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Case Study

Best Countries with Visas for Digital Nomads

September 14, 2022

We come bearing *probably* the best news you’ve heard in a while… drum roll please 🥁…

We have the best countries to live and work in as a digital nomad. Read on if you want to know everything about what you need to be a legit digital nomad: visas, special requirements, insurances and all types of documents. So, enough with the chit-chat and let's jump right into it!

1. Bermuda: Disappear for a Year


Bermuda recently released the “Work From Bermuda” digital nomad visa; an expansion of their preexisting residency program that now allows digital nomads and remote workers to live and work remotely in the country for up to a year.

They’re hoping the new visa will attract long-term travelers who want to base themselves on a beautiful =island paradise.

Basic Conditions

  • You own a location-independent business/employment.
  • You work remotely for a company based outside of Bermuda.
  • No minimum income requirement.
  • Mandatory COVID-19 test.
  • Proof of travel insurance.

How To Apply

2. Costa Rica: The World’s Happiest Country

Costa Rica

If you ever wondered where heaven was, we found it for you. Ranked #1 on the Happy Planet Index, Costa Rica is the place to be. And as if that’s not enough, you get to enjoy surfing, beaches, and a diverse landscape of volcanoes, waterfalls, and jungle.

Costa Rica has a freelancer visa called the Rentista, allowing foreigners to stay for up to 2-years, with the option to extend it. Your passport is probably salivating right now.

Basic Conditions

  • Show an average income of $2500 USD per month.*
  • Obtain travel medical insurance that will cover them in Costa Rica.

*read the fine print though. It requires an intial deposit as well.

How To Apply

  • The application process for Costa Rica’s new Digital Nomad Visa is still being worked on at this time. Applying for the Rentista Visa can be done on Costa Rica’s Migracion Website, but we’d recommend hiring an immigration lawyer.
  • All your documents must be translated into Spanish and authenticated in your home country.
  • Pay the visa fee (unknown yet for the Digital Nomad Visa, and $250 USD for the Rentista Visa).

3. Croatia: Where Game of Thrones Was Filmed


For huge Game of Thrones fans, this is paradise - and you can even visit some of the film sites! Croatia digital nomad visas are available for different lengths of time, with a maximum of 12 months.

Basic conditions

  • Provide proof of self-employment or ability to work remotely (written statement, employment agreement, client contracts, etc).
  • Minimum of €2500 per month in income or savings.
  • Pass a criminal background check from your home country.
  • Proof of accommodation/rental agreement.
  • Obtain travel/health insurance valid for the length of stay.

How To Apply

  • Obtain an OIB identification number.
  • Fill out the application form here.
  • 2 Passport photos.
  • Pay the application fee of 590 kunas (plus 35 kunas in tax stamps).

4. Dubai (UAE): Record-breaking Infrastructure


If you’ve always wanted to visit the famous desert oasis, this is your chance. The city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates now has their own one-year virtual working program.

The new remote work visa gives you the freedom to live in Dubai, bring your family along, and work remotely - all while remaining employed in your home country. And Dubai does not levy income tax on individuals. You also get access to all services including telecoms, utilities, and schooling options.

Basic Conditions

  • Proof of Employment from a current employer with a one-year contract, or proof of ownership of the company.
  • Minimum of $5,000 USD per month salary, last month’s payslip and 3 preceding months’ bank statements.
  • Health insurance with UAE coverage validity.

How To Apply

  • Fill out the request for application section here.
  • Pay the visa fee of $287 USD visa fee.

5. Germany: The world’s most admired country


Germany has its own special freelance visa called the Aufenthaltserlaubnis für selbständige Tätigkeit (good luck saying that!). It’s a residence permit that allows foreign freelancers and self-employed people to live in Germany for 6 months up to 3 years. It can take 3-4 months to get this visa, so apply early.

