It’s no secret that working from home really took off when the COVID-19 pandemic began, with more and more companies offering remote working opportunities. Around the same time, most countries saw dramatic drop offs in tourism, especially far-flung, tropical destinations.
To mitigate the impact of this perfect storm, many of these counties began issuing visas to so-called digital nomads, professionals who are not tied down to a specific location for work, as well as some freelancers or entrepreneurs. The possibility of living and working in gorgeous destinations — sometimes with your family in tow — is too good for many people to resist, as well as being beneficial to your career.
So, where can you go to be a digital nomad? This article discusses the top forty countries that offer visa or travel programs for digital nomads, and what you need to consider before you apply.
Anguilla’s Digital Nomad Visa is regarded as one of the easiest to apply for and is valid for one year. It doesn’t just cover remote workers, but remote students, too. To apply, you will need to pay the $2,000 application fee and provide proof of employment or study.
2. Antigua and Barbuda
This Caribbean island offers the “Nomad Digital Residence” visa, a two-year temporary resident visa that covers family members, too. To qualify for the NDR, you need to own a location-independent business or work for a company that allows you to work remotely, as well as earn at least $50,000 per year. You also need to have your own health insurance.
Due to its low cost of living, Argentina is a popular spot for digital nomads. Their recently launched digital nomad visa scheme allows for stays of half a year, capping out at 360 days, and is open to any remote worker who can prove their employment. The income means test level has not yet been announced.
The Aruban Short Stay Visa Scheme is only valid if you’re staying in the country for a maximum of three months, but it can be extended. You will need to prove you have a steady income and have travel insurance. You also need a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate. For US workers, there’s a similar program called “One Happy Workation”.
The “Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay” (BEATS) visa has been in place since 2020 and covers remote workers and students. As well as proof of travel and health insurance, you only need to prove that you have a steady income, and there’s no minimum amount. Permit fees are $1,000 for workers and $500 for students.
The “Barbados Welcome Stamp” remote working visa is valid for 12 months and costs $2,000. The Welcome Stamp can be renewed as well. To qualify for this visa, you must either own a location-independent business or work remotely for a company based outside Barbados.
Belize’s “Work Where You Vacation” visa does exactly what it says on the tin. If you have an income of $75,000, either as a remote worker or a freelancer, you can come and work for one year in this tropical paradise. You will also need at least $50,000 in health insurance coverage.
Bermuda’s “One Year Residential Certificate” isn’t strictly for digital nomads but does offer them a twelve-month temporary residency for freelancers, remote workers, and any family members. There is no minimum income requirement, the application is cheap (less than $300), and you are not required to pay taxes.
Brazil’s Digital Nomad Visa is valid for one year. The application process is easy; you only need to prove that you undertake remote work and make at least $1,500 per month from doing it (or have at least $18,000 in your bank account). You must also have valid health insurance.
10. Cabo Verde
The “Cabo Verde Remote Working Program” is easy to apply for. You must be able to prove that you had an average of €1,500 in your bank account for the six months prior to your application, or €2,700 if you are bringing your family. You will also need proof of accommodation.
11. Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands’ “Global Citizen Concierge Program” allows for a two-year residency, with the cost of application at $1,500. Requirements are intense, as you must be earning at least $100,000, provide employer references (or a Certificate of Good Standing if you’re a freelancer), provide bank references, and have health insurance.
The natural paradise that is Colombia covers digital nomads on a “Type V” visitor’s visa, which is valid for around three years, but you can only remain in the country for 180 days each year. You must provide a reference letter or a motivational letter if you are freelancing and demonstrate that you earn at least $750 per month for three months.
13. Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s “Remote Work Visa” is brand new, having only launched in July 2022. There are not many requirements for this twelve-month long visa, but you must demonstrate regular monthly earnings of at least $3,000. Any foreign income is not subject to tax.
Croatia’s Digital Nomad Residency Permit is valid for up to one year and includes coverage for family members too. You must provide your own health insurance and be able to support yourself financially, with the means testing coming in at around $2,300 monthly.
Curaçao’s “Temporary Stay Permit for Digital Nomads/Remote Workers” is valid for six months with the option for a six-month extension. There is no proof of income (only proof of solvency) and your income while on the island is tax free. You must also have a return airline ticket booked when you apply.
Cyprus’ Digital Nomad Visa Scheme is an easy one to apply for, but spaces are limited to 500 per year. The visa is cheap (only €70), and you must demonstrate proof of being able to support yourself (€3,500 monthly is the average amount). You will also need to produce a valid accommodation or rental agreement.
17. Czech Republic
The Czech Republic’s “Živnostenský” visa is geared towards freelancers and digital nomads but is known to be tricky to apply for. You will need a trade license for an “unqualified trade”, provide proof of accommodation and have at least $6,000 in your bank account (attested to by a bank manager). Needless to say, it might be easier to hire an agent for this one!
Dominica’s one-year digital nomad visa program is called “Work in Nature” (WIN). If you are an entrepreneur or work remotely, you can also bring your family with you to this natural paradise. The proof of income requirement is $50,000 and you also need to demonstrate that you can work remotely.
Estonia was one of the first countries to offer a digital nomad visa. The visa scheme allows for a one-year residency and is open for anyone who can work remotely, either by freelancing or working for a company registered outside Estonia. You must be able to demonstrate that you earned at least €3,504 per month for the six months prior to the visa application.
Open to entrepreneurs, freelancers and those working remotely for a company, the “Remotely from Georgia” visa is relatively easy to acquire. You will need to demonstrate that you have travel insurance, earn at least $2,000 per month, and that you can financially support yourself while in the country.
