A Comprehensive Guide to Digital Nomad Visas for 2023
The pandemic has taught us that many jobs can be done from home. As more and more workers embrace remote work, more countries are offering digital nomad visas specifically designed to attract location-independent workers. So whether you’re a freelancer or have a flexible employer, the digital nomad lifestyle is now more accessible than ever.
When I first wrote this post in 2020, a few countries had official visas created with digital nomads in mind. Many of those I originally included on this list had existing visa programs that allow foreigners to live and work there if they meet specific criteria. However, three years later, the number of countries with official visas for remote workers has increased dramatically. Let’s take a look at the offerings.
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Countries that offer a digital nomad visa
There are over 40 countries with digital nomad visas today. Some have already been launched, while others are still in the works. The way this trend is going, more countries are likely to consider this visa option to attract remote workers. Whether you prefer to work near a tropical beach, in a historic city or in the idyllic countryside, there is a country with your name on it.
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Digital nomad visas Europe
As one of the most visited continents in the world, Europe is on many people’s wishlists. If you don’t hold European citizenship, you’re limited to how long you can stay there. The rules for the Schengen zone let you visit for up to 90 days visa-free, and the rules are similar for the European countries outside the EU. So, if you’re dreaming of living in Europe, even if for a short time, a digital nomad visa can be your ticket to that lifestyle.
Most of the countries on this list have similar eligibility criteria. They vary slightly in the duration of the visa and the required monthly income threshold. Some might also require a formal letter and/or an interview as part of the application process. These types of visas are aimed at third-country nationals, meaning those not part of the EU, and are intended as an incentive to boost the local economy.
Croatia digital nomad visa
The Croatian digital nomad visa was launched in 2021 and is aimed at remote workers who work for or are employed by a company registered outside Croatia. The permit allows you to stay in Croatia for up to a year and is tax-exempt. To apply, you must provide proof of sufficient income (a minimum of 2,365.45 EUR/month), health insurance, a police background check and a rental agreement. Upon arrival, you have to register with local authorities.
The Croatian government has clear application guidelines, and you can apply online. You can also bring your spouse/partner and kids, providing you can provide proof of financial stability. You can check out the official Croatia Digital Nomad page for more info.
Czech Republic digital nomad visa
The Czech Republic offers a special business visa (zivno visa or zivnostenské opravneni) that freelance and remote workers can apply for. It’s best suited for non-EU citizens who work as contractors/freelancers or run their own businesses.
The process of applying for this type of digital nomad visa is more complicated than some of the other ones. If you’re interested in applying for the zivno visa, you’ll have to start at the consular office in your country. The application process also requires proof of income, health insurance and processing fees. All documents must be in Czech.
In addition to the required documents, you’ll need proof of accommodation lease in the Czech Republic. Expect an immigration interview that is part of the process. As the process can be confusing and frustrating, you might consider employing an immigration expert to guide you through it.
Estonia digital nomad visa
Priding itself as one of the most digitally advanced countries, Estonia was the first country to offer an e-residency visa to attract digital nomads. Applicants must meet the monthly income threshold of €4,500 (gross of tax) for the last six months, have an active employment contract and have valid health insurance. This amount has increased from the original number when the visa was launched.
Estonia has a pretty informative website with guidance for digital nomads. Applicants should then make an appointment at the nearest Estonian Embassy or Consulate to submit their application. Bring copies of any required supporting documents. Applications are reviewed within 30 days.
Georgia for digital nomads
Georgia has one of the easiest and most attractive schemes for remote workers without having an actual visa. Currently, if you are a citizen of one of these 98 countries, you can stay and work remotely in the country for up to a year without a visa. All you have to show is that you make $2,000 a month or have $24,000 in the bank.
So, if you’re looking for gorgeous scenery, great food and friendly people while avoiding a convoluted application process, Georgia can be the place for you. Consult the official government website for details.
Germany digital nomad visa
Germany’s freelance visa (called freiberufler visa) is for the self-employed in many fields. It applied to people in “liberal” professions, including technology, artists, writers, teachers, marketers, engineers, architects, self-employed doctors, and other professionals. It can be extended for up to three years.
