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Digital nomad visas: the countries where you can live and work remotely

Dozens of countries around the world now offer remote worker visas. Here are the best places to become a digital nomad

Written by
Huw Oliver
,
Ed Cunningham
&
Sophie Dickinson
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Of all the many things that the last few years have upended, office life is one of the biggest. Tools like email and video chat apps have (at least in theory) untethered many of us from the workplace, meaning there may be very little need for many restless workers to stay rooted in one place. And that makes moving somewhere sunnier, cheaper or just more fun sound incredibly tempting.

As nations around the world have reopened their borders to travellers, many popular destinations have emphasised longer-term stays over short-term breaks. And at the very extreme end, some are even trying to sell themselves as idyllic remote-working spots, with new ‘digital nomad’ visas that would allow you to live and work there for up to a year – or sometimes even longer. Here’s a guide to the countries offering digital nomad visas right now, and how you can qualify. And here’s what it’s actually like to be a digital nomad – and how to become one yourself.

The best digital nomad visa destinations

Fancy WFH from an idyllic Greek island or with an office view of the Parthenon? Greece now offers a digital nomad visa that allows non-EU citizens to live and work in the country for up to 24 months. You’ll need a monthly income of at least €3,500 (£3,030, $3,630), plus health insurance, proof of accommodation and a clean criminal record. If you’d like to bring any dependents, you’ll need to prove a further €700 (£606, $726) income per month. To apply, fill in this application form and head to a Greek embassy or consulate.

Indonesia
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Indonesia

If you’re really into that poolside lifestyle, Indonesia – which includes the island of Bali – might be the place to head to. The country’s new digital nomad visa allows overseas citizens to stay in the country for up to five years, meaning you don’t have to worry about renewing it for a long time. You don’t have to pay taxes, either, so long as you’re not working for an Indonesian company. The tourism ministry is hoping to attract people to places like Ubud for a bit of ‘serenity, spirituality and serenity’ – not words we usually associate with our morning commute.

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Portugal
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Portugal

Portugal has come up with an alternative to its D7 visa (which was originally aimed at retirees) which allows remote workers from outside the EU or EEA to live and work in the country for up to 12 months. To qualify, you’ll need to prove that you have a monthly income that is four times the current Portuguese minimum wage – which is currently €705 (£608, $689). In other words, so you’ll need to earn at least €2,820 (£2,430, $2,757) per month.

Costa Rica
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Costa Rica

A new law means you can now get a Costa Rican digital nomad visa for up to two years – and you’re exempt from income tax while you’re there, too. The only catch? You have to prove you’re earning more than $3,000 (£2,650) per month, or $5,000 (£4,420) if you’re travelling with family.

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Dubai
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Dubai

Dubai has also just announced a long-term visa scheme for remote workers and their families. The biggest city in the United Arab Emirates will allow you to stay for up to a year while still working for oversea firms. The visa costs $287 (£254) plus medical insurance. There is one snag, though: you must earn at least $5,000 (£4,420) a month to qualify.

Croatia
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Croatia

Slap-bang in the middle of Europe, Croatia is conveniently located for remote working on any European time zone. To qualify to be a digital nomad in Croatia, you’ll need to come from a country that is not a member of the EU or EEA, earn a minimum of 17,822.50 Croatian kuna (£2,060, $2,330) per month, have proof of employment and show health insurance docs. Got all that, and you can stay for up to 12 months.

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Iceland
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Iceland

Iceland has introduced its first long-term visa for those outside the European Economic Area. (EEA residents were already free to relocate to the volcanic country.) This means that anyone can apply to spend six months living in the country under a programme called, imaginatively, ‘Work in Iceland’. Okay, not quite anyone: there’s a minimum income of 1 million ISK per month, which works out at around £6,140 or $6,950. You’ll need to sort out health insurance, too.

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Mauritius
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Mauritius

Mauