, we would have directed you to our Golden Visa archives or our posts about freelance visas. But for the past two years, very attractive countries have started seeing digital nomads as long-term economic assets and image boosters and are issuing digital nomad visas.
That’s because many are skilled developers, entrepreneurs, social media marketers and influencers pulling down serious jack. But you don’t have to be all about the money. You, like our Beth Hoke, can make a living doing what you love to do, in her case, writing, teaching English and hustling clients while she experiences the best Europe has to offer.
But there’s more to it than that. A lot of less-developed countries see digital nomads as a way to instantly boost their talent bases, according to this Wall Street Journal post.
“Countries are now competing for talent, just like companies used to compete for talent,” the WSJ quotes Prithwiraj Choudhury, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, as saying. Choudhury estimates more than 24 countries worldwide now provide digital-nomad visas.
By the way, Japanese technologist Tsugio Makimoto predicted this trend back in 1997, years before wifi and fast Internet connections were really a thing. You can see more about his book, “Digital Nomad,” here. As of late 2022, there’s a new wrinkle – the Digital Nomads who believe the nation state and national identity are obsolete. You can read about that here.
So let’s look at the latest developments. We’re updating this post as they come online but most of Europe now has digital nomad visas. The action has shifted to South America and Asia. See below for details about Uruguay’s new DN visa.
The following list is in the order of the newest to the oldest:
Prague was an expat destination for decades, then lost its luster as other countries created Digital Nomad visas. Now, it’s getting a second act with a new digital nomad visa aimed specifically at highly skilled internationals in specific countries: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Applicants must have at least a bachelors in science, technology, engineering or maths or three years of work experience in the IT industry.
The new visa allows freelancers and remote employees to work from the country for one year.
DNs employed by a foreign company must meet the minimum income requirement of 60,530 Czech krona, or 2,507 euros per month and work for a company with at least 50 employees. So no creating your own company that then “hires” you.
Freelancers must have at least 124,500 krona in your account, or $5,650.
You can get the granular details here on the Ministry of Industry and Trade website, which also has the email address to which you can apply.
Greece’s Digital Nomad visa has been in the works since 2021. Now, it’s finally law. Greece’s digital nomad visa is open to non-EU citizens who are remote workers, freelancers and/or entrepreneurs.
As with other DN visas, you have to prove you can support yourself with work from companies outside Greece. And minimal amount you must earn to qualify is surprisingly high (compared to Portugal, let’s say) at 3,500 euros per month after tax deduction, 4,200 euros per month if you bring along a spouse or significant other.
Now, here’s the good part:
The visa is valid for a stay of up to 12 months, after which you can apply for a digital nomad residence permit, which can be renewed two more years. With the new visa, Greece – which already has a plethora of long-stay visa offerings and Golden Visas – is upping the ante with a 50-percent discount on personal income taxes.
It would cuts the current tax rate in Greece – 44 percent for annual personal income of more than 40,000 euros ($47,000), or 17,600 euros to 22 percent, or 8,800 euros, for seven years.
There is, as you might suspect, a Brexit component as a number of multinational banks are eyeing sending some operations to Greece so they can continue to do business with the European Union. And Greece has been trying to lure back its best and brightest, who emigrated to the United States and other countries during the financial crisis.
The downside is, you can’t apply online. You have to go to a consulate or embassy in your country of citizenship to start the process. Applicants need to schedule an appointment and bring along all necessary documents such as proof of income, etc. Successful applicants will be eligible to register for a residency permit when they arrive in Greece.
Spain has joined the rest of Europe in trying to attract Digital Nomads. The Spanish Digital Nomad visa has been be available since January 2023 to talent from outside the European Economic area working remotely under contract for non-Spanish companies (and you have to prove you’ve worked for them for at least three months.) Spouses and kids can come, too.
The good news is while the original legislation announced this past January only allowed six months in-country, the new law allows DNs to stay up to five years. It gives Digital Nomads a tax break and startups a tax incentive. (We wondered how long it would be till some country figured out these two trends are intersecting.) The new laws are designed tp streamline the legendarily complex bureaucratic obstacles to starting a business. We’ll see …..
On the Digital Nomad side, the visa is good for six months, then renewable for another 12 and cut the non-resident tax rate to 15 percent on the first 600,000 euros from 24 percent. But you have to prove you earn at least 200 percent of the country’s monthly minimum wage – 2,334 euros per month or about 28,000 euros per year.
