Best Countries With Digital Nomad & Remote Work Visas - Deepstash
Best Countries With Digital Nomad & Remote Work Visas

Best Countries With Digital Nomad & Remote Work Visas

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The Premise

The Premise

Traveling the world while working online from your laptop has been a dream for millions of self-proclaimed digital nomads.

However working from foreign countries while traveling on a tourist visa is technically illegal in most places.

Tourist visas also usually expire after 30-90 days, and it’s not always easy to renew them. What if you want to stay longer?

That doesn’t stop digital nomads from working while traveling, but it can make things complicated, and with travel restrictions due to COVID-19, it’s much more difficult to work & travel internationally.

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Countries Creating Visas For Remote Work Tourists

Countries Creating Visas For Remote Work Tourists

Some countries have recognized the need for so-called “digital nomad visas”, “remote work visas”, or “freelancer visas” specifically to entice foreigners to come work & contribute to their economies.

Many of these destinations are hoping the remote work visas will generate income to help make-up for lost tourism revenue due to the pandemic.

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Digital Nomads vs Freelancers

Digital Nomads vs Freelancers

Digital nomads are basically remote workers who travel to different locations on a regular basis. They use modern technology to work from coffee shops, hotels, co-working spaces, or libraries with a WiFi connected laptop or smartphone from anywhere in the world.

Freelancers are self-employed, working for themselves or other companies as independent contractors. Freelancers can travel while they work, or just work from home while living in one place on a long-term basis.

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Antigua & Barbuda

Antigua & Barbuda

The Caribbean island nation of Antigua & Barbuda has announced a digital nomad visa called the Nomad Digital Residence (NDR). It’s for remote workers who can show the means to support themselves and any family members joining them.

This visa is good for 2-years, and visitors will be required to maintain their own health insurance plan while staying within the country and enjoying its 365 different beaches.

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Bali

Bali

The beautiful island of Bali, Indonesia has long been a popular location for remote workers to base themselves. And while there are no formal details just yet, Bali has just announced they are looking to implement a brand new digital nomad visa sometime later this year.

The Bali remote work visa would be good for up to 5-years, and holders of the visa would NOT have to pay taxes on any income earned outside Bali.

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Barbados

Barbados

Barbados has also opened its borders to digital nomads and remote workers who are looking to escape the pandemic while basing themselves in a beautiful island destination.

The “Barbados Welcome Stamp” is a special 12-month visa for remote workers, which can also be renewed for even longer. Why not live next to the beach and work from home in Barbados!

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Bermuda

Bermuda

Bermuda joined the remote work visa club! Their recently released “Work From Bermuda” digital nomad visa is just an expansion of an older residency program, which allows digital nomads and remote workers to stay in the country for up to a year.

Aimed at professionals who normally work from home, they hope the new visa will attract long-term travelers who want to base themselves from an island destination.

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Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands launched a special visa for digital nomads called the Global Citizen Certificate (GCC). It allows travelers to stay in the islands for up to 2 years.

The income requirements are much steeper than other countries in this list though: individuals must provide proof of an annual salary of at least $100,000, or $150,000 for couples.

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Costa Rica

Costa Rica

There are many digital nomads who choose to base themselves in Costa Rica due to the relaxed lifestyle, great surfing, nice beaches, and diverse landscape of volcanoes, waterfalls, and jungle.

Costa Rica has a freelancer visa called the Rentista, allowing foreigners to stay for up to 2-years, with the ability to extend it. Often used by retirees with a fixed income and some entrepreneurs — because you can’t be an employee for another company on the Rentista.

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Croatia

Croatia

As of January 2021, Croatia has started issuing digital nomad visas. The visa is available for different lengths of time, with a maximum of 12-months. You need to physically be in Croatia to apply for this long-term residence permit, you can’t apply from overseas.

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Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Spend your weekends exploring the historical towns and mountains of this Central European country, and work remotely during the week using their fast internet connection! The Czech Republic offers a freelancer visa called the Zivno. It’s valid for one year, and can be extended too. It’s a bit more complicated than other visas in this list, but it’s doable.

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Dubai (UAE)

Dubai (UAE)

The city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has just launched their own one-year virtual working program in October allowing digital nomads and remote workers to live and work by the beach from their famous desert oasis mega-city. 

The new remote work visa gives you the freedom to come to Dubai, bring your family, work remotely all while remaining employed in your home country. Dubai does not levy income tax on individuals. You also get access to all required services, including telecoms, utilities, and schooling options.

