Upwork estimates that 1 in 4 Americans (or over 26% of the American workforce) will be working remotely through 2021. They also estimate that 22% of the workforce (36.2 Million Americans) will work remotely by 2025. It’s no wonder countries are starting to offer a digital nomad visa for those who want to travel while they work.
Why it matters
One of the big advantages of an online side hustle is freedom and flexibility.
Working remotely not only offers the possibility of adventure but also provides a productive environment to create routines and have life-changing experiences.
In the past, such opportunities were mere dreams, but now the rise of digital nomads is thriving and expanding. Social media, along with advanced technology and accessible tools, enables individuals to become creators from any location with an internet connection.
The future has arrived!
But despite living in a well-connected world, we can’t stay more than 3 months in most countries. It’s past time to be global rather than a restrained limited local.
Being able to stay in a country past the regulatory 90 days would allow us to explore new places and also work remotely. The rules of the game about working remotely and managing your online side hustle have been disrupted and changed forever.
A changing world has accelerated work evolution.
This happened when the pandemic started in 2020. We have discovered that we can work from anywhere and still be productive. This was discussed in forums and mentioned in research and the corporations paid it lip service.
That small invisible virus has accelerated the change that allowed us to reimagine life and how we work. We found out that working from home was efficient and needed to be embraced.
This means that the rules about work and commerce have changed forever.
What is a digital nomad visa?
A digital nomad visa is a type of permit that grants individuals the ability to work remotely while residing in a foreign country.
Generally, to be eligible for this visa, you must either be employed by a company or have a business that can be managed from any location worldwide.
Eligibility requirements for a digital nomad visa
To qualify for a digital nomad visa, certain eligibility criteria must be met. These include:
- Age Requirement: Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
- Minimum Income: The specific monthly income threshold varies among countries and must be met.
- Portable Work: Individuals must have a job or occupation that can be carried out from anywhere in the world.
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10 beautiful countries to live in and explore as a digital nomad
Here are the countries that are about to provide (or already do) a digital nomad visa.
I have explored Lisbon and Porto and I could work from either of these 2 beautiful cities. With their unique charm and allure, these cities present enticing options for digital nomads.
Lisbon, the vibrant capital of Portugal, boasts a blend of rich history and modernity. Its picturesque neighborhoods, such as Alfama and Bairro Alto, provide an enchanting backdrop for work and leisure.
The city is teeming with co-working spaces, trendy cafes, and innovative hubs, catering to the needs of digital nomads. Lisbon is also well-connected, boasting an international airport that facilitates seamless travel to and from various global destinations.
If you want to explore Portugal you now have the opportunity to apply for a D7 Passive Income visa. The key criterion for this visa is to provide evidence of an adequate and verifiable income source. With the D7 visa, you can stay in Portugal for a year, with the possibility of extending it in two-year increments.
After living in Portugal for five years under the D7 visa, you can apply for a residence permit, subject to successfully passing an examination assessing your knowledge of the Portuguese language.
During my four-week stay on the edge of Lake Como, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in a picturesque setting while pursuing my work. The region’s beauty provided an inspiring backdrop.
Lake Como itself is renowned for its pristine blue waters and stunning landscapes. From my base, I had the chance to admire the villas and charming towns that dot the shoreline.
During breaks from work, I indulged in leisurely walks along the lakefront, taking in the scenery.
Croatia, with its alluring combination of islands, stunning coastline, and rich history, presents a smorgasbord of experiences for digital nomads. During my stay of a few weeks, I found myself immersed in a blend of work and exploration, taking in Croatia’s islands and coastal towns.
Croatia has an abundance of islands, each possessing its own distinct character and charm. From the famous Dalmatian islands like Hvar and Korčula to the lesser-known gems like Vis and Brač, these island paradises offer a perfect escape for a digital nomad seeking a change of scenery.
Sailing from one island to another, I enjoyed the crystal-clear turquoise waters, secluded coves, and picturesque harbors. The islands also boast walled medieval cities, where time seems to stand still and history comes alive.
Exploring these atmospheric towns felt like stepping back in time, with their cobblestone streets, impressive fortifications, and charming architecture.
Mornings were dedicated to work, as I found quiet spots in cafes or co-working spaces to focus and be productive. The reliable internet connectivity and welcoming work environments made it easy to maintain a routine and meet professional commitments. As the afternoons rolled around, a world of adventure beckoned, waiting to be explored.
The Croatian government established the digital nomad visa in 2021 to encourage freelance workers to visit.
Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is a city that effortlessly blends the charm of its old walled town with the convenience of modern amenities, making it a perfect destination for digital nomads.
