Digital Nomad Visa

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Looking for a new place to live and work? Here are 12 countries that offer a digital nomad visa for freelancers and remote workers.

Why waste your time in an office cubicle when you can work from a hammock on the beach or a cafe in an ancient medieval city? Being a digital nomad gives you the freedom and flexibility to work almost anywhere in the world while allowing you to explore new countries and cultures at the same time. As long as you have reliable internet and a work permit or visa, then you too can live the exciting digital nomad lifestyle!

Digital Nomad Visa

What is a Digital Nomad Visa?

If you’re planning on working in a different country, you might be required to obtain a new visa. Not only would this visa allow you to stay and live in your country of choice, but it also gives you the permission to work and make money while traveling. Each country has its own set of rules and regulations for issuing visas, work permits, or residency visas – which we will get into a little later.

European Countries That Offer a Digital Nomad Visa

Europe is one of the top destinations to live the digital nomad life, as there are plenty of fascinating countries that offer a freelance or remote worker visa. From the sparkling coast of Portugal to the historic cities in Germany, here are a few places where you can work as a digital nomad.

  • Malta
  • Estonia
  • Portugal
  • Germany
  • Georgia
  • Iceland
  • Croatia
  • The Czech Republic

Malta

Digital Nomad Visa

An ideal country for digital nomads, the island of Malta is an exciting destination for those looking to spend a year in Europe. The Nomad Residence Permit was designed with freelancers in mind, although small business owners and full-time employees can also apply.

Eligibility Criteria/Who is Eligible to Apply?

You must be a non-EU citizen to receive your work permit in Malta. You must also work for a company not based in Malta, own a company registered abroad, or offer freelancing services to clients outside the country.

Basic Visa Conditions

  • Length: 1 year
  • Cost: 300€
  • Income to prove: 2,700€ per month

How to Apply

After you have filled out the application and gathered your additional documents, you will need to send everything in an email to nomad.residencymalta@gov.mt. The entire approval process takes around 30 days.

Required Documents

In your email to Nomad Residence Permit officials, make sure to include the following:

  • Application form (found here)
  • Letter of intent
  • Health insurance
  • Copy of passport
  • Proof of employment
  • Resume
  • Bank statement
  • Proof of accommodation

Taxes

If the majority of the year is spent living and working in Malta (more than 183 days), you will be required to file and pay federal taxes.

Estonia

Digital Nomad Visa

Considered one of the fastest-growing countries in tech and digital solutions, Estonia is an excellent option for freelancers and remote workers. With their digital nomad visa, you’ll be able to live and work in Estonia for up to 1 year.

Eligibility Criteria/Who is Eligible to Apply?

You can apply for the Estonia digital nomad visa program if you are a freelancer or business owner with a client base mainly outside of Estonia. Company employees with the ability to work remotely can also apply, as long as the foreign company is registered abroad.

Citizens from all countries are eligible for the program.

Basic Visa Conditions

  • Length: 1 year (long-stay), 90 days (short-stay)
  • Cost: 100€ application fee (long-stay), 80€ application fee (short-stay)
  • Income to prove: 3,504€ per month for at least 6 months before applying

How to Apply

You can apply for the Estonia Digital Nomad Visa by filling out the application online. Those wishing to stay for the entire year should apply for the (D) visa. Freelancers who only want to visit short-term can apply for the (C) visa.

After filling out the application online, you will need to physically print and sign the form. The application then needs to be submitted in person to your nearest Estonian embassy or consulate. It’s also possible to file your application in Estonia at the local Police and Border Guard office.

The approval process takes up to 30 days.

Required Documents

In addition to the visa application, you will also need to submit documents that prove you’re able to work remotely. Freelancers can write a personal statement while business owners can submit their legal business license. If you work for a company, you should include a written letter from your employer stating your duties and abilities to telecommute in Estonia.

Make sure also to bring proof of income that shows that you or your business has made at least 3,504€ per month for at least 6 months.

Taxes

If you live and work in Estonia for under 183 days, you will not be required to pay taxes to the Estonian government. However, freelancers and remote workers staying longer than 183 days will need to declare taxes in Estonia.

Portugal

Digital Nomad Visa Portugal

Although Portugal does not have a digital nomad program per se, freelancers can apply for the D7 visa, otherwise known as the passive income visa. This visa essentially allows you to obtain a residency permit that grants you the right to stay and work in Portugal for an extended period of time.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Non-EU citizens are eligible to apply for the D7 special visa. Although you don’t specifically have to be a freelancer or self-employed entrepreneur, you will be required to show passive income, whether it’s from work, property, or savings.

Basic Visa Conditions

  • Length: 2 years (can be renewed every 2 years)
  • Cost: 90€
  • Income to prove: 635€ per month

How to Apply

To get your D7 visa, you can fill out the application form online. Once you receive your D7 visa (around 60 days processing time), you’ll need to apply for a residency permit at the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF) immigration and borders office in Portugal within the first 4 months of entry.

This residency permit allows you to stay for 2 years. If you’d like to stay longer, you can renew your residency permit every 2 years and even apply for permanent residency after 5 years.

Required Documents

When applying for your D7 visa, you will need to include the following with your application:

  • Two passport photos
  • Health or travel insurance
  • Criminal record certificate
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Proof of income

Taxes

Once you have residency in Portugal, you’ll be entitled to benefits through the Non-Habitual Residency program, including national healthcare, education, and legal protection. And since the permit requires you to be in the country for at least 6 months out of the year, this also means you’ll need to pay into the Portuguese tax system.

Germany

Digital Nomad Visa

To work as a digital nomad in Germany, you can apply for a freelancer (Freiberufler) residence permit. Digital nomads in the creative industry (art, dance, music, design) can also apply for a subcomponent of the Freiberufler visa known as the artist’s visa. However, this visa is only given to people who plan to reside in Berlin.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Digital nomads from non-EU countries in a “liberal” profession can apply for the digital nomad residence permit. As defined by the Income Tax Act of Germany, this includes employment in healthcare, education, business, science, or linguistics fields.

To obtain the permit, you will be required to have clients in Germany or letters of intent from clients interested in working with you during your stay.

Basic Visa Conditions

  • Length: 3 years
  • Cost: 140-260€
  • Income to prove: Not stated

How to Apply

Citizens of Schengen visa-free countries (such as the US, Australia, or United Kingdom) can apply for a residency permit while in Germany. This is done at the Ausländerbehörde or Ausländeramt. All other countries will need to apply for an entrance visa at their local German consulate or embassy and then a residency permit once they arrive.

At your appointment with the Ausländerbehörde or Ausländeramt, you will need to bring your application and all supporting documents.

Required Documents

The German freelance visa requires many additional documents, some of which can be time-consuming to collect. Make sure to bring the following documents to your interview:

  • Completed application
  • Passport
  • Two biometric photos
  • Health insurance with 30,000€ coverage
  • Business plan
  • Proof of residence
  • Resume or portfolio
  • 2 or more contracts or letters of interest from clients
  • Blocked bank account
  • Bank statement from home country

Taxes

With this freelance permit, you will be required to pay taxes in Germany. After registering with the tax registration office, or Finanzamt, you will get a tax number that you can use with your clients and to file your federal taxes.

Georgia

Digital Nomad Visa

Georgia is one of the youngest, fastest-growing, and most affordable countries in Europe, making it an attractive destination for many digital nomads. Historically, only a select few countries were allowed to visit Georgia for tourism, but that changed once they announced their “Remotely from Georgia” foreign national program.

As part of the program, freelancers, business owners, and remote employees can travel to Georgia to live and work for up to 1 year.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Citizens of 95 countries, including the US, Australia, the UK, and New Zealand) are allowed to apply for the digital nomad visa program.

Basic Visa Conditions

Length: Up to 1 year (minimum 180 days)

Cost: Unknown application fee

Income to prove:

  • 2,000 USD per month for the past 12-months or,
  • 2,000 USD per month for future income (must show contract) or,
  • More than 24,000 USD in savings

How to Apply

Your entire application can be filled out and submitted online through the “Remotely from Georgia” website. After submitting your application, you should hear back from the program in about 10 days.

Required Documents

While filling out the application, you’ll need to submit additional information depending on your employment (freelancer, entrepreneur, full-time employee).

Freelancers:

  • Copies of client contracts from last 12 month

Entrepreneurs:

  • Proof of ownership or partnership in a company
  • Information about company

Full-time employees:

  • Confirmation of employment
  • Information about company

Freelancers who want to apply for the program will also need to prove they have health insurance for at least 6 months of their stay.

Taxes

As you’re required to spend more than half the year in Georgia, you will be required to file taxes. However, the tax rate is relatively low compared to other countries. If you make less than 500,000 GEL a year (roughly 155,000 USD), then you’ll only need to pay 1% tax.

Iceland

Digital Nomad Visa

Known for its otherworldly landscapes of glaciers, volcanoes, and geysers, Iceland is the ideal country for nature lovers. Digital nomads wishing to travel here can apply for a freelance visa, which allows them to live, work, and explore the breathtaking beauty of this country.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

The Iceland digital nomad visa is available to citizens from visa-free countries. EU citizens are allowed to live and work in Iceland without applying to the program. However, any other country on that list will be required to apply beforehand.

