If you’re a remote worker who loves to travel, you’ve probably read headlines about digital nomad visas over the last year or so. But what exactly is a digital nomad visa, and is it right for you?
Let’s face it. Visas are a complicated and overwhelming issue.
Even applying for a tourist visa that allows you to simply visit a country is intimidating, much less applying for a visa to relocate to a new country.
Remote workers who want to take advantage of their location independence and work from another country are able to do so with these newly introduced digital nomad visas.
In this article, we’ll discuss exactly what a digital nomad visa is, what it is not, and if it could be a good option for your lifestyle.
What is a Digital Nomad Visa?
A digital nomad visa allows remote workers to have temporary residence in a foreign country.
Essentially, these remote workers can live in a foreign country for longer than a normal tourist visa would allow. Typically, a digital nomad visa’s term is six months to one year, and many are renewable.
Some digital nomad visas can even lead to permanent residency and, eventually, citizenship!
However, the majority of digital nomad visas let remote workers live in a foreign country for one to three years.
It’s important to mention that digital nomad visas do not give the remote worker the right to seek local employment, though. They must be able to support themselves with the income they earn working remotely for clients or a company located abroad.
So, to put it simply, a digital nomad visa is like a long-term tourist visa that allows remote workers to settle down in a foreign country but cannot integrate themselves into the local business economy.
Who is Eligible to Apply for a Digital Nomad Visa?
While each digital nomad visa has its own set of eligibility requirements, one requirement stays true for all of them – the applicant must support themselves financially by working remotely.
Therefore, digital nomad visa applicants may not seek local employment in the country they wish to relocate to.
Some other common requirements of a digital nomad visa include:
- Earning a certain amount each month
- International health insurance coverage
- Have a clean criminal record
When applying for a digital nomad visa, immigration officials will ask for proof of remote work and income through bank statements and pay slips. Applicants must also submit criminal background checks and their health insurance policies.
Some digital nomad visas also require an address of accommodations in the country either before applying or after the application is approved in principle.
What Countries Offer Digital Nomad Visas?
There are currently over 30 countries that offer digital nomad visas to remote workers!
They were first introduced in 2020, with many Caribbean nations implementing them during the pandemic and border restrictions. Then European countries noticed the excellent opportunity to welcome the increase in remote workers to their lands.
And so South American, African, and Southeast Asian countries followed soon after.
Some of the most popular and sought-after digital nomad visas include:
- Costa Rica
Some digital nomad visas even come with perks and tax benefits for remote workers!
There are also exciting digital nomad visas that are still in the works. The most anticipated visas include Indonesia and South Africa.
Are There Other Visas Out There for Digital Nomads?
While the concept of an exclusive digital nomad visa is quite new, there are other visa options that digital nomads may be eligible for that are a bit more traditional.
Some nations invite solopreneurs and freelancers to come and set up a business and operate it locally.
While this takes away from moving around every so often and requiring the applicant to settle down, it is a great opportunity for digital nomads who want to set up a life abroad somewhere.
Some countries that offer freelance visas include the Czech Republic, Italy, France, Germany, and Norway.
Wealthy digital nomads who want permanent residency and even citizenship may be eligible for a golden visa.
Golden visas require an investment of a certain amount allocated in a specific fund, venture, or real estate purchase in return for residency or citizenship.
While the average digital nomad is likely not eligible for a golden visa, there may be a handful that could afford the elevated price tag due to the nature of their remote work.
Finding the Right Digital Nomad Visa for You
With so many digital nomad visas available, with more to come, it can feel overwhelming trying to find the right one for your lifestyle.
To help you narrow it down, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- How much do I earn each month working remotely?
- Do I plan to bring a spouse or dependents with me?
- Do I want this opportunity to put me on a path to obtaining permanent residency abroad?
- Do I want to live in the country for more than two years?
- What kind of weather do I thrive in?
- Is there a particular country or culture that I’m drawn to most?
When considering these answers, you can find which digital nomad visa could be right for your lifestyle.
These questions take into consideration both the eligibility requirements of the visa and your nomadic lifestyle.
And now that you know what exactly a digital nomad visa is, you can begin your search for which country you can work remotely from for the next year!
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