The list of countries offering the digital nomad visa is growing fast. With an increased receptiveness to remote working by companies, an expanding desire for ‘workations‘ and more people seeking new and exotic places to undertake their digital work commitments, there has never been a better time to investigate your options for working overseas.
I personally think that this is a very exciting time in the history of travel and tourism. No longer are we constrained by the walls of our offices or limited to work opportunities that are physically close to our homes. Travel is no longer just about leisure. Rather, we are now witnessing the emergence of the amalgamation of leisure and business in ways that we have never seen before.
The COVID pandemic has changed the ways that we live in many ways. And one of the most significant developments is the rapid growth in remote working. This has fast enabled people to choose the location in which they undertake their work, whether this be in the coffee shop down the road or on the island of Hawaii! But how does it work and how do we make sure we are working legally? Read on to learn all about the digital nomad visa and which are the countries offering the digital nomad visa.
- What is a digital nomad?
- What is a digital nomad visa?
- Why are more and more countries offering the digital nomad visa now?
- The most attractive countries offering the digital nomad visa
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Czech Republic
- Countries offering the digital nomad visa: Further reading
What is a digital nomad?
Before I outline the most attractive countries offering the digital nomad visa, it is important to first identify what is meant by the term digital nomad.
A digital nomad is essentially a person who is able to work via digital means as they travel. They typically move from place to place, taking their laptop with them. Digital nomads are commonly found working in shared working spaces, coffee shops or beach huts, amongst other places. A digital nomad can be any age, but they are most frequently in their twenties or early thirties.
It is important to note that a digital nomad is not the same as a person who is on a temporary workation or an expat. A nomad is by nature nomadic, thus frequent relocation and travel is a a core part of being a digital nomad.
What is a digital nomad visa?
A digital nomad visa is a legal document which allows people to work digitally in a particular country. Visa requirements are different in different countries and many stipulate that the nomad must meet a particular income threshold- this helps to ensure that the visas are only given to those people who are likely to have a positive economic contribution to the country.
The digital nomad visa fills a gap in the market for remote workers. Whilst the concept of the digital nomad may not be new, much of the legal paperwork is! Most countries do not allow people who are visiting on a tourist visa to legally work. Now, it is worth noting that this is somewhat of a grey area- is it illegal to reply to an email whilst laying on a beach in Thailand? How about attending a Zoom meeting whilst travelling in Costa Rica? In some countries, the answer is, technically- yes.
As a result, many countries are now capitalising on the opportunity to boost their economy by offering workers the opportunity to relocate to their destination to work through their digital nomad visa opportunities.
Why are more and more countries offering the digital nomad visa now?
Countries offering the digital nomad visa are doing so because it is profitable for their economy. In the past, many countries have been reluctant to invite foreign workers onto their shores, for fear of displacement of locals. However, digital nomads do not take jobs from the local population, they are already employed remotely.
By spending time in countries offering the digital nomad visa, workers are spending their money locally- on food, accommodation and leisure. This is a great way to boost the local economy and to bring in foreign income.
However, it is also worth noting that if careful tourism planning and management is not implemented, this may have negative economic impacts, such as gentrification. There is a risk that an increase in [potentially] high earning digital nomads may cause prices in the local area to increase, including the price of goods and real estate.
The most attractive countries offering the digital nomad visa
OK, so lets get to the crux of it- where can we travel on a digital nomad visa right now? Well, fortunately the options are plentiful AND there are more digital nomad visas being proposed by more countries too… so watch this space! Things change frequently and with more and more countries beginning to offer such visas, it can be difficult to know which visas are available to you and how you can obtain these. Fortunately there are companies like Visa Express that can offer help and assistance with this, making the process easier and less stressful for you.
OK, so lets take a look at some of the best examples of countries offering digital nomad visas right now, here are some of the most appealing countries offering the digital nomad visa and the criteria that you need to qualify…
Antigua and Barbuda
In response to the COVID pandemic, Antigua and Barbuda introduced their Nomad Digital Residence visa. This is a two year visa for people who work remotely and their dependants.
