Traveling while working sounds like a dream until you discover it’s easier than you thought. With the increase of remote work in every corner of the world because of the pandemic, countries have realized that digital nomadism is the perfect modern strategy to boost their economy, among many other benefits. Countries from Georgia to Iceland offer digital nomad visas for those remote workers looking to pack their things and leave for a life-changing adventure.
The way people worked changed forever. There’s no need to continue working from an office thanks to technology. Nowadays, there are tools and applications to simplify all kinds of processes required in work – even tools to boost teamwork!
Because of this and the fact that COVID-19 made millions of people around the world rethink their lifestyles, digital nomadism is a trend that keeps growing.
According to recent data from MBO partners, in 2019, there were 7.3 million Americans identified as digital nomads. This figure, from 2019 to 2020 primarily because of the pandemic, grew to a staggering 10.9 million digital nomads.
In this article, we will explore the best places offering digital nomad visas, and what their benefits are.
What is a Digital Nomad Visa?
A digital nomad visa, also known as a remote work visa, is a travel authorization that legalizes the status of employees who are moving from place to place. Before digital nomad visas, people travelled to countries under the ‘’tourism’’ excuse to stay as long as the country legally allowed them to, without extending their stay.
With the digital nomadism movement and many countries adapting to a new working model, governments are opting to offer digital nomad visas.
The digital nomad visa works as a document that allows remote workers to legally work in the country while being away from their country of permanent residence. Most countries that are offering these visas allow foreigners to stay for a year or even more.
Digital nomad visas, depending on each country, have different requirements and regulations. In some cases, they ask applicants to have a determined wage to be able to apply. Or they require a certain level of education to be granted a visa.
Let’s explore what the best countries to visit, live like a local, and work as a digital nomad are.
What Countries Are Offering Digital Nomad Visas?
Are you considering becoming a digital nomad? Besides having a great laptop and wifi, your priority to shift towards this lifestyle is to understand each country’s policies. While you can visit them and stay as a tourist while secretly working, now with digital nomad visas, you can stay for a longer time while legally working.
These are the best countries to live as a digital nomad and their requirements:
1. The Bahamas
With 700 islands and 2,400 coral reefs, The Bahamas is mainly known for its incredible weather and turquoise water. It is the perfect destination for those who want to work in a relaxing and natural environment.
Recently its government launched the Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay (BEATS) program that allows digital nomads to stay for 12 months. Those who want to extend their stay further can extend it up to 3 years.
Cost of program: $25 application fee. $1000 for the first applicant and $500 for each dependent.
Length: 12 months to 3 years (depending on the case)
Income to prove: A letter from your employer or proof of self-employment and income
Internet speed: 47.08 Mbps
Barbados is located on an eastern Caribbean island. It has a stable economy, beautiful beaches, and great gastronomy with Africa, India, and Britain’s local cuisine influences.
Barbados isn’t the cheapest place to live; however, it has plenty of benefits for digital nomads. Starting with its “Barbados Welcome Stamp” with a 12-month visa for remote workers that can be renewed for even longer.
Cost of program: $2000 individual or $3000 for families
Length: 1 year (it can be renewed)
Income to prove: Earn $50,000
Internet speed: 101.77 Mbps
3. Costa Rica
One of the Central American gems, without a doubt, is Costa Rica. This country is known for its international diversity with people from all over the world. It’s a great destination for surfing lovers and those who wish to be surrounded by nature, as Costa Rica’s landscapes are characterized by jungles, volcanoes, beaches, and waterfalls.
Even before the pandemic, Costa Rica was one of the number 1 destinations for digital nomads. It has a special remote work visa called Rentista, allowing foreigners to stay for 2 years.
Cost of program: $250
Length: 2 years
Income to prove: $2,500 per month or $5000 for a couple/family
Digital nomad visa
Cost of program: unknown
Length: 1 year (it can be extended)
Income to prove: $3,000 per month or $5,000 per couple/family
Internet speed: 43.77 Mbps
Croatia is positioned between Central, Southern Europe, and the Mediterranean sea. It’s a relatively small country that stretches on approximately 6000 km and has more than 1000 islands and islets. One of the reasons Croatia is one of the best places for digital nomads is because of its climate, outstanding architecture, and friendly people.