For information about applying for the freelancing visa and who is eligible to apply, see this website. The process of getting the German version of a digital nomad visa is detailed but straightforward. Applicants must submit their application at the German Embassy or Consulate in the country of their residence at least three months before the planned travel date.
Greece digital nomad visa
Greece’s fairly recent visa for nomads is in line with the others, meaning that it lets you stay and work in the country for up to 12 months. You can apply for renewal before it expires. The rules are also similar in that you must work for an employer or clients outside Greece and have proof of sufficient income (€3,500 per month).
Additionally, you need proof of insurance, a clean bill of health from your doctor and a criminal background check. You are also required to provide a cover letter of sorts stating your intentions with your application. A return ticket and proof of accommodations are also required. You have to apply for the visa through a Greek consulate in your country. This website offers an overview of what you can discover in Greece.
Hungary’s White Card
Hungary’s White Card is a digital nomad visa and is also a relatively recent addition to the list of nomad-friendly countries. This visa has a lower monthly income requirement of €2,000/month. It allows you to stay in the country for a year with the possibility of renewing. Like the others, you need to be employed by or work for clients outside of Hungary, have health insurance, proof of accommodations as well as a valid return ticket.
You will need to apply at a Hungarian embassy in your home country and fill out the application form. Once your visa has been approved, you have to fly to Hungary, where you will apply separately for the White Card. You’re best off contacting the embassy and getting clear guidelines for your country.
Iceland digital nomad visa
While Iceland is one of the most unique and stunningly beautiful destinations, it comes at a premium. The remote worker visa comes with a hefty monthly income requirement of $7,000, and it’s only good for six months. The cost of living here is quite high, so be prepared to have to spend a lot on everyday items like food and rent.
If you’re looking for a stunning place to call home and have a healthy income that meets this threshold, then this is your opportunity to call Iceland home, even for a short time. You must also show proof of employment, health insurance and documents confirming the purpose of your stay (i.e. letter from your employer or proof of self-employment). Consult the official Icelandic government site for the application process and forms.
Malta’s Nomad Resident Permit
With its sandy beaches, warm climate and over 300 days of sunshine, Malta is a great travel destination. Its officials are also hoping that it will attract digital nomads looking for their own slice of paradise. As far as requirements go, you’ll need a monthly income of €2,700, health insurance and remote income. The visa is valid for one year and can be renewed. To learn more about Malta’s offerings and the program, check out the Malta Nomad Resident Permit site.
Norway’s digital nomad visa for Svalbard
Norway’s digital nomad visa is unique in that it only applies to Svalbard, an archipelago between Norway’s mainland and the North Pole. Famous for long, cold winters and the high cost of living, this destination will not appeal to every digital nomad looking to work remotely.
Anyone can live in Svalbard, regardless of their country of origin. This long-term visa has no expiry date meaning you’re not limited to how long you can stay there. However, those interested in working remotely in Svalbard must have a job and a place to live. Health care and welfare are available, but only for Norwegians and workers employed by a Norwegian company.
If you’re up for a challenge, are unphased by the high cost of living, and like unique places, then Svalbard could be an ideal location for you. Visit this site for more information, although it’s limited. You’ll have to do more digging if you think this place is calling your name.
Portugal digital nomad visa
Portugal recently added to its offering for remote workers with a digital nomad visa. Before that, those looking to live in Portugal could apply for the D7 Passive Income visa. Both visas can lead to permanent residency after a few years, which makes it even more attractive for those wanting to live in Europe.
To qualify for the Portuguese digital nomad visa, you’ll need a monthly income of €2,800, employment or a freelance contract, and a bank account in Portugal. You’re encouraged to apply at your local Portuguese embassy/consulate.
Digital Nomad Visa Countries in North & South America
Europe is not the only continent hoping to attract location-independent workers. With an affordable cost of living, vibrant culture and impressive natural landscapes, many countries in South and North America are rolling out visas for digital nomads.
Brazil visa for digital nomads
Brazil introduced a special visa for remote workers in 2022, and it has been getting a lot of attention. The visa is valid for one year and is renewable. You need private medical insurance, a clean criminal record and a valid passport. As far as income goes, you either need to show proof that you make $1,500/month or have $18,000 in your bank. As you’re not able to earn income in Brazil, you need an employer or a contract outside the country.
To apply, contact the Brazilian embassy in your area. Check the official government website for locations and any updates.
