As digital nomads, we’re fortunate to have the option to live and work around the world from our laptops. But, due to immigration rules, there’s a limit to the amount of time we can spend in each country.
What if we want to stay longer?!
This is why the development of remote work visas (also called digital nomad visas) is such a game-changer.
With so many people working from their computers these days, it’s great to see governments recognizing the benefit of offering these remote work visas.
This special permit, passport stamp, or QR code allows location-independent people to legally stay in the country longer than tourists.
If you’ve ever wanted to live for a year (or more) in a sunny destination in the Caribbean or a historical city in Europe, you can do that by applying for a digital nomad visa.
There are many countries offering long-stay visas or permits for remote workers, but this post will focus on the ones that keep the bureaucracy and application requirements to a minimum.
Here are 12 countries with easy digital nomad visas, including the benefits, how to apply, and the costs.
Disclosure: I’m not an immigration expert, tax accountant, or lawyer, nor am I qualified to give any sort of legal advice. I’ve been a digital nomad for more than 10 years and have applied for remote work visas, and researched many of them. Before applying for any of these digital nomad visa programs, I recommend getting advice from professionals to confirm your personal liability (if any) regarding income tax and immigration.
What is a Digital Nomad Visa?
A digital nomad visa allows remote workers to live and work in a foreign country without having to officially immigrate or apply for residency.
Each country has a different name for the visa or program they are offering, but it’s all the same: a chance to legally stay longer than a typical tourist visa would allow.
With these digital nomad visas, most countries are offering a one-year stay with options to extend. In some cases, you can even work your way towards residency if you want.
Whereas entering the country as a tourist would usually only allow you a 30 – 90 day stay.
In some cases, remote work visas offer discounts on accommodation, the ability to open bank accounts or purchase a vehicle, and other perks.
Here is a list of the countries currently offering digital nomad visas that are pretty easy to obtain.
1. The Bahamas (one of the easiest digital nomad visas)
Located off the coast of Florida, the Bahamas has attracted holidaymakers for many years. These days, the country is looking to entice digital nomads to experience the country’s pristine water and beaches, colourful culture and vibe, and of course, the welcoming locals.
We recently travelled to the Bahamas for 10 days and loved it. It would be great to spend a year visiting some more islands.
Chill out on a small cay in the Bahamas, check out the famous swimming pigs, spend your days boating or fishing, or live on a more developed island with shopping and lots going on.
With the BEATS (Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay) program, you can do it all.
Live and work in the Bahamas with the BEATS program
Top Benefits of the Bahamas BEATS Program
Live and work in the Bahamas for 1 year, with the option to apply for up to 3 years
There are no income requirements
Applying is easy
Proof of employment, or proof of ownership of your own business
How to Apply
Fill out your application (fee of $25)
Wait for approval or denial of your application, which will take around 5 days
If you are approved for the program, there is a fee of $1,000 USD (plus $500 USD for each dependent)
After you’ve paid the fee, you’ll receive a QR code to show on arrival in the Bahamas
Learn more here.
2. Malta (offers a long visa for digital nomads)
This island nation in the Mediterranean offers a digital nomad community, fast wifi, coworking spaces, historical sites, and lots of fun things to see and do.
For a small country, Malta has a lot to offer. Plus, it’s in a great location for exploring nearby countries on a weekend away. We spent 2 months in Malta and really enjoyed our stay there.
Malta is one of the countries with digital nomad visas that you should consider
Top Benefits of Malta’s Nomad Residence Permit
The opportunity to spend 1 year in Malta, with extensions available for up to 3 years
Not subject to personal income tax in Malta
Family members and pets can join the applicant
Must be a third-country national (excluding the EU, EEA and Switzerland. And, any sanctioned countries)
Work for an employer that is registered in a foreign country and have a contract; or
conduct business for a company that’s registered in a foreign country and that you’re a partner/shareholder of; or
work as a freelancer or offer consulting services to clients whose permanent establishments are in a foreign country — you must have contracts with them
Earn a monthly income of at least €2,700 (gross of tax) for the past 3 months
Provide proof of health insurance
Show proof of accommodation in Malta
How to Apply
Gather all required documents
Fill out the application form
Submit your application (it should take 30 days to be approved)
Pay the fee of €300
Read the full checklist here, and find answers to your FAQ’s here
3. Georgia (the easiest place to live and work for one year)
The Caucasus country of Georgia has always offered long stays for tourists — most passport holders can currently stay visa-free for 365 days.