Basic Conditions

  • An address in Germany.
  • Proof of health insurance.
  • Proof of financial self-sustainability.
  • Work clients based in Germany. (They want to see that you are providing services that will help the local economy.)

How To Apply

  • Gather all documents required here.
  • Secure a residence in Germany.
  • Book a visa appointment at the immigration office here.
  • Pay the visa fee of €100.

6. Iceland: Far less Ice than Greenland


Here’s another beautiful country with unforgettable landscapes that offers long-term visas for remote workers and digital nomads! Iceland’s long-term visa is good for only 6 months though, so it’s one of the shortest digital nomad visas available. If you apply while you’re already in the European Schengen Area, then it’s only good for 90-days.

So it’s Iceland or nothing in Europe. Winter is coming.

Basic Conditions

  • You must own your own location independent business or work remotely for a company located outside of Iceland.
  • Provide proof of your (self) employment.
  • Show a minimum monthly income of 1,000,000 ISK (about $7,763 USD) or 1,300,000 ISK for a couple.
  • Proof of travel/health insurance coverage for Iceland.

7. Mauritius: Africa’s most crowded country - for good reason


How can you not love Mauritius, with all its beauty?

To qualify for their one-year-long (and completely FREE) Premium Visa, you need to produce proof of your long stay plans and sufficient travel and health insurance during your stay.

Basic Conditions

  • You must own your own location independent business or work remotely for a company located outside of Mauritius.
  • Proof of plans to stay in Mauritius – they may ask for details about the purpose of your visit and intended accommodation.
  • Proof of travel/health insurance coverage for your stay in Mauritius.

How To Apply

8. Mexico: Culture-rich Latin America


Mexico is one of the most famous countries in South America. They offer a Temporary Resident Visa that’s good for one year with the ability to renew for another 3 years.

Mexico is also open to offering temporary residency to remote workers that are financially self-sufficient.

Basic Conditions

  • You own a location-independent business (or are employed with one).
  • You work for a company based outside of Mexico
  • You earn at least $1,620 USD monthly or have a bank balance of $27,000.

How To Apply

  • Gather required documents and complete the application form.
  • Make an appointment at the nearest Mexican consulate.

9. Portugal: Protecting Remote Workers by Law


Portugal offers both a temporary resident visa (D7 passive income visa) and a residence permit for independent workers and entrepreneurs for one year, with the ability to renew for up to 5 years. After 5 years you can apply for permanent residency.

As a foreign visa holder and resident, you will be given a residence card, the Título de Residência. This is your official ID in Portugal. The beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira in particular has become a remote worker hub, especially with the launch of their Digital Nomads Village, and their new laws around remote work.

Basic Conditions

  • Proof of income from property, proof of business ownership, or proof of financial means.
  • Earn at least €600 EURO per month.
  • Proof of private travel/health insurance.
  • A criminal background check.

How To Apply

  • Gather the required documents, print them out and complete the application form.
  • Make an appointment at the nearest Portuguese consulate.
  • Pay the €83 EUR visa fee and €72 EUR resident permit fee.

10. Spain: People of Passion


Spain has a Non-Lucrative Visa which allows foreigners to stay in Spain for at least a year, with the ability to renew. With its low cost of living and mix of beaches, mountains, and relaxed & romantic lifestyle, it’s a favourite with many location-independent people.

Basic Conditions

  • Show that you can support yourself financially through investments or retirement income of at least €2151 per month or hold €25,816 in savings.
  • Proof of private Spanish health insurance
  • Get a police/FBI background check
  • Get a Medical Certificate of Good Health

How To Apply

  • You need to apply in person at the closest Spanish Consulate or Embassy.
  • All your documents must be translated into Spanish and authenticated in your home country.
  • Sign a sworn statement before a Notary that you agree not to work while living in Spain.
  • Pay the visa application fee of $140 USD

So... No excuses now! You have all the information you need at your disposal. The world awaits you. Take that trip!

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Linet Gitahi

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