digital nomad visa - man working on laptop while sitting on a balcony in the forest
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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 the 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.

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.

river cruise in Prague
With a digital nomad visa, you could live in Prague

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.

Estonia
With Estonia’s new digital nomad visa, you can live here

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.

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.

Berlin
Digital nomad visa options are available in Germany

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.

Central and South America Nomad visas

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.

A beach in Barbados with palm trees
You can live in Barbados with a digital nomad visa

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.

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.

Sunset over the beach in Costa Rica
With a digital nomad visa, this could be your view every day.

The rentista visa grants temporary residency to foreign nationals for two years. During that time, you need a guaranteed monthly income of $2,500 USD for the duration of your stay. Also, applicants need a letter from their bank that proves they have at least $60,000 USD 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 US$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.  

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.

church in Mexico City at night
You could be living remotely in Mexico.

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 USD for the year before application and a monthly income of a minimum of $1,620 USD.

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.

BERMUDA AND GEORGIA

Georgia
Add Georgia to your list of digital nomad countries.

Bermuda and Georgia are the latest countries creating digital nomad visa programs to attract remote workers.

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.

Georgia has also announced a new long-term visa program targeted at self-employed, remote workers interested in living in the country for six months or longer. It is a program aimed at stimulating the economy and slowly reopening its borders. So far, the only long-term visa information provided on the official government site is unclear.

However, suppose you are interested in working remotely in Georgia, and you are a citizen of one of these 98 countries. In that case, you can enter, reside, work and study in Georgia without the necessity to obtain either a visa or residence permit. For more information and the online application, go to this site.

Final thoughts

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.

FAQ

A digital nomad visa is an official document issued by certain countries to allow remote workers to stay in that country for an extended time.

Generally, most countries have the same requirements for digital nomad visa applicants:

  • Valid passport
  • Evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself financially during your stay
  • Show proof that you are self-employed and capable of working remotely in your chosen destination
  • Provide evidence of health insurance or a document certifying that you are covered by a health plan
  • Meet any other immigration policies specific to each country

Generally, anyone with an occupation allowing them to work remotely can apply for a digital nomad visa. However, you will need to check with the individual country’s immigration policies for specific requirements.

Every country’s immigration policies are different, so you’ll need to check with the relevant authorities in the country you’re considering relocating to. In most cases, as long as you meet the other stipulated conditions and adhere to local guidelines, you should be able to continue working remotely and enjoy the freedoms that come with being a digital nomad.

Generally, yes. Digital nomads must still pay taxes to their country of residence and any other jurisdictions that require it. Depending on the host country, you may have to pay local or income taxes. It is recommended to consult a tax professional for advice about paying taxes in each country you are visiting.

It will depend on the country and the specific requirements for the digital nomad visa. Some countries may allow you to bring dependents as long as you can provide for them, while others may not. You should research the specific requirements for the country you are interested in visiting.

The length of stay allowed will vary from country to country. In some countries, your digital nomad visa can last for several years, whereas in others, it may only be valid for several months. You should check with the relevant authorities before applying to ensure you know all the requirements and restrictions.

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