But we’re still talking about Spain, so there are lots of kinks to work out and you’re probably going to need an attorney somewhere along the line. TNW has a solid post with most of the details.
That took long enough!
Even though Portugal already is at the top of the list for European Digital Nomads, last month, Portugal finally introduced legislation for a formal Digital Nomad visa. Only in October are the details final. And the details are favorable, with Portugal instituting a low salary requirement.
As of 30 October, the visa is available to those outside the EU making four times the national minimum wage, or about 2,800 euros per month, one of the lowest requirements in Europe. (Compare that to Norway below, which requires proof of a minimum income of 36,000 euros.) The Portuguese visa will allow DNs to live and work in Portugal for up to 1 year and you can apply for long-term residence. And of course once you have it, you can travel anywhere in the EU.
Officially the “residence visa for the exercise of professional activity provided remotely outside the national territory,” the new Digital Nomad visa is designed to attract working professionals. And let’s be honest … younger ones as Portugal’s population ages, with about 20 percent people over 65 years old.
Along with proof of income for the most recent three months, applicants must submit tax-residency documents and an employment contract, or proof of self-employment. You can apply at a Portuguese Consulate in your home country, or at Portugal’s immigration agency, Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras.
Portugal, following the philosophy of “go big, or go home,” has had past initiatives aimed at DNs even if the country didn’t have a visa. The Portuguese island of Madeira opened a Digital Nomad village on 1 February.
The original effort was lead by Startup Madeira CEO Carlos Soares Lopez, and you can see the full team here. This is all started as economic-development project developed by the Regional Government of Madeira, through Startup Madeira, and appears to be for real. The “village” appears to be a group of hotels and hostels that are participating.
From everything we can find online, Madeira actually has the infrastructure including shared working spaces and Internet connections robust enough to support digital nomads. As our Beth Hoke can tell you, there are worse places to be a Digital Nomad than this scenic island in the Atlantic. So why the heck not, right?
While Germany doesn’t have a Digital Nomad visa per se, it does have a freelance visa that allows Digital Nomads to live and work legally in the country. Called Aufenthaltserlaubnis für selbständige Tätigkeit, it’s available to non-EU citizens who want to stay in the country for up to one year.
But this being Germany – and this being a temporary residence visa – there’s nothing easy about it. There’s an application process that includes submitting lots of documents, in-person interviews and proof that you fill an economic void within the country and will benefit the economy. Which honestly, isn’t hard if you have hard skills because Germany has a huge talent deficit. And you must prove you can support yourself, pay your rent and insurance with a 450 euro cushion per month. Did we mention that everything is in German?
Here’s how Lily Cichanowicz got her freelance visa in Berlin.
Italy’s strategy when it comes to Digital Nomads has been to, well, promise a lot, and deliver very little. Italian officials had talked about a 1 billion euro fund (where does all the money come from?) to lure Digital Nomads to the country’s estimated 2,000 ghost towns – villages in remote regions that have lost most of their populations to urban centers. As part of that project, the plan was to run broadband in to rural areas, according to Forbes. (We heard this before in rural American towns and nothing happened there, either.)
Now, details are stating to emerge as all parties in Italy’s coalition government agree this is a good idea. The digital nomad visa proposal was initially included in a draft decree in March 2022, part of a COVID economic recovery bill that includes the goal of directing them to Italy’s depopulated rural areas.
The BBC quotes a member of parliament from the Five Star party claiming Italy is almost there on the details of the final visa. The post quotes Luca Carabetta as saying the Italian law will combine “the best elements of other digital nomad visas” and launch by September at the latest. And Carabetta makes the rather eye-opening claim that Italy will attract five percent of all the DNs in the world – an estimated two million – in the first year!
That proposed legislation now includes a digital nomad visa good for up to one year. It could be available to non-EU talent “who carry out highly qualified work activities through the use of technological tools that allow them to work remotely, autonomously or for a company that is not resident in the territory of the Italian state.”
Euronews is reporting Digital Nomads will have to meet “a long list of requirements.” DNs would have to pay Italian taxes and have private health insurance.
More as we know more.
Italy also has the visto per lavoro autonomo, a self-employment visa that’s really tough to get, or so our Italy-based expats tell us.
