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Ultimate Guide to Countries Who Offer Digital Nomad Visa to Work Remotely

The possibility of remotely working from another country as a digital nomad is an exciting development that many remote work professionals should look into. With the threat of COVID-19 slowly lifting in some regions, some digital nomad countries are opening applications for digital nomad visas to professionals who want to stay a year or even more in the new country.

The digital nomad visa, also affectionately called the freelancer’s visa, is granted to working nomads who own location-independent businesses. Working nomads must operate their businesses from remote locations through telecommunications technology, and there are also income requirements that vary, depending on the countries offering the digital nomad visas. If you meet certain digital nomad countries’ requirements, there is a high probability of being approved for a remote worker visa or digital nomad visa.

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1. Thailand

Expats have always loved Thailand. The cost of living in the country is very affordable, too. Professionals will need just $1,500/month to live comfortably in the country. Presently, Thailand is gearing up to offer its version of the digital nomad Thailand visa or remote worker visa.

There isn’t a formal digital nomad Thailand visa yet, as digital nomads are already welcome to stay as long as they fulfill the working requirements while working on their businesses while in Thailand. Digital nomads are already allowed to use co-working spaces to manage their businesses registered outside the Kingdom with digital nomad visas.

Digital nomads are essentially defined as professionals who do not compete with Thai talent and professionals; they do not need a working permit to work on a business that they’ve already been working on outside their country of residence. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand issues various visas, including non-immigrant visas. Official news indicates that there will be amendments to the Thai SMART Visa to be issued to location-independent professionals as the digital nomad Thai visa.

2. Estonia

There’s a good reason why there’s the demand for digital nomad visa Estonia: this is one region in Europe that offers both a lower cost of living and breathtaking cities. The country’s government had already launched the Estonia digital nomad visa late last year.

The Estonia digital nomad visa will allow working nomads to legally work in the country if they have businesses registered abroad or work for clients that mostly live outside of Estonia.

As of August 1, 2020, location-independent workers have been applying to work for up to a year in the country without skirting the law (i.e., using a tourist visa instead of a proper digital nomad visa).

The current income threshold is €3504 monthly. As of this writing, there are COVID-19-related restrictions for applying for a digital nomad visa in Estonia, so it’s best to sign up for Estonia’s alerts to find out if they’re accepting applicants from the US (or your country).

3. Portugal

The Portugal digital nomad visa is certainly one of the most sought-after because it has opened an actual village to accommodate digital nomads. The digital nomad village is called Ponta do Sol and is located in the autonomous region of Madeira. You can apply for a spot there as we speak if you desire to wake up every morning to breathtaking views of the sea. You can also talk to the Ponta do Sol team here. Madeira is a leading island destination in Europe, too.

Digital nomads who live outside of the European Union need to apply for a Schengen visa or short stay visa – this is effectively the digital nomad visa. A total of 26 countries (also called the Shengen states) in the European Union issue Schengen visas for short periods of stay.

Portugal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues different types of temporary residency visas, and should you be approved for one; you can use that as your Portugal digital nomad visa.  The cost of living in Portugal is relatively affordable; a couple can subside on $2,000/month in any major city.

4. Croatia

Croatia is a beautiful, high-income country that ranks high in quality of life. The nation is steeped in beautiful sights, history, and culture. Bordered by Hungary and Slovenia, Croatia is the perfect place for people who want to experience Europe while proximate to the Adriatic Sea. Without rent, the cost of living in this country for a single digital nomad is about $745/month.

The Croatia digital nomad visa is a recent development and was spurred on by Estonia’s successful digital nomad visa program. You can find the Croatia digital nomad visa application form here.  Some things you have to know about the Croatia digital nomad visa are: you can only remain for a maximum of 1 year, you must be a third-country national who owns a company that does not reside in Croatia, and it must have zero Croatian employees, and you must also show a bank statement (savings) as well as proof of income.

5. Georgia

Georgia is an exquisitely beautiful country in Eastern Europe, and while it’s not super popular yet, it’s bound to become one of the top picks of freelancers. The cost of living in this side of Eastern Europe is very attractive indeed: you only have to set aside $435-$760/month to live comfortably. Georgia doesn’t have a digital nomad visa yet, but the government has already invited qualified freelancers to travel to the corona virus-free country to work there.

Georgia’s digital nomad visa is already being developed. Foreign nationals who wish to travel and work in the country will be asked to complete a mandatory application form. Should the nomad visa be finally offered to foreign nationals, all applicants must first obtain preliminary confirmation from the government. Those who will be staying longer must self-quarantine for fourteen days at their expense.  

