USA and the UK
- What is a Digital Nomad?
- What is a Digital Nomad Visa?
- Who is eligible for a Digital Nomad Visa?
- Why get a Digital Nomad Visa?
- What are the requirements for remote workers?
- What countries provide Digital Nomad Visas?
- What are some of the best countries to live in as digital nomads?
- How do you apply for a Digital Nomad Visa?
- What documents are required for a Digital Nomad Visa?
- Paying taxes abroad
- How much does the Digital Nomad Visa cost?
- Let IAS do the hard work for you
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Digital Nomad?
Since the Coronavirus pandemic, more people have started working from home. As a result of this change in working structure, more individuals have moved abroad where they can work remotely while they live abroad for extended stays as a type of work-vacation.
As a result, the digital nomad was born. Digital nomads benefit from the use of technology and a proper high internet speed to work remotely while enjoying travel in various countries around the world. To attract digital nomads, many counties have now started offering temporary visas that now only allow these individuals to live in the foreign country while working remotely, but also allows for their dependents to join them abroad.
Many individuals living abroad and working remotely can stay in a foreign country of their choosing on a Digital Nomad Visa provided that they do not enter the local labor market or replace the local workforce. The purpose of this visa is to bring in foreign income and encourage a type of tourism where foreign individuals stay longer in a country and learn the culture in a more sustainable manner.
What is a Digital Nomad Visa?
A Digital Nomad Visa is a temporary visa or residency permit that allows qualified remote workers from all over the world to live and work abroad remotely. In some counties, there is no official digital nomad visa that encompasses all foreign citizens who would like to work abroad as remote workers.
Instead, each foreign national will have to apply for a specific Digital Nomad Visa that is particular to the country where they wish to stay. Generally, these temporary visas only last up to one year at a time (depending on the country) and require that the foreign national be able to meet a certain set of eligibility criteria including a minimum monthly income. If eligible, digital nomads may be able to extend their visas if they wish to do so.
Who is eligible for a Digital Nomad Visa?
The specific requirements for a Digital Nomad Visa will depend upon each country’s particular eligibility criteria for digital nomads. In general, all digital nomad applicants will need to meet the following requirements:
- The applicant is at least 18 years old
- The applicant is able to meet the minimum monthly income required for the country to which they are applying
- The applicant is employed in a role that allows them to work remotely from anywhere in the world
Digital Nomad Visas are popular with those in the technology sector. This may include roles such as online content creators, website developers, digital and social mediate marketers, and other foreign entrepreneurs who work in the digital field.
Why get a Digital Nomad Visa?
There are many reasons to obtain a Digital Nomad Visa. For one, a Digital Nomad Visa allows a foreign citizen to live in a country for a period of time longer than a Tourist Visa. If your job is remote, you can travel to various countries on Tourist Visas and continue to work. However, in many countries, this could be considered illegal.
Therefore, foreign nationals who are living outside of their country of citizenship will be able to both legally live and work remotely in a country of their choice. Digital Nomad Visas not only provide remote workers and independent freelances with an opportunity to both work and travel but can also provide additional perks such as the chance for permanent residence in some host countries (ex. the D7 Visa in Portugal).
What are the requirements for remote workers?
Digital Nomad visa requirements will vary depending on the country to which the remote work is applying. The general requirements for a Digital Nomad Visa are as follows:
- Proof of remote employment (this proof must also specify whether or not the applicant is allowed to work remotely in another country)
- Medical and/or travel insurance (this insurance must be able to cover any medical expenses incurred while traveling or living abroad)
- Proof that the remote worker or independent freelance earns the minimum monthly income
Monthly minimum incomes will vary depending on the country in which the nomad would like to live. Some nomads will require as high as $5,000 a month (United Arab Emirates) to as low as $1,500 (Brazil).
What countries provide Digital Nomad Visas?
There are many countries around the world that can provide Digital Nomad Visas to eligible remote workers and freelancers. These include the following:
|Antigua and Barbuda||Germany||Aruba||Iceland|
|Dubai||The Czech Republic|
What are some of the best countries to live in as digital nomads?
As more and more countries are adopting Digital Nomad programs, it’s tough to choose which host countries to travel to. Some countries with more established and popular Digital Nomad visa programs are listed below.
The Argentina Digital Nomad Visa was launched in May 2022. Through this visa, foreign citizens are permitted to live in Argentina while working remotely for either an international company or an Argentinian company.