Germany’s “Aufenthaltserlaubnis für selbständige Tätigkeit” remote working visa requires that you do a little work for German individuals or companies while in the country. It’s valid for six months to three years, and you will need to provide health insurance details and a residential address.
Greece’s Digital Nomad Residence Permit is valid for one year and can be extended to a maximum of three years, but after six months, you will start paying income tax. You will need to provide proof of means (though no minimum income) and declare your intent to work remotely with the Greek tax office.
Hungary’s “White Card” digital nomad visa is open for those outside the EU only and is not open for family members. Anyone who is not employed by a Hungarian company can apply, and you will need to demonstrate at least $2,000 in monthly earnings. The visa is valid for one year.
Iceland’s Long-Term Remote Work Visa is one of the shortest on offer, being limited to only six months in this fascinating country, with family members being covered too. There are not many requirements, the main one being able to demonstrate monthly earnings of just under $7,800.
Indonesia has recently launched a five-year digital nomad visa that allows remote workers the chance to reside in the country tax free. There is a separate visa process for the in-demand province of Bali. The application process is still in its infancy and requirements, such as proof of income, haven’t been released yet.
Latvia’s digital nomad visa is open to remote workers from any OECD country. The visa is valid for one year, and can be extended for a second, as long as the applicant leaves Latvia for six months after the first year. To apply, you must be able to prove you are a remote worker and demonstrate a monthly income of two and half times Latvia’s average salary, which currently equates to €2,875.50.
Malta’s one-year “Nomad Residence Permit” is aimed at travelers from outside the EU. If you can prove you can work remotely via the internet and are not employed by a government agency, then this visa is one of the easiest to get. You must demonstrate a monthly income of at least €2,700.
Mauritius’ free “Premium Visa” is very easy to apply for. It’s aimed not just at remote workers, but anyone who wants to live in Mauritius outside of its local labor market. There is no financial means testing for the visa, just proof of insurance. The visa is valid for up to one year.
Mexico’s “Temporary Residence Permit” is valid for one year but can be extended up to four. Alongside the regular insurance requirements, you must either prove that you have had $43,000 in your bank account for the past twelve months, or that you have earned $2,595 per month in the last six months, or that you own a property in Mexico.
The “Montserrat Remote Work Stamp” is valid for one year, for anyone who is employed by a company registered outside this tiny island nation (or for those who are self-employed) with annual earnings above £70,000 per year. The application process is swift, only taking around seven days.
Norway’s “Independent Contractor” visa allows for a stay of up to two years for freelancers and remote workers, with the caveat that you need to be under a contract for a company in Norway. To apply, you will need to demonstrate an annual income of at least $35,719, a contractor agreement, proof of residence, and any relevant qualifications.
Panama offers digital nomads the “Short Stay Visa for Remote Workers”, which is valid for nine months and open to anyone able to work remotely, entrepreneurs, or those who freelance or have their own company. The visa costs $250 to apply for and you must have an annual income of at least £36,000.
Portugal’s D7 visa is open to remote workers and entrepreneurs and is valid for a year. You can renew up to five years, then apply for residency. To qualify, you need to demonstrate monthly earnings of at least $600, valid travel and health insurance, and proof of financial means.
Romania’s twelve-month digital nomad visa is also quite new, and is open to remote workers employed overseas, or self-employed individuals who own their business outside of Romania. The application process is swift, and the main requirement is to be able to demonstrate annual earnings of at least $30,000.
35. Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia’s “Live It” visa program has recently been extended from six- to twelve months because it’s so popular. There is no minimum income requirement for remote workers. The unique point about “Live It” is that the program is designed to enable you make the most out of your time on the island, with “Island Specialists” available to curate every element of your experience.
The Seychelles offers the “Workcation Retreat Program” that offers a one-year stay on this beautiful island. There are programs for those who are self-employed, as well as people working remotely for a company. There is no minimum income, and the application process is cheap and easy.
37. South Africa
South Africa’s digital nomad visa is still in its infancy but is valid for up to one year and will allow remote worker significant tax breaks. It’s open for anyone who has the capacity to work remotely, and all that is needed is proof of employment and a monthly income of at least $3,000.
Spain’s new digital nomad visa is open for anyone and their families from countries outside the EEA (the UK included). The visa will allow long staying remote workers residency of up to five years, with a reduced level of income tax. As of September 2022, there is no minimum income requirement (proof of employment only).
Although Taiwan doesn’t have a dedicated digital nomad visa, their Taiwan Employment Gold Card lasts for between one and three years and covers all professionals who want to work while they visit. You will need to demonstrate at least $5,700 in monthly income, or if not, that you work in architecture, culture and arts, economics, education, finance, law, national defense, science and technology, or sport.
40. United Arab Emirates
The UAE offers the “Work Remotely from Dubai” program, which is open for freelancers and remote employees that earn over $5,000. The program allows visa holders an Emirates ID card that allows them the same privileges as residents. The program costs $611 and is renewable after twelve months.
Here's a quick overview of the countries that offer remote work visas for digital nomads:
Many digital nomad visas offer a longer term stay than tourist visas. The usual qualifying requirements, like a clean criminal record and valid passport, still stand, but they are very easy to apply for, and therefore, if you are already earning a guaranteed or regular salary, becoming a digital nomad has never been easier.
If you choose the digital nomad life, always do research on the country you are visiting, to be able to integrate as best as you can. Always check your tax and pension requirements back home and be sure to have a plan in place, as some of these visas take a long time to renew. Bon voyage!