In January 2021, the country started issuing digital nomad visas.
Cost of program: Between €80 to €130
Length: Maximum 1 year (it can be reapplied after 6 months)
Income to prove: €2,232 per month or €26,790 per year. This is for one person only. For an additional family member, 10%.
Internet speed: 57.15 Mbps
Tacos, tequila, sunshine, and breathtaking beaches — what can be better than that? Mexico is a great option for those digital nomads looking for a country with lower living costs and great quality of life.
The main reason Mexico is one of the digital nomad’s hotspots is its long tourist visa (it lasts 6months) and the possibility of a Temporary Resident Visa that can last between 1 and 3 years.
Cost of program: Unknown
Length: 1-3 years
Income to prove: $1,620 per month or a bank balance of $27,000
Internet speed: 44.48 Mbps
Georgia welcomes 95 countries that can enter without a visa and stay up to 365 days! And because of the pandemic and the dramatic drop it suffered in terms of tourism, the government created the Remotely from Georgia program that allows remote workers to live and work in the country.
Besides these benefits, Georgia has the Caucasus mountains great for hiking lovers! Additionally, it’s well-known for its wine culture and food.
Cost of program: Free
Length: 1 year
Income to prove: $2000 monthly
Internet speed: 26.23 Mbps
Iceland is a dream destination for many. Its outstanding landscapes that have been the protagonists in many movies are one of the main reasons digital nomads love working and living in the country. The only downside is that it’s one of the most expensive living costs, so it’s not for everyone.
Cost of program: €50
Length: 6 months
Income to prove: €6,460 for one applicant and €9,690 for a couple
Internet speed:180 Mbps
8. The Czech Republic
The Czech Republic has an increasingly multicultural population with more than half a million foreigners living there. For those digital nomads that love beer, the Czech Republic is the perfect place for you! The country has the title of highest beer consumption per capita for the last 23 years.
Another great benefit of moving to the Czech Republic is its historical towns. The only downside is that getting a digital nomad visa is harder than in other countries. The digital nomad visa called Zivno is complicated as you need to have a trade license.
Cost of program: Free
Length: 1 year (it can be extended)
Income to prove: €5,587 per person
Internet speed: 74.79 Mbps
Germany is a great option for digital nomads looking to have a little bit of everything. You have vibrant cities such as Berlin or Munich, but you also have great green locations, outstanding gastronomy, and thousands of historical sites to visit.
Germany’s residence permit enables digital nomads to live in the country for three months but can be extended up to three years.
Cost of program: €100
Length: 6 months up to 3 years
Income to prove: Proof of self-sustainability
Internet speed: 113.19 Mbps
Although Norway is known for its high-cost living, it’s also known for being a Scandinavian paradise filled with great transport, nature, wealth, and overall quality of life. Recently the country created opportunities for those digital nomads and remote workers interested in living in the country. They can apply for a 2-year Independent Contractor Visa.
Cost of program: €600
Length: 6 months up to 3 years
Income to prove: €35,719
Internet speed:153.51 Mbps
Spain’s vibrant culture and diversity have become an attractive destination for digital nomads. With its unique gastronomy, landscapes, cities, and low living cost, the country is becoming more popular among the remote working population.
The country offers a Non-Lucrative Visa that allows foreigners to stay in Spain for a year, with the ability to renew.
Cost of program: $140
Length: 1 year and can be renewed
Income to prove: €2151 per month
Internet speed: 169.00 Mbps
Portugal was one of Europe’s first countries to adapt to the remote working panorama quickly. When the pandemic made companies shift towards remote work, the country started creating policies to support remote workers.
The country offers an independent workers and entrepreneurs visa that lasts 1 year but can be renewed for 5 years.
