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The Ultimate Digital Nomad Visa List: 53 Remote Worker Visa Options for Long Stay and Slow Travel

Living the lifestyle of a digital nomad, location and financially independent, and traveling the world is a dream that many have. However, this dream comes with its fair share of issues – visas being one of them. Finding visas that are free and allow an extended stay in a location you actually want to be in can be tiresome.

Thankfully, there are currently 53 digital nomad visas (or long-stay visa options) available for globetrotting remote workers to date, with 17 options being almost perfect for most nomads and remote workers.

Digital Nomad Visa List Remote Worker Visa List

In this article, we’ll share these 53 digital nomad visas to date and narrow down to the 15 best digital nomad visas that are cheap (or free), easy to get, and in a location that delivers great quality of life and low cost of living for you to enjoy in a 6+ months stay. Additionally, we’ll share the biggest trends in digital nomad visas and the outlook for government programs targeting DNs in the future.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about digital nomad visas.

CONTENTS OF THIS DIGITAL NOMAD VISA LIST AND RESEARCH

THE TOP 11 DIGITAL NOMAD VISAS

Based on visa length, ease of getting it, costs, and DN suitability of the location

(Rated based on visa costs, ease of getting the visa, cost of living of location, and quality of living in location)

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO THE FULL LIST OF DIGITAL NOMAD VISAS

WHAT IS A “DIGITAL NOMAD VISA”

In general, a visa is an endorsement or stamp that allows a traveler to enter a country and stay for a specified period. There are many types of visas, including tourist visas, business visas, retirement visas, and more recently, there are digital nomad visas that cater to the needs and preferences of digital nomads. Each visa dictates the duration a traveler is allowed to stay in the country, the business activities they are allowed to engage in (including remote working), and their rights and privileges during their stay.

On average, tourist visas are valid for a period of 14 days to 90 days. By contrast, according to the digital nomad study completed in 2021, most digital nomads prefer staying in a single location between 90 to 180 days, and more established digital nomads prefer staying in a single place longer.

Considering the average visa (or visa exemption) allows a stay much longer than the average tourist visa, and digital nomads work remotely by nature (which is not allowed on tourist visas in some countries), governments are now establishing a different class of visa, a “digital nomad visa,” often referred to as a remote worker visa, freelancer visa, or independent employee visa as well.

These new digital nomad visas allow for longer stays (6 months to 3 years on average) to account for average preferences of digital nomads and legally allow remote working at a minimum without immigration issues.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DIGITAL NOMAD VISA AND A TOURIST VISA

While tourist visas, business visas, and family all perform the same purpose of allowing entry to, stay in, and privileges during the stay, digital nomad visas, and remote worker-friendly visas have the following benefits.

  • Longer length of stay: usually 6+ months
  • Transparency and openly allowing digital nomads to work remotely during their stay
  • The location’s government generally supports remote workers through initiatives and programs – like with Croatia and the Nomad village in Madeira, Portugal.

However, a visa does not need to be endorsed as a digital nomad visa. As long as the visa is valid for ~6months+ and foreigners have a good track record of remote working (for foreign clients or companies) with no immigration issues, the visa and location are generally suitable. From there, all that matters are the nomad’s preferences on the cost of living, quality of life, and infrastructure.

WHY SHOULD YOU AIM FOR A DIGITAL NOMAD VISA (OR A DIGITAL NOMAD FRIENDLY VISA?

Travel and locational freedom are among the top reasons that digital nomads take on the lifestyle, so there is nothing wrong with staying in a country for 30 days at a time.

So why would you want a DN visa specifically?

Stability.

After months on the road traveling and trying to work along the way, many DNs reach a burnout point in which they need the stability of a single location to get work done or “recharge.”

Additionally, DNs who have been nomading for a few years or more report the preference of having a single base where they stay for ~6 months and engage in short trips from there.

The productivity boost of this stability comes with financial benefits, too, as long term accommodation rentals (6+ months) tend to be much cheaper than day to day or month to month accommodation, while the cost of living in most places naturally decreases as we become more familiar with the location.

Last, loneliness and lack of community were also among the most reported problems among digital nomads. Being able to stay in a single place that is an established digital nomad hub – such as Chiang Mai, Canggu, or Madeira – allows the opportunity to join a community and connect, filling that social void.

Ultimately, a healthy and satisfying DN lifestyle in the long term involves opportunities for short stays in certain countries and longer stays in others, and digital nomad-friendly visas facilitate this.

Having the stability of being guaranteed 6+ months in a single location allows nomads to accomplish this goal while taking advantage of lower rent, and

ABOUT THIS ULTIMATE DIGITAL NOMADS VISA LIST

The goal of this list is to help digital nomads quickly and easily find long-term visa options that suit their preferences. Past lists haven’t accounted for high fees, high costs of living, and cumbersome application processes.

To make finding the right visa for you easier, we’ve categorized visas by best, costliest, and most difficult to attain.

Additionally, we’ve rated all visas on a scale of 1 to 5 to communicate how enticing the visa (and location) will be for most nomads.

OUR DIGITAL NOMAD VISA RATING SYSTEM

All visas are rated on a scale of 1 to 5 based on the following criteria created based on the common preferences and important factors for digital nomads as discovered during our 2021 Digital Nomad Study

1/5: Extremely difficult to acquire, requires months of work or is rarely given at this time

2/5: Requires actually visiting a consulate or embassy for a checklist, usually multiple trips, and the process cannot be completed digitally or on arrival

3/5: Prohibitively expensive for most DN’s (visa fee or minimum income requirements) but offers all online application

4/5: Visa is available to apply for and receive digitally, is relatively cheap, and is valid for six months minimum

5/5: Visas are extremely easy to get, low cost for the visa, can be attained digitally or on arrival, are for a desirable destination, and are for a cost-efficient destination

HIGHLIGHT INSIGHTS FROM THIS RESEARCH INTO CURRENT DIGITAL NOMAD VISAS, REMOTE WORKERS VISAS, AND VISAS FOR 6+ MONTHS

While reviewing the current state of visas applicable to long-term travelers and remote workers, we stumbled on a few important insights and trends.

  • Many countries with DN and remote worker visa programs already have a 3 to 6-month visa for easier and cheaper.
  • Other countries now offering digital nomad visas were already visa-free countries or visa-exempt for six month+ stays.
    • Georgia, Seychelles, and Bermuda have DN visa programs but already didn’t require a visa (for most countries). Thailand and Vietnam already had programs to extend tourist visas 6 to 9 months.
  • Many long stay visas complicate the long stay with high visa fees, high minimum incomes, and embassy processing
  • Indonesia was the only country to make their visa LESS friendly to DNs, instituting a requirement to prove a minimum account balance of $10,000 over the previous six months
  • 19 countries deliver visas that fit our criteria as “good” for DNs, with reasonable fees, an online application process and application requirements, and a reasonable cost of Living
  • Six countries have digital nomad visa and residency programs in progress that have partially or fully passed the legislative process and are waiting to be instituted
  • Eight countries have DN “visa hacks” with situations easily allowing long visa stays or visa runs, allowing DNs to stay in place indefinitely with a cheap, convenient “border run” that can be completed in a day every 90 days
  • Estonia, Georgia, Croatia, Taiwan, Belize, and Vietnam lead the pack with the best DN visas when judging based on the duration of stay, fees, cost of living, the application process, and Avg. Internet Speed
  • The top tactics countries will use to attract digital nomads going forward will be 1) extended visa lengths, 2) tax incentives, 3) residency options, and 4) infrastructure that increases the ease and efficiency of running an all-digital business.

THE OUTLOOK ON THE FUTURE OF REMOTE WORKER AND DIGITAL NOMAD VISA PROGRAMS:

MORE AND MORE COUNTRIES WILL WELCOME REMOTE WORKERS WITH EXTENDED LENGTH AND LOW-COST VISAS, TAX INCENTIVES.

THE WORLD WILL BECOME INCREASINGLY “REMOTE WORK FRIENDLY” AS COUNTRIES SEEK OUT DNs AS SUSTAINABLE NEW INCOME AND SKILL SHARING SOURCES TO JUMP START ECONOMIES

As economies suffered in 2020 and 2021 and governments, continue to search for sustainable options for sustainable economic injections, and the realization that remote work is possible sets in, more countries will see the digital nomad demographic as an opportunity to welcome a potential source of income and skill sharing that grows economies without taking jobs or opportunities from locals.

COUNTRIES WILL INCREASINGLY TARGET DN’S NOT JUST AS AN INCOME SOURCE BUT TO CREATE NEW BUSINESS

New extended length visas, such as the four-year Thai SMART visa, two-year Japanese Startup visa, and the Spanish “Startup Act” are evidence of new efforts to attract digital nomads for skill sharing, innovation, and startup eco-system creation purposes.

DIGITAL BUSINESS-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS AND TAX INCENTIVES WILL BECOME MORE IMPORTANT AS DN BUSINESSES MATURE

Attempts to attract digital nomads via business-friendly digital environments and tax incentives, such as Estonia’s e-residency program, will become a more common way to attract higher net worth “digital nomad shops” via business efficiency and financial incentives.