Republic of Cyprus
As of March, 2022, Cyprus just increased the number of Digital Nomad visas they’ll grant to 500 from 100. (Hey, it’s a small island, and half of it is Turkey.)
Digital Nomad visas in Cyprus are for highly skilled internationals working for foreign employers. The visa is granted for one year, with the right to renew it for another two years. You need to show proof of net income (not gross) of 3,500 euros per month, medical coverage and you have to have a clean criminal record from your country of residence.
Your family can come with you, but they won’t be allowed to work.
Like most Digital Nomad visas, you can apply for this after you arrive, but no later than three months.
You can see all the details here on the official Cypriot government website, which include requirements for appointments and which records you need to provide to which government authorities. The fee to apply is 70 euros.
The website and rules are actually detailed, helpful and clear and you can down load all the documents and application forms.
In February 2022, Latvia became the latest Baltic state to start the process of opening to Digital Nomads after neighboring Estonia pretty much created the concept lo’ these many years ago with its e-residency for foreign entrepreneurs. Latvia’s proposed Digital Nomad visa would offer quite a bit of latitude, allowing you to stay one year (with an optional one-year extension) and work either as an employee of a foreign company or as a self-employed whatever it is you do-er. But you’ll have to prove you earn 2.5 times the monthly income of the average Latvian, which is equivalent to about $2,000.
Of course, just like in every country, the Digital Nomad visa is meant to attract highly skilled internationals who add more to the economy than they take. And the visa is only available to foreign nationals employed by companies in the 37-country Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). That includes all the countries in the EU, United Kingdom and the United States.
How did we overlook Norway? Because of its annual festivals, we knew that there’s a far-north outpost of this Scandi country– the northernmost permanent settlement on earth – that welcomes anyone without a visa, though you have to have a job and a place to stay. Svalbard is home to the world’s northernmost brewery, church and uni … and is not everyone’s cup of aquavit. Though Sifted has an interesting post that says Svalbard is currently one of the more popular Digital Nomad destinations – in the Top 10, anywho.
Here’s the immigration information if you’re really open to adventure. Because one of the sections of the Svalbard website includes dealing with polar bears. No, really. And there’s also a caveat that living in Svalbard “does not entitle you to residence or citizenship in mainland Norway.” But apparently you can stay as long as you like, or at least until you’re eaten by the polar bears.
Now, if you want to work in Norway as a whole, there is an independent contractor visa good for up to two years, but requires a minimum of 35,719 euro gross annual income plus a lot of other stuff. The application fee is 600 euros. You can apply here.
While Ireland doesn’t have a Digital Nomad visa per se, If you are a non-EU/EEA and non-Swiss national you can apply for permission to do business under the Immigration Investor Programme and Start Up Entrepreneur Programme.
Okay, we’re going to level with you … with a huge tech sector and financial industry, the Republic of Ireland is an expensive place to do anything including play tourist and live. We know. We’ve been there. But the Irish are facing the same demographic gloom and doom as the rest of the Europe, with about 14 percent of the population over 65 years old. So the republic needs to keep attracting young entrepreneurs to keep the Irish Tiger fed.
Enterprise Ireland, Ireland’s economic-development agency, has a deal for well-heeled global entrepreneurs. To qualify for an Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund grant, you’ll need to demonstrate that your company is capable of creating at least 10 jobs and generate 1 million euros in sales over the first three years.
The two funds for All Sectors and Women Entrepreneurs amount to a combined total of 2 million euros. But apply via the Enterprise Ireland website ASAP.
Americans can travel to the republic (but not to Northern Ireland) without a visa and stay 90 days as tourists. Irelands also has a Golden Visa program if you qualify and can afford to invest 1 million euros in an Irish company. So, if you’re going to do that, you might as well start your own.
Yes, we had to look this one up. Cape Verde (or Cabo Verde in Portuguese) is an island nation – a cluster of 10 arid volcanic islands – 300 miles off the coast of Africa. If you consider it to be part of Africa, then Cape Verde is a candidate for the continent’s most stable democracy. In the middle of the Atlantic, it has a mild climate, high-speed Internet connections and beaches and outdoor adventure amid rugged terrain. This drew almost 1 million tourists in 2019, but the tourists went away when the pandemic hit.
