By: Nick Callos / Sarah Stone
I’ve always loved the visa run. It’s exciting, and allows you to explore another country for a few days. The first time I visited Vietnam was to do a visa run, and I had one of the most memorable weeks of my life in Hanoi.
With that said, visas are constant considerations for digital nomads. Sometimes, time can get tight and you can risk overstaying your visa (which can have bad consequences). And it can be jarring to pick up and move every few months if you’re opting for onward travel.
So, you may be asking yourself: Is there a way to work remotely in a country for a year or longer—without having to exit and re-enter?
As remote work has gotten easier, many hope to pursue their dreams of living abroad. And being able to stay and enjoy one place for a little longer would be convenient. For instance, a continuous year in one of the best digital nomad cities would be awesome, if you could arrange a residency permit.
Well, here’s the good news: the pandemic catalyzed a rise in digital nomad visa schemes, as governments sought to attract travelers to live and work in their country. Now, it appears this digital nomad visa trend will become permanent as more and more places begin implementing long-term visa programs for remote workers (it’s a new normal for global travel!).
So, no longer do you need a traditional work visa or business visa to live and work abroad. International freelancers and remote workers should rejoice!
In this article, we’ll cover what countries offer digital nomad visas, the requirements for these long-term visas, and tips to successfully work from anywhere in the world.
What is a Digital Nomad Visa?
A digital nomad visa is a visa for foreign freelancers, self-employed individuals, and owners of location-independent businesses. A digital nomad visa allows remote workers to live and work in another country. While residing in that country, they may work for their own company, their employer, or as a self-employed freelancer or contractor.
Many countries have begun offering digital nomad visas to address the ambiguity remote workers and freelancers abroad face with visas. This simplifies taxes for digital nomads, as they’ll have a country of residency. It also takes away worry surrounding the legality of working remotely while on a travel visa in another country.
What Countries Offer Digital Nomad Visas?
Over the past couple of years, the rise of remote work opportunities coupled with borders opening up again has resulted in a push for countries to offer long-term visas for freelancers and location-independent workers and entrepreneurs. The face of global travel has been changing, with more people taking advantage of opportunities to combine work with vacations, or even pursue new adventures that weren’t available to them before—namely, digital nomad and expat lifestyles.
To encourage more tourism and to make it easier to attract travelers working remotely, it appears more and more governments will continue offering these sorts of visas. The benefits for countries and travelers are too great (it’s a true win-win).
Our list below highlights many of the current countries offering digital nomad visas (or a variation of it). Check back regularly for updates—we’re always adding to the list!
Estonia: Digital Nomad Visa
How does a year in Estonia sound? Enjoy expansive countryside and forests, the captivating capital of Tallinn, the Baltic Sea, and more.
To build the country into a true e-state, the government has created the Estonia digital nomad visa. The visa offers working travelers peace of mind, enabling them to work remotely and legally in Estonia for a year (and pay taxes, of course).
Who Can Apply for Estonia’s Digital Nomad Visa?
To get a digital nomad visa to Estonia, you must meet the following requirements:
- You can work independently of location.
- You can use telecommunication tools to work remotely.
- You’re employed with a company outside Estonia, own a business registered abroad, or do freelance work for mostly non-Estonian clients.
Begin your Estonia digital nomad visa application here.
Germany: Freelance Visa (Freiberufler Visa)
Oh, the German Freelance Visa! It’s your ticket to work from anywhere in Germany. From the art and nightlife scenes in Berlin to the gorgeous national parks, you’ll have plenty to do.
Germany’s freelance visa has been around for years, and is highly coveted by digital nomads in Europe. If you qualify, you must pay taxes to the German government.
Who Can Apply for Germany’s Freelance Visa?
To get a freelance visa to Germany, you must:
- Have a liberal freelance profession if you’re a freelancer, such as an artist, language teacher, translator, doctor, architect, or engineer (generally, these positions must have a positive cultural impact).