SUCCESSFUL DN PROGRAMS AND VISAS WILL DEPEND ON MORE THAN JUST VISA DURATION

True success for these digital nomad and remote worker visas and programs will depend on the governments’ willingness to

1) institute reasonable income restrictions (if any)

2) deliver sufficient infrastructure and support (e.g., internet connectivity, accepting attitude among government officials, etc.) that allows DNs to maintain efficiency and avoid disruption in their work

3) institute reasonable visa fees

4) easy application processes that are fully digital and completed quickly (in line with the all-digital, frequently moving lifestyle of

QUICK LIST OF THE 53 DIGITAL NOMAD VISA OPTIONS

(Click each country for details and links to official visa site)

BEST DIGITAL NOMAD VISAS

1. Croatia: 1 Year + 6 Months Additional | $70 Fee | 5/5

2. Georgia: 1 Year | Free | 5/5

3. Costa Rica: 2 Years | $50 Fee | 4/5

4. Estonia: 1 Year | €100 Fee | 4/5

5. Taiwan: Taiwan Employment Gold Card: 1 To 3 Years | $100 To $310 Fee | 5/5

6. Belize (6 Month, 12 Month): 12 Months Multiple Entry | ~$130 Fee | 4/5

7. Belize (Visa Hack – 30 Day Visa Extendable To 6 Months): 30 Day Visa, Extendable Indefinitely | $ 100 Fee | 3/5

8. Vietnam: 1 Year (Us Citizens) Or 3 Months Multi-Entry + 3 Month Extension | $135 Fee | 5/5

9. Albania: 1 Year (For Us Citizens) | Free | 5/5

10. Seychelles: 1 Year | €45 Fee | 4/5

11. Bali and Indonesia: 5 Months Or 1 Year | ~$500 Fee For 5 Months | 3/5

12. Mauritius: 1 Year | Free | 3/5

13. Curacao: 6 Months + 6 Month Extension | $294 Fee | 3/5

14. Russia: 3 Years | $198 | 3/5

15. Malaysia: 1 Year, 5 Years | $720, $2,000 | 4/5

16. Cambodia: 1 Year | ~$300 | 4/5

17. Philippines: 6 Months, Extendable to 36 Months | 13,900 Php (~$275) | 4/5

18. Armenia: 6 Months | Free | 4/5

19. Kenya: 1 Year or 3 Months + 3 Month Extension | $101, $51 | 4/5

20. Ecuador: 2 Years | $450 | 4/5

VISA HACKS AND SHORT TERM DN VISAS

19. Balkans Visa Hack: 3 Month Stay Per Balkan Country + Border Runs: | Free | 4/5

21. Argentina + Uruguay Hack: 90 Days + Visa Run + 90 Days: | Free | 4/5

22. Malaysia: 90 Days | Free (Visa Exemption) | 4/5

23. Thailand: 2 Months + 1 Month Extension | 1,900 Baht Fee (~$60) | 4/5

COSTLY VISAS

(High fee or high minimum income requirement)

24. Dubai (UAE): 1 Year | $287 Fee | 3/5

25. Iceland: 6 Months | ~$120 Fee | 2/5

26. Montserrat: 1 Year | $500 Fee | 2/5

27. Anguilla: 1 Year | $2,000 Per Individual, $3,000 Per Family Fee | 3/5

28. Antigua And Barbuda: 2 Years | $1,500 For Individuals, $2,000 For Couples, $3,000 For A Family | 3/5

29. The Bahamas: 1 Year | $1,000 + $500 Per Dependent | 3/5

30. Barbados: 1 Year | $2,000 For Individuals, $3,000 For Families | 3/5

31. Cayman Islands: 2 Years | $1,469, +$500 Per Dependent | 2/5

32. Dominica: 1.5 Years | $900 Individual Fee Or $1300 Family | 3/5

33. Bermuda: 1 Year | $263 Fee | 3/5

34. Cabo Verde: 6 Months + Renewable For 6 Months | €54 Fee | 4/5

DIFFICULT TO GET VISAS

(Limited number of visas, require rental agreements, or require multiple embassy visits and interviews)

35. Mexico: 1 Year, Renewable For 1 To 3 Years | ~$300 Fee | 3/5

36. Portugal: 1 Year + Renewable 2x 2 Years | ~$110 Fee | 2/5

37. Norway: 2 Year | €600 Fee | 3/5

38. Germany: 3 Months + Extendable To 3 Years | €60 Fee | 1/5

39. Czech Republic: 1 Year | ~$160 Fees Fee | 1/5

40. Malta: 1 Year | €300 Fee | 2/5

41. Spain: Non-Lucrative Residence Visa: 1 Year | $140 Fee | 1/5

42. Italy: 2 Years | ~$70 Fee | 1/5

43. Thailand (4 Year Smart Visa): 4 Years | Fees Vary |2/5

44. Japan (Startup Visa): 1 Year | Fees Vary | 2/5

DIGITAL NOMAD VISAS AND PROJECTS IN PROGRESS

(DN visas and programs with legislation being drafted or in Congress/Parliament now)

45. Greece: 1 Year, Extendable To 2 Years

46. Romania: 1 Year

47. Sri Lanka: 1 Year

48. Spain’s “Startup Act”: Information forthcoming

49. Belize: Work Where You Vacation

50. North Macedonia: 1 Year

51. Estonia E-Residency (Not A Visa, But A Business Residency)

52. Thailand (5 Year Long Term Resident Visa): 5 Years | ~$17,000 Fee | 2/5

BEST VISAS FOR DIGITAL NOMADS

The visas in this section are the best options for digital nomads, delivering a low fee visa that is easily accessible (apply online, minimal restrictions, and application steps) and is for a country with a high quality of life and reasonable cost of living.

VISAS IN THIS SECTION

1. Croatia: 1 Year + 6 Months Additional | $70 Fee | 5/5

2. Georgia: 1 Year | Free | 5/5

3. Costa Rica: 2 Years | $50 Fee | 4/5

4. Estonia: 1 Year | €100 Fee | 4/5

5. Taiwan: Taiwan Employment Gold Card: 1 To 3 Years | $100 To $310 Fee | 5/5

6. Belize (6 Month, 12 Month): 12 Months Multiple Entry | ~$130 Fee | 4/5

7. Belize (Visa Hack – 30 Day Visa Extendable To 6 Months): 30 Day Visa, Extendable Indefinitely | $ 100 Fee | 3/5

8. Vietnam: 1 Year (Us Citizens) Or 3 Months Multi-Entry + 3 Month Extension | $135 Fee | 5/5

9. Albania: 1 Year (For Us Citizens) | Free | 5/5

10. Seychelles: 1 Year | €45 Fee | 4/5

11. Bali and Indonesia: 5 Months Or 1 Year | ~$500 Fee For 5 Months | 3/5

12. Mauritius: 1 Year | Free | 3/5

13. Curacao: 6 Months + 6 Month Extension | $294 Fee | 3/5

14. Russia: 3 Years | $198 | 3/5

15. Malaysia: 1 Year, 5 Years | $720, $2,000 | 4/5

16. Cambodia: 1 Year | ~$300 | 4/5

17. Philippines: 6 Months, Extendable to 36 Months | 13,900 Php (~$275) | 4/5

18. Armenia: 6 Months | Free | 4/5

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CROATIA

1 YEAR + 6 MONTHS ADDITIONAL | $70 FEE | 5/5

The Croatia Temporary Resident Stay is one of the best nomad visa opportunities in Europe. A relatively easy, cheap, and quick process gives you a one-year stay in one of the most popular destinations in Europe right now.

Outside of the tourist hubs in Croatia, you’ll find endless beaches, waterfall-filled national parks, Game of Thrones-styled old city centers, and plenty of great, Italian-influenced wine. Beyond Croatia’s borders, Italy, Montenegro, and Albania are some of the great day trips or weekend destinations that are easily accessible, and everywhere else in Europe is a short, budget flight away.

NORMAL CROATIA VISA

Normal Croatia Visa (“Short-term Stay”): 90-day visa-exempt stay with maximum of 90 days in a 180 period that does not count against the Schengen visa stay

Normal Visa Information: Croatia Visa Exemption Information

GEORGIA

1 YEAR | FREE | 5/5

Whether or not you’re interested in applying for a digital nomad visa, Georgia is an excellent option. Quick, easy visa process (an exemption) gives a long, one-year stay. Georgia itself is beautiful with a low cost of living, amazingly warm locals and tons of great food and wine.

For DNs on a budget with a taste for something a little different, Georgia is an excellent option.

Normal Georgia Visa Information: 1 Year Visa Exemption

Georgia offers a one-year visa exemption, no fees, no application for 98 countries.

Click here to check the full visa-exempt country list for Georgia.

For the remaining countries, a one-year eVisa is only $20 plus a 20% processing fee.

Click here to visit the official Georgia eVisa page.

COSTA RICA

2 Years | $50 FEE | 4/5

Costa Rica is an ex-pat haven with great infrastructure, miles of coastline, and beautiful, natural landscapes.

Costa Rica’s two year Person of Independent Means visa program, or “Rentista” program, is great for its cheap price, long length of stay, and the fact that it is renewable indefinitely and convertible to a Costa Rican passport after seven years.

Though this visa does require physical paperwork and a visit to an embassy, for those that love Central America and the Caribbean lifestyle, this is a small sacrifice for renewable two-year residency that could become citizenship and a Costa Rican passport.

HOW TO APPLY FOR THE COSTA RICA “RENTISTA” TEMPORARY RESIDENCE VISA

  1. Complete the applicable forms available at www.migracion.go.cr and gather the documents listed in these Instructions for “Rentista” Temporary Residency
  2. Take the documents, fee, and proof income to your local Costa Rican Embassy or consulate and inform them you want to apply for the “Rentista” visa

Normal Costa Rica Visa: 90 Day Visa Exemption

The normal “tourist visa” is a no-fee, no hassle 90 visa exemption that only requires proof of onward travel

Costa Rica 90 Day Visa Exemption Information:

ESTONIA

1 YEAR | €100 FEE | 4/5

Possibly the easiest and least bureaucratic long-stay visa for Europe and the Schengen zone in an increasingly digital nomad friendly country that is a pioneer in leveraging the internet and connectivity in the real world

Though this visa does require visiting an embassy to process if you’re outside of Estonia, the visa is still highly rated (4/5) because of all of the benefits.

Estonia is an extremely digital nomad and remote worker friendly country with robust infrastructure, physically and for internet connectivity. The Nomad Visa application process is straightforward – and many have received the visa. The Nomad Visa is the easiest temporary residency to get within the Schengen zone.

Additionally, Estonia’s location allows you to quickly explore other countries in Europe in a weekend as well as the Scandinavian states and all of Eastern Europe due to its central location. Last, Estonia has one of the lowest costs of living in the EU, making the experience of Europe accessible easily and cheaply. This adds up to the Estonia Nomad Visa being another great option.

Note that the “90 days in a 180 day period” restriction still applies to the other Schengen zone countries.

  • Program: Estonia Nomad Visa
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $2,200 per month
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 32mbps
  • Country Highlights: One of the most “digitally progressive” countries in Europe, low cost of living for EU, high quality of life
  • Price: €100 fee
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: Proof of minimum €3504 monthly income for the last 6 months
  • Additional Info: 1 Month Processing Time
  • Resources:

Normal Estonia Visa: Standard Schengen Zone Visa

Estonia’s normal visa follows the Schengen Zone Standard of 90 days per 180 days shared with all other Schengen zone countries.