Criteria for the Nomad Digital Residence visa
To be eligible for the Nomad Digital Residence visa, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:
- Applicants must work remotely for a company (or themselves) based outside of Antigua and Barmuda
- Applicants must have their own health insurance
- Minimum income of $50,000 a year
- Proof of employment required
- Police background check must be provided
- There is a visa fee of $1500 for a single, $2000 for a couple or $3000 for a family.
Why work as a digital nomad in Antigua and Barbuda
When it comes to beautiful countries offering the digital nomad visa, Antigua and Barbuda is high on the list.
With bright blue waters contrasting against brilliant white sand, the scenery here will take your breath away. Beaches are framed by lush greenery and pops of bright pink flora, and you will find plenty of colourful villages to explore.
The islands offer a comfortable, stable climate too. Temperatures year-round range from mid 20s °C to low 30s °C. Not too hot but still lovely and warm, Antigua and Barbuda is a quiet and relaxed place to visit. There is a somewhat exclusive feel here, but the locals are friendly!
There are various ecotourism hotspots here, if this is something that interests you. Life is slow-paced for the most part, making it a great place to relax towards the end of your travels if you’re planning to include Antigua and Barbados as part of a longer trip.
There are 365 sandy beaches here, one for each day of the year, making for plenty of choice when it comes to deciding where to lounge around for the day after getting some work done. Enjoy water sports and cocktails, indulge in tapas and go out on a boat trip. With plenty of things to do and discover, you won’t get bored if you do like a bit of adventure!
Aldo in response to the global pandemic, Barbados now offers a new 12 month visa for digital nomads, entitled the Barbados Welcome Stamp. This visa enables remote workers to base themselves on the beautiful island of Barbados and it can be renewed upon completion to extend your stay beyond 12 months.
Criteria for the Barbados Welcome Stamp
To be eligible for the Barbados Welcome Stamp, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:
- Applicants must work remotely for a company (or themselves) based outside of Barbados
- Minimum income of $50,000 a year
- There is a visa fee of $2000
Why work as a digital nomad in Barbados
Another Caribbean nation, Barbados is one of the best countries offering the digital nomad visa.
Sunny blue skies and soft sandy beaches, hilly rainforests with plenty of nature, incredible restaurants… there are so many amazing reasons to visit Barbados! Being able to work from here in a digital nomad position while on your travels is an opportunity not to be missed.
Every bit of Barbados looks picture perfect. Upturned fishing boats shadowed by palm trees, colourful buildings along a quaint boardwalk and so much more mean you’ll be in awe every day. Discover the history of Bridgetown, spot nature in the green areas and play golf on one of the five PGA Standard gold courses across the country.
There are plenty of bars and hotels you can sit in and work if you have a digital nomad job – getting some work done inside during the hotter parts of the day leaves you free to explore the nation for the rest of it. The weather is lovely year-round. Low season, between July and October, can be pretty wet – but it’s still a great time to visit and really laid back too! Dry season falls between December and April, when it might be busier. The atmosphere is always great in Barbados, though!
Bermuda’s 12 month Work From Bermuda certificate is an expansion on their traditional residency programmes and is the perfect solution for digital nomads looking for a bit of sun, sea and sand.
Criteria for the Work From Bermuda Certificate
To be eligible for the Work From Bermuda Certificate, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:
- Applicants must work remotely for a company (or themselves) based outside of Bermuda
- Applicants must have travel insurance
- There is a visa fee of $263
Why work as a digital nomad in Bermuda
Located in the North Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda is beautiful. It is simply one of the most awe-inspiring and pretty places you’ll ever see: pink sand beaches, twinkling turquoise water and pastel-coloured buildings.
There are hidden caves, sunsets that will bring a tear to your eye and endless cloudless skies. Again this is somewhere you can come and relax at the end of a busy travel period. Work from one of the many hotels, hostels or bars across the country – and spend the rest of your time building sandcastles, reading, sunbathing or sampling a bit of rum.
