Digital Nomad Visa

Due Covid-19 pandemic more and more people are working digitally and away from the office as companies started implementing remote opportunities for employees. As a result, Digital Nomad Visas have become increasingly popular among people who work from home and wish to travel. Several European countries are launching digital nomad visas to welcome foreign remote workers.

What is a digital Nomad visa?

Digital Nomads are remote workers who travel and work in several countries. They use technology for their work (smartphones, laptops) and, therefore, can work everywhere: in parks, in coffee shops, public libraries, or even from home. It is becoming increasingly popular to be a remote worker or self-employed. Working remotely also gives a lot of opportunities to see many different countries.

Remote workers cannot apply for a traditional work visa which enables to live and work in a country. Such visa requires to have a contract concluded with a local entity and/or an invitation letter. But the remote workers may want to stay in the country for a longer period than a tourist visa allows. Even those who do not need a visa to travel to Europe are usually able to stay for a short period of time. This is where the digital nomad visa comes in.

Difference between digital nomad visa and tourist visa

The main difference between those two types of visas is the length of stay in the country.

Tourist visas are issued for short stays, mainly for up to 3 months; digital nomad visas allow to stay in the country longer, often for 1 year or even more.

Remote workers only need to get a digital nomad visa if they will stay longer than the time permitted with a tourist visa. In this case, they must meet the digital nomad visa requirements, which normally includes proof of funds.

Countries with Visas for Digital Nomads

There are several countries in the world offering visas for Digital Nomads, such as:

  • Croatia – as of January 2021 Croatia has started issuing digital nomad visas, which are available for different lengths of time (with a maximum of 12-months).
  • Estonia – in June 2020 a one-year digital nomad and freelancer visa was introduced. Such visa allows foreigners to live in the country while working remotely.
  • Hungary – has the “White Card” – a special 1-year long digital nomad residency program.
  • Dubai – has just launched their own one-year virtual working program allowing digital nomads and remote workers to live and work by the beach from their famous desert oasis mega-city.
  • The Caribbean Island nation of Antigua & Barbuda – announced a digital nomad visa called the Nomad Digital Residence (NDR), which may be issued for 2-years. The visitors will be required to maintain their own health insurance plan while staying within the country.
  • Bermuda – recently released “Work From Bermuda” (digital nomad visa) which is just an expansion of an older residency program and which allows digital nomads / remote workers to stay in the country for up to a year.
  • Bali – remote work visa would be issued for up to 5-years and holders of the visa does not have to pay taxes on any income earned outside Bali.

What about Germany?

In Europe, the first nation to create a freelance visa was Germany. The freelance visa in Germany is called „Aufenthaltserlaubnis für selbständige, freiberufliche Tätigkeit“. It is basically a residency permit for foreign freelancers and self-employed people who want to live and work in Germany. You must deal with German bureaucracy as it takes more than 4 months to get approval.

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