Use this Schengen Zone Visa Calculator to see how much time if left on your 90 day visa exemption.

TAIWAN: TAIWAN EMPLOYMENT GOLD CARD

1 TO 3 YEARS | $100 to $310 FEE | 5/5

Taiwan is a highly underrated, cost-efficient destination with a high quality of life while being rich in culture and the kinds of experiences digital nomads leave home for.

Taiwan’s “Employment Gold Card” is essentially an open-ended work permit that allows you to work legally online and offline in Taiwan.

  • Program Name: Taiwan Employment Gold Card
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $2,100
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 20mbps
  • Country Highlight: Densely populated, vibrant, and urban capital, highly regarded cuisine
  • Price: $100 to $310 depending on the validity of the visa (1, 2, or 3 years)
  • Additional Information: Application process takes 30 to 60 day
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: None
  • Resources

Normal Taiwan Visa: Free 90 Day Visa Exemption

Citizens of most countries will receive a 90 day visa exemption on arrival, no fees.

ROC Bureau of Consular Affairs Visa Exemption Information

BELIZE (6 MONTH, 12 MONTH)

6 MONTHS SINGLE ENTRY | $80 USD | 4/5
12 MONTHS MULTIPLE ENTRY | ~$130 USD | 4/5

With English as its national language, Belize is easily navigable and a welcoming and culturally diverse country that mashes up Afro-Caribbean and Latin influences on the Caribbean sea with endless jungles, diving, and ecotourism experiences.

Belize’s 6 month single entry and 12 month multiple entry options offer cheap opportunities for a long stay in a Caribbean paradise. Though these visas pre-exist the “digital nomad visa” trend and are targeting any tourist that wants a long stay in Belize, they are still excellent options for remote workers and nomads that want to setup a temporary base in Belize.

For those that don’t want to endure the embassy visit necessary for the visa, scroll down for the more flexible yet pricier 30 day visa exemption that can be extended in-country for up to 6 months at the price of $100 per extension.

HOW TO APPLY

Fill out the application form and accompanying documents (include a passport size photograph, copy of bank statement, letter of employment (if applicable), and a copy of itinerary) and deliver them to the Belizean Embassy. The visa will be processed in roughly 30 days.

Normal Belize Visa: No visa required for 30 days, extendable up to 6 months

Visitors may stay for 30 days without a visa, and may go to an immigration office and a pay a fee of $100 to extend each month, up to 6 months total. Read on for more information below.

BELIZE (VISA HACK – 30 DAY VISA EXTENDABLE TO 6 MONTHS)

30 DAY VISA, EXTENDABLE INDEFINITELY | $ 100 USD | 3/5

In addition to the 6 month single entry and 12 month multiple entry visa options, Belize offers a free 30 day visa exemption and this “Visitor’s Permit” can be extended every 30 days up to 6 months. Each 30 day extension costs roughly $100. To extend your visa, go to one of the many immigration offices located throughout Belize.

  • Program Name: Belize Visitor’s Permit, Visitor’s Permit Extension
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $2,500 per month (varies from $2,000 to $3,200 by city)
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 12mbps
  • · Country Highlight:
  • Price: ~$100 USD per 30 Day Renewal
  • · Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa:
  • Process: The visa extension can be obtained at immigration offices throughout the country
  • Resources:

VIETNAM

1 YEAR (US CITIZENS) OR 3 MONTHS MULTI ENTRY + 3 MONTH EXTENSION | $135 | 5/5

Vietnam is a low key, unsung hero of the digital nomad scene. With a low cost of living, great quality of life around the big cities – such as Hanoi, Da Nang, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam is one of the most cost efficient and enjoyable long stay options.

For US citizens, the 1 year visa is easily accessible by applying online and allowing your sponsor to take care of the process.

For non-US citizens, a 6 month stay is possible by attaining a 3 month multiple entry visa, and applying for a 3 month extension (information on the process linked below)

(Note: The company linked below is a Vietnamese Visa company I’ve used several times and trust, however, any trustworthy visa sponsor will work)

Outside of great infrastructure and conveniences, Vietnam offers deep culture, fantastic weekend travel experiences (like motorbiking the length of the country), diverse landscapes from vast mountains, to beaches, to sand dunes, and more.

Additionally, the pragmatic and hustle oriented culture of many Vietnamese make it very easy to get things done in Vietnam.

Whether you are a backpacker working part-time, or are grinding full time on your business remotely, Vietnam is a rich, enjoyable, and great quality of life location and delivers a long, easy to access digital nomad friendly visa.

ALBANIA

1 YEAR (FOR US CITIZENS) | FREE | 5/5

Albania is another hidden gem of Europe for backpackers, travelers, digital nomads, and remote workers. Albania shares the same (expensive) coastline and riviera as Greece and Croatia while having its own Alpine mountain range just hours away and a half day trip from the ocean. Though Albania may be a more “adventurous” destination for a working DN’s extended stay, close proximity to Montenegro, Greece, and Croatia make it an excellent option.

Most nationalities do not require a visa and are offered a 90 stay on arrival, while US citizens can stay for up to one year with no problem, no fees, and no visa.

  • Program Name: Albania Visa Exemption
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $1270
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 12mpbs
  • Country Highlights: The Albanian Riviera, the Albania Alps, easy access to Montenegro, Croatia, Greece, and Italy
  • Price: Free
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: None
  • Resources: Albanian Visas and Visa Exemptions Home Page

SEYCHELLES

1 YEAR | €45 FEE | 4/5

If you’re in for an adventurous year of nomading that is based in an island paradise with endless summer, Seychelles may be for you. Though the cost of living is fairly high (compared to other options) and the island is remote, being based in Seychelles puts you a short hop away from a bucket list of adventures in Africa. A ~$400 to $500 flight will get you to Johannesburg, South Africa, Tanzania (and the Serengeti and Kilimanjaro), Madagascar, and countless other locations.

This destination is worth the rating if you have the extra money to spare and want to grind in a tropical paradise for most of the month, then hop a flight and check out a bucket list adventure at the end. Seychelles will put you in close proximity to adventures you won’t be able to do anywhere else in the world.

Between adventures, Seychelles offers an endless summer in the Indian ocean and world class diving and aquatic activities.

  • Program Name: Seychelles Workcation
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $4,700 per month
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 9mpbs
  • Country Highlight: Proximity to the highlight adventures of Africa, beach paradise, endless summer
  • Price: €45
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: None
  • Resources:

Normal Seychelles Visa: No Visa – Seychelles is a visa-free country

As long as you have a return flight, a passport, and in some cases can show proof that you have sufficient funds for your stay (~$150/day) you are allowed to stay on Seychelles as long as you want

Info on Seychelles No Visa Policy

BALI AND INDONESIA

5 MONTHS OR 1 YEAR | ~$500 FEE for 5 Months | 3/5

Bali has long been known as one of the Southeast Asia hubs for digital nomads, strewn throughout Canggu, Ubud, and Uluwatu. Though Indonesia does not have a dedicated digital nomad visa (yet), there are two programs that offer visitors an extended stay – the “Social Visa” and the “Business Visa.”

Normal Visa: B211A Social Visa

The B211A social visa and the B212 Multiple Entry Business visa are listed above. There is no additional DN branding to sell the option.

The B211A visa regulations were changed recently to allow visitors to reapply for a visa while on the island – meaning, that the duration of the visa may end, but you can easily renew on the island to stay indefinitely. To apply for the B211A visa, contact a reputable visa agent.

Normal Visa: B212 Multiple Entry Business visa

The B212 Multiple Entry Business visa is valid for 1 year, and though it does not allow you to work in Indonesia, it allows you to have “discussions about potential business.” This loophole allows you to apply for this year-long visa, even if you don’t have a business and actually don’t intend to conduct business in Indonesia

Note that with both areas, the question as to whether remote workers can legally work while in Indonesia is a grey area, as many digital nomads do live in and work in Indonesia, however, some DN’s have been deported after immigration discovered them remote working during their stay. Bottom Line: If you remote in Indonesia, don’t be vocal about it and you shouldn’t have a problem.

Update: $10,000 minimum bank account balance

The Indonesian government has instituted that all visa applicants present proof that they have maintained a minimum $10,000 account balance for the last 6 months.

MAURITIUS

1 YEAR | FREE | 3/5

An island nation just east of Madagascar (and Africa) in the Indian Ocean with year-round summers, near-endless wild nature, and diving adventures just off the coastline. Similar to Seychelles, Mauritius delivers island life with eternal summer and access to adventures in southeastern Africa, all with a lower cost of living than most places in Africa.

Note that despite the low cost of living and island life, this destination does have slower than normal internet and will likely only appeal to a specific type of traveler – balancing between needing isolation to focus and work between bigger ticket adventures.

  • Program Name: Premium Travel Visa
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $2,000 per month
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 6mpbs
  • Country Highlight: Diving, island life, endless summer, access to adventures in southeastern Africa
  • Price: Free
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: Proof of $1,500 per month per applicant, additional $500 per month for dependents
  • Resources: Mauritius Premium Visa Home
  • Additional Info: Applications are processed within 48 hours

Normal Visa for Mauritius: 60 Day Visa Waiver

A 60-day stay is allowed for most nationalities without a visa. Visas and visa extensions are provided free of charge

Mauritius Visa Waiver Information

CURACAO

6 MONTHS + 6 MONTH EXTENSION | $294 | 3/5

The Dutch territory of Curacao is in the Caribbean sea, just off the coast of Venezuela giving easy access to Central America, the Caribbean, and plenty of diving. Count on daily life in Curacao being quiet and secure with the quality of life to be relatively high.

  • Program Name: @Home in Curaçao
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $2,200
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 15mpbs
  • Country Highlight: Quiet island life in the Caribbean Sea
  • Price: $294
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: Remote employees must show proof of employment, if you are self employed prove you work for a company registered in a foreign company, freelancers must show proof of clients
  • Resources: @Home in Curaçao Homepage
  • Additional Information: ~2 Weeks Processing Time

Normal Curacao Visa: 90 Visa Exemption Per 180 Days

Most countries’ citizens may stay in Curacao for 90 days without a visa and are allowed 180 days in Curacao per calendar year.

Curacao Visa information:

RUSSIA

6 MONTH VISA, VALID FOR 3 YEARS | $294 | 4/5

Russia is an often overlooked digital nomad location, but with its extremely low cost of living, and plenty of culture, locations like Moscow for urbanites, St. Petersburg for those who want a touch of culture, and Sochi, the “Summer Capital of Russia,” are great, cost efficient opportunities for nomads

Russia offers a 3 years visa allowing a 6 month uninterrupted stay with one calendar day between stays at minimum. So, you’ll have to do a border run or hop a flight ($100 to $200) every 6 months.  Another popular border run option is from Sochi to Abkhazia on the black see

MALAYSIA

1 YEAR, 5 YEARS | $720, $2,000 | 4/5

Malaysia’s Tech Entrepreneur program allows a 1 year or 5 year stay in Southeast Asia’s most livable locations delivering arguably the best value (quality of life vs. cost of living) in the world.  A “sponsoring organization” is the only tiny hurdle required, but if new entrepreneurs don’t have a sponsoring company, the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) will vouch for them – making the application process straightforward and simple.

For digital hustlers, Kuala Lumpur’s burgeoning startup and small business is strong and welcoming with coworking spaces, meetups, and digital nomad friendly coffee shops and restaurants through the city.  Outside of work, cheap, luxurious apartments abound, nice enough to compete with Japan (except much roomier for the price) and western countries, and the food scene – an amalgamation of Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, and Middle Eastern – could entertain a foodie indefinitely.

Outside of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia has plenty more to offer – mountains, beaches, popular Miami-esque spots tucked away and popular with retirees and expats, and so much more.

  • Program Name: Malaysia Tech Entrepreneur Program
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $1,250 in Kuala Lumpur, $800 to $1,100 for the rest of the country
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 15mbps
  • Country Highlight: High quality of life, robust infrastructure, extremely livable, low cost of living with lots of urban amenities, amazing food, English is widely spoken, burgeoning startup scene, open to all nationalities
  • Price: ~$720 (3,010 MYR) for 1 year visa, ~$2,000 (7,950 MYR) for 5 year visa (includes all processing fees)
  • Process: Application review takes approximately 4 weeks, visa will be issued within 2 weeks.
  • Resources:

CAMBODIA

1 YEAR | ~$300 | 4/5

Cambodia is another popular destination on Indo-China’s Banana Pancake Trail.  With plenty of culture and adventure, and a low cost of living, Cambodia can make a great extended stay – particularly Phnom Penh – without having to deal with the overpopulation of other DN’s.  Additionally, because of Cambodia’s central location and friendly borders, you’ll have easy access to Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos.

Cambodia offers a 1 year “business visa” (E-class visa, or “EB” visa) which is easily accessible but must be applied for while in the country.  Simply arrive on a visa on arrival (free, valid for 1 month) or apply for a tourist visa online (3 months, $36) and contact one of the many visa agents to assist you with the process.  You will need a “letter of employment” to complete the process, but any visa agent can solve that problem for you at a price of ~$10.  Upon completion, you’ll receive a 1 year work visa and work permit.

  • Program Name: Cambodia’s “E-Class” Business Visa (EB)
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $1,050 per month
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 8mbps
  • Country Highlight: Low cost of living, plenty of adventure, easy access to 2 of the most popular Southeast Asian countries
  • Price: $36 for 3 Month E-Visa (Tourist), ~$300 for 1 year business visa (processed in Cambodia)
  • Process: Arrive on a visa exemption and contact a visa agent to process the work visa application for you
  • Resources:

PHILIPPINES

6 MONTHS, EXTENDABLE TO 36 MONTHS | 13,900 PHP (~$275) | 4/5

The Philippines, a nation of 7,640 islands, is a spectacular water world with some of the most beautiful waterways and beaches in the world.  For divers and lovers of the ocean, it is hard to get better than this.  For nomads that want to get away from the world (think hut on a beautiful beach with a nearby wifi connection), the Philippines are hard to beat, with many of the islands being uninhabited and a short boat ride away.

For nomads that need a balance, Siargao and area of Palawan are emerging as great options while Bohol, Negros, and Luzon islands are filled with plenty of great places to set up shop.  You’ll get the island life, without being overrun by other nomads.

  • Program Name: Long Stay Visitor Visa Extension (LSVVE)
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $1,350 per month in most of the country, $1,750 in Manila and Siargao
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 8mbps
  • Country Highlight: Vibrant Filipino culture and friendly locals, a nation of islands filled with beaches, diving opportunities, and surfing opportunities.
  • Price: Php 13,900 (~$275) for visa-required nationals and Php 11,500 ($225) for non-visa required nationals
  • Process: The extension can applied for during the last thirty (30) days of the previously issued LSVVE, or upon the expiry of a regular visa extension by visiting the Bureau of Immigration (BI) Main Office in Intramuros, Manila and applying.
  • Resources:
  • More Resources:

ARMENIA

6 MONTHS | FREE | 4/5

Sandwiched between Russia, Turkey, Georgia, and Iran, Armenia is a culturally diverse mixing pot that has been exchanging influences since it was the strongest city in the eastern portion of the Roman empire.  Low crime rates, welcoming and tight nit community, complex and delicious cuisine, and plenty to see and do by day and night in the capital of Yerevan a great option

KENYA

1 YEAR OR 3 MONTHS + 3 MONTH EXTENSION | $101, $51 | 4/5

From witnessing the “great migration,” to hopping one country over to climb Kilimanjaro, Kenya is filled with off the beaten path adventure that few other DN destinations can compete with.  Back in Nairobi, great infrastructure and hustle filled scene with coworking spaces and all of the amenities you would want from a digital nomad city.

ECUADOR

2 YEARS | $450 | 5/5

Ecuador is one of the most accessible long term visas, with one of the longest visa periods (2 years) and allows for permanent residency after 2 years.

The visa categories of Rentista, Pensioner, and Professional are all extremely accessible and allow the recipient to live and work in Ecuador for 2 years.  After the 2 years, recipients can apply for permanent residency. 

The Rentista Visa has the sole requirement of being able to prove an income of $400 per month.

The Professional Visa requires proving $400 per month in income and a bachelors degree

  • Program Name: Rentista Visa, Professional Visa, Pensioner Visa
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $1000 per month in Quito, $1,400 in Galapagos, $2,100 in Cuenca
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 10mbps+
  • Country Highlight: Plentiful outdoor adventure in one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, low cost of living, cordial and welcoming locals
  • Price: $50 non refundable application fee, $400 visa fee paid on approval
  • Process: For all visas, send certified documents required for specific visas (official transcripts, proof of income sources, criminal background check) and the $50 application fee.  Upon approval, pay th3 $400 visa fee to receive your visa.
  • Resources:

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BEST SHORT TERM AND “WORKAROUND” VISA OPTIONS FOR DIGITAL NOMADS

Not all visas need to be formally declared “for digital nomads” to be effective. Depending on the country’s border and relationship with the surrounding countries, a good visa need not even be more than 90 days. Many countries with easy, free 90 day visa exemptions, no restrictions on how often you can visit in a year, and an easy country/border nearby to do a visa run make great nomad bases. The “visa hacks” in this section leverage this fact. Any of these country’s have a 90 day visa and a nearby country you can visit for a day, or an afternoon, to then get a new stamp on your way back and another 90 days in your temporary home.

The visa “workarounds” on this section of our digital nomad visa list are great because they are all free, can be processed on arrival, and the visa runs can be done in a day trip for less than $20, or extended over a weekend to explore a beautiful country and “balance” the DN lifestyle.

From my own experience, if well researched, these “visa hacks” are some of the most common, cheapest, and practical, practiced by all digital nomads before the recent “digital nomad visa” trend.

These options may not strictly meet our 6 month minimum, but with the workaround, they give us 6 months of free and easy stay with pleasurable adventures in between that can be “extended” indefinitely

SHORT TERM VISAS FOR DN’S

Though 6 months is the sweet spot for staying in a single location as a nomad, the world isn’t perfect and that single guideline is no reason to throw out a destination. Our “short term digital nomad visas” for Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) and Thailand (Chiang Mai and the islands) made the list because they are such potent destinations for nomads, delivering a very high quality of life for cheaper than you’ll find anywhere else in the world. Additionally, these locations have great infrastructure and few distractions (compared to Bali and Playa del Carmen) making them perfect for focused, productive work sprints.

1. The Balkans (90 Day Visa Exemptions + Short “Visa Runs” to surrounding countries)

2. Argentina + Uruguay + Chile (90 Day Visa Exemptions + Short “Visa Runs”)

3. Malaysia: Easy 90 Day Visa Exemption, highly underrated and high quality of living

4. Thailand: 2 Month Tourist visa + 1 month extension at immigration office

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BALKANS VISA HACK: 3 MONTH STAY PER BALKAN COUNTRY + BORDER RUNS (4/5)

The Balkans deliver most everything travelers want from a European stay, without the price tag and without the hassle of Schengen zone visa issues. Whether you’re in search of Mediterranean beaches, wine, medieval architecture and castles, alps, history, or culture, the Balkan countries have it in spades. This all comes with a visa situation that could allow you to stay indefinitely using free visa exemptions that last from 90 days to 1 year.

The Balkan countries are tightly packed, easily accessible, and have virtually no visa restrictions, unlike the Schengen “90 days in a 180 day period” restriction. As such, digital nomads can set up a base and do “visa runs” cheaply to a nearby country (~$20 for a longhaul bus) or change countries each 90 days

(Learn more in our Balkans Travel Guide and 3 week itinerary)

BALKANS COUNTRIES AND VISA GUIDELINES

Croatia

Croatia has been a highlight destination of Europe over the past few years, dominating the Dalmatian coast, just across the water from Italy. Amazing, medieval old town centers, heavy influence from the Venetian empire, great food and wine, and countless beaches make Croatia a solid base for nomads. Easy and cheap flights to Italy and elsewhere in Southern Europe, or visiting by road trip, make Croatia a potent opportunity for travelers.

No visa is required for tourists visiting Croatia for less than 90 days – Croatia is not part of the Schengen zone (Croatia Visa Exemption Information)

  • Avg Cost of Living: $1,400 to $2,600 in most places, $3,150 in Split
  • Avg Avg. Internet Speed: 19mpbs

Bosnia & Herzegovina

A very unique country and experience with rich culture, rich history and heavy influence from the Ottoman Empire.

Most nationalities can stay for 90 days free without a visa but need to have at least 6 months validity on their passport on arrival (Bosnia Visa Exemption Information)

  • Avg Cost of Living: $1,375 per month
  • Avg Avg. Internet Speed: 14mpbs

Serbia

Uniquely Slavic and genuinely welcoming, Serbia (mainly Belgrade and Novi Sad) balance fairly cheap cost of living, good quality of life for the money, and never ending nightlife.

Serbia is not part of the Schengen zone and offers a free 90-day visa for most visitors (Serbia Visa Exemption Information)

  • Avg Cost of Living: $1,580
  • Avg Avg. Internet Speed: 34mpbs

Montenegro

The southernmost fjords in Europe with green mountains towering out of the water between the waterways make Montenegro one of the most beautiful places in Europe. The beauty and experience of Croatia with smaller crowds and a mountain backdrop

Montenegro is not part of the Schengen zone, and a free 90-day visa is offered on arrival for each 180 day period (Montenegro Visa Exemption Information)

  • Avg Cost of Living: $1,575 to $2,300
  • Avg Avg. Internet Speed: 22mbps

Albania

One of the most “adventurous” destinations in Europe, as it only opened its borders to the world decades ago, but is cheap by European standards and is filled with amazing beaches and beautiful alpine mountains

Albania offers 90 days free with no visa required for citizens of EU countries and 59 other countries, including the US, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom

Albanian Visa Home Page and Information Sheet

  • Avg Cost of Living: $2,000 to $3,200 per month
  • Avg Avg. Internet Speed: 20mbps

Bulgaria

Quiet and peaceful to the point of almost being introverted, Bulgaria is a relaxing gem in the Balkans. A robust locavore foodie scene in quiet Sofia is hard to get enough of, and Bansko makes the perfect budget mountain in the winter for skiing and snowboarding

You can travel to Bulgaria for up to 90 days every 180 days. Visits to Bulgaria do not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit in the Schengen area. Bulgaria is an EU country but is not in the Schengen zone (Bulgaria Visa Information)

  • Visas are not required for tourist or business trips of less than 90 days within a six-month period.
  • Avg Cost of Living: $1,450 per month
  • Avg Avg. Internet Speed: 30mbps

Kosovo

For most nationalities, no visa is necessary for up to 90 days

  • Avg Cost of Living: $1,775 per month
  • Avg Avg. Internet Speed: 11mbps

Slovenia

Previously voted greenest city in Europe, Slovenia is one of the quietest yet prettiest countries in the region. Slovenia is an EU country and, unfortunately, follows the Schengen zone visa protocols offering 90 days per 180 day period shared with all Schengen countries

  • Avg Cost of Living: $2,300 per month
  • Avg Avg. Internet Speed: 57mbps

ARGENTINA + URUGUAY VISA HACK FOR 6 MONTHS INDEFINITELY: DIY DN VISA OPTION OF 90 DAYS + 90 DAYS (4/5)

Buenos Aires, Argentina’s close proximity to Colonia and Montevideo, Uruguay make the perfect visa hack – living in Buenos Aires and making “border runs” to Uruguay every 90 days for as long or as short as you want.

Or vice versa, living in Montevideo as to not overdose on the notoriously “confident” vibe of Portenos in Buenos Aires.

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ARGENTINA

90 DAYS | FREE (VISA EXEMPTION) | 4/5

Buenos Aires and Argentina as a whole deliver a fantastic cultural experience and quality of life. Buenos Aires, known as the Paris of South America, has a feel akin to Barcelona mixed with Italy and finished with just a touch of gritty, Latin American flair, to make a city matched possibly only by Medellin in South America.

Beyond the urban capital, wine country (Mendoza) and the wilds (Patagonia, the Lake Districts) make Argentina a place that is easy to run away to.

The Argentine visa exemption is valid for 90 days. Pair this visa exemption with a single day visa run to Uruguay ($6 ferry) and Chile indefinitely to make long term stays a possible option, returning the same day with a new stamp and 90 more days.

  • Program Name: Argentina 90 Day Visa Exemption (+ visa runs to Uruguay or Chile)
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $750 per month in Buenos Aires, $1,000+ in Patagonia
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 20mbps in Buenos Aires, 15mps elsewhere
  • Country Highlights: Europe meets South America vibes, wine, steak, Patagonia
  • Price: Free
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: None, just do a visa run every 90 days
  • Resources

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For reference, hopping a ferry then bus to Montevideo, Uruguay for a visa run is ~$6. Visiting Uruguay offers a good chance to withdraw USD from ATM’s to balance out your place in the financial situation back in Argentina.

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URUGUAY

90 DAYS | FREE (VISA EXEMPTION FOR BUSINESS AND TOURIST TRAVEL) | 4/5

Notes: For reference, hopping a ferry+bus to Montevideo, Uruguay for a visa run is ~$6 and is a good chance to withdraw USD from ATM’s to balance out your financial situation back in Argentina.

MALAYSIA (4/5)

90 DAYS | FREE (VISA EXEMPTION) | 4/5

Malaysia is possibly the most underrated digital nomad destinations with a extremely high quality of living (beat out only by Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, in my opinion) at a cost just as low as neighboring Thailand and cheaper than Bali. Think of Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur as a cheaper but just as good version of Singapore.

All of the western standard amenities, living, and reliability at Southeast Asian prices – metro rail, cheap ridesharing (Grab), movie theaters, malls and grocery stores stocked with everything you need, and everything else make Kuala Lumpur an easy place to base. A plethora of digital nomad friendly coffee shops and coworking spaces round things out.

Beyond DN life, you’ll find a world class food, hiking, outdoor adventures, and even a seasonal surf spot, all accessible by some great quality infrastructure (on par with Singapore).

DN’s that would love to nomad in Singapore without the cost of living can easily base in Johor, Malaysia and make an adventurous hour-long commute by bus and rail into downtown Singapore to experience the life without the costs

In normal travel times, quick visa runs to Thailand, and Singapore are possible for a $75 flight and a free visa on arrival exemption.

  • Program Name: 90 Day Visa Exemption
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $1,250 in Kuala Lumpur, $800 to $1,100 for the rest of the country
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 15mbps
  • Country Highlight: High quality of life, robust infrastructure, extremely livable
  • Price: Free
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: None
  • Resource: Malaysian Immigration – Visa Information

THAILAND

2 MONTHS + 1 MONTH EXTENSION | 1,900 Baht Fee (~$60) | 4/5

Despite the fact that this visa hack only gives 90 days, for digital nomads that are in “work sprints” and need to focus without distractions, Thailand is still perfect – even with a short stay. Chiang Mai’s districts are notoriously livable and accessible with western standard malls and amenities around at a very affordable price. Additionally, much of the infrastructure around and many of the businesses are open to and cater to digital nomads that are in 100% work mode, eliminating much of the “friction” in daily life so you can stay in hustle mode.

A few of the Thai islands, along with areas in the south, like Krabi, are becoming more accommodating as well with DN friendly coffee shops, coworking spaces, faster internet, and shared living tailored to long stays.

Processing the Visa

Thailand’s normal tourist visa is only valid for 60 days. However, you can go to the immigration office and apply for a 1 month extension – giving a total of a 3 month period on a single visa stay.

  • Program Name: Thailand Tourist Visa + 30 day extension
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $1,000 in Chiang Mai and North, $1,300+ in Bangkok, South, and islands
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 28mbps in major hubs, 17mbps in outskirts and islands
  • Country Highlight: Great infrastructure that matters to DNs, DN friendly businesses, ample workspaces and coworking spaces, and plenty of places for weekend vacations in the Thai islands
  • Price: $60 fee
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: None
  • Resources
  • Other Great Resoruces

COSTLY DIGITAL NOMAD VISAS

Great infrastructure and a long stay aren’t the only visa assessment factors to consider for most nomads.

The general costs and financial requirements are important too – especially for nomads that are still building their hustle. However, there are plenty of 6 figure earners in the digital nomad kingdom, and these visas maybe for them

This category visas either have a high minimum proof of net worth, a high proof of minimum salary, or a higher than average visa fee.

VISAS IN THIS SECTION

24. Dubai (UAE): 1 Year | $287 Fee | 3/5

25. Iceland: 6 Months | ~$120 Fee | 2/5

26. Montserrat: 1 Year | $500 Fee | 2/5

27. Anguilla: 1 Year | $2,000 Per Individual, $3,000 Per Family Fee | 3/5

28. Antigua And Barbuda: 2 Years | $1,500 For Individuals, $2,000 For Couples, $3,000 For A Family | 3/5

29. The Bahamas: 1 Year | $1,000 + $500 Per Dependent | 3/5

30. Barbados: 1 Year | $2,000 For Individuals, $3,000 For Families | 3/5

31. Cayman Islands: 2 Years | $1,469, +$500 Per Dependent | 2/5

32. Dominica: 1.5 Years | $900 Individual Fee Or $1300 Family | 3/5

33. Bermuda: 1 Year | $263 Fee | 3/5

34. Cabo Verde: 6 Months + Renewable For 6 Months | €54 Fee | 4/5

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DUBAI (UAE)

1 YEAR | $287 | 3/5

For remote workers and travelers dying to experience the Middle East, Dubai’s Work Remotely from Dubai gives a great opportunity to be based in Dubai for a year and explore around.

Within Dubai, count on an EXTREMELY high quality of life. Additionally, count on spending MUCH MORE than the average cost of living if you fully indulge.

Dubai is arguably the digital nomad hub and startup hub of the Middle East, so count on the opportunity to make connections and build community as well

Normal Dubai Visa

Dubai offers a free visa on arrival for 30 days for most countries and 90 days for a select few. Check which visa you qualify for here 🡪 (Dubai Visa on Arrival Information)

ICELAND

6 MONTHS | ~$120 FEE | 2/5

Ask anyone who’s visited Iceland for more than a few months their thoughts and you’ll hear only amazing things. This land of Viking descendants is otherworldly, and a 6 month visa will allow you to explore deeply while still getting your work done.