With fast internet, interesting culture, and progressive thinking towards digital nomads, Georgia has become a popular option for remote workers.
During covid, there was a scheme in place to bypass the pandemic entrance requirements by submitting certain documents, proving income, etc.
These days, that “Remotely From Georgia” permit is being phased out, but you can still live and work from Georgia for a year — much easier than during the covid scheme.
☞ SEE ALSO: Digital Nomad Guide to Living in Tbilisi
Tbilisi, Georgia is a very picturesque city
You can stay for 365 days
The Simplified Entry Form is just that, simple
If you’re from one of these 95+ countries, you can live and work in Georgia without restriction
How to Apply
If you’re from one of the 95 countries (above), fill out this Simplified Entry form
Entrance is free
Note: once you hit the 183-day mark, you will be considered liable for income tax in Georgia. Consult a tax accountant regarding double taxation agreements and your own personal liability.
Located off of Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean, this beautiful island is making a name for itself in the digital nomad space.
With 4G connectivity, great health and safety rating, lots of things to see and do, a relaxed lifestyle, and excellent accessibility to destinations around the world, it’s no surprise that Mauritius is becoming a popular spot to work remotely.
Live and work remotely in Mauritius
Top Benefits of the Mauritius Premium Travel Visa
Stay in Mauritius for up to 1 year
There is no application fee (it’s free!)
Foreign nationals from 114 countries are able to apply
No income tax is due unless income is deposited into a Mauritian bank account
Dependents are able to apply as well
You are from one of these 114 countries (if you’re not from one of those countries, you can enter on a tourist visa and apply once you’re in the country)
Provide proof of valid health insurance
Provide proof of long-stay accommodation
Your main place of business and/or source of income and profits are from outside Mauritius
Bank statements for the past 3 months
Proof of monthly income (it doesn’t specify an amount on the website)
Return flight ticket
How to Apply
Register for an account and submit the application form
Applying is free, there’s no fee for the Mauritius Premium Travel Visa
Another beautiful island makes the list! This Caribbean island started offering its Welcome Stamp during the pandemic in order to attract remote workers to come and enjoy the sunshine, beaches, and friendly atmosphere.
Barbados is a great place to work remotely as it offers many amenities, accommodation options, coworking spaces, things to see and do, and of course, the gorgeous beaches. We spent two months housesitting there and loved our stay.
The only downside to the Welcome Stamp is the hefty application fee, and the proof of yearly income is higher than in other programs.
Get the Welcome Stamp and enjoy a year of digital nomad life in Barbados!
Top Benefits of the Barbados Welcome Stamp
You can live on a Caribbean island for 1 year
You are not liable to pay income tax in Barbados
You are location independent (working for yourself, or remotely for a company outside of Barbados)
You will make $50,000 USD for the year that you intend on living in Barbados
Provide a passport-sized photo
How to Apply
Fill out the application form
Applications are typically approved within one week
Pay the application fee of $2000 USD for an individual and $3000 USD for a family bundle
6. United Arab Emirates (Dubai)
The bustling city of Dubai is one of the seven Emirates that makes up the United Arab Emirates.
Dubai is one of the best cities for digital nomads, for many reasons.
With a dazzling skyline, endless shopping and nightlife, and a focus on attracting foreigners, Dubai is a good option if you’re looking to base yourself in the Middle East.
Top Benefits of the Virtual Working Programme in Dubai
Live and work in Dubai for 1 year (you can reapply after it has expired)
It’s a multiple-entry visa
Receive many benefits that residents of Dubai get (banking, schools, resident ID card)
No income tax is owed
For employees: proof of employment from a current employer with a one-year contract validity, a minimum of $5,000 USD per month salary, last month’s payslip, and 3 preceding months’ bank statements
For business owners: proof of ownership of the company for one year or more, with an average monthly income of $5,000 USD per month and 3 preceding months’ bank statements
Passport valid for at least 6 months
Health insurance coverage for the UAE
How to Apply
Fill out the form requesting an application
Pay the fee of $611 (which includes application and processing fees, medical exam, and Emirates ID)
Another pretty Caribbean island that started offering one-year stays to remote workers in 2020.
