Latest global visa regulations for digital nomads and remote workers
The digital workforce has been growing rapidly in the last few years. If you too want to work remotely from another country, you’re in luck: Especially after the pandemic, there has been a huge rise in the number of countries that offer remote work visas. Thanks to new digital nomad visa regulations, you can easily start working in a variety of countries, such as Costa Rica, Malta, Georgia, and more. Keep reading to find out more on how to get a remote work visa, and explore your options.
What is a digital nomad visa?
Remote work visas, more specifically, digital nomad visas, allow independent workers the right to work remotely while staying in another country. They’re usually arranged for short-term stays, and allow digital nomads to travel and work from different locations and gain new experiences. As of writing this article, there are 42 countries that have introduced a digital nomad visa, though some of them haven’t fully implemented it.
Without the existence of a properly adjusted remote worker visa system, freelancers might come across many challenges in terms of tax payments, insurance, worker rights protection issues, etc. Considering the overwhelming rise in demand for working remotely in another country, they are also a great opportunity for governments as well. They create new tourism opportunities, can potentially attract a skilled set of immigrants, and foster development in new areas.
10 countries offering digital nomad and remote worker visas
As we mentioned above, there are more than 10 countries with remote work visas. Think of this article as a guide to show you the best places you can start with.
The Estonian digital nomad visa is a popular choice, since Estonia is one of the few places that offers work visas in Europe. It’s also one of the first places to offer a remote work visa, way back in 2020.
According to the Estonian interior ministry’s official statements, they were hugely inspired by the budding startup environment and wanted to “help Estonia become more influential in the global arena”. Their pioneer status and smaller, less ‘busy’ city life might be unique points of interest for the budding digital nomad.
- Visa validity: Up to 1 year
- Minimum income requirement: €3504/month (before tax), 6 months prior to your application
- Special conditions: Keep in mind that you’ll have no rights of citizenship afterwards. Short-term and long-term visas have different application fees that you’ll have to pay during your appointment.
- Where to apply: After checking your eligibility and filling out the online visa application form, you should make an appointment with your local Estonian embassy or consulate to submit your application in person. The applications are reportedly reviewed and resolved within 30 days.
Hungary is another popular option for nomads seeking to get a remote work visa. In fact, the country’s capital Budapest is considered one of the best cities for digital nomads to live in. The Hungarian nomad visa is called the White Card, and grants each digital worker many opportunities to enjoy the city, such as great sightseeing spots, affordable living costs, and more.
- Visa validity: A maximum of 1 year, with the ability to extend for 1 additional year
- Minimum income requirement: €2000/month, at least 6 months prior to entry. This amount should also be met during your entire stay in Hungary.
- Special conditions: Only third-party country (non-EEA) applications are allowed. You should also have comprehensive health insurance and a proven place of residence for your stay. Check the official page of regulations for more details.
- Where to apply: You can find the necessary forms on the official regulation page..
Croatia is among the best countries to work remotely, with its rich historical sightseeing spots and relatively cheap cost of living. Tourism is hugely important for Croatia, with the country ranking at 12 in tourism income worldwide in 2020 with $5.63 billion. This was one of the leading factors for them to create a temporary version of the work-from-home visa for digital nomads.
- Visa validity: 1 year maximum, cannot be extended
- Minimum income requirement: At least €2373 of minimum income in the last 6 months
- Special conditions: Applications from within the EEA, EU, and Switzerland are not allowed for the remote work visa. Close relatives and spouses of the remote worker can join them temporarily, but the amount of minimum income will be raised by 10% for each family member added.
- Where to apply: You must fill out the official form, and bring the listed necessary documents to your local embassy if you’re required to hold a visa to enter Croatia.
Bermuda is perhaps the most memorable option among the countries that offer remote work programs. As a collection of islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, this self-governing British territory will create a unique experience for global work and travel. It’s also a popular option, since the official language is English, making it easier to communicate with the locals.
With your one-year Work from Bermuda (WFB) Certificate, you can become part of the island culture, live out your tropical dreams, and work remotely at the same time. In fact, just one year after its implementation, the WFB program reportedly added over $23.3 million to the country’s economy, proving that it’s a popular choice among nomads.
- Visa validity: 1 year
- Minimum income requirement: It is stated that you need to be able to financially sustain yourself, though no precise amount is given on their official sources. It’s best if you ask your local embassy or contact authorities for more specific details.
- Special conditions: You need to provide proof of your work and health insurance before application. One of the most important things to remember is that each family member has to apply and pay the fee individually, but within the same day.
- Where to apply: Applications are taken on the country’s official form portal.
Cyprus introduced its digital nomad visa late 2021, and increased the maximum number of residents to be accepted fivefold since then. The purpose of this action was reportedly to strengthen Cyprus as a technology center, as well as contribute to the country’s business ecosystem. You can easily relocate there as a solo worker and become part of their growing economy and beautiful culture.
- Visa validity: 1 year visa, with the possibility to renew for 2 more years. Cyprus offers the longest stay on our list, making it a significant choice among the countries offering remote work visa.
- Minimum income requirement: €3,500/month, increased 20% for spouses and 15% for each child.
- Special conditions: You have to be from a non-EU or non-EEA country to apply. Your spouse and children can join you for the duration of your entire stay, as long as they apply as well. If you spend more than 183 days in Cyprus, you’ll also be eligible for a number of tax benefits as a Cyprus tax resident.
- Where to apply: The specified documents and application forms are to be submitted to the Civil Registry and Migration Department within 3 months of your initial arrival to Cyprus, and you should pay the registration fees. The duration of application reviews is said to be between 5-7 weeks.
Though Mexico doesn’t offer a remote working visa specifically targeted toward digital nomads, you can still make use of their comprehensive tourist and temporary resident visas to legitimize your stay. Its culturally diverse atmosphere makes it a popular choice among nomads.
- Visa validity: Up to 180 days for the tourist visa, between 180 days and 4 years for the temporary resident visa.
- Minimum income requirement: Over $650 for the previous 6 months. If you’re a freelancer and/or independent worker, this goes up to $1,600 for the last 6 months.
- Special conditions: The temporary resident visa grants you more specific rights within the Mexican border: For example, to create a local bank account, buy/rent and register vehicles, and freely travel outside the country. Keep in mind that you cannot do these with a short-term tourist visa.
- Where to apply: The specified documents should be handed over to start the application process within 30 days of your entrance to Mexico.
As a popular travel destination worldwide, the Bahamas can also host you as a digital nomad seeking a new temporary residence. The capital has started to host many coworking spaces, which will prove to be useful. In addition, with its clear water beaches, incomparable tropical setting, and stable Internet infrastructure, it’s an option that you shouldn’t toss aside.
- Visa validity: Up to 1 year
- Minimum income requirement: Not specified
- Special conditions: After your application has been approved and your application fee paid, for the remote work visa permit, you have to pay $1000 for the head of household and $500 for each dependent.
- Where to apply: Fill out the online BEATS application, and send your application fee of $25 after it has been reviewed in 5 business days.
The Maltese Islands are a beautiful archipelago, making it one of the more sought-after choices for digital nomads to live out their island life dreams. With a daily average of 12 hours of sunlight, and the well-known phrase “300 days of sunshine”, Malta can be the relaxing place you exactly need.
- Visa validity: One year, with the ability to renew for up to 3 years.
- Minimum income requirement: €2700 gross monthly income
- Special conditions: The remote work visa offer is for non-EU citizens only, and there are other countries that have special circumstances attached to them. Check the FAQ to see if your country of origin is ilegible. Local or international health insurance is also required.
- Where to apply: Review the application checklist before submitting the necessary documentation.
If you’re a person motivated by historic architecture, rich history and closely-knitted communities, setting your course to Czechia might be a great idea.
The type of visa the Czechia offers is a long-term business visa for the purpose of entrepreneurship, including working as self-employed. It also grants free movement in the Schengen Area, which means that you’d be able to explore Europe however you wish!
- Visa validity: 6 months to a year, with the option to extend up to one year.
- Minimum income requirement: A bank statement of (approx.) €5,100
- Special conditions: Only third-party country (non-EEA) applications are allowed. You will also need to apply for and obtain a Trade License to work in Czechia.
- Where to apply: Read the conditions and steps for application on the government website.
Last but not least is Portugal, another great option for people who’re considering working remotely from another country. There are two types of visas that you can apply for: The temporary stay visa, and the residency visa (also known as the D7 visa). Since it’s a 2-part application process and offers permanent stay, the applications for D7 tend to be more arduous and lengthy. Make sure that it’s really what you want before you commit to applying for it.
- Visa validity: Up to 1 year for the temporary stay visa, undetermined for D7.
- Minimum income requirement: For the temporary stay visa, you should exceed €705/month. For D7, you should have a minimum income of €8460 per year.
- Special conditions: D7 requires you to stay for a minimum of 183 days in Portugal every year, as it’s a permanent residency position. You also need to have full coverage health insurance.
- Where to apply: Submit your documents and pay the fee at the Portugal embassy, either virtually or face-to-face.
There are many more to come!
The concept of the remote work visa has been a popular topic for governments in the last few years. Many countries are implementing digital nomad visas to fit in with the current remote work climate, and there will soon be even more options than are on this list. Upcoming regulations, like in Costa Rica and Indonesia, are also promising in terms of the allowed duration of your stay, more perks, etc.
If you’re interested in exploring your options, check Ruul Blog regularly, since our list will be updated with the newest regulations all around the world!
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