The downsides of this adventure are a high minimum income requirement for visa applicants, followed by a general high cost of living on a fairly remote island.

Normal Iceland Visa: 90 Days in 180 Days Schengen Visa Exemption

Iceland’s normal visa follows the Schengen Zone Standard of 90 days per 180 days shared with all other Schengen zone countries.

Use this Schengen Zone Visa Calculator to see how much time if left on your 90 day visa exemption

MONTSERRAT

1 YEAR | $500 | 2/5

Located just south of Puerto Rico, Montserrat is a popular Caribbean island destination and British Overseas territory. If you’re after quiet, solitude, and island life within the Caribbean, Monsterrat fits the bill.

For digital nomads that haven’t fully made it yet, the $70,000 annual income minimum may be a turnoff

  • Program Name: Montserrat’s “The Stamp”
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $2,000 per month (estimated by Expatistan.com)
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 19mpbs
  • Country Highlight: Beaches, island life, quiet
  • Price: $500
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: Minimum $70,000 income per year
  • Additional Information: 7 Days processing time
  • Resources: Official Homepage for Monserrat’s “The Stamp”

Normal Monserat Visa Options

Option #1 Visa Exemption (6 month stay)

Option #2 E-Visa (valid for 1 year stay)

$50 fee paid online and valid for 1 year with multiple entries

ANGUILLA

1 YEAR | $2,000 PER INDIVIDUAL, $3,000 PER FAMILY FEE | 3/5

A small Caribbean island and British territory a few miles from Saint Martin delivering quiet, solitude, and sandy beaches

Normal Anguilla Visa

Anguilla is a British territory and offers a free 90 day visa exemption to citizens of the US, Canada, Caribbean countries, and many EU countries.

  • Single Entry Visa US$140.00 – valid for 90 days
  • Multiple Entry Visa US$250.00 – valid for 1 year and multiple stays up to 90 days each
  • Apply for a visa through Anguilla’s eVisa Portal (here)

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

2 YEARS | $1,500 for individuals, $2,000 for couples, $3,000 for a family | 3/5

A pair of Caribbean islands near Puerto Rico with one delivering high end resorts and thriving on tourism while the other offers pristine beaches (a claimed 365 in total) giving a perfect balance of the modern day Caribbean tourism experience.

However, digital nomads considering this island nation may be turned off by the high cost of living, relatively high visa fee, and the income minimum

  • Program Name: Nomad Digital Residence
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $4,332
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 7mbps
  • Country Highlight: Beaches, Caribbean tourist life
  • Price: $1,500 for individuals, $2,000 for couples, $3,000 for a family
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: Application form, proof of expected income of $50,000 minimum
  • Resources: Antigua and Barbuda’s Nomad Digital Residence Homepage

Normal Antigua and Barbuda Visa

No visa required for a 90 day stay, the only requirements are a passport and proof of onward travel

THE BAHAMAS

1 YEAR | $1,000 + $500 PER DEPENDENT | 3/5

The Bahamas consists of 16 tax free islands just a short flight from Miami, allowing you to experience beachy, Caribbean paradise while being close to the “real world” and a $250 flight from many major US airport hubs.

  • Program Name: The Bahama Extended Access Travel Stay program (BEATS Program)
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $4,350
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 8mpbs
  • Country Highlight: Experiencing the Caribbean life, close to the real world
  • Price: $1,000 per individual + $500 per dependent
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: Application + medical insurance proof + proof of employment – Fee: $1,000 USD per individual + $500 per dependent + $25 per application
  • Resources: Official Bahama BEATS Program Website

Normal Bahamas Visa: Bahamas Visa Waiver Information

Most nationalities can enter the Bahamas without a visa for up to 8 months:

BARBADOS

1 YEAR | $2,000 FOR INDIVIDUALS, $3,000 FOR FAMILIES | 3/5

A quintessential Caribbean Island off the coast of Venezuela deliver ample amounts of quiet and beaches.

  • Program Name: Barbados Welcome Stamp
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $3,950
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 26mpbs
  • Country Highlight: Beaches, Caribbean life
  • Price: $2,000 FOR INDIVIDUALS, $3,000 FOR FAMILIES
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: None
  • Additional Information: Applications are approved within 7 days
  • Resources: Barbados Welcome Stamp program home

Normal Barbados Visa

No visa is required for stays up to 6 months in Barbados for most countries. Visit Barbados’ visa requirements page and check for individual countries at the bottom of the page

Barbados Visa Info (check the country drop down at bottom of page)

CAYMAN ISLANDS

2 YEARS | $1,469, +$500 PER DEPENDENT | 2/5

A group of Caribbean islands 90 miles off the coast of Cuba and most famous as a port stop for cruise ships. On the island, the highlights are diving and enjoying the white sands beaches.

Normal Cayman Islands Visa

No visa is required for citizens of the US, Canada, and most of Europe for a stay up to six months and are only required to show a valid passport and proof of onward travel

Resources

DOMINICA

1.5 YEARS | $900 individual fee or $1300 family | 3/5

Dominica is commonly referred to as “The Natura Island of the Caribbean” leading to the name of this 18 month long visa – Dominica’s Work in Nature Program.

Normal Dominica Visa

No visa is required for a 180 day period for many countries and 90 days with no visa required for most other countries.

Dominica Visa Information

BERMUDA

1 YEAR | $263 FEE | 3/5

This British Overseas Territory offers a 1 year stay to live the island life in the middle of the Atlantic.

  • Program Name: Work from Bermuda Certificate
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $6,500 per month
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 21mbps
  • Price: $263
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: Health insurance + proof employment + criminal history check + proof of income for past year
  • Resources:

Normal Bermuda Visa: 180 Days, no visa necessary, no fee

Bermuda does not require visas for tourists. On August 1, 2020, the Bermuda government extended the maximum length of stay without a visa to 180 Days

Resources

CAPE VERDE

6 MONTHS + RENEWABLE FOR 6 MONTHS | €54 FEE | 4/5

A former Portuguese colony and island nation just off the coast of western Africa that delivers summer all year round with some islands getting no rain. Islands to explore, hiking and diving, abound with a higher quality of life than most of the rest of Africa.

  • Program Name: Remote Working Cabo Verde
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $5,575
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 11mpbs
  • Country Highlight: Diving, hiking, endless summer, and access to western Africa
  • Price: €54
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: Must show bank account balance of €1,500 for the last 6 months €2,700 for families
  • Resources: Remote Working Cabo Verde Home

HOW TO APPLY

Online application and approval. After approval and on arrival in Cabo Verde, you will then submit the required documents (Passport copies, proof of income, proof of accommodation, etc.)

Normal Cabo Verde Visa: 30 Day Visa Exemption, 90 Day Single Entry Visa extendable to 180 Day

The 30 day visa exemption applies to most nationalities, with the 90 Day single Entry Visa costing $35, and extendable to 180 days total.

For more information visit the Cape Verde Embassy Home

“CUMBERSOME” DIGITAL NOMAD VISAS

Most digital nomads joined the lifestyle for “freedom” – time independence, locational independence, and financial independence.

Few things can rain on that parade, like having a costly visa process that traps you in months of bureaucracy just for the privilege of visiting a place, or strict criteria to meet before entry.

Though there may come points as a digital nomad where staying in a single place for a year that isn’t your home country is worth the headache, time, and money sacrifice – most DNs will have a much better experience with the easy and cheap 6 month visas (listed above).

If you’ve reached a point where you are either interested in a high net worth visa, a high skill visa or you’re willing to go through the process for a multi-year visa in an EU country, these are the visas for you.

Many other countries are open to freelancers, long stayers, and digital nomads, however their process for getting accepted is a bit more difficult than the visas and countries listed above.

These digital nomad visas, categorized as “cumbersome” for one of the following reasons:

  • Have a very lengthy, cumbersome, or complicated “analog” application process, requiring embassy visits and interviews
  • Require having a signed rental lease and residence documents before the visa application process
  • Have a high visa application fee.
  • Target high skill and professional within the STEM sector
  • Target startups with an tech-based idea that are aiming to scale

However, countries like Portugal, Germany, Spain, and Japan deliver a quality of life that make them worth the hassle, and countries like Mexico present the opportunity for permanent residency. If you’ve been dreaming of nomading around the EU or Japan long without restrictions, these “cumbersome” yet worthwhile visas may be perfect for you

Read on to see if one of these “higher effort” visas are what you need right now.

VISAS IN THIS SECTION

29. Mexico: 1 Year, Renewable For 1 To 3 Years | ~$300 Fee | 3/5

30. Portugal: 1 Year + Renewable 2x 2 Years | ~$110 Fee | 2/5

31. Norway: 2 Year | €600 Fee | 3/5

32. Germany: 3 Months + Extendable To 3 Years | €60 Fee | 1/5

33. Czech Republic: 1 Year | ~$160 Fees Fee | 1/5

34. Malta: 1 Year | €300 Fee | 2/5

35. Spain: Non-Lucrative Residence Visa: 1 Year | $140 Fee | 1/5

36. Italy: 2 Years | ~$70 Fee | 1/5

37. Thailand (4 Year Smart Visa): 4 Years | Fees Vary |2/5

38. Japan (Startup Visa): 1 Years | Fees Vary | 2/5

MEXICO

1 YEAR, RENEWABLE FOR 1 to 3 YEARS | ~$300 | 3/5

In the past two years, Mexico has become one of the most popular destinations for digital nomads thanks to a large country with plenty of pockets of digital nomad communities, good cost of living, a long coastline, and amazing culture and food. Tulum, Mexico City, Puerto Escondido, Playa del Carmen, Oaxaca, and La Paz being the most common destinations with countless smaller secret destinations that are just as good, and all are worth the effort it takes to get this relatively cheap and very flexible visa.

Mexico’s Temporary Resident Visa allows a stay between 1 and 3 years (you choose the length) with the longest stay costing ~$300 and the visa being renewable. The visa is multiple entry and there is no restriction on how long you must be in Mexico during that period. After 4 years of continuously holding the visa, and meeting a few criteria, you become eligible for 5 year permanent residency that is renewable indefinitely.