The island offers solid wifi coverage, numerous restaurants and bars, many beaches, beautiful water, and lots of accommodation options.
Anguilla’s digital nomad visa is called the: “Lose The Crowd Find Yourself. Work. Life. Bliss” program — which doesn’t roll off the tongue all that easily!
The visa is definitely appealing and fairly straightforward to apply for, but this island charges a hefty $2,000 application fee.
Top Benefits of the Anguilla Visa
Live on a Caribbean island for up to a year
The requirements and application are quite simple
Proof of Employment or Business Incorporation Certificate
Proof of entrance visa (if applicable)
A police check
Copy of birth certificate
A brief description of the work you’ll be doing
Health insurance covering COVID (SafetyWing is a good option for this)
How to Apply
Create an online account for the application
It takes around 14 days for applications to be processed
Pay the fee of $2,000 USD for individuals, or $3,000 USD for families
There’s a theme here! Many small island nations jumped on the opportunity to entice remote workers to enjoy longer stays.
Located in the North Atlantic, the British island territory of Bermuda started its Work From Bermuda Certificate in August 2020.
According to the government of Bermuda, in the first year of implementation, the WFB certificate had an estimated value-added of $23.3 million in Bermuda’s economy — with a boost in real estate and economic activity, and the promotion of the country as a great destination to live and travel.
Top Benefits of the Work From Bermuda Certificate
You will not be required to pay income tax in Bermuda
You can live in Bermuda for 1 year (and it’s renewable)
You haven’t been convicted of a crime in Bermuda or elsewhere
Provide proof of valid health insurance coverage
If you’re an employee: demonstrate employment with a legitimate company
If you own your own company: simple letter outlining the details, a certificate of incorporation, or other appropriate documentation. The company must be registered and operating outside of Bermuda
Have substantial means and/or have a continuous source of annual income
How to Apply
Fill out the application form
It takes around 5 days for applications to be processed
Pay a fee of $263
Located off the east coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, this popular holiday spot is now attracting digital nomads looking for a relaxing place to work and live.
The Seychelles remote work program is in two parts: first, you must apply for the Workation Visitors Permit and then the Health Travel Authorization.
Note that you must have a yellow fever vaccine to enter Seychelles and receive the Health Travel Authorization.
Top Benefits of the Seychelles Workation Retreat Program
You can stay up to one year in Seychelles
Not liable for personal or business tax
Special deals and discounts are available around the country for those on the Workation Retreat (including dental, opticians, etc.)
You must be a remote worker — either an employee or a business owner
Provide a letter of employment or proof of ownership of a business
Provide proof of income or wealth
Have a valid travel/health insurance policy
Provide proof of confirmed accommodation
How to Apply
Submit your application for the Visitors Workation Permit at least 60 days prior to arrival
Once that permit is approved, apply for the Health Travel Authorization
Find out more details here.
Live and work in one of the most gorgeous countries in Europe. Spend the day at the sea, in an old town, or in the mountains, Croatia has a lot to offer remote workers. Split is my favourite spot to stay for a while in Croatia.
The online forms and the website where you apply will probably seem a bit overwhelming at first.
However, if you take some time to read the application thoroughly, you’ll realize that there are a lot of “and/or” situations listed in the article. This makes the process of applying for a digital nomad visa in Croatia seem more confusing than it actually is.
The view of Zadar old town
Top Benefits of the Croatia Digital Nomad Residence Permit
You can stay in Croatia for up to one year
Not liable for income tax (however, it may be due on passive income, rather than salary income – do your due diligence on this one)
Close family members may join you (spouse, common-law partner, child)
You are a non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizen
You work for a company or own your own company, that is registered outside of Croatia
Proof of health insurance
Proof of purpose: signed contract from your employer and statement from your employer, or copy of the registration of your own company
Provide proof of means for your stay in Croatia. Either:
Show bank statements proving you’ve earned 17,822.50 HRK ($2,465.69 USD) per month for the past 6 months; or
If you are staying for 12 months, show that you have 213,870.00 HRK ($29,588.28 USD) already in your bank account
Provide an address in Croatia (apartment, hotel, hostel, etc.)