- Be the founder or sole proprietor of a location-independent company if self-employed, or a managing director or legal representative of a partnership or corporation.
- Do an in-person visit or interview.
- Meet certain financial requirements, such as having a pension plan if you’re over 45.
Note: The Germany freelance visa is initially granted for three months, but you can obtain a residency permit once there and extend your visa for up to three years! Also, Germany’s freelance visa for artists (the artist visa) is only applicable in Berlin.
Begin your Germany freelance visa application here.
Czech Republic: Long-Term Business Visa
Spend the year in the Czech Republic, a country known for its beautiful landscape and historic capital city, Prague. Here, folklore and tradition meet modernity, and you’ll love every minute of your stay.
The digital nomad visa for the Czech Republic is actually a one-year business visa. The function is mostly the same. The name and some requirements are just different. But you should qualify nonetheless.
Who Can Apply for the Czech Republic Business Visa?
To qualify for a digital nomad business visa to the Czech Republic, you must:
- Show proof you have sufficient financial resources, including purchasing of health insurance.
- Arrange housing accommodation.
- Present documents showing proof of stay (available for self-employment purposes).
To apply for a long-term visa to the Czech Republic, click here.
Spain: Self-Employment Visa
From the stunning architecture of Barcelona to the buzzing streets of Madrid, Spain delights. The tasty tapas, delicious wine, majestic mountains, and cozy beaches will pull you in, and you’ll never want to leave.
The digital nomad visa is technically called a self-employment visa. It’s essentially the same thing.
Who Can Apply for Spain’s Self-Employment Visa?
Spain’s digital nomad visa offers up to one year of stay and has the following requirements:
- Proof of funds.
- Pass a background check.
- Submit application in person.
- Show purpose of stay (plan of activities).
- Fill out documentation to ensure you pay taxes.
Begin your Spain self-employment visa application here.
Georgia: Digital Nomad Visa
Georgia has been emerging as a digital nomad hotspot thanks to an affordable cost of living, the gorgeous Caucasus Mountain range, happening beaches, and the wonderful city of Tbilisi. Look no further if you’re looking to live and work abroad for a year in one country.
What’s great is that Georgia’s digital nomad visa isn’t that hard to get. Even Lonely Planet has reported on Georgia’s enticing digital nomad visa scheme. It may just be too good to pass up.
Who Can Apply for Georgia’s Digital Nomad Visa?
To qualify for a one-year digital nomad visa to Georgia, you must:
- Show proof of employment.
- Have travel insurance.
Begin your Georgia digital nomad visa application here.
Mexico: Temporary Resident Visa
With Mexico City, world-class vacation spots, vast jungle, and welcoming people, it’s easy to see why Mexico attracts so many freelancers. The country delivers in every sense of the way, especially when you sit down for a meal.
The digital nomad visa for Mexico is actually a temporary residence permit. The permit allows you to stay for anywhere from 180 days to four years. It’s quite flexible!
Who Can Apply for Mexico’s Temporary Resident Visa?
To qualify for a temporary resident visa to Mexico, you must:
- Have a monthly income of at least $2,595 (or bank account balance exceeding $43,000 over the past year).
Begin your Mexico temporary resident visa application here.
Costa Rica: Digital Nomad Visa
Journey into bat-filled caves, wander through pristine rainforests, find your balance on a surfboard or yoga mat, and ascend misty volcanic peaks. Yes, Costa Rica is a place to live a pure life (pura vida). And it’s a place where you can find peace and happiness.
Costa Rica is also great for remote work. You can get reliable WiFi on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts! That’s why digital nomads should jump for joy when learning about Costa Rica’s long-stay visa program for freelancers and those who work remotely: through this program, you can live and work in the country for one year, with the option to extend for a second year.
Who Can Apply for Costa Rica’s Digital Nomad Visa?
