Digital Nomad Visa Guide

Since the pandemic, more and more countries are introducing digital nomad visas in an effort to increase tourism and open the country back up to more people. This has been combined with many people finding a love for remote working, enjoying the flexibility it can provide. A digital nomad visa can expand that freedom of remote working, allowing people to work abroad so they can travel and discover new countries all while they keep working and receiving an income. 

Below, we explain all you need to know about digital nomad visas, including what you need to apply and which countries offer them.

What is a digital nomad visa?

A digital nomad visa allows an individual to work in a foreign country doing a job where the employer is based anywhere in the world. Usually, someone could only work abroad if they obtain a work visa, which typically requires the employer to be locally based. On the other hand, tourist visas usually do not allow the individual to work whilst they are in the country, and they may only be issued for a short period of time.

A digital nomad visa negates the issues that come with these types of visas – it allows the individual to stay in the country for an extended period of time and also work remotely for a foreign employer.

What do I need for a digital nomad visa?

Each country has varying requirements for its digital nomad visa programmes. For nearly all though, you will need to be over 18 with a valid passport and be able to provide proof of a steady income. You’ll also need a job that you can do remotely from the country you want to travel to.

Some digital nomad visa programmes may also request to see your qualifications or CV, and some may need proof of international health insurance. Some will require a fee to be paid, usually between $200 to $3,000, whilst others are free. Some might require details of the work you will be undertaking whilst you’re in the country and some may require a criminal records check.

As well as varying eligibility criteria, different countries will also have different lengths of stays, and minimum required income.

Which countries offer digital nomad visas?

The number of countries that offer digital nomad visas is constantly growing. Some countries have already got their digital visas in place and others are still in the process of finalising the details and processes.

Countries with digital nomad visas currently available:

  • Albania
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Brazil
  • Cape Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Dominica
  • Dubai
  • Estonia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Latvia
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Montserrat
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Saint Lucia
  • Seychelles
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand

Countries with plans to introduce a digital nomad visa soon:

  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Bali
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Italy
  • North Macedonia
  • Montenegro
  • Serbia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka

What type of work can be done under a digital nomad visa?

There are many different roles that can be done under a digital nomad visa, although, as the name suggests, the roles will mainly be computer-based. This can include jobs like a content creator, working in social media, developing websites, or any other sort of digital freelancer. Some digital nomads will be self-employed whilst others may have an employer that has allowed them to work remotely abroad.

What income tax needs to be paid under a digital nomad visa?

How much income tax a digital nomad has to pay in their host country will differ by location and the visa programme. Some countries will require full tax to be paid, whilst others will have special rates for digital nomads. Some places, such as Grenada and Dubai, don’t require any income tax to be paid at all.

Pros and cons of being a digital nomad

One of the main advantages of being a digital nomad is that it gives people an opportunity to travel and live in a different country whilst maintaining their income and not having to put their career on hold. In addition to this, countries that offer digital nomad visas often already have a good infrastructure in place, with fast internet, making it easy for digital nomads to work remotely.

Another advantage of being a digital nomad is that many countries which offer digital nomad visas have strict guidelines and entry requirements around Covid-19. This is especially true of the more remote countries and islands, such as Curaçao. They will often require travellers to take a test before entry. This means that their Covid numbers are relatively low, and residents can stay safe from the virus.  

A disadvantage of being a digital nomad is that it won’t be suitable for every kind of job. Digital nomads will often work different hours to where the company is based, due to the time difference, and so it may be difficult to collaborate with colleagues. For that reason, not every company will allow their employees to work abroad, even if they are able to do their job remotely.

Another downside of being a digital nomad is that the digital nomad visas will only be valid for a temporary period. This means that the individual probably won’t be able to put down roots and may struggle to form strong relationships with others in the area. However, for many, the flexibility of moving around often will be an upside.

If you’re planning on becoming a digital nomad, make sure you’re protected with digital nomad health insurance. As experts in working abroad insurance, Expatriate Group will ensure you get the medical care that you need, when you need it, no matter where you decide to go. Get a quote for your insurance today.

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