How to Apply
Fill out the online application form
Once you enter Croatia you will need to register your temporary address at the police station by using this form
You will need to obtain a biometric residence permit in person at the police station
Pay the fees:
350 HRK ($48.39 USD) for granting a temporary stay
70 HRK ($9.68) for administrative fees for the issuance of the biometric residence permit
240 ($33.19) for the biometric residence card
Find out more details here.
This incredible destination is a digital nomad hot spot. Some of the best places to base yourself in Mexico as a remote worker are Puerto Vallarta, Playa del Carmen, Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Merida.
Up until recently, citizens of many countries would receive a visa-free stay of 180 days in Mexico.
Lately, however, Mexican immigration has been less inclined to provide the full 180-day stamp and there are many stories of digital nomads arriving at the border expecting to receive the usual 180 days…only to realize they’ve only been granted 2 weeks.
Rather than risk it at the border, it’s better to apply for the “No Lucrativo” (non-lucrative) visa, which is also called the Temporary Resident visa.
The sunsets and beaches in Playa del Carmen are part of what makes it a great city in Mexico for digital nomads
Top Benefits of Mexico’s Temporary Resident Visa
You can stay in Mexico for up to four years
Freely enter and leave the country during that time
No income tax will be due in Mexico unless your center of vital interests is in Mexico
You can open a bank account
You can purchase a vehicle and register it
You have enough money in the bank and/or you earn enough money consistently each month by providing:
Investment receipts or bank statements (with the bank stamp) showing an average monthly balance of $43,000 USD during the past twelve months; or
Documents showing that you have employment with a monthly tax-free income of over $2,500 USD during the past six months
Note: the exact amount seemed to differ depending on which website I checked. Make sure to clarify the amount of income/bank balance you need to provide.
You will be in Mexico for more than 180 days but less than 4 years
You don’t have a work authorization
You are working and earning money for a company outside Mexico
How to Apply
Fill out the online application form with supporting documents
Apply at a Mexican consulate/embassy outside of the country
Pay the fee (around $40)
This post has some more useful information and here you’ll find information from the consulate.
Cyprus is a great option for remote workers and obtaining a visa is easy. This island nation in the eastern Mediterranean Sea offers history, beaches, nightlife, nature, and gastronomy.
The goal of the DN visa in Cyprus is to “attract digital nomads, who will contribute to the development of the business ecosystem and therefore to the economic development of the country”.
The Cyprus government definitely sees the benefit of having remote workers in the country.
The problem is that Cyprus is granting just 500 visas (initially it was 100, but they increased it to 500). So, apply ASAP if you want to live and work in this unique destination!
Top Benefits of the Digital Nomad Visa in Cyprus
You can stay for 1 year in Cyprus, with the option to extend for another 2 years (3 years total)
Income tax won’t be payable in Cyprus, provided you are a tax resident of another country
Right of residence for family members of the digital nomad as well
You’re a national from a non-EU and non-EEA country
Can perform work remotely
You’re employed at a company registered abroad or are self-employed offering services remotely for clients located abroad
Proof that you have a stable and sufficient monthly net income of at least €3500
Criminal record check
How to Apply
Within 3 months of arriving in Cyprus, you must submit your application for the digital nomad visa
Pay the fee of €140
The above 12 countries with digital nomad visas are just the ones that I chose as being the easiest to obtain. However, there are many more options available.
This list isn’t exhaustive, but here are some other countries that offer visas for remote workers that you may want to consider:
Portugal’s D7 visa (passive income/retirement visa) is often listed as a great digital nomad visa.
However, it’s mainly for retirees or those who earn regular income from rental properties, investments, or dividends (provided you don’t work for the company). Your passive income must be from certain sources — not all freelance and online work qualifies.
The process is a bit convoluted, but if you qualify, once you get the visa/permit you’re set for up to 5 years. There are many other benefits as well, including healthcare and the ability to open a bank account. Find out more here.
2. Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)
While it’s easy to obtain this digital nomad visa, only citizens from Europe, North America, Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), and Economic Community of West African States (CEDEAO) can apply. Find out more here.
3. The Cayman Islands
The application for the Global Citizen Concierge program in the Cayman Islands is pretty straightforward, and it allows you to stay for up to 2 years.