There are towns you can visit, and many places to stay. National parks, churches, ice cream parlours and museums – you won’t get bored in Bermuda. Unless you want to, of course: there is no shame in spending your downtime here just soaking up the glorious sunshine. With temperatures raging from 15 °C to 30 °C throughout the year, Bermuda really is a lovely place to visit.
Croatia is leading the way in the European Union with the introduction of their Digital Nomad Visa. Whilst the word ‘visa’ is in the title, it’s actually a residence permit, that enables non-EU digital nomads the opportunity to stay and work in the country for up to 12 months.
Criteria for the Digital Nomad Visa
To be eligible for the Digital Nomad Visa, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:
- Applicants must have their own health insurance
- Applicants must supply proof of remote work
- Minimum income (through work or savings) of 350Euros per month
- Provide a criminal record check from the applicants home country
- Provide roof of accommodation arrangements
- There is a visa fee of 625Kuna
Why work as a digital nomad in Croatia
Croatia is one of the most beautiful countries offering the digital nomad visa. You’ll find it at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, right on the coast of the amazing Adriatic Sea.
Sea views contrast with red rooftops, and you’ll find plenty of stunning national parks just waiting to be discovered. Ancient buildings will interest the history buff in you, and there are plenty of hidden gems. With lovely bars and restaurants to discover, beach walks to take and sunsets that rival any island nation, you’ll fall in love with this underrated country.
If you are travelling around Europe, Croatia is definitely somewhere you don’t want to miss. The scenery, the people, the day trips… there is so much to discover here, and for digital nomads it is a great option. It has the perfect pace for a working holiday!
The Czech Republic is currently accepting applications for their Zivno visa. This one-year visa, with the option to extend, is perfect for digital nomads who seek to base themselves in Prague or other parts of this beautiful country.
Criteria for the Zivno visa
To be eligible for the Zivno visa, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:
- Gather the required documents for the visa application process (there is quite a bit of paperwork)
- Attend an appointment at the Czech embassy
- Possess a trade license for one of the recognised trades
- Provide proof of accommodation for minimum one year
- Provide proof that you have minimum 5587Euros in your bank account
- Commit to paying local taxes
- There is a visa fee of 100Euros
Why work as a digital nomad in the Czech Republic
Another European country that can’t be missed, the Czech Republic is one of the best countries offering the digital nomad visa.
For those who love history, architecture and beer, the Czech Republic is a treasure trove. From its capital, Prague – known for the Charles Bridge, the John Lennon wall and so much more – to the quaint towns and cities dotted throughout the country, it is picture perfect.
There are plenty of hostels and Airbnbs to choose from, and if you have a digital nomad job it is easy to work from one of the many cafés, pubs and co-working spaces.
With cold winters and warm summers, it’s joyful year-round. There are national parks and nature reserves dotted throughout the country, as well as castles and museums galore. With great public transport and so much to discover, being a digital nomad in the Czech Republic is a great idea.
Another new entrant to the digital nomad visa list is Georgia. With the Remotely From Georgia visa digital nomads can live in this fascinating country for up to one year.
Criteria for the Remotely From Georgia visa
To be eligible for the Remotely From Georgia visa, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:
- Applicants must work remotely for a company (or themselves) based outside of Georgia
- Prove that you are able to pay Georgian taxation during your stay
- Minimum income $2000 a month
- Applicants must have travel insurance
Why work as a digital nomad in Georgia
A transcontinental country located where Western Asia meets Eastern Europe, Georgia is incredibly underrated. But it is another of the countries offering the digital nomad visa.
Oozing charm and history, Georgia has plenty of stories to tell. It also has so much culture, such as its traditional combat dance and beautiful folk songs. Georgian cuisine is varied and delicious, with flavours being brought to the country by immigrants from Russia, Greece and China throughout history.
Tbilisi is the country’s capital city, and makes for a great place to visit and work. A centuries-old fortress, cathedrals, monasteries, royal baths and so much more make for an interesting location. There is plenty of nightlife, too. So for young and outgoing digital nomads, Georgia should most definitely be on the list of places to consider.
While Jamaica doesn’t have a specific digital nomad programme, they do allow you to apply for long-stay visas.
