Upwork estimates that 1 in 4 Americans (or more than 26% of the US workforce) will work remotely through 2021. They also estimate that 22% of the workforce (36.2 million Americans) will work remotely by 2025. No wonder the start Countries to offer a digital travel visa for those who want to travel while they work.
why does it matter
One of the big advantages of an online side business is the freedom and flexibility.
Remote work offers not only the possibility of adventure, but also a productive environment for creating routines and life-changing experiences.
In the past, these opportunities were just dreams, but now the emergence of digital nomads is thriving and expanding. Social media, along with advanced technology and accessible tools, allows individuals to become creative from anywhere with an internet connection.
The future has arrived!
But despite living in a well-connected world, we can’t stay more than 3 months in most countries. It’s time to be global rather than local.
Being able to stay in a country beyond the regulatory 90 days will allow us to explore new places and also work remotely. The rules of the game about working remotely and managing your side hustle online have been disrupted and changed forever.
The changing world has accelerated the development of work.
This happened when the pandemic started in 2020. We’ve discovered we can work from anywhere and still be productive. This was discussed in the forums and mentioned in the search and the companies paid him by word of mouth.
This little invisible virus accelerated the change that allowed us to reimagine life and how we work. We discovered that working from home was effective and should be embraced.
This means that the rules regarding work and commerce have changed forever.
What is a digital nomad visa?
A digital nomad visa is a type of permit that gives individuals the ability to work remotely while residing in a foreign country.
Generally, to be eligible for this visa, you must either be employed by a company or have a business that can be run from anywhere around the world.
Eligibility Requirements for a Digital Nomad Visa
To qualify for a digital nomad visa, certain eligibility criteria must be met. These include:
- age requirement: Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
- minimum income: The specific monthly income threshold varies between countries and must be met.
- mobile work: Individuals must have a job or profession that can be done from anywhere in the world.
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10 beautiful countries to live in and explore as a digital nomad
Below are the countries that are about to introduce (or already have) the Digital Nomad Visa.
# 1. Portugal
I have explored Lisbon and Porto and can work from either of these two beautiful cities. With their unique charm and allure, these cities offer enticing options for digital nomads.
Lisbon, the vibrant capital of Portugal, features a blend of rich history and modernity. Its picturesque neighborhoods, such as Alfama and Bairro Alto, provide a charming backdrop for work and leisure.
The city is teeming with co-working spaces, trendy coffee shops, and innovative hubs catering to digital nomads. Lisbon is also well connected, and has an international airport that facilitates travel to and from various global destinations.
If you want to explore Portugal, you now have the opportunity to apply for a D7 Passive Income visa. The main criterion for this visa is to provide evidence of a sufficient and verifiable source of income. With a D7 visa, you can stay in Portugal for a year, with the possibility of extending it in two-year increments.
After living in Portugal for five years on a D7 visa, you can apply for a residence permit, provided you successfully pass an exam assessing your knowledge of the Portuguese language.
# 2. Italy
During my four-week stay on the edge of Lake Como, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in a picturesque setting while pursuing my work. The beauty of the region provided an inspiring backdrop.
Lake Como itself is known for its clear blue waters and stunning landscapes. From my base, I had the opportunity to admire the charming villas and towns that dot the shore.
During breaks from work, I indulged in leisurely walks along the lake front, admiring the scenery.
# 3. Croatia
Croatia, with its enticing mix of islands, stunning coastline, and rich history, offers a variety of experiences for digital nomads. During my stay of a few weeks, I found myself immersed in a mixture of work and exploration, taking in Croatia’s islands and coastal towns.
Croatia has an abundance of islands, each with its own distinct character and charm. From popular Dalmatian islands like Hvar and Korčula to lesser-known gems like Vis and Brač, these paradise islands provide the perfect getaway for digital nomads looking for a change of scenery.
Sailing from island to island, you take in clear turquoise waters, secluded coves, and picturesque harbors. The islands also have medieval walled towns where time seems to stand still and history lives on.
Exploring these atmospheric towns felt like stepping back in time, with their cobbled streets, impressive fortifications, and charming architecture.
Mornings were reserved for work, as I found quiet spots in coffee shops or co-working spaces to focus and be productive. A reliable internet connection and welcoming work environments made it easy to maintain routines and meet professional obligations. As the afternoon wore on, a world of adventure unfolded, waiting to be explored.
The Croatian government created the Digital Nomad Visa in 2021 to encourage freelance workers to visit.
# 4. Estonia
Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is a city that effortlessly blends the charm of its walled old town with modern conveniences, making it an ideal destination for digital backpackers.