Sound like a good place to chill while you work? Cape Verdeans hope that’s how you see it because they just created Remote Working Cabo Verde, a tax exempt digital nomad visa designed to attract 4,000 foreigners, specifically Americans and Europeans. Why 4,000? No idea … but the entire Cape Verde population is only about 550,000 people. The visa is valid for six months to one year.
This one is a no-brainer. This Mediterranean island nation has been a destination for every culture from the Romans and the Moors to the Brits. English is an official language along with Maltese and Malta is part of the EU. As of early June, they’re offering a six-month Digital Nomad visa, with a kinda’ pricey fee of 300 euros. (Compare that to Estonia below.)
For that, you get to stay for six months, with an option to renew for up to one year. To qualify, you have to prove you have a contract with a foreign company, have your own company or have enough freelance business to support yourself.
If you’re not that familiar with Malta, it has the third-highest population density in Europe behind Monaco and Vatican City, so finding a place to stay might be a challenge. A lot of movies and series are shot there including “Game of Thrones” because as we’ve noted, the architecture is like nowhere else in Europe.
Officials in Montenegro are in the early stages of crafting new legislation for a Digital Nomad visa. This south Balkans travel destination is using the working title of “Program for Attracting Digital Nomads and Encouraging Foreign Investments in Montenegro until 2025,” which doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue. But in competition with neighboring Croatia, it’s likely the Montenegran version will be just as aggressive. And though this country is little-known to Americans, this is an increasingly popular destination, with mountains (hence the name) and even a fjord or two. Montenegro also has a very limited Golden Visa program.
This could be a winner … low cost of living, superior internet connection in a tech hub and some of the last great wilderness in Europe. Anyway, as of late December, Romania has one of the most affordable Digital Nomad destinations in the world, according to Emerging Europe.
The deal is similar to other Digital Nomad visas – you must employed by a foreign firm, or offer services through a self-owned company located outside of Romania. You can stay up to 6 months (maybe longer depending on the final version of the law.) But where Romania shines is that the minimum annual income requirement to get the visas is much lower than, say, $94,000 in Iceland. Under the new Romanian legislation, the minimum income requirement has been set at three times the Romanian gross average monthly wage (about 1,100 euros), so Digital Nomads must be able to prove they are have earned, and are currently earning, about 3,300 euros per month, or about 40,000 euros annually. (By the way, this requirement started at 1,900 euros in early drafts, but politics ….)
Part of this is to feed Cluj-Napoca’s demand for highly skilled internationals. Cluj has one of the most advanced IT sectors in the world, attracting global giants including American multinationals, and is almost an economy into itself. Cluj-Napoca hosts about 1,250 companies with more than 14,000 employees, accounting for about 10 percent of the city’s total number of employees. This means that 1 out of 11 active employees work in IT. Bucharest also has a growing tech sector.
“Aha,” you’re saying, “this isn’t Europe!” Well, Curaçao kind of is because this Caribbean Island way, way down in the Lesser Antilles, is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In the past few days, the government of Curaçao has rolled out its @HOMEinCuraçao program that, among other things, allows remote workers special access to work and live in on the island for six months (renewable for another six months) rather than the usual European Union-standard 90-day tourist visa. The fee is about $300 (yes, Curaçao uses dollars) and you have to buy health insurance.
There are also new extended visas for investors and snow birds.
Unlike so much of the Caribbean, the ABCs (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao) are stable because they are legally Dutch provinces. And while the ganja is probably better in Jamaica, this is a safer choice on every level including Internet reliability. Finally, the capital and largest city, Willemstadt, has more sophisticated retail than, say, Sint Maarten, because sooner or later, you’ll need a fresh tee-shirt and new pair of Vans.
Croatia is one of the latest European country to issue a Digital Nomad visa. Backed by a commitment by two Split-based Dutch agtech entrepreneurs to invest in this Adriatic jewel, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković introduced legislation last August for a Digital Nomad visa, an amendment to the Foreigners Act. And voilà, as of late January, an American expat is the first person to get Croatia’s digital nomad visa. Which has to be one of the fastest turnarounds ever.
But we get it: Croatia has all the ingredients – sea, lovely cities, educated workforce and a prime Balkan location between Austria on the north and Greece to the south – to attract wealthy internationals by the droves. Oddly, the salary requirement for digital nomads in Croatia is only $31,514 per year after taxes. Compare that to $50,000 in Barbados and $94,000 in Iceland.
