If the past few years have taught us one thing, it may be the ease with which we can work from anywhere in the world. Perhaps we already knew this, and the COVID-19 pandemic was simply the catalyst for this shift in mindset. However, one thing is for sure, more people than ever before have the ability to work remotely, and, in many cases, this extends to being able to work from anywhere in the world, provided that you have a stable internet connection. Many countries have launched some form of Digital Nomad Visa to allow remote workers to easily work in their country. For example, Portugal will launch their own Digital Nomad Visa on 30 October 2022, allowing remote workers to live and work remotely in Portugal.
In this article, we’ll provide you with crucial information on Digital Nomad Visas, including:
- What is a Digital Nomad Visa?
- Eligibility criteria for a Digital Nomad Visa
- Where can I get a Digital Nomad Visa in 2022?
- Best countries to get a visa as a digital nomad
- Application process
- Documents required
- How long does it take to get a Digital Nomad Visa?
- Digital Nomad Visa validity
- How much does a Digital Nomad Visa cost?
- Applying with family members for a Digital Nomad Visa
- Why your visa may be denied
- The Digital Nomad Visa vs. the Tourist Visa
- Do I have to pay taxes under a Digital Nomad Visa?
- What type of work can I do?
- Plus much more!
What is a Digital Nomad Visa?
A Digital Nomad Visa is a visa that many countries have now launched, allowing individuals to live and work in their country for a set period of time. Usually, a requirement is that you work for an employer or company outside of your host country or are self-employed and have a business that you can manage from anywhere in the world. Digital Nomad visas are usually short-term and do not offer a pathway to citizenship – although, in some cases, there is the possibility to get a residence permit, depending on the country’s requirements. Many countries now have their own Digital Nomad Visa program.
Eligibility Criteria for a Digital Nomad Visa
Digital nomad programs are now becoming more common across the world. Some of the general eligibility criteria to qualify for this visa type are the following:
- You must be over the age of 18
- You must have a specific monthly minimum income. The minimum income requirement will vary depending on the country you choose
- You must have a job that you can do from anywhere in the world
Where can I get a Digital Nomad Visa in 2023?
The following 43 Digital Nomad Visa countries in 2023 offer some form of a visa for digital nomads, although it may not be referred to as such. These countries are shown below in the table.
Antigua and Barbuda
*A visa for digital nomads has been introduced but has not yet been implemented.
Note that there is no Digital Nomad Visa in the USA to date. However, the USA has many other visa types and residence permits for foreign nationals that could apply to you, and it may still be possible to live in the USA and work as a freelancer.
Best Countries to Get a Visa as a Digital Nomad
- Argentina: The Argentinian government launched its take on a visa for digital nomads on 21 May 2022. The Argentinian Digital Nomad Visa allows digital nomads to work remotely for either an international or Argentinian company.
- Costa Rica: The Rentista Visa for digital nomads is a pretty easy visa to obtain and allows holders to remain in the country for two years, with the possibility to extend this further. The visa is designed for small investors who want to provide their services in Costa Rica. You will need to prove that you have around €2,576 ($2,500) per month as proof of a steady income.
- Croatia: The Croatian authorities launched their visa for digital nomads in 2021 to encourage remote workers to live in Croatia while working.
- Czech Republic: The Freelance Visa is for those looking to work on their own time schedule and live in the Czech Republic. The visa is valid for up to one year and can then be extended for a further two years. The Freelance Visa costs around €223 ($217), and you will need to demonstrate that you have an income of €5,767 ($5,600).
- Estonia: This visa is specifically called the Digital Nomad Visa and was launched at the end of 2019 with the aim to target remote workers.
- Germany: Digital nomads can apply for a German Freelance Visa, which allows holders to work with different startups, businesses, or individuals on part-time contracts or a needs basis.
- Iceland: The Icelandic version of a visa for digital nomads was launched by the country in October 2020 and is called the Icelandic Remote Worker Visa. This visa also serves as a temporary residence permit.
- Mexico: If you want to live in Mexico while working as a digital nomad, then the Mexico Temporary Resident Visa is a safe bet. You can stay in the country for one year and then can extend the visa up to three more times.
- Norway: Norway offers visas for digital nomads looking to live and work in Svalbard, one of the most expensive places to live in the world. The visa is valid for a lifetime, and you simply need to show that you have sufficient funds to support your stay there. Living in Svalbard can be pretty difficult because of the very low temperatures and the 24 hours of darkness that the archipelago experiences for about four months of the year, from November to February. However, living in Svalbard is an experience that digital nomads will remember for a lifetime.
- Portugal: The Portugal official Digital Nomad Visa will launch on 30 October 2022. This visa provides its holders with the ability to live and work in the country. There are two categories you can opt for, the temporary stay visa, which is valid for one year, or a digital nomad residence permit, for those that are looking to secure residency in the country. A digital nomad residence permit allows you to become a resident of the country, with the possibility of citizenship after five years, provided you meet all the requirements.