Cost of program: €83 for the visa and €72 resident permit fee
Length: 1 year up to 5 years
Income to prove: €600 per month
Internet speed: 139.93 Mbps
Besides being the synonym of Mamma Mia, Greece is an outstanding Mediterranean paradise known for its unreal landscapes. It is becoming a top digital nomads destination because of its lower living costs and beaches and islands.
The country has two programs to attract digital nomads. The first one offers an income reduction of 50% for a period of 7 years to certain nationalities. The second one allows remote workers to stay and work in Greece for a forging employer from 1 to 3 years.
Cost of program: €75
Length: 1-3 years
Income to prove: €3500 per month plus 20% for a partner and 15% for each child
Internet speed: 39.08 Mbps
Bermuda is one of the latest countries in joining the digital nomad visas wave. Because of the pandemic, and as a way to boost tourism and the overall economy, Bermuda launches its global digital nomad visas.
The country is characterized by its beaches, colonial towns, and cosmopolitan scenario. The destination is only 2 hours away from New York, making it even more attractive for Americans.
Cost of program: $263
Length: 1 year
Income to prove: Proof of self-sustainability (Keep in mind Bermuda is expensive)
Internet speed: 73.6 Mbps
Panama is another breathtaking central American destination that is lately getting more attention from digital nomads. The country offers a high standard of living, warm climate, nature, and vibrant cities (mainly the capital).
This year Panama launched its Short Stay Visa for Remote Workers that lasts for 9 months and can be extended for another 9 months.
Cost of program: $300
Length: 9-18 months
Income to prove: $36,000 a year
Internet speed: 137.38 Mbps
The main challenge of living in Taiwan is the language. However, most of the population speaks English, and locals are known to be very friendly and helpful. The country doesn’t have a program that targets digital nomads, but it has the Gold Card program that consists of an open-end work permit.
The Gold Card program focuses on attracting talent. Therefore it focuses on people with high-level skills to apply.
Cost of program: $100 to $310
Income to prove: $5,700 per month
Internet speed: 156.10 Mbps
17. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is located in the southern part of India. It is characterized by having lost cities, mountains, beaches, and a vast cultural and spiritual environment.
The country is still developing its digital nomad visa, but its current extensions that last up to 270 days have made remote workers’ lives easier. These extensions depend on the country and on how long remote workers want to stay in the country.
Cost of program: $150 for 90-180 day extensions, $200 for 180-270 day extensions.
Income to prove: –
Internet speed: 24.35 Mbps
18. Cabo Verde – Cape Verde
If you’re looking forward to an African destination, then Cabo Verde or Cape Verde is your place. The Cape Verde archipelago has 10 islands that lie 570 kilometres of the African continent. Most of the year you’ll have sunny days as there’s hardly any rainfall.
The country launched the Cabo Verde Remote Working Program that is available for digital nomads from Europe, North America, the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), and the Economic Community of West African States (CEDEAO)
Cost of program: €20 Visa fee, €34 Airport fee
Length: 6 Months, can be renewed for an extra 6 months.
Income to prove: €1,500 per month Individual and €2,700 per month family
Internet speed: 26.42 Mbps
Thailand is known to be an exotic destination with a tropical climate, friendly people, outstanding nature, and a low cost of living. It has things for all tastes. For those digital nomads in love with nature or urban life, Thailand is a must-visit country.
Digital nomads usually use the 60-day tourist visa that can be extended for 30 days. With Covid-19, the Thai government is changing these regulations, and now there are 3-month tourist visas that can be extended for 6 months more.
Cost of program: Unknown
Length: 3 to 9 months
Income to prove: Unknown
Internet speed: 220.59 Mbps
Ready to Pack Your Bags and Travel the World?
The way we work has changed forever. Now it’s not necessary to commute for 2 hours and spend 8 hours in an office cubicle. Remote workers have all the essential tools to travel the world while continuing with their professional growth.
As companies continue adapting to remote work and embracing flexible policies, countries are also adapting to these changes. With these new digital nomad visas, travelling and working around the globe is just a few steps away!
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