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Estonia

Estonia

Estonia became the first country to create an e-residency program that allows foreign entrepreneurs to license an EU-based online business. Then, in June 2020, they also opened up a one-year digital nomad and freelancer visa that allows foreigners to live in the country while working remotely.

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Georgia

Georgia

Partly due to the dramatic drop in tourism because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the country of Georgia is one of the latest to offer a digital nomad visa called “Remotely from Georgia” to help stimulate their economy. If you’re a remote worker, why not wait out the pandemic and work from a country known for its low-cost of living, colorful cities, and epic mountain landscapes?

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Germany

Germany

Germany has its own special freelance visa called the Aufenthaltserlaubnis für selbständige Tätigkeit (good luck saying that!). It’s a residence permit that allows foreign freelancers and self-employed people live in Germany for 6-months up to 3-years. One downside is that it can take 3-4 months to get approved for this visa. Plus speaking German, or knowing someone who does, will help a lot.

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Hungary

Hungary

The nation of Hungary has long been a favorite stop for digital nomads, especially the capital city of Budapest. Well now they’ve made it even easier to stay long-term, with their new “White Card” – a special 1-year long digital nomad residency program.

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Iceland

Iceland

Iceland has its own long-term visa for remote workers and digital nomads! There is lots of cool stuff to see in Iceland. Landscapes that look like they were crafted from your wildest dreams.

Iceland’s long-term visa is good for only 6-months though, so it’s one of the shortest digital nomad visas available. If you apply while you’re already in the European Schengen Area, then it’s only good for 90-days.

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Malta

Malta

Malta has created its own Digital Nomad Residence Permit specifically targeting remote workers from outside the EU. The Mediterranean island of Malta has been attractive to digital nomads for years now, due to its sunny island lifestyle, widely spoken English, and strong internet infrastructure (including nationwide 5G service).

It’s also located close to mainland Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East — which means there are many opportunities for travel addicts to get out and explore nearby.

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Mauritius

Mauritius

Mauritius is another island nation that has just launched their own special visa for remote workers. It’s a stunningly beautiful country, with crystal clear water, thick jungle, and epic mountain peaks to climb.

To qualify for their one year long (and completely FREE) Premium Visa, you need to produce proof of your long stay plans and sufficient travel and health insurance during your stay.

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Mexico

Mexico

Mexico is a favorite hot-spot for digital nomads, partly due to their long 6-month tourist visa, however they also offer a Temporary Resident Visa that’s good for one year with the ability to renew for another 3 years.

You will need to provide documents proving that you had a monthly income of at least $1,620 USD over the last 6-months or a bank account balance of $27,000. Mexico is open to offering temporary residency to remote workers that are financially self-sufficient.

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Norway

Norway

Norway has been in the news a lot lately, touted as a Scandinavian paradise with its strong social democratic system, wealth, natural beauty, and progressive population.

Lots of foreign digital nomads and remote workers would jump at the chance to move to Norway. And they can, for up to 2-years, with Norway’s Independent Contractor visa.

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Portugal

Portugal

Portugal offers both a temporary resident visa (D7 passive income visa) and residence permit for independent workers and entrepreneurs for one year, with the ability to renew for up to 5 years. After 5 years you can apply for permanent residency.

As a foreign visa holder and resident, you will be given a residence card, the Título de Residência. This is your official ID in Portugal. The beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira in particular has become a remote worker hub, especially with the launch of their Digital Nomads Village.

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Spain

Spain

Spain has a Non-Lucrative Visa which allows foreigners to stay in Spain for at least a year, with the ability to renew. With it’s low-cost of living and mix of beaches, mountains, and relaxed lifestyle, it’s a favorite with many location independent people. However technically you are not allowed to “work” on this visa — they’re looking for people who are “retired” and self-sufficient.

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Anguilla

Anguilla

Finally, the British territory of Anguilla has just launched their own special visa for digital nomads who would like to “work from home” on a beautiful Caribbean island destination. 

There is an additional fee to pay, $2000 per individual or $3000 per family which covers two (2) tests per person, surveillance and costs associated with the additional public health presence, the cost of extended immigration time/entry and a digital work permit.

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Living A Nomadic Life Overseas

This relatively new phenomenon of countries launching digital nomad visas to attract remote workers was predicted over 20-years ago by Japanese technologist Tsugio Makimoto who wrote that remote working would force nations “to compete for citizens”, and that digital nomad-ism would prompt “declines in materialism and nationalism”.

His prophecy is coming true, and hopefully there will be many more nations opening up their borders to these “citizens of the world” who are able to work remotely from their laptops in the years to come.

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