6. Mexico

When COVID-19 becomes more manageable, many freelancers will surely go to Mexico for a finer time doing remote work. There is no nomad visa yet, but the requirements for any future digital nomad visa will likely be aligned with the country’s current income requirements.

Some years ago, the Mexican government decided to decouple some old rules on the income requirements and instead used the UMA measure for foreign nationals who wish to apply for residency permits. A residency visa requirements also include having a stable monthly income and savings in the bank. The baseline cost for living in Mexico is about $745/month.

7. Antigua & Barbuda

Antigua & Barbuda is a Caribbean country that is perfectly situated between the Atlantic and the Pacific. Surrounded by miles and miles of ocean, the two islands that comprise this nation are a perfect getaway for digital nomads. As of this writing, digital nomads may apply for nomad residency at Antigua & Barbuda.

Antigua & Barbuda’s digital nomad visa is called the NDR visa, and it is designed specifically for people who work remotely and have a registered business in another country.

The digital nomad may either be self-employed or employed and pay income taxes in his country of residence. Your work must be carried out through mobile technology.

The digital nomad visa does not provide the digital nomad the right to apply for a job in the country. If a person is approved, the NDR visa will allow the digital nomad to stay and fly out or stay in the country for two years. Living in this country is a nominal $700/month if you choose to stay in city centers. The application form can be found here.

8. Barbados

Located in the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is another dreamy getaway for tourists and, now, digital nomads. Barbados has opened its doors to digital nomads who want to get away from the pandemic while staying productive in one of the most beautiful locations in the Caribbean. Barbados presently offers a twelve-month “Barbados Welcome Stamp” for remote workers.

The Barbados Welcome Stamp can be renewed upon expiry. Talk about living next to the beach while being hyper-productive! View the application form here.

The requirements for working in Barbados as a digital nomad are: a passport-sized picture, proof of relationship to dependents (if any), and a biodata page of your passport. The fee for individuals is $2,000, while a “family bundle” rate is offered for family units ($3,000).

According to the Barbados government, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused tremendous difficulties to people, but it has also opened new opportunities. The purpose of the Barbados Welcome Stamp is to welcome remote workers and other location-independent professionals and business owners to enjoy a less stressful working environment while avoiding COVID-19.

Barbados is a good destination for digital nomads who can set up office remotely if you want a sunny destination close to the beach. Barbados is cosmopolitan, and the cost of living is about $1,000/month only.

9. Bermuda

Bermuda is a British territory situated in the Atlantic. The island has always been open to tourism. Like other island destinations, it has always been attractive to digital nomads and other travelers who wish to situate themselves in an island location. The island has opened its borders and is welcoming tourists and digital nomads again. The “Work from Bermuda” program is the equivalent of the digital nomad visa.

Fill up the application form for the program, and you will get a response in five days. You must pay a one-time fee of $263 once approved. Note that you will be applying specifically for a Work from Bermuda One Year Residential Certificate.

The requirements for this digital nomad visa are: you must be at least 18 years old, must not have committed a crime in Bermuda or any other nation, possess valid health insurance, be the owner of a business registered outside Bermuda, or is self-employed as a remote worker, and most importantly, must show proof of consistent annual income.

In case you are a student, you must show proof of being engaged in any university program or research. Approved applicants will receive a digital Work from Bermuda Certificate. The cost of living in Bermuda is higher than in New York and most US cities. The average monthly cost of living has been estimated at $5,000. One Bermudian dollar is equal to one US dollar.

10. Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands is not just a great place to go scuba diving and admire the Earth’s beauty, 24/7 – this is also the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean. Steep yourself in the ocean and good food! The Cayman Islands is presently offering the Global Citizen Concierge Program. If you are approved, you may stay in the Cayman Islands as a digital nomad for up to 24 months. This is twice as long as other nations offer digital nomads a space for their small businesses. Click here to view the application form. The cost of living here can be slightly higher than the average cost of living in major US cities. A single digital nomad may need around $3,800/month to live comfortably.

Thinking of Becoming a Digital Nomad?

Becoming a freelancer can be a turning point in your life. Get started with getting a domain name and building your business site.

Applying for a digital nomad visa is a big step toward enjoying your life as a location-independent professional. If you enjoy remote work and would like to get out and explore the world finally, get a digital nomad visa in your dream country and let this become the defining moment for the rest of your life. The world is so much bigger and beautiful than we think it is, and there’s no truer way to experience it than by traveling to different places. 


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