Banking on its popularity among visitors, Colombia has also launched a visa for digital nomads looking for a vibrant and affordable destination. The visa requirements include a monthly income of $900/month, health insurance and a letter of motivation. You can stay and work remotely in Colombia for one year. For more information, visit your local Colombian embassy and fill out the online form.
Ecuador is another South American country hoping to tempt remote workers with an affordable lifestyle. The visa is valid for two years and has an income requirement of $1,275/month. You must make your income from outside Ecuador and have valid health insurance. Lare more about the Ecuador Digital Nomad visa.
Mexico Visa de Residente Tempora
Mexico is another great option for digital nomads with its temporary resident visa (Visa de Residente Temporal). The visa allows holders to stay in the country for one year and can be renewed up to three times more. However, this visa doesn’t allow you to remain in Mexico for longer than four years.
As with the other visas, applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to support themselves for the duration of their stay. Mexico’s requirement is a balance of $27,000 for the year before application and a monthly income of a minimum of $1,620.
This visa category limits where you make your money, and you may not be allowed to conduct lucrative activities, such as employment, in the country. This website provides additional information if you think Mexico is the right place for you.
Central America Nomad visas
If beach life is more your speed, then you’re in luck, as many of the Central American and Caribbean nations are hoping you will choose to live and work there. After all, if you can work from anywhere, why not do it from a tropical beach?
Barbados Welcome Stamp
Barbados joined the list of countries that offer a digital nomad visa with the launch of its 12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp program. This remote working visa will allow visitors to say and work remotely on this Caribbean island paradise for up to a year.
By offering a range of flexible office spaces and the fastest fibre network in the Caribbean, Barbados hopes to attract people looking for a change of scenery. The country also boasts excellent healthcare and good schools, meaning your whole family can relocate there.
Those interested in the program must fill out an application online, which should be processed within 72 hours. The fees are $2,000 UDS for an individual visa or $3,000 USD for a family. The visas are valid for one year, and those who get them won’t have to pay Barbados Income Tax. In addition to filling out the application and submitting the required documents, applicants must also certify that they will make $50,000 USD a year or have the means to support themselves and any dependents during their stay in Barbados.
Bermuda has launched a new residency certificate program to allow remote workers and students to live on the Caribbean island for up to a year. Applicants must be over 18, have health insurance, supply proof of employment and/or enrollment in an educational program, and show sufficient means and/or a continuous income source. If Bermuda is calling your name, you might want to fill out the application.
Costa Rica Rentista Visa
If island life doesn’t appeal to you, other options offer excellent weather and a chance to live in paradise. Costa Rica has been a long-time favourite destination for investors and retirees. With its version of a digital nomad visa, Costa Rica is an excellent place for those looking for a chance of scenery.
The rentista visa grants temporary residency to foreign nationals for two years. During that time, you need a guaranteed monthly income of $2,500 for the duration of your stay. Also, applicants need a letter from their bank that proves they have at least $60,000 in their account. The amount can also be transferred to a bank in Costa Rica, where you’ll need a commitment letter that states that at least $2,500 per month will be made available.
Under this type of long-stay visa, you may establish a business or work independently, but you may not work as an employee. You are also required to live in the country for at least four months per year. After the initial three years, you can reapply for renewal if you meet the guidelines. Eventually, you can pursue a permanent residency or Costa Rican citizenship.
Working remotely in a different country is more possible today than it has been before. Many factors go into the process of applying for a digital nomad visa that factor into your decision. As the regulations vary between countries, not all visas will appeal or work for everyone. That’s why it’s imperative to do your research and understand the process. It might often even make sense to hire a reputable third-party expert who can help you navigate the process, especially if you don’t speak the language.
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It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of living in a different country, but your decision should be based solely on your situation, not what works for others. While living and working remotely is great, you also should consider how easy it is to travel in and out of a country. If you choose a place in the EU, you’ll be able to travel (to an extent) within the Schengen zone, providing you meet the minimum stay required of the county that issued your visa. Pay attention to the limitation, as a misstep could revoke your visa status.
So, if you are thinking of living temporarily in a different country, find the visa that appeals to you best. If you have the means and the opportunity, living in a foreign country can be a fantastic opportunity. It’s also a chance to see the world.