California-born Melissa Paul is a branding consultant, social media manager, and blog editor for design, travel, and lifestyle businesses, according to Total Croatia News. This post has all the details about the process of acquiring the new visa.
The downside is, it’s only good for a year, according to the post about Paul. It cannot be renewed or extended. After one year, the options are applying for a permanent residence permit or remaining as a tourist for 90 days. BUT, Croatian officials just announced that digital nomads get to spend that year NOT paying any income tax.
(You can see an interview here with Jan de Jong, one of the two Dutch entrepreneurs who convinced the Croatian government to create its Digital Nomad visa.)
Business Insider has a great interview with an American video producer who’s relocated to Croatia, with details about how much he spends each month (not much).
On 1 August 2020, Estonia launched its Digital Nomad visa, with ambitions to attract 2,000 on-the-go people to this far north innovation center on the Baltic Sea.
Estonia has always been a net talent-exporter, with its techies leaving for London or Stockholm to lay the digital foundations for multiple Unicorns including Skype and TransferWise. Now, Estonia wants to steal other countries’ best and brightest.
The one-year visas will be available to Digital Nomads willing to spend part of their time working from the Baltic state. (We recommend the summer.) The visa will allow people to stay in the country for 12 months, including 90 days of travel across Europe’s 26-country Schengen zone, which in and of itself will make this a hit.
You can now apply at embassies and consulates just like you would for any other visa. But we’re guessing this launches a whole cottage industry of companies that will help you get this visa for a fee.
Who is eligible to apply?
- You can work anywhere remotely using telecommunications technology
- You have an active employment contract with a company registered outside of Estonia; you conduct business through your own company registered abroad, or you work as a freelancer for clients mostly outside of Estonia.
- You can prove your income meets the minimum threshold during the six months preceding the application. Currently, the monthly income threshold is 3,504 euros before taxes
While you can’t apply yet online, you can subscribe to the newsletter here that will alert you when all this goes live.
The fee is 80 euros for a Type C (short stay) visa and 100 euros for the Type D (long stay) visa. Forms can be submitted at the nearest embassy.
Is Georgia (the country, not the state) on your mind? Maybe it should be as this last of the exotic (sort of) European destinations is offering a Digital Nomad visa. Georgia, like every other country in the world, wants to attract highly skilled internationals who can contribute to the tax base.
This country on the physical and psychological dividing line between Europe and Central Asia/the Middle East is inexpensive and, according to our expats, beautiful and inviting.
This visa isn’t available yet, but when it is, you’ll apply here. Though there is a school of thought that says their 1-year tourist visa is a better option, AND you don’t get taxed. So do your research.
Obscured by pandemics and presidential elections gone awry, Iceland’s government announced in late October that it’s offering a remote worker visa to non-EU citizens with substantial incomes. How substantial? At least 1 million (yes, million) Icelandic króna, or about $7,300 – 6,200 euros – per month, according to the government website. More if you bring your family.
They’re going to need it because Iceland is the second most expensive country in Europe behind Switzerland, according to Numbeo and other sources. Though the upside is, you become an instant millionaire after converting your currency of choice. The new visas allow foreigners to come work remotely for up to six months on this remote island of volcanoes, ice, snow, Björk. stunning scenery and the world’s most northerly capital city in Reykjavik.
Now, the gritty details … the initiative states that you must be the permanent employee of a foreign company. So this is about offering people a very cool place to work remotely at a time global companies are allowing employees the freedom to work anywhere they want. It is not an invitation to come hangout first, then think about maybe getting a few clients for your freelance SEO gig.
BUT, you’re income won’t be taxed and foreign citizens will be allowed to apply for a long-term visa in Iceland for teleworkers and bring their families without having to move their legal domicile to the country or obtain Icelandic ID numbers, according to the website.
Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, minister of Tourism, Innovation and Industry, explains the thinking behind the new visa:
We need to shape our export industry, based on ingenuity and by making it easier for foreign nationals to work from Iceland, we add value, knowledge and connections in Iceland that support our innovation environment.
Not in Europe, but we hear it’s nice
Bali – Bali is just one of many Indonesian islands, but a fabled one. The one you envision from the movies when dreaming about running away to a tropical paradise. Now, Balinese officials are making that fantasy come true, but only for digital nomads with serious resources.