  • Program Name: Temporary Resident Visa
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $1100 to $1500 per month in most of Mexico, $1800 in Puerto Vallarta, and $2,300 in Tulum
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 20mpbs in major cities, 12mpbs in smaller cities
  • Country Highlight: Food, culture, coastline, a robust art scene, and a growing/thriving digital nomad community
  • Price: ~$300 for a 3 year visa
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: Prove an average of ~$2,200 over the past 12 months
  • Resources:

Normal Mexico Tourist Visa

Most visitors do not require a visa for a stay up to 180 days

Mexican Consulate – Tourist Visa Waiver Information

PORTUGAL

1 YEAR + RENEWABLE 2x 2 YEARS | ~$110 | 2/5

Portugal is arguably one of the best locations for digital nomads in Europe, with the Madeira Nomad Village leading the pack. However, most non European DN’s stays in Portugal are restricted by the fact that Portugal is a Schengen zone country, only offering 90 days stay out of every 180, and that stay is shared with other countries.

Unfortunately the Portugal Residence Permit for self employed workers doesn’t help much. Though the visa is cheap, at ~$110, and the stay period is perfect, DNs reported too many layers of bureaucracy in the application process, with fewer DNs successful attaining the residence permit

However, Portugal is still a remarkable destination for nomads and shouldn’t be missed, just plan on a shorter stay

Normal Portuguese Visa: Schengen Zone visa restrictions

Portugal’s normal visa follows the Schengen Zone Standard of 90 days per 180 days shared with all other Schengen zone countries.

Use this Schengen Zone Visa Calculator to see how much time if left on your 90 day visa exemption

NORWAY

2 YEAR | €600 | 3/5

Norway is a fantastic country to travel to and live in with boundless nature in a style that you can see few other places, and amazingly welcoming locals. Norway’s Independent Contactor Visa gives you the opportunity to work in and experience the nature, culture, and people for 2 years.

The price tag for a 2 year visa is incredibly low at €600, however many digital nomads will be turned off by the lengthy application process, the Embassy visit and interview, and a cost of living that is one of the highest in the world. However, if you have the patience and extra money to get through these steps, Norway, Scandinavia, and exploring the surrounding countries over 2 years will be a one of a kind experience.

  • Program Name: Norway Independent Contractor Visa
  • Average Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $4400
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 43mpbs+
  • Country Highlight: Nature, experiencing Scandinavia
  • Price: €600
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: Proof of minimum €35,719 annual income and submitting online checklist documents in person at a Norwegian Embassy.
  • Resources: Norway Independent Contract Visa checklist

Normal Norway Visa: Follows Schengen Zone visa restrictions

Norway’s normal visa follows the Schengen Zone Standard of 90 days per 180 days shared with all other Schengen zone countries. You can find more information at https://www.norway.no/en/

Or use this Schengen Zone Visa Calculator to see how much time if left on your 90 day visa exemption

GERMANY

3 MONTHS + EXTENDABLE TO 3 YEARS | €60 | 1/5

The “Freiberufler” visa, known to non-Germans as the “freelancer visa” appears to be a dream opportunity to live and work in Germany – on the surface. In reality, the process of receiving the visa involves signing apartment leases, registering with the police, and proving your income in business in a way that involves multiple in person visits in Germany and committing your money and resources before receiving the visa.

As fantastic as Germany is to live and work in, the Freiberufler is only suitable to very committed DNs, DN’s with friends or family in Germany already (to offer assistance), or DNs that are already spending time in Germany and can handle the process during their stay.

  • Program Name: German Freelance “Freiberufler” Visa
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $4,000 per month in main cities (Hamburg, Berlin, Munich), $2,500 to $3,500 in other major cities
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 43+mpbs
  • Country Highlights: Standard European amenities, high quality of life relative to cost, German beer flowing like water
  • Price: €60
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: Extended application process requiring visits to Germany and establishing a life in Germany before receiving the visa
  • Additional Information: Processing takes up to 4 months
  • Resource: German Freelancer Information in English

HOW TO APPLY

1. Application must be submitted in person at German Consulate with freelance portfolio

2. Must find German residence (rented address) and register with Residence Registration Office before application

3. Notes: The Freelance residence permit is designed for freelancers in the following fields: Healthcare, Law, Tax and business counselling, Scientific/technical, Linguistic and information-transmitting. The residence permit is generally designed for “analog” freelancers performing offline trades, but is extendable to digital nomads and will allow you to work within Germany for German clients. Beware that as this is a less a visa and more of a residence permit there are a lot of steps, bureaucracy, and time involved in getting the permit

Normal German Visa: Follows Schengen zone restrictions

Germany’s normal visa follows the Schengen Zone Standard of 90 days per 180 days shared with all other Schengen zone countries.

Use this Schengen Zone Visa Calculator to see how much time if left on your 90 day visa exemption

CZECH REPUBLIC

1 YEAR | ~$160 FEES | 1/5

The “Zivno” visa was previously an easy way to visit and stay in the Czech Republic, often used by English teachers. However, that time has passed and “Zivno” visas are rarely awarded these days.

The application process includes interviews, and in-person application process, and the requirement that you gain a trade license from this list of trades and practice that trade in the Czech Republic

  • Program Name: Zivno Freelancer Visa
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $2,300 in Prague, $1,700 to $3,300 per month elsewhere
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 30mpbs
  • Country Highlight:
  • Price: ~$160
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: Minimum ~$5,800 income and must gain a trade license from one the jobs on this list () and practice the trade
  • Resources

MALTA

1 YEAR | €300 | 2/5

A tiny island archipelago tucked between Italy and Tunisia putting you strategically between Europe and Africa. Work and focus in an Island paradise, then weekend adventure to Morocco, Egypt, and Tunisia, or head up to Italy, France, Spain, and the Balkans. From Malta, fly to Catania Italy for $20 on the weekends, Barcelona for $40, or Tunisia and Morocco for $75

An additional upside of Malta is the country’s status as an EU/Schengen zone country, allowing you free travel through the EU with your Nomad residence permit.

Normal Malta Visa: Schengen Zone Visa Restrictions

Malta is a Schengen zone country and Malta’s normal visa follows the Schengen Zone Standard of 90 days per 180 days shared with all other Schengen zone countries.

Use this Schengen Zone Visa Calculator to see how much time if left on your 90 day visa exemption

SPAIN: NON-LUCRATIVE RESIDENCE VISA

1 YEAR | $140 | 1/5

Though Spain would be a dream location for many nomads, Spain’s non-lucrative startup visa is closer to being just that. Applicants reported heavy bureaucracy in the process with few applicants getting through, underpinned by the stipulation that Non-Lucrative Visa Residents are technically not allowed to work in Spain at all…even remotely

Normal Spanish Visa: Follows Schengen zone restrictions

Spain’s normal visa follows the Schengen Zone Standard of 90 days per 180 days shared with all other Schengen zone countries.

Use this Schengen Zone Visa Calculator to see how much time if left on your 90 day visa exemption

ITALY

2 Years | ~$70 | 1/5

Italy’s 2 year self employment visa is another dream that is less likely to be realized than the others on the list due to several, typical Italian regulations. First, you can only apply during a specific time of year when a decree is released “Decreto Flussi”. Second, a quota is set on the number of self employment visas annually (limited to 2,500 in 2019). Last, the Italian self employment visa process is reputedly bureaucratic and slow with no estimated completion timeline.

Bottom Line: The Italian Self Employment Visa is an option that you can shoot for if working in Europe as DN is your dream, but for most it won’t be worth the hassle.

  • Program Name: Italian Self Employment Visa
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $2,200 to $4,200 depending on city. Many cities are doable for $2,500. Most cities are ~$3,500. Expensive cities average $4,200 per month (Rome, Amalfi, Milan)
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 20mbps
  • Country Highlight: Food, culture, history, art, the southern European experience
  • Price: ~$70
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: Italian bureaucracy, limited number of visas issued annually
  • Resources: Official Italian Self Employment Visa homepage

Normal Italian Visa: Follows Schengen zone restrictions

Italy’s normal visa follows the Schengen Zone Standard of 90 days per 180 days shared with all other Schengen zone countries.

Use this Schengen Zone Visa Calculator to see how much time if left on your 90 day visa exemption

THAILAND (4 YEAR SMART VISA)

4 YEARS | VARIES |2/5

The Italian SMART visa is great, in that it allows a 4 year multiple entry stay in Thailand for qualified applicants, but is very restrictive as it is aimed at high skill personnel in specific areas – Talent, Executives, Investors, and Startups – an attempt to bolster the Thai economy.

  • Program Name: Thai SMART Visa
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $1,000 in Chiang Mai and North, $1,300+ in Bangkok, South, and islands
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 28mbps in major hubs, 17mbps in outskirts and islands
  • Country Highlight: Great infrastructure that matters to DNs, DN friendly businesses, ample workspaces and coworking spaces, and plenty of places for weekend vacations in the Thai islands
  • Price: Varies
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: Employment contract with a firm for at least 6 months, proof of qualifications
  • Resources

Normal Tourist Visa Exemption for Thailand: 30 Day Visa Exemption

  • Most nationalities will receive a 30 day visa exemption on arrival
  • http://www.thai-consulate.org.hk/internet/attachments/712.pdf

Normal Tourist Visa for Thailand: 60 Day Non-Immigrant Visa

• Visitor must apply in person for the 60 day tourist visa. However, the 60 day non-immigrant visa is extendable for an additional 30 days at the immigration offices inside Thailand (read more here)

JAPAN (STARTUP VISA)

1 YEARS | FEES VARY | 2/5

The Japan startup visa allows you to stay in Japan for up to 1 year establishing a startup. Though the process is lengthy, and you need to have a legitimate business idea to be successful in the application process, the visa gives you a full year in one of the best locations in Asia.

Hokkaido, Kyoto, Osaka City, Kobe City, Fukuoka City, Oita Prefecture, Mie Prefecture, Aichi Prefecture, Yokohama City, Shibuya City, Ibaraki City, Sendai City, and Gifu Prefecture are all running startup programs and processing applications independently, so you’ll need to apply directly for your chosen city, which will be your home base for the length of your visa.