During my stay in Tallinn, I had the pleasure of immersing myself in the rich history and vibrant atmosphere of the old town while maintaining a productive work routine during the mornings.
Estonian authorities have introduced a dedicated visa designed exclusively for digital nomads, aptly named the Digital Nomad Visa.
This visa program was officially launched towards the end of 2019, providing a streamlined process for individuals engaged in remote work to live and work in Estonia.
Oslo, the vibrant capital of Norway, serves as the perfect gateway to a world of awe-inspiring natural wonders and cultural experiences.
As a digital nomad, I had the privilege of not only working in this bustling city as a speaker but also exploring its stunning fjords and the beauty of the northern lights. My experiences in Oslo left a mark on me, and I look forward to another opportunity to return.
Norway provides visa options for digital nomads seeking to reside and work in Svalbard, renowned as one of the world’s most expensive regions.
Interestingly, the validity of these visas extends for a lifetime, offering a unique opportunity for long-term settlement. To qualify, applicants need to demonstrate sufficient financial means to sustain their stay.
In response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Iceland introduced its own digital nomad visa in October 2020, known as the Iceland Remote Worker visa.
This visa program not only caters to digital nomads but also functions as a temporary residence permit, providing individuals with the opportunity to live and work in Iceland for an extended period.
The Iceland Remote Worker visa was a proactive measure taken by the Icelandic authorities to adapt to the changing landscape of remote work and accommodate the increasing demand from individuals seeking alternative locations to live and work during the pandemic.
By offering this specialized visa, Iceland recognized the potential benefits of attracting digital nomads, such as contributing to the local economy, fostering cultural exchange, and diversifying the workforce.
For digital nomads seeking to live and work in Mexico, the Mexico temporary resident visa serves as the key to unlocking this vibrant and diverse country.
This visa provides individuals with the opportunity to live in Mexico for a period of one year, with the possibility of extending it for up to three additional terms.
The Mexico temporary resident visa offers digital nomads a chance to immerse themselves in the rich cultural tapestry, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality that Mexico is renowned for.
Whether it’s the bustling streets of Mexico City, the pristine beaches of Cancun, or the charming colonial towns scattered throughout the country, this visa enables digital nomads to explore and experience all that Mexico has to offer.
For digital nomads desiring to work in Germany, the German freelance visa presents an attractive opportunity. This visa is widely sought after as it allows individuals to engage in freelance work with various startups, businesses, or individuals on a flexible and part-time basis.
This flexibility allows for a dynamic work environment, enabling individuals to collaborate with a diverse range of partners and explore new professional opportunities.
#9. Czech Republic
The Czech Republic presents an opportunity for digital nomads through its Freelance Visa program. This visa offers the freedom to work independently and establish a self-employed business in the country, providing a favorable environment for entrepreneurial-minded individuals.
The Freelance Visa in the Czech Republic has a validity of one year, allowing digital nomads to fully immerse themselves in the country’s vibrant culture and landscape. Upon reaching the end of the initial year, individuals have the option to extend the visa for an additional two years, providing an extended period to grow their freelance business and explore the local market.
To obtain a Freelance Visa, applicants should be prepared to meet certain financial requirements. It is necessary to demonstrate a minimum monthly income threshold, which currently stands at $5,600. This financial proof ensures that digital nomads have the means to sustain themselves while working independently in the Czech Republic.
#10. Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s Rentista visa offers digital nomads a fantastic opportunity to live in the country and provide their services while enjoying the remarkable natural beauty and warm hospitality for which Costa Rica is renowned. This visa allows its holders to stay in Costa Rica for up to two years, with the possibility of extending their stay further.
The Rentista visa is specifically tailored for individuals who are small investors and wish to offer their services in Costa Rica.
This flexible visa category opens doors for digital nomads to contribute to the local economy, collaborate with businesses, or provide their expertise on a freelance basis.
To obtain the Rentista visa, applicants need to demonstrate a steady income of at least $2,500 per month. This requirement ensures that digital nomads have the financial means to support themselves during their stay in Costa Rica.
While this proof of income is necessary, the overall visa application process is generally considered to be fairly straightforward.
Wrapping it up
The allure of combining work and adventure has given rise to the digital nomad lifestyle, and several countries have recognized the potential and opened their doors to remote workers through specialized visas.
The 10 countries featured in this article stand out for their captivating landscapes, vibrant cultures, and welcoming environments for digital nomads.
Whether it’s immersing in the natural wonders, indulging in local cuisines, or engaging with diverse communities, these countries provide an ideal backdrop for digital nomads seeking both professional fulfillment and personal enrichment.
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