A new Second-Home Visa will be available for up to 10 years starting 25 December 25, per a news release.
You can apply for a Second-Home Visa here.
Required documents include:
• Copy of passport that is valid for a minimum of 36 months;
• Proof of funds of at least Rp2,000,000,000 (two billion rupiahs), which works out to about $130,000.
• a recent color photograph (4 cm x 6 cm) with a white background.
• your CV
If you’re not familiar with Bali, check out the new George Clooney/Julia Roberts movie above. We’re thinking both can scrape together the required assets.
Barbados – Here’s a no-brainer … work from the beach on one of the world’s lovliest islands, a favorite of British celebrities since the 1930s. With its five-star resorts, Barbados was St. Barths before St. Barths became the Caribbean destination in the 2000s.
If Elon Musk were a Digital Nomad, this is where he’d be digitally nomading – with Amber Heard at Sandy Lane.
Now, Barbados, of all places, is offering a Digital Nomad visa. On 1 July, 2020, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announced a 12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp to allow visitors the option to work remotely from Barbados for a year at a time.
“You don’t need to work in Europe, or the US or Latin America if you can come here and work for a couple months at a time; go back and come back,” the prime minister announced.
You can apply here, and there is a hefty $2,000 fee involved. Also, you have to “expect” to make at least $50,000 during the next 12 months. (We expect to make millions … we hope that counts.)
Now, about that cost of living … cities such as Tallinn and Tbilisi are far less expensive cities than, say, Copenhagen or Amsterdam. The Caribbean not so much. We are huge fans of the Caribbean, but we know from experience that most things are more expensive just because everything has to be shipped in.
That said, Expatica and other crowd-sourced data mills indicate that Bridgetown, the main city on Barbados, has sort of affordable housing, about 40-percent less than Amsterdam.
So there you go … you heard it here first.
Bahamas – The Caribbean is really heating up, and we don’t mean hurricane season. The Bahamas just became the latest country to offer a long-term visa to Digital Nomads, the 12-month Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay program. This program is a bit different than those on other Caribbean islands in that there doesn’t appear to be a requirement for earnings, just that you can prove you’re employed. The application fee is lower, as well – $25 Bahamian, about $23 U.S. But if you get the visa, the fee is $1,000 Bahamian. You can apply here.
Belize – This Central American country with a Caribbean coast just introduced its “Work Where You Vacation” campaign, allowing you to work remotely for up to six months. The visa fee is a relatively affordable $500 but the income requirements are among the highest in the world.
Here are the requirements:
• proof of employment outside of Belize (minimum annual income of a whopping $75,000 for individuals, $100,000 for couples/families)
• a notarized banking reference and statement of account
• a clear criminal record (no more than 6 months old)
• a valid passport
• a travel insurance policy (min. US $50,000 coverage)
Bermuda – Okay, crazy rich Digital Nomads, there’s a lux destination where you can work and count your money in a well-known tax haven.
Bermuda’s Digital Nomad 1-year digital nomad visa went live 1 August 2020 and you can apply here. Think of Bermuda as the Switzerland of the semi-tropical Atlantic, close to New York City and with the well-oiled bureaucracy of that Alpine bastion of banking.
This being Bermuda, the application cost is a bit high at $263. And yes, it states clearly in the FAQs that you can indeed bring along your domestic staff. About 400 people (not counting maids and chauffeurs) arrived under the visa in the first six months.
Brazil – Brazil adopted a digital nomad visa in January 2022 and it’s pretty straight-forward. You have to prove you have a long-term contract with a company outside Brazil and earn at least the equivalent of $1,500 per month. The cost of application is about 100 euros, and the visa can be extended for up to two years.
You can see all the details here on the official government website that includes a link to an on-line application.
Full disclosure: Brazil has several cities on the list of the most dangerous in the world.
Canada – It’s one of the biggest countries in the world, yet hardly anyone lives there. So Canada is now down with attracting highly skilled internationals. Canada’s new Digital Nomad visa is expected to roll out before the end of 2023. The new visa will allow DNs to stay up to six months. Here’s the best part – there’s no salary threshold. Here’s the official immigration website, but DN visa applications haven’t opened, yet.