However, the annual income is higher than others on this list — $100,000 USD, or $150,000 USD if you’re bringing a dependent. Learn more here.
This one is quite difficult to get and has more requirements, such as having clients who are based in Germany. Plus, it takes between 3-4 months to be approved.
This could be a cool place to live for a while! The issue with Iceland’s digital nomad visa is that it’s only valid for 6 months, plus the proof of income is higher than other destinations in this article (1,000,000 ISK / $7,470 USD) per month. Learn more here.
This Baltic destination was the first country to offer a visa for digital nomads. And actually, it’s had an e-residency program for foreigners ever since 2014. Estonia has been attracting remote workers for many years.
You’ll need to submit your application to the nearest Estonian Embassy, which will take around 30 days to process. Note that after 183 days in Estonia, you are considered a tax resident there. Find out more here.
Are you looking for online jobs? There are numerous jobs for digital nomads where you can make a great income. Have a look at our articles about proofreading and editing, starting your own website, teaching English online, freelance writing, graphic design, and this article for a list of the top 12 high-paying online jobs.
FlexJobs is a great place to find remote work. Use promo code NOMAD to receive 30% off the membership.
Why Are Countries Offering Remote Work Visas?
At the beginning of 2020 when tourism basically came to a halt, countries needed to figure out ways to entice foreigners to not only visit, but stay long term, in order to help boost the economy.
Prior to that, there were just a handful of countries offering visas for remote workers.
Since many people started working remotely during this time, it was a great opportunity for digital nomads to base themselves in a sunny destination, somewhere with more relaxed rules, or a destination that had always seemed appealing.
Another reason for offering this visa is that many countries have experienced a “brain drain” and are simply interested in attracting skilled entrepreneurs to the country.
This sort of collaboration is a win-win for the economy and remote workers.
Why You Need a Digital Nomad Work Visa
These days, the landscape has changed and there are more people working online who don’t necessarily want to move around every few months — less “nomad” and more “digital”.
It seems like remote workers these days want a home, a base, and a stable life. With a digital nomad visa, you can experience a “home away from home”.
It’s hard to get any work done with a view like this!
The second reason these remote work visas are great is that you can stay longer than usual.
For example, as Canadian citizens, we’re only given a 90-day allowance in the Schengen Zone, and most other countries allow citizens of Canada, the USA, Australia, and the UK to stay for 30 – 90 days before having to leave.
A digital nomad visa for countries in Europe (in particular, the Schengen Zone), is definitely appealing to non-EU citizens such as ourselves.
If you’re from a country with a weaker passport, you’ll often have to jump through (many) hoops just to get a 30-day stay in some destinations. Having the option to spend an entire year with a digital nomad visa is a huge bonus.
Pros and Cons of Remote Work Visas
There are many pros and some cons to obtaining a remote work visa as a digital nomad.
Benefits of Digital Nomad Visas
You can stay longer than a tourist visa (typically, up to one year)
No income tax will be owed to the country (in most cases)
Live and work in a beautiful destination
Support the local economy
Integrate into the community
Ensure you’re working abroad legally
In some cases, you have access to healthcare, can open a bank, and purchase a vehicle
Often, family members are able to join you as well
Downsides to Digital Nomad Visas
You must pay a fee
You need to show proof of income
It’s not as easy for those who are entrepreneurs just starting out (due to showing high proof of income in some cases)
It’s not overly straightforward and will take some planning and preparing
Application forms need to be filled out
The main benefit of obtaining a proper remote work visa is that you are able to legally stay longer in the destination, while not being liable for income tax to that country (in most cases).
There you have it, my list of the top 12 easiest nomad visas to obtain, plus a few bonuses. If you didn’t see a country in this article that interests you, just be patient — the remote work visa for that destination will probably be announced soon.
Currently, there are many countries that are talking about offering a digital nomad visa, including Brazil, Indonesia (Bali), Hungary, Spain, Argentina, and Italy.
I personally think that these remote work visa schemes are a good idea (both for the destinations, and the workers), and most likely they will become the norm. Ideally, the paperwork required gets even easier, and the application fee is reasonable across the board.
So, what do you think about digital nomad visas? Good idea? Bad idea? If you’re looking for more articles about being a digital nomad around the world, click here.
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