Basic Visa Conditions

  • Length: 180 days
  • Cost: 12.200 ISK
  • Income to prove: 1.000.000 ISK per month (1.300.000 if a spouse is joining)

How to Apply

Applicants to the program will need to fill out the L-802 long-term visa application for remote workers. The application requires that you enter a payment receipt, which means you’ll need to pay the application fee and visa fee (12.200 ISK) before submitting your application.

On average, the application takes 3 to 4 weeks to process. Once accepted, you will need to enter Iceland within 90 days to activate your visa.

Required Documents

When you submit your L-802 application, you’ll also be asked to provide the following documents:

  • Passport size photo
  • Copies of passport
  • Confirmation of health insurance of 2.000.000 ISK per person
  • Proof of income
  • Confirmation of employment (for full-time employees)
  • Confirmation of self employment (for freelancers)
  • Family documents (if bringing over spouse or child)

Taxes

Paying taxes in Iceland is required for foreign nationals who reside in Iceland for longer than 183 days. As the digital nomad program is a maximum of 180 days, you will not be considered a tax resident in Iceland.

Croatia

Digital Nomad Visa

Although Croatia’s digital nomad residency permit is relatively new (it just launched in early 2021), it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular programs for freelancers and remote workers. This permit allows you to become a short-term resident and live and work in the country for a maximum of 1 year.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Any foreign national who is not an EU citizen can apply for residency, as long as their business is not registered with the Croatian government.

Basic Visa Conditions

  • Length: Up to 1 year
  • Cost: Between HRK 240 – HRK 360
  • Income to prove: HRK 16,907.50 per month, or HRK 202,890.00 in savings

How to Apply

Applicants have three options to apply for the digital nomad resident permit. They can apply online, in their home country at the nearest Croatian embassy or consulate, or at a police station once they arrive in the country.

Once your application is approved, you will apply for a biometric residency card, which takes approximately 3 weeks to receive.

Required Documents

In addition to the income requirement and proof of employment, there are only a few additional documents you’ll need to include with your application form. You’ll need to show evidence of travel insurance for your entire stay and a background check from your home country.

You’ll also need to include a Croatian address where you’ll be staying. If you don’t have accommodation yet, you can simply include the address of a hotel or hostel where you’ll be staying when you arrive.

Taxes

With your digital nomad residency permit, you will not be required to pay any taxes during your time in Croatia.

The Czech Republic

Digital Nomad Visa

The Zivnostenske opravneni, or Zivno for short, is a long term visa in the Czech Republic made specifically for freelancers or business owners. This is a trade license that allows you to live in the country while also conducting business.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

All international citizens (excluding EU nationals) can apply for the digital nomad visa. You must be a freelancer or entrepreneur planning to start a business in the Czech Republic.

Basic Visa Conditions

  • Length: 1 year (can be extended to 3 years)
  • Cost: Around CZK 2,500
  • Income to prove: CZK 124,500 in savings

How to Apply

The only way to apply for the Zivno is through a Czech embassy abroad (you may not apply if you’re already in the country). After you submit your documents, you’ll be invited to the embassy for an interview.

Required Documents

To apply for your visa, you’ll need to bring the application and the following documents to the embassy or consulate:

  • Passport
  • 2 passport photos
  • Proof of accommodation for at least a year, signed by the landlord
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of business

The processing time is anywhere from 90 to 120 days, although some applicants have received it as early as 2 weeks. If your application is accepted, you’ll also need to show proof of health insurance before picking up your visa.

It’s important to note that all documents must be submitted in Czech, so you will likely need to hire a professional translator to help you with your application.

Taxes

Visa holders are required to pay taxes for their freelance business while working in the Czech Republic. Once you are in the country, you’ll need to register your trade license with the trade office, or Úřad živnostenský.

Non-European Countries That Offer a Digital Nomad Visa

While Europe is a popular destination for digital nomads, there are many other countries around the world where you can live and work as a freelancer.

Dubai

Digital Nomad Visa

Be a part of one of the fastest-growing economies when you spend a year living and working in Dubai. Their virtual working program caters specifically to freelancers, business owners, or remote employees. Not only will you be able to live and work in the UAE, but you’ll also have access to a wide range of benefits, including schooling, freelancing services, and tax-free income.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

All citizens are encouraged to apply for Dubai’s digital nomad program.

Basic Visa Conditions

  • Length: 1 year (renewable)
  • Cost: 287 USD
  • Income to prove: 5,000 USD monthly income and 5,000 USD for the past 3 months

How to Apply

Applying for the program is easy and straightforward. Head to the Visit Dubai website to start your application.