  • Program Name: Japanese Startup Visa
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $2,300 to $2,800 for most places, ~$3,800 for expensive locations (Tokyo, Okinawa)
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 26mpbs
  • Country Highlight: High quality of life, amazing food, unique cultural
  • Price: Fees Vary
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: You may have a technology based startup that is scalable and will be beneficial in the prefecture in which you apply.
  • Resources

Eligibility Requirements for the Japan Startup Visa Include all of the following:

Foreigners to whom one of the following conditions apply are eligible.

1. Graduated from a university or have the same level of qualification.

2. Completed a post-secondary course of specialized training college in Japan.

3. Have more than three years of experience in the field you want to start the business.

4. Have more than one year of experience in management or administration in the field you want to start the business.

5. Visa recipients are expected to achieve (a) and any of the other conditions mentioned below within six months of entering Japan or after obtaining the Startup VISA.

a. An office space for running the business in Japan

b. More than 5 million JPY (¥5,000,000) capital

c. Two full-time workers living in Japan

d. Conditions equivalent to (b) or (c)

DIGITAL NOMAD VISA PROGRAMS IN PROGRESS

The digital nomad and remote worker trend is only picking up speed as countries see the value of bringing in residents, spenders, and skilled professionals that don’t take opportunities from the local workforce. As such, several countries are in the process of creating long term visas and temporary resident programs.

All of the digital nomad, remote worker, and expat visa programs listed below are at least partway through the legislative process and some of the programs have been fully approved and are awaiting implementation

DIGITAL NOMAD AND STARTUP PROGRAMS LISTED IN THIS SECTION

45. Greece: 1 Year, Extendable To 2 Years

46. Romania: 1 Year

47. Sri Lanka: 1 Year

48. Spain’s “Startup Act”: Information forthcoming

49. Belize: Work Where You Vacation

50. North Macedonia: 1 Year

51. Estonia E-Residency (Not A Visa, But A Business Residency)

52. Thailand (5 Year Long Term Resident Visa): 5 Years | ~$17,000 Fee | 2/5

GREECE

1 YEAR, EXTENDABLE TO 2 YEARS | FEE TBD | RATING TBD

On 4 September, 2021, the Greek government passed legislation approving a 1-year Digital Nomad Visa for foreigners (extendable to 2 years) for self-employed individuals and remote workers employed by a company outside of Greece. Any Greek consulate is capable of processing the application, approving, and delivering the visa

  • Status: Law 4825/2021 (Government Gazette Α’ 157/4.9.2021) has been passed, including the legislation for the Greek Digital Nomad Visa, and is currently being implemented
  • Program Name: Digital Nomad Visa for Foreigners
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $2400 to $3500 per month, depending on location
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 11mpbs to 15mbps
  • Price: TBD
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: DN’s must prove income of €3,500 per month
  • Latest News: https://www.ey.com/en_gr/tax/tax-alerts/greece-introduces-digital-nomad-visa

ROMANIA

1 YEAR | FEE TBD | RATING TBD

Romania’s visa will be like most others but the Romanian government markets the 1-year digital nomad visa having the lowest minimum income in all of Europe – €1,000 a month

  • Status: The law (Emergency Ordinance no. 194 /2002) has been drafted for update and is being processed through parliament now but will not be valid until approved by Romanian Parliament and published in the official journal of Romania (Monitorul Oficial).
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $1,650
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 55mpbs
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: Proof of €1,100 per month minimum income for the last 6 months to apply for Romania’s digital nomad visa
  • Resources:
    • https://home.kpmg/xx/en/home/insights/2021/06/flash-alert-2021-161.html
    • https://www.usr.ro/2021/05/12/initiativa-usr-plus-depusa-in-parlament-viza-pentru-nomazii-digitali/

SRI LANKA

1 YEAR | FEE TBD | RATING TBD

The Cabinet has cleared a 1 year visa for foreign visitors that are working remotely. Legislation is in process but has not been passed yet

  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $600 to $900 per month in most places
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 8mpbs
  • Resources: Press Release: https://www.pressreader.com/sri-lanka/daily-mirror-sri-lanka/20210714/281973200659669

SPAIN’s “STARTUP ACT”

LENGTH TBD | FEE TBD | RATING TBD

On July 6, 2021, the Spanish Cabinet passed the Startup Act targeting startup owners and employees, but includes digital nomads, to move Spain by offering tax incentives and an extended visa. The legislation is currently awaiting parliamentary approval.

  • Resources: https://techcrunch.com/2021/02/23/spains-ten-year-plan-to-put-startups-in-the-economic-driving-seat/

NORTH MACEDONIA

1 YEAR | FEE TBD| RATING TBD

Status: The Republic of Macedonia’s Digital Nomad visa efforts are still at their beginning stages. North Macedonia’s Fund for Innovation and Technology Development is currently discussing legislation on a law supporting digital nomads in Macedonia and would include a digital nomad visa.

ESTONIA e-RESIDENCY (NOT A VISA, BUT A BUSINESS RESIDENCY)

This bonus isn’t a digital nomad visa, but rather a digital nomad hack. Bouncing from country to country can create business issues in the areas of taxation, business residency, and business accounts. Though the Estonia E-Residency program has nothing to do with citizenship and visas, it presents a great new option for a business tax home. Estonia has no tax on earnings “reinvested into your business”, and business taxes range from 14% to 20% with double tax treaties with over 60 countries.

In addition to taxation, Estonia makes banking and access to your money easy, allowing you to create business bank accounts designed for 100% access anywhere in the world.

Handling your visa is one hassle and handling your business’ “visa” is another. Talk to a solid tax consultant and look into the Estonia E-Residency for your freelancing and DN business.

Direct from the official Estonia E-Residency Blog,

“E-Residency is a secure, government-issued, digital identity that provides access to Estonia’s trusted, transparent e-governance services and business environment. With their unique digital identity card, e-residents can securely authenticate themselves online, establish an Estonian company, digitally sign and encrypt documents and contracts in line with the highest EU standards, and access a broad range of e-services remotely.”

BELIZE: WORK WHERE YOU VACATION

In February 2021, the Belizean government announced Work Where You Vacation program and created lots of internet buzz about a visa stay beyond the 30 day exemption, however the Belizean government has yet to share updates or plans on the program.

THAILAND (5 YEAR LONG TERM RESIDENT VISA)

5 YEARS | ~$17,000 FEE | 2/5

On September 4, 2021, the Thai Cabinet approved the long term resident visa. The Office of National Economic and Social Development will oversee execution of the program

  • Program Name: Long Term Resident Visa
  • Length of Stay: 5 Years
  • Avg. Monthly Cost of Living: $1,000 in Chiang Mai and North, $1,300+ in Bangkok, South, and islands
  • Avg. Internet Speed: 28mbps in major hubs, 17mbps in outskirts and islands
  • Country Highlight: Great infrastructure that matters to DNs, DN friendly businesses, ample workspaces and coworking spaces, and plenty of places for weekend vacations in the Thai islands
  • Price: 600,000 Baht per individual, 800,000 Baht per couple
  • Restrictions and Hurdles to Visa: Minimum income of $80,000 income over the past 2 years
  • Additional Perks: Work permit, exemption from foreign income tax, land and real estate ownership and rental rights
  • Additional Options: The Thai Elite Visa

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FAQ

What is a Digital Nomad?

  • A digital nomad is a person that performs all of their work virtually or remotely and uses that location independence to travel while working

What is a digital nomad visa?

  • A digital nomad visa is any visa which explicitly or implicitly targets digital nomads or remote workers by offering a duration of stay suiting the preferences of most digital nomads and openly authorizes the visa holder to legal perform remote work for clients or employers located outside of that particular country

Are digital nomad visas good for families and slow travelers?

  • For families with children and slower travelers, “DN visas” and long-stay visas offer the chance to travel and stay for a longer period – delivering a less chaotic experience, less logistical issues to solve per time period, and a base for other adventures. Not just great for DN’s, but remote working families, and location-independent retirees with a steady income – as none of the visas have age or dependent restrictions

What makes a good Digital Nomad destination

  • According to our Global Digital Nomad Study, visa duration and accessibility, destination cost of living, destination quality of life, destination infrastructure (physical and connectivity related), and DN community are some of the most important factors for digital nomads in choosing a location.

What makes a good digital nomad visa

  • 6 month minimum visa validity duration
  • Transparency with government (no issues remote working as immigration is concerned)
  • Good physical and digital connectivity infrastructure in the location
  • Digital nomad community in the location
  • Easy access to surrounding countries

Why should you choose a digital nomad visa over a normal stay

  • Digital nomad visas generally offer a longer stay and also authorize the digital nomad to remote work with foreign clients/employers without any immigration issues.

What programs exist targeting digital nomads?

  • Startup Japan, Startup Chile, Spain’s Startup Act (coming soon), Croatia’s Temporary Resident Stay, the Remotely from Georgia program, the Estonia Nomad Visa program, and the Work Remotely from Dubai program

Which countries have digital nomad visas?

  • The 40 countries that offer visas that fit the visa criteria for most digital nomads are Croatia, Georgia, Costa Rica, Estonia, Taiwan, Belize, Vietnam, Albania, Seychelles, Indonesia, Bermuda, Cabo Verde, Mauritius, Curacao, Croatia, Dubai (UAE), Iceland, Montserrat, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Thailand, Mexico, Portugal, Norway, Germany, Czech Republic, Malta, Spain, Italy, Japan, Greece, Romania, Sri Lanka, Spain, Belize, North Macedonia.

Is it legal to be a digital nomad? Do you need a work visa to be a digital nomad?

  • Generally, yes it is legal to travel to a location and work remotely for foreign clients or companies while on a visa as a foreigner, however this depends on location. Countries such as Spain and Indonesia technically forbid remote work on tourist or special visas however the regulation against remote work is rarely enforced. Whether not a work visa is technically required to work as a remote worker varies from country to country.

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OTHER GREAT DIGITAL NOMAD INFORMATION

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carlos is an adventure traveler, Crossfit Trainer, and Strength & Conditioning Coach dedicated to helping others travel better to far off destinations for pure adventure experiences, and stay fit and adventure-ready along the way. Click here to learn more about Carlos's story.