Colombia – Starting October 22, DNs will be able to set up residence in Colombia by fulfilling one requirement: a minimum $684 in available funds monthly. KPMG has a detailed post.
Costa Rica – One of the few stable democracies in Central America (along with Panama and Belize), Costa Rica scores big with all travelers from eco-tourists to Digital Nomads. It’s already high on the most of the “most popular countries with Digital Nomads” lists without a dedicated DN visa. Now, pushed by his tourism officials, Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado approved legislation in 2021 to create one without actually calling it a Digital Nomad visa. Under the new law, “travelers” who make at least $3,000 a month from a foreign company will be able to get a one-year visa, renewable for an additional year. They can also open Costa Rican bank accounts, use their nation’s driver’s licenses and import needed work equipment tax-free, according to NPR.
Costa Rica just made the visa official, and you can see details here.
Ecuador – Ecuador adopted the Rentista for Remote Work visa in 2022. The processing fee is kinda high at 460 euros, but you only need to prove you earn about 1,300 euros per month to qualify for a year in this mountainous country, which also has beaches on the Pacific Ocean. We know friends who lived in Quito for the U.S. Department of State and say it’s okay, though air pollution in the winter is an issue.
We don’t see an online application, so try contacting the Ecuadorian embassy in your country.
Indonesia – Indonesia is now crafting a new visa to incentivize digital nomads to work from tourism destinations such as Bali. The thing that sets this visa apart from other is that the plan is for it to be valid for up to five years, according to Euronews, and live tax-free as long as their income is from companies outside the country. And see the new Bali-specific visa above.
Japan – Though it started in Estonia as a European phenomenon, DN mania has spread to Asia. Japan is the latest country announce a Digital Nomad visa, which is projected to go into effect at the end of March, 2024. This is not one of those “come work for years” renewable Digital Nomad visas. Japan is limiting stays to six months.
Unlike Singapore, Hong Kong and other parts of Asia, which are flooded with expats, Japan has only about two million foreigners working in the country at present, according to Euronews. Only in the last year has the country started promoting post-pandemic tourism of any kind.
Here are the details of the new visa:
• Citizens of 49 nations, including EU member states, are eligible. Also eligible are people from Australia, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Singapore, South Korean, Switzerland, Türkiye and the UK.
• Applicants must have an annual income of at least 10 millionaJapanese Yen (62,672 euros) to be eligible, and they must work for companies or clients outside Japan.
• Spouses and kids can tag along.
• The application window has not opened yet, so stay tuned.
Malaysia – Malaysia introduced its DN visa on 1 October 2022. It allows Digital Nomads to stay up to one year, BUT they must work in IT, digital marketing (influencers) or some technical sector for a non-Malay company. The application fee is steep at about 215 euros. You can apply here.
Mauritius – This island in the Indian Ocean off Madagascar is offering some of the most generous Digital Nomad visa terms in the world. Aside from the usual documents – passports, proof of health insurance – Mauritius’s Premium Travel Visa requires a minimum monthly income $1,500 for each applicant, and $500 per month for each dependent younger than 24 years old. And it’s good for one year.
Montserrat – This island in the Caribbean is basically half volcano (which buried the capital back in 1996), half tropical paradise. To revive its tourism sector, Montserrat introduced a visa for remote workers. The island’s model follows other Digital Nomad approaches in that you must work for a foreign company (hence, are not taking a job from a local) and earn a lot of money to spend, in this case at least $70,000 American annually. Application fees are $500 for individuals; families up to three people, $750, then another $250 for every additional person over three family members. And we would add that if you’re bringing a family of 10 to Montserrat, our personal experience is that living on a Caribbean island – especially one this remote – is an expensive proposition.
Namibia – Namibia just issued a digital nomad visa in October, 2022. So this is a new deal and the good news is, the income requirements are reasonable – $2,000 per month for yourself, $1,000 per month for an accompanying spouse, and $500 per month for each accompanying child. Namibia is on the northwest corner of South Africa and has a lot of South Africa’s draws – ocean, weather, wildlife – with far less crime. You can see all the official details here.