Digital Nomad: Application Process
The requirements and specific procedures may differ from country to country. However, the application process will likely follow the sequence presented below. Note that it is best to check the specific procedure of your foreign country of interest.
Fill out the application form
If you are looking to work as a digital nomad, then you will need to complete an application form for this visa, carefully following the instructions.
Set an appointment with an embassy or consulate
You will need to locate a visa office to set an appointment. Your appointment can either be at an embassy or a consulate. Once you have found your closest visa office, you can schedule an appointment, where you will submit your application and attend the interview.
Prepare your documents
After you have completed your application, you will need to prepare the necessary documents that you have to present. You may need to have some documents translated in some circumstances. Other documents may need to be certified with an apostille stamp.
Submit your application
Once you have all your documents prepared, submit them along with your completed visa application to the embassy. You will also need to attend the interview and pay the visa fee (if required). Note that some countries may ask you to pay the fee before your appointment. You will need to show the payment receipt as part of the application documents.
Digital Nomad Visa: Documents Required
Although this will vary from country to country, you will likely need to present the following documents for this visa:
- Digital Nomad Visa application form
- Valid passport
- Identity pictures
- Proof of financial income (source of income, amount, etc.)
- Evidence of remote work (clients, business license, work contract, etc.)
- Civil documents (birth certificate, qualifications, etc.)
The documents that you will be required to present to apply for your visa will need to follow the guidelines shown below:
- You must have a valid passport that has a validity of at least six months at the time of the application
- Your identification picture needs to have a plain, white background with a neutral facial expression and must not be edited in any way.
- Your civil documents need to be translated (if required by the country) and certified with an apostille stamp
How long does it take to get a Digital Nomad Visa?
The length of time to get your visa will depend on the country, but it will generally take around one month to process your visa.
Digital Nomad Visa Validity
The validity of the visa will depend on the country to which you are applying. Commonly, Digital Nomad Visas last one or two years. Some countries may allow you to extend your visa for up to five years if you meet the qualifying criteria.
How much does a Digital Nomad Visa cost?
Digital Nomad Visas vary considerably in terms of price. Some countries may issue you a Digital Nomad for free to attract more applicants, but for others, you may need to pay between €200 to €2,100.
Applying with Family Members for a Digital Nomad Visa
You may be able to bring family members with you with this visa type. Some countries only allow you to bring your spouse or registered partner, and your children.
Why may your Digital Nomad Visa be denied?
Some of the reasons why Digital Nomad Visas may be denied include:
- You have been convicted of a serious crime
- You do not have a job that you can do remotely
- You completed the application form with incorrect information
- You fail to meet the annual income requirement
The Digital Nomad Visa Versus the Tourist Visa
The Digital Nomad Visa and the Tourist Visa offer very different things to the holder. Check the table below to find information on the key differences.
Digital Nomad Visa
Can take months to be processed
Usually takes around two weeks to be processed
Issued for longer than 90 days
Usually valid for 30 days
Allows you to travel and work in the country
Allows you to travel in the country
You have to be employed to get the visa
You do not have to be employed
Do I have to pay taxes under a Digital Nomad Visa?
In general, you have to file a tax return in your county of residence if you have a visa for digital nomads. Note that this will vary depending on which country you are working remotely in. To provide you with an example, if you are working on a Digital Nomad Visa in Estonia and stay in the country for more than 183 days, then you will be considered a tax resident in the country.
With this said, other countries have a one-year tax exemption in place for digital nomads. To be completely clear on whether you need to pay taxes, check the information provided by your host country.
What type of work can I do with a Digital Nomad Visa?
As long as you can work remotely, you should be able to apply for a visa for digital nomads. Some of the most popular job types for digital nomads are:
- Digital entrepreneur
- Content creator
- Website developer
- Social media marketer
Global Citizen Solutions is a multidisciplinary firm that provides bespoke residence and citizenship solutions in Europe and the Caribbean.
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Frequently Asked Questions About the Digital Nomad Visa:
What is a Digital Nomad Visa?
A Digital Nomad Visa is a visa that allows individuals to live and work in a specific country. Usually, a requirement is that you work for an employer outside the country or are self-employed and have a business that you can manage remotely. Also, you will need to have a job where you can do the work remotely.
What other countries offer Digital Nomad Visas?
Many countries now offer Digital Nomad Visas in some form or other, including Argentina, Germany, the Czech Republic, Croatia, and Mexico. Portugal has also announced a new Digital Nomad Visa that will launch on 30 October 2022.
Does the UK offer a Digital Nomad Visa?
To date, the UK does not offer a visa specifically for digital nomads. Temporary workers are welcome in the UK to live and work for a short-term period under categories such as the Government Authorized Exchange or Seasonal Workers program.
Do you need a Digital Nomad Visa?
If you are looking to work legally in a country, you will need to have a visa. A visa for digital nomads can be an excellent option for you to work hassle-free for a set period of time in a specific country, provided they offer some form of visa for digital nomads.