Criteria for the Jamaican long-stay visa
There are no specific requirements that are noted at this time.
Why work as a digital nomad in Jamaica
Back to the Caribbean and eternal sunshine, Jamaica is an incredible place. With rainforests, mountains, beaches and more, the natural landscape of this country is amazing. With it being one of the countries work options for digital nomads, it makes for a great place to head for a few months to work, rest and explore.
Famous for reggae music and jerk chicken, and packed full of history, Jamaica is ‘the home of rhythm and sway’. With water sports and beach parties and an unrivalled ambience, there is something incredibly magical about this beautiful part of the world.
From beachside villas to funky hostels to all-inclusive resorts, there are many places to stay. It’s a wonderful option for spending a couple of months in the sunshine. It is also one of the prettiest countries offering the digital nomad visa. This means you can work and play here! Soak up the sunshine, bask in the glory of the sparkling scenery here and ultimately live your best life in Jamaica.
Norway’s Independent Contractor Visa gives digital nomads the opportunity to stay and work in Norway for up to two years. This is one of the longest digital nomad visas in duration AND is for one of the most beautiful countries in the world, what more could a digital nomad want?
Criteria for the Norway Independent Contractor Visa
To be eligible for the Norway Independent Contractor Visa, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:
- Prepare the required paperwork as prescribed by Norway’s Directorate of Immigration
- Work on a self-employed basis and have a work contract based in Norway
- Demonstrate relevant qualifications to your line of work
- Provide proof of accommodation
- Minimum income 35,719Euros
- There is a visa fee of 600Euros
Why work as a digital nomad in Norway
When it comes to beautiful countries, Norway is always mentioned. And rightfully so – prime position for seeing the Northern Lights, full of snowy mountains and lakes that turn pink at sunset, it really is breathtaking.
From seaside villages to stunning fjords to built up cities, Norway has all of the best bits of the world in once place. Colourful houses, a variety of nature and plenty of things to do (like zoos, amusement parks bike rides) make for the ideal digital nomad location.
If your choice of digital nomad job is something creative like writing or photography, you’ll find endless inspiration here. Cities like Oslo are full of coffee shops and co-working spaces. There are also so many places to stay right across the country, from lovely apartments to fun-filled hostels where you’ll find likeminded people to adventure with in beautiful Norway.
Whilst you are not technically allowed to work with Spain’s Non-Lucrative Visa, this is a great option for those who are self-sufficient financially through retirement funds or investments (perfect for crypto investors or landlords). This is a one year visa with the ability to renew.
Criteria for the Non-Lucrative Visa
To be eligible for the Non-Lucrative Visa, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:
- Provide evidence that you are financially self-sufficient
- Minimum income of 2151Euros per month or 25,816Euros in savings
- Applicants must have their own Spanish health insurance
- Evidence of police background check
- Provide a medical certificate demonstrating that the applicant is in good health
- Required documents must be translated into Spanish
- Required documents must be authenticated in your home country
- There is a visa fee of $140
Why work as a digital nomad in Spain
As European countries go, Spain is one of the most popular with tourists. It might not spring to mind when you think of potential countries offering opportunities for digital nomads.
Typically, Spain is more well known for all-inclusive holidays and short city breaks than for long-term travel. However, it shouldn’t be overlooked. If you are looking at heading abroad for a period of time, Spain is a great choice. The weather is varied throughout the year. Head over in the winter months to enjoy some Spanish snow, or choose the summer and bask in the sunshine!
From the metropolitan streets of Madrid and Barcelona to the beaches of Ibiza and the crystalline pools of Los Pilones, Spain has a bit of everything. There are mountains and sand dunes and lavender fields; museums, art galleries and historic buildings; bars, cafés and fine dining restaurants… Spain has something for everyone!
Hostels, hotels, apartments and villas across the country mean there are plenty of places to stay – and work. The country has a great public transport network too if you plan on moving around during your time here!
Countries offering the digital nomad visa: Further reading
As you can see, this is an exciting time in the history of travel and tourism. With plenty of opportunities arising around the world for remote work, countries offering the digital nomad visa are becoming more plentiful all the time.
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