Saint Lucia – This lush, authentic Caribbean isle just started offering its Live It Digital Nomad visa, good for up to one year. You apply apply directly to Immigration via email [email protected]. You must apply at least two weeks out, and you’ll be notified one way or the other within five working days. You pay a few bucks for the visa The cost of the visa and there are no minimum income requirements. And boom! You’re working in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
South Africa – Jo-berg and Cape Town – especially Cape Town – are already expat destinations. Now, South Africa is on the verge of joining the small number of African countries – the first on the mainland – issuing Digital Nomad visas. At this point, the SA version seems pretty standard – stay in the country up to one year if you can prove you’re taking in $3,000 per month from foreign companies. You can see more details here.
South Korea – On 1 January 2024, South Korea introduced its Digital Nomad visa allowing DNs to stay in the country for up to two years if they can prove they’re working a remote job back home. It had better be a good job, paying gross annual income of more than 84.96 million Korean won, or about $65,000. That’s double the gross national income per capita of Korea. Korean officials are promoting this as a “workcation visa,” and allowing DNs to bring their families.
Applicants can submit all documentation to the Korean embassy in their respective country.
At the same time, Korea is introducing a K Culture Training Visa to capitalize on the growing global influence of Korean culture, food, movies and music.
‘K Culture Events’ will be held throughout 2024 spotlighting Korean music, food and beauty. A ‘K Tourism Road Show’ will also hit countries around the world from the US to Sweden.
If you’re into K-pop or work in the semiconductor industry, this could be the ticket.
Sri Lanka – This island-nation in the Indian Ocean is pretty much in constant political turmoil. But it is tropical and it is growing more popular with Digital Nomads bored with, say, Greece looking for the most exotic places to work. Club Med has Sri Lanka at No. 2 on its list of the most popular countries for digital nomads. Why this chain of all-inclusive luxury hotels even keeps this list is a bit of mystery, but there it is.
Sri Lanka placing so high on the list is particularly interesting because the country didn’t even have a DN visa. Until now. The government is in the process of creating one, but details at this point are all over the place. But it appears the visa will be good for one year.
Seychelles – Down in the Indian Ocean off East Africa, these tropical islands have introduced a “workation” visa and we love it.
From the website:
The ‘Seychelles Workcation’ program welcomes both self-employed visitors such as a company/business owner/freelancer or employed individuals namely, an employee to participate in the program. Visitors under the program to work remotely in Seychelles for 30 days up to 1 year. Few requirements are necessary to qualify for the program.
- have a valid passport.
- provide documents as proof of being an employee/business owner.
- provide proof of income or wealth
- hold a valid medical and travel insurance policy.
You have to apply here at least 60 days before arrival.
Thailand – Chiang Mai in Thailand already is a major Digital Nomad hub. Now, the Kingdom of Thailand has a new Long Term Residents Visa. The 10-year renewable LTR Visa is similar to Bali’s in that it’s aimed at people with serious resources – in this case, at least $1 million in assets. And you have to invest a bit portion of that in Thailand.
Here are all the details on the official website.
Thailand also offers four types of smart visas:
• the SmartT for highly skilled internationals,
• Smart E for executives at multinationals,
• Smart I for investors,
• SmartS for start-ups.
United Arab Emirates – The UAE just joined Bermuda and Barbados on the list of countries welcoming affluent Digital Nomads. Officials in this group of posh, futuristic Gulf emirates just introduced in October their one-year “virtual working programme,” which comes with a lot of stipulations including being able to prove you have top-line monthly revenue of at least $5,000.
BUT, the application fee of $287 is a lot more affordable than Barbados, and you don’t pay any taxes in the UAE. So, this is a doable proposition for most. Well, some ….
You can see the details here including an application form. And Dubai is running non-stop web ads trying to lure remote workers.
Uruguay: This South American country stands out from the rest of the continent for a number of reasons. First, it’s (relatively) affluent, with a high quality of life and low crime. Second, it has beaches and great weather. Third, techs services are exempt from taxes. So if you’re a developer or coder, you’re on easy street. If you’re Spanish, Portuguese, Italian or German, you’ll find Uruguayans who speak your language, though not English.
The initial visa is good for 180 days, but you can apply to stay a full year. The best news is, there’s no minimum amount you must earn … yet.
Euronews notes this is a brand new digital nomad visa and rules, requirements and regulations could change.
Like many countries, you can’t apply for the DN visa until you’re actually on the ground. But here’s the form for your perusal.
The Economist has the best post about Uruguay, one of South America’s most peaceful, tolerant countries – a place where most of the energy comes from the sun and wind power.