Required Documents

To get your freelance permit, you’ll need:

  • Application form
  • Health insurance
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of employment or business

Taxes

Freelancers working in the UAE free zones do not need to pay taxes.

Costa Rica

Digital Nomad Visa

If spending a couple of years working in the rugged rainforest of Central America sounds enticing, then the Rentista residence visa could be for you. This two-year residency visa allows foreign nationals to travel, live, and work in Costa Rica.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Freelancers and business owners from any foreign country can apply for residency. However, full-time employees are not allowed to apply.

Basic Visa Conditions

  • Length: 2 years (renewable)
  • Cost: 250 USD
  • Income to prove: 2,500 USD monthly income or 60,000 USD in savings

How to Apply

Please consult your local Costa Rican embassy or consulate for more information on how to apply.

Required Documents

To apply for residency, you’ll need the following pieces of information:

  • Two passport photos
  • Fingerprint records
  • Police clearance certificate
  • Copy of passport
  • Proof of consular registration

Taxes

Freelancer visa holders are exempt from paying taxes in Costa Rica.

Mauritius

Digital Nomad Visa

Although it’s not the first place that comes to mind when talking about remote visa options, Mauritius is a spectacular island for those who want to explore an unspoiled part of the world. Mauritius offers a premium travel visa for anyone who wants to spend a year living in the country. Best of all – the visa is completely free.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Citizens from select countries (including the US, EU, and the UK) are able to apply for the premium travel visa. While digital nomads are welcome, tourists and retirees are also welcome to apply. The only stipulation is that you may not work for a Mauritius company.

Basic Visa Conditions

  • Length: 1 year
  • Cost: None
  • Income to prove: 1,500 USD monthly income

How to Apply

You can apply for the visa online through the Economic Development Board of Mauritius. You will need to have a pre-booked flight (and a reservation for a return ticket) in order to submit your application. Applications are processed within 48 hours.

Required Documents

Before you submit your application, make sure you have the following documents on hand:

  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of air ticket with return
  • Passport photo
  • Booking for accommodation
  • Travel and health insurance for the entire duration of your stay
  • Proof of income

Taxes

Freelancers staying less than 183 days in Mauritius are exempt from paying any taxes. However, you are liable to become a tax resident and to file taxes if you stay longer than 6 months.

The Bahamas

Digital Nomad Visa

Enjoy the sun-soaked beaches and gentle turquoise waters while working a year abroad in the Bahamas. The Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay (BEATS) gives digital nomads the opportunity to work from any of the 16 tropical islands in the country.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

All nationalities can apply for the BEATS program. USA, EU, and UK citizens are not required to obtain an additional travel permit.

Basic Visa Conditions

  • Length: 1 year
  • Cost: 1,025 USD
  • Income to prove

How to Apply

The application process starts by submitting the online form through the BEATS website. After filling out your details and attaching the supplemental documents, your application will be reviewed and processed within 5 business days.

Required Documents

When you submit your application, you will need to show a valid passport, health insurance, and a letter from your employer (for full-time employees) or proof of self-employment (for freelancers).

Taxes

You are not required to pay income taxes while participating in the BEATS program.

Cayman Islands

Digital Nomad Visa

While it’s not the most affordable digital nomad program out there, the Global Citizen Concierge Program is an option for high-earning freelancers to live in the Cayman Islands.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Individuals and families from all backgrounds can apply for the program. However, there is a strict income level and that you’ll need to meet in order to be accepted (not to mention a high application fee and visa cost).

Basic Visa Conditions

Length: 2 years

Cost:

  • 1,469 USD for up to 2 people
  • 500 USD for each dependent
  • 7% credit card processing fee

Income to prove:

  • 100,000 USD per year for individuals
  • 150,000 USD per year for couples
  • 180,000 USD per year for families

How to Apply

Please apply for the Global Citizens Concierge Program through their website. This takes approximately 3 – 4 weeks to process. Once approved, you will submit your payment and receive an official letter allowing you to enter the Cayman Islands.

Required Documents

When you apply for the program, you will need to submit the following with your application:

  • Proof of employment and income
  • Bank reference with 6 months of bank statements
  • Copy of passport
  • Criminal background check
  • Health insurance

Taxes

You are not required to file taxes while participating in the Global Citizens Concierge Program.

Conclusion

Being a digital nomad has its perks. Not only will you get to work in different places around the world, but you’ll also have the opportunity to explore new cultures while meeting fascinating people along the way. So say goodbye to boring office life and start living your life as a digital nomad!

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