Cabo Verde (Cape Verde)
Enjoy the island life on Cabo Verde through the Cabo Verde Remote Working Program. Visas issued through this program allow remote workers and independent freelancers to temporarily work and enjoy the islands for six months. Visas can be renewed if foreign citizens would like to stay longer.
This Digital Nomad Visa is open to digital nomads from Europe, and North America, individuals who are a member of the Community Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), and members of the Economic Community of West African States (CEDEAO). Cabo Verde Digital Nomad visa holders can bring eligible family members with them to the island chain nation.
Digital nomads who would like to move to beautiful Costa Rica may be eligible for the Rentista Visa. This visa allows remote workers to live in the country for up to two years or longer with an extension.
The Rentista Visa is open to remote workers, freelancers, self-employed professionals, and/or other digital nomads who have a stable income of at least $2,5000 a month. While in Costa Rice on a Rentista Visa, foreign entrepreneurs can open up a business in the country or work freelance.
Foreign citizens who have been living in Costa Rica under this Digital Nomad Visa for at least three years are eligible to apply for Costa Rican permanent residency.
Freelancers and private business owners can work remotely in the beautiful Meditteranean country of Croatia through a Digital Nomad Visa. This Croatian visa is a type of temporary residence permit that allows certain remote workers to live in a European country for up to one year or longer if renewed.
The Czech Republic
Freelancers who would like to live in another European country may apply for the Czech Republic’s Freelance Visa. This visa is a type of long-term residence permit that allows nomads to work in the country independently as a freelancer for up to one year. Freelancers may stay in the Czech Republic for an additional 2 years if they choose to extend their visa.
To be eligible for this visa, foreign entrepreneurs must generate an income of at least $5,600 and have an appropriate trade license for their business.
Estonia was one of the first countries to launch a Digital Nomad Visa in 2019. To be eligible for this visa, nomads must be financially stable with a monthly income of at least €3,500. Although living in Estonia, digital nomads must have an active employment contract with a company registered abroad, work for their own company that is registered outside Estonia, or do freelance work for non-Estonian clients.
Applications for the Estonian Digital Nomad Visas can be made online through the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and processed at the nearest Estonian Embassy or Consulate.
Digital nomads can also choose to work in Germany by applying for a German Freelance Visa. This visa allows qualified foreign citizens to work for different startups, businesses, or other individuals on a need-basis with a part-time contract.
Nomads can apply for a Freelancer Visa at the nearest German Embassy. This temporary visa will also foreign nationals entry into Germany where they can then apply for a Freelancer Residence Permit at the Ausländerbehörde (German Immigration Office) which will also foreign nationals to stay long-term in Germany.
Remote workers who would like to live amongst the glaciers of Iceland can apply for the Iceland Remote Worker Visa. This visa was launched in 2020 and also eligible nomads to live in Iceland under a temporary residence permit.
To qualify for this visa, remote workers must be paid at least $7,700 a month (or ~$9,500 if applying with a partner) and prove that they have no intention of living in Iceland permanently.
Nomads who would like to live south of the border can apply for a Mexico temporary resident visa. This visa allows eligible foreign citizens to live in Mexico for up to one year. This visa can be extended up to three times for a maximum stay in Mexico of 4 years.
To qualify for this Mexican visa, nomads will need to meet one of the following requirements:
- The applicant has maintained a bank balance of $43,000 for the last 12 months
- The applicant has earned at least $2,595 per month for the last 6 months (monthly income will increase by $861 for every accompanying family member)
- The applicant owns a property in Mexico valued at least $346,000
Nomads who would like to brave the cold can apply for Norway’s Digital Nomad Visa. Norway, a non-European Union state is part of the Schengen Area. Digital nomads who would like to relocate to Norway will have to work remotely on one of the Svalbard islands. These islands are expensive to live on, so applicants will need to prove that they have or make enough income to finance their stay.
If approved for this Norwegian visa, digital nomads will receive a visa that will be valid for the rest of the digital nomad’s life.
If you dream of living in beautiful Portugal, you may be eligible for the D7 Passive Income Visa. This visa allows remote workers and anyone with a stable passive income to come to live in Portugal for an extended period of time.
If approved for a D7 visa, foreign citizens will then need to apply for a D7 residence permit. This permit will initially be valid for 2 years and can be renewed for an additional three years. After 5 years of residence in Portugal, foreign citizens can apply for permanent residence and even Portuguese citizenship one day.
How do you apply for a Digital Nomad Visa?
