Countries are now enticing people with remote worker friendly visas. From beaches in Barbados to the preserved Baroque architecture in Estonia countries are introducing designed visa programs to encourage remote workers to spend an extended time in their country. This is great news for digital nomads or any remote workers wanting a change of scenery and not have to worry about doing a ‘visa run’. Following is the information on eight countries which currently offer a visa for remote workers. It should help you decide where to relocate to so you can live and work abroad. I have listed the 9 countries with a digital nomad visa in alphabetical order. I hope, and expect more to be added to the list.
Please Note: Each country has their own application process which usually entails providing current passport, proof of income and medical insurance.
Also Note: Coronavirus has interrupted travel on a global scale. Should you decide to visit anywhere during the pandemic, you should check local restrictions of the country or countries you plan to visit. Also be prepared for testing before you can arrive, quarantine procedures on entering the country and any covid restrictions which could make travel challenging.
Fancy living by the ocean on a sunny Caribbean island? Then the island of Barbados may be for you. Barbados believes it is a great place to live, work and play and it now offers the Barbados Welcome Stamp. Having this allows you to stay in Barbados for up to 12 months. To qualify you need to have documents showing you have an annual income of at least $50,000 or have the means to support yourself while in Barbados. The application process takes place online with a fee of $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a family. Read more about The Barbados Wellcome Stamp including how to apply here.
When I hear the name Bermuda, I always think of the Bermuda Triangle. But Bermuda is more than this. Bermuda is a small British island territory known for its pink-sand beaches such as at Horseshoe Bay. Sound saying those words conjures up beautiful images of sunny shores. If this is enticing to you, you will be pleased to know that Bermuda has created a One Year Residential Certification program that allows foreign remote workers to live on the island. The government believes it will promote economic activity for the island while not displacing any locals out of work.
The One Year Residential Certification requires an application fee of $263. You will also need to show you are employed with a legitimate firm and can work remotely or demonstrate you have sufficient means of supporting yourself without needing to be employed in Bermuda. Read more about The Bermuda One Year Residential Certification and how to apply here.
Overseas professionals can now apply for a one-year remote working visa to live in Dubai. The new programme introduced October 2020 promises those who are granted the visa will have access to all required services, including telecoms, utilities, and schooling options. So if you are interested to live in a warm climate where you have the beach at your doorstep and the opportunity to continue your remote work and to bring your family if you want, then Dubai might be for you.
The new visa costs US$287 (Dhs1,054) plus medical insurance with valid UAE coverage and processing fee per person. Applicants will only be approved if they earn a monthly salary of US$5,000 (Dhs18,365) per month, and can prove this with last month’s payslip and three months’ bank statements. While entrepreneurs, business owners and digital nomads are also welcome to apply, with proof of ownership of company for one year or more, an average monthly income of US$5,000 per month and three preceding months’ bank statements. It should be noted that Dubai does not levy income tax on individuals so this could be appealing.
Contact your nearest Dubai Consulate to apply.
Estonia is a Northern European country bordered by Latvia in the south and Russia to the East. And there is plenty of north and western coastline that borders the Baltic Sea. So it may not be the Caribbean but there is plenty of ocean to enjoy. There are also many towns such as the Baroque inspired capital Tallinn. How inspiring would that be?
Since 2014 Estonia has been running an e-residency program to attract entrepreneurs. And has so far attracted around 70,000 foreigners to the program. From 1 August 2020 Estonia launched a digital nomad visa that allows a stay to live and work for up to 12 months. It is aimed at freelancers and other self-employed foreigners who work remotely for a company or work online for themselves. If you are looking for a base in Europe that offers cheap living, then Estonia may be the place for you. Read more about The Republic of Estonia Digital Nomad Visa here.
Georgia is a small country between Europe and Asia. It was formerly part of the Soviet Republic. If you look at a map it has a coastline that borders the Black Sea and borders with Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Georgia is also home to the Caucasus Mountains and its capital, Tbilisi, is known for its maze-like, cobblestone streets.
Like Estonia, Georgia has introduced a Digital Nomad Visa to attract remote workers. So if you are interested in Georgia’s coastal charms or living in a village with snow-capped mountains then setting up in Georgia may be for you. Added to the 6 months or more living in Georgia the visa lets you enjoy up to 90 days of travel throughout Europe’s borderless 26-country Schengen Area. Read more and register your interest for the Digital Nomad Visa here.
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Germany, located in central Europe is a great place to set up to work remotely. The freelance visa only lasts for three months, but you may be able to convert that into a residency permit. There are many cities or typical German towns like Berlin and Munich you can find accommodation in and immerse yourself in the local culture. Beer and pretzels anyone! And Germany is a great base for future travels throughout Europe. To find out the eligibility criteria visit the government’s website. Link following. Read more about The German Freelancers ‘freiberufler’ Visa here.
Mexico, south of the USA and north of many South American countries offers the digital nomad or remote worker a great base of cheap accommodation with unique Mexican food. It is possible to stay in Mexico for up to six months on a tourist visa but The Mexico temporary resident visa is the way to go if you want to stay for a full year in the country. And it can be extended for up to three times. Unfortunately you cannot remain there longer than 4 years. Read more about the Mexico Temporary Resident Visa here.
Portugal is known for its beautiful beaches and football players. Oh, and it has a via program that offers temporary residence for independent workers. One problem though, applications must demonstrate that their skills are needed in the country. You also have to register as a freelancer and the application process is lengthier than some of the others but it is worth it in the end. Read more about the Portugal Freelance Visa here. Some really helpful information about being a digital nomad in Portugal can be found on the BePortugal website.
If Spain is on your agenda, then the self-employment work visa will allow you to live and work in Spain for up to a year. A year will allow you to continue working online and enjoy all what Spain has to offer. From beaches, the beautiful architecture to tapas and Sangria, there is so much to enjoy. Maybe learn the Flamenco! Whatever if attracting you to Spain at least you know Spain has the Self-employment Work Visa. Read more about the Spain Self-employment Work Visa here.
Finally, working remotely and being a digital nomad is gaining momentum, particularly after covid-19 as countries open up again. What some people have been doing for years others can now join them, particularly with eight countries creating a specific digital nomad visa. You won’t need to worry about doing a visa run to get a new tourist visa to extend your stay with these. The digital nomad visa is a great way to spend more time in a particular country to immerse yourself in the local culture while continuing to make money online. Let’s hope the 8 countries with a digital nomad visa will inspire other countries to introduce one also.
Sharyn McCullum has travelled all her life thanks to her dad who worked for an airline. She loves travelling to different countries to immerse herself in the culture and in particular, enjoy the food. She currently calls Melbourne, Australia home.