Are you a remote worker? Since the pandemic, a lot more people have had the opportunity to work from home. One of the advantages of this is the ability to work from any location. So why not live life to the fullest and take your work abroad? Several countries offer visas explicitly designed for digital nomads. Tourism experienced a huge hit over the past two years, and some countries are counting on digital nomads for economic revival.
Working from your laptop clearly has its perks, but as a digital nomad, chances are you’re tired of having to move every 2-3 months or having to do visa runs. Why not choose a place to work that allows you to stay longer?
To plan your departure, you will need:
- Health insurance
- Proof of income and/or employment
- Proof of health/medical exam (especially since the pandemic)
Remember that you may have to pay additional tax on your income (certain locations only).
Did you know that it is illegal to work in many places (even telework) without a visa for this purpose? You might hear of people working without a visa, but you should be careful. It’s best to be well-informed and get the correct visa.
Here is the list of countries where you could telecommute according to the blog Gone Travelling:
You can apply for the Freelance Freiberufler Visa if your job is in one of the following areas: law, health, tax and business consulting, science, linguistics and information transmission. If not, that’s okay because you can also apply for an artistic visa (in Berlin only). No matter which visa suits you best, you must pay fees and taxes to apply (50 to 100 euros).
Argentina welcomes self-employed workers for temporary residency. Their Rentista Visa allows you to stay there for a year. You can then apply for a renewal for up to three years. After these three years, you can apply for permanent residence and even a passport. Why not learn Spanish right away?
Do you want to work in a Caribbean atmosphere? Yes, please! Barbados allows you to obtain the Barbados Welcome Stamp and get to work in paradise. The welcome stamp is valid for one year with the possibility of renewal. Be mindful that you will have to pay a fee of 2000 USD (or 3000 USD for a family) and have a minimum annual income of 50,000 USD. It’s quite expensive to apply; however, Barbados remains one of the most affordable places to live in the Caribbean once you get there.
Bermuda is a great option if you want to work at the beach. Their Work from Bermuda program requires no minimum income, and the fee is only 283 USD. However, the cost of living there is extremely expensive.
5. The Cayman Islands
You better get your wallet out if you want to work from the Cayman Islands! You must have a minimum income of 100,000 USD (or 150,000 USD per family) if you want to be eligible for their Global Citizen Concierge Program. The visa is valid for two years with the possibility of renewal once the two years have elapsed. You will also have to pay a fee of 1,469 USD. Unsurprisingly, the cost of living is quite high. But that won’t be a problem if you’re already rich and famous!
In Colombia, you have two options: get a three-month visitor visa, or you can apply for their M-Type Visa Freelancer valid for three years. The M-Type Visa is only available to self-employed individuals working for a Colombian company. You will also need to provide proof of income and pay a fee between 160 and 220 USD.
7. Costa Rica
Surfing, work, sleep, repeat… who doesn’t dream of telecommuting while living the Pura Vida? Costa Rica is THE place for digital nomads since the cost of living there is cheap. You can obtain the Rentista visa, valid for two years, with the possibility of renewal. To apply, you will have to pay a fee of 250 USD. You must also make at least 2,500 USD per month or have 60,000 USD in your bank account. Better save up now if you want to surf the waves every day!
Living and working in Croatia sounds too good to be true! Canadians do not need a visa to stay in Croatia for up to 90 days. If you intend to stay there longer, you’re in luck. Since January 2021, Croatia has been offering the brand new Digital Nomad Visa. To use it, you must earn at least $3,250 per month.
9. The Czech Republic
Another great affordable option for telework is The Czech Republic. You can apply for their Zivno Visa (Czech Freelancer Visa) for a fee of $150. To be eligible, you must find your job on their list, which is unclear. You must have $8,300 in your bank account and pay monthly taxes of $120. The visa is valid for one year but is renewable after that.
Spain does not have a specific visa for those who enjoy digital freedom. On the other hand, there is a visa for financially independent people. You could get creative on your application and try to get it. Know that you must have at least 26,000 euros in your bank account or make at least 2,151 euros per month.
Estonia has an e-Residency program which will allow you to stay in the country for one year with the possibility of renewal. You have to prove that you made at least $5,200 in the last six months. It will cost you about $120 for a six-month visa and about $150 for a one-year visa. It’s cool that they offer a choice.
The Georgian government wants to attract digital nomads with its Remotely From Georgia program. As for the cost, the information is currently unclear. The visa is valid for one year, and you will have to make a minimum monthly of 2,000 USD.
Imagine telecommuting on the edge of the Mediterranean while eating gyros for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pure heaven! The Greek government has released its new one-year visa for digital nomads. To apply, you will need to provide proof of income of 3,500 euros per month. You will also have to pay a 75 euro application fee and a 150 euro administration fee.
Italy does not have a visa for digital nomads yet, but it does have some interesting options for digital freedom seekers on a budget. Sicily, Sardinia, Calabria and Campania offer 1 euro accommodations! Yes, you read correctly! And if you are a freelancer, you can apply for a Self-Employment Visa. Some cities even offer to pay for all or part of your accommodation. Mamma mia!
Prepare to enjoy golden sandy beaches and sapphire water. This small country in Europe is a great place for digital nomads, given the inexpensive cost of living. You can apply for the Digital Nomad Residency for six months or one year for a fee of 300 euros. You will also have to prove that your monthly salary is at least 2,700 euros.
Since the regular visa is for six months, you may not need a special visa to work in Mexico. However, if you wish to stay longer, you can apply for the Temporary Resident Visa for stays lasting more than 180 days but less than four years. You must have earned at least $45,334 in the last twelve months and prove that you make at least $2,700 per month.
If you want to work from Norway, you must meet certain criteria: be self-employed, have a contract with a Norwegian company and have an annual income of $53,000. The two-year (renewable) visa will cost you around $900.
19. The Philippines
This paradise on earth does not have a visa designed for digital nomads; however, as a visitor, you are assigned a 30-day visa which can be extended up to six months at no additional cost.
Portugal has already been attracting digital nomads for quite some time with their tailor-made visa. You only have to earn 600 euros per month to be eligible for it. The visa costs 83 euros, and you will also have to pay a residence fee of 72 euros. Not bad at all!
Thailand is the perfect place for digital nomads because the cost of living is super low. Their somewhat complex SMART visa aims to attract entrepreneurs. To be able to apply, the criterion goes beyond working from your laptop. You must work for specific companies and make at least 100,000 baht ($3,800) per month. So if you currently live and work in Thailand (or don’t meet the SMART visa standards), you may still need to do visa runs.
22. United Arab Emirates/Dubai
If you want to go to work from Dubai, you better be a fancy digital nomad! In fact, you must make 5,000 USD per month. At least you won’t have to pay monthly taxes.
What are you waiting for? Grab your laptop and visa, and let’s go!
What will be your next digital nomad destination?
This article was originally published in French and adapted in English by Britney Claveau.