Every foreign Digital Nomad Visa will come with its own set of requirements and application process. Generally, most nomads can apply for their specific visas online through the host country’s official immigration website. Processing will usually be done at the nearest embassy or consulate of the country to which the applicant is applying.
For more details regarding the specifics of visa requirements, documents required, costs, and application process of the particular Digital Nomad Visa you are interested in, contact an experienced immigration attorney for more information.
What documents are required for a Digital Nomad Visa?
Although the specifics on what documents are required will depend on your particular Digital Nomad visa application, most nomads are expected to submit the following documents in general:
- A Digital Nomad visa application form
- A valid passport
- Passport photos shot in line with the standards of the specific country’s requirements
- Proof of medical insurance or travel insurance that covers medical-related expenses
- Proof that the applicant is able to meet the minimum financial requirements needed for their specific visa (bank statements, pay slips, financial documents relating to investments, etc)
- Evidence that the applicant is able to work remotely abroad (statement from employer, trade license, business documents, etc)
- Any documents relating to family relationships (if dependents are accompanying the primary visa holders)
Paying taxes abroad
All U.S. citizens, despite where they are living, need to pay taxes each year. This means that digital nomads from the United States will need to file their taxes every year even if they are working remotely in another country.
Whether or not you pay taxes in your host country will depend on the tax laws in the country where you are currently living. Some countries require you to pay full taxes, other countries, like Portugal, offer digital nomads special tax rates, and some countries require zero taxes. To find out more regarding your specific tax situation, consult with a tax professional in your host country for more information.
How much does the Digital Nomad Visa cost?
The cost of the Digital Nomad visa can vary depending on the country the digital nomad intends to relocate to. Visas can cost anywhere between $200-$2,000 in most countries, however, other Digital Nomad Visas in Caribbean nations such as Barbados, Antigua, and Barbuda can cost up to $3,000 for their family applications. Some countries in an attempt to attract nomads to their country offer digital nomad visas free of charge (ex. Georgia).
Overall, the general cost of a Digital Nomad Visa is as follows:
- Visa application fee: $0-$3,000
- Residence permits: costs will vary
- Medical or travel insurance: costs will vary
In addition to these costs, nomads will also need to factor in all travel and accommodation expenses as well as the minimum financial requirements needed for their specific visa.
Let IAS do the hard work for you
If it’s your dream to work your job remotely while living on a beautiful island or travel the world without giving up on your tech career, then a Digital Nomad Visa might be just right for you. However, with every country comes a new set of eligibility criteria, financial requirements, and application process.
Needless to say, the whole process can get very complicated very fast especially when immigration law changes. To help with what can be considered a complicated process, it is always recommended to consult with an immigration professional before starting your visa application process.
At IAS, our expert attorneys take pride in staying up-to-date with the latest development in all things immigration-related. If you are seeking expert guidance and assistance with your Digital Nomad Visa application, we can help you by providing the following legal services:
- Assessment of your eligibility for a Digital Nomad Visa in your preferred host country
- Guidance and assistance with your visa application
- Document checklist to ensure that you are providing immigration authorities with the proper paperwork needed
- Further guidance and advice if you decide to apply for permanent residence or citizenship in another country
- Liaising on your behalf with the appropriate immigration authorities where needed
For further details regarding the legal services we provide, contact one of our immigration professionals today at +1 844 290 6312. We are here to answer any questions you may have in person, over the phone, or online.
Last modified on June 17th, 2023 at 8:06 am
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Visa processing time will depend on the country where you wish to travel to and if there are any backlogs at the embassy or consulate that is processing the application. However, most digital nomad visas are processed within one month or so.
Digital nomad visas are valid for various ranges of time. Some countries only allow foreign citizens to stay short-term in the country whereas other countries allow foreign citizens to stay for years and even offer a pathway to permanent residence and citizenship.
Most digital nomad visas are valid for a length of time that is longer than the country’s specific tourist visa.
Some countries allow nomads to bring immediate family members with them. Generally, eligible family members are spouses, partners, and dependent children. Extended family members are usually not eligible to come with the nomad to live abroad.
It should be noted that if you would like an additional family member to accompany you abroad, you may need to pay additional visa fees where necessary.
Digital Nomad visas can be denied for a variety of reasons which may include:
- Past serious criminal convictions
- Not being able to meet the financial requirements
- Not providing the necessary supporting documents/evidence
- Providing false information on your visa application form
- Not having a stable remote working job
Many countries allow a pathway to permanent residency if the nomad has lived long enough in the country under a valid visa or residence permit. This will depend on the country where the nomad is living.