During my stay in Tallinn, I had the pleasure of immersing myself in the rich history and vibrant atmosphere of the Old Town while maintaining a productive work routine through the mornings.
The Estonian authorities have introduced a dedicated visa designed exclusively for digital nomads, aptly named the Digital Nomad Visa.
This visa program was officially launched at the end of 2019, providing a streamlined process for individuals involved in remote work to live and work in Estonia.
# 5. Norway
Oslo, Norway’s vibrant capital, is the perfect gateway to a world of stunning natural wonders and cultural experiences.
As a digital nomad, I have had the privilege of not only working in this bustling city as a speaker but also exploring its picturesque fjords and the beauty of the northern lights. My experience in Oslo made an impression on me, and I look forward to another opportunity to return.
Norway offers visa options for digital nomads seeking to reside and work in Svalbard, which is reputed as one of the most expensive regions in the world.
Interestingly, these visas are valid for a lifetime, providing a unique opportunity for long-term settlement. To qualify, applicants need to prove sufficient financial means to maintain their residence.
In response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Iceland introduced its own digital nomad visa in October 2020, known as the Iceland Remote Worker Visa.
This visa program not only caters to digital nomads, but also serves as a temporary residence permit, providing individuals with the opportunity to live and work in Iceland for a long time.
The Iceland Remote Work Visa was a proactive measure by the Icelandic authorities to adapt to the changing landscape of remote work and accommodate the growing demand from individuals looking for alternative locations to live and work during the pandemic.
By introducing this specialized visa, Iceland has recognized the potential benefits of attracting digital nomads, such as contributing to the local economy, promoting cultural exchange, and diversifying the workforce.
# 7. Mexico
For digital nomads seeking to live and work in Mexico, a Mexico Temporary Resident Visa is the key to unlocking this vibrant and diverse country.
This visa provides individuals with the opportunity to live in Mexico for one year, with the possibility of extending it for up to three additional terms.
The Mexico Temporary Resident Visa offers digital nomads the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich cultural tapestry, stunning landscapes, and hospitality that Mexico is known for.
Whether it’s the bustling streets of Mexico City, the pristine beaches of Cancun, or the charming colonial cities dotted across the country, this visa enables digital nomads to explore and experience all that Mexico has to offer.
For digital nomads wishing to work in Germany, the German Freelance Work Visa presents an attractive opportunity. This visa is widely in demand as it allows individuals to engage in freelance work with various start-ups, companies or individuals on a flexible and part-time basis.
This flexibility allows for a dynamic work environment, enabling individuals to collaborate with a variety of partners and explore new career opportunities.
# 9. Czech Republic
The Czech Republic offers an opportunity to digital nomads with its freelance work visa program. This visa offers the freedom to work independently and establish a self-employed company in the country, providing a conducive environment for entrepreneurial-minded individuals.
The Czech Republic freelance visa is valid for one year, allowing digital nomads to fully immerse themselves in the country’s vibrant culture and landscape. Upon reaching the end of the first year, individuals have the option to extend the visa for an additional two years, providing an extended period to grow their independent business and explore the local market.
To obtain a self-employment visa, applicants must be prepared to meet certain financial requirements. It is necessary to prove a minimum monthly income, which is currently $5,600. This financial guide ensures that digital nomads have the means to sustain themselves while working independently in the Czech Republic.
# 10. Costa Rica
The Rentista visa in Costa Rica provides digital nomads with a great opportunity to live in the country and provide their services while enjoying the amazing natural beauty and hospitality that Costa Rica is known for. This visa allows its holders to stay in Costa Rica for up to two years, with the possibility of extending their stay further.
The Rentista visa is designed specifically for individual small investors who wish to offer their services in Costa Rica.
This flexible visa category opens doors for digital nomads to contribute to the local economy, collaborate with companies, or offer their expertise on a self-employment basis.
To obtain a Rentista visa, applicants need proof of a steady income of at least $2,500 per month. This requirement ensures that digital nomads have the financial means to support themselves during their stay in Costa Rica.
While this proof of income is necessary, the visa application process in general is fairly simple.
Pack it up
The allure of combining work with adventure has given rise to a digital nomad lifestyle, and many countries have recognized the potential and opened their doors to remote workers with specialized visas.
The ten countries featured in this article feature attractive landscapes, vibrant cultures, and welcoming environments for digital nomads.
Whether you are soaking in the natural wonders, indulging in the local cuisine, or engaging with diverse communities, these countries provide the perfect backdrop for nomads seeking both professional fulfillment and personal enrichment.
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