To obtain the Digital Nomad Visa, you must:
- Prove that you work remotely for a company outside of Costa Rica (or that you own a business or are a freelancer working remotely).
- Have stable, consistent income exceeding $3,000 per month for the past year, with continued employment going forward.
- Have proof of health insurance for the duration of your stay.
- Fill out the full application, provide a copy of the photo page of your passport, and pay $100 for processing.
Learn more and start your Costa Rica digital nomad visa application here!
Click here to read our in-depth article about Costa Rica residence and tourist visas.
Barbados: Digital Nomad Visa
When Barbados unveiled their digital nomad visa in June 2020, news about it spread quickly. The 12-Month Barbados Welcome Stamp means the chance to live and work abroad in a tropical paradise.
With budget-friendly beachfront apartments, lots of outdoor activities, and a friendly atmosphere, Barbados makes for the perfect destination to park yourself for a year.
Who Can Apply for Barbados’ Digital Nomad Visa?
To get a digital nomad visa to Barbados, you must:
- Have an annual income of at least $50,000.
- Pay a $2,000 fee ($3,000 for family).
- Earn all income from abroad.
Begin your Barbados digital nomad visa application here.
Portugal: Digital Nomad Visa
Located on the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is a fantastic destination for digital nomads: the temperate climate, gorgeous countryside and walkable cities, delicious food and wine, and good infrastructure make it a wonderful temporary home for remote workers.
Portugal has several temporary stay visas, with a new digital nomad visa launched in October 2022. Previously, the D7 Visa for passive income earners was the best option for digital nomads. Through the new visa scheme, you can stay for up to one year as a remote worker (which can be extended for up to five years). You’ll also be charged a 15% tax rate as opposed to 25%, which is standard in Portugal.
Who Can Apply for Portugal’s Digital Nomad Visa?
To qualify for a digital nomad residence visa to Portugal, you must:
- Be a foreign national working remotely and living from your own remote income sourced from outside of Portugal
- Have an income of at least four times’ the country’s minimum wage (about $2,750 per month)—once you arrive in-country, you must open a bank account so that you can pay Portuguese taxes
- Proof of work, health insurance, accommodation for 12 months, background check, and other items
Portugal also offers a Sole Proprietor Visa and an Entrepreneur Visa, which allows you to be self-employed and willing to participate in the Portuguese economy.
Learn more and apply for your Portuguese digital nomad visa!
Hungary: White Card Digital Nomad Visa
With unspoiled natural beauty—including relaxing thermal baths and even caves for exploration—and stunning culture in the cities, plus an affordable cost of living, Hungary is a fantastic place for digital nomads to live and work.
Hungary’s long-stay digital nomad visa—called the White Card—allows you to stay for one year, and can be extended for an additional year.
Who Can Apply for Hungary’s Digital Nomad Visa?
To qualify for Hungarian digital nomad residency, you must:
- Not be a Hungarian, EU or Schengen Area citizen.
- Be employed in a country other than Hungary, or have an ownership share with verified profit in a company based in a country outside of Hungary; you also must be working remotely in either of these situations.
- Have a minimum monthly income of €2,000, and prove that you’ve received this amount for the past six months before your time of entry.
- Fill out the application and pay the service fee.
Learn more about the Hungary White Card Digital Nomad Visa here!
Bermuda: Digital Nomad Visa
Would you like to work remotely from Bermuda? With pink-sand beaches, underground caves, maritime history, and a blend of cultures, Bermuda is a fascinating destination.
Bermuda launched their digital nomad visa in 2020 to much publicity. After all, who isn’t looking to lay low on a beautiful island?
Who Can Apply for Bermuda’s Digital Nomad Visa?
To qualify for a digital nomad visa to Bermuda, you must:
- Have valid health insurance.
- Demonstrate you have consistent income.
- Demonstrate employment in a remote capacity (self-employment, work for an employer, etc).
To begin your digital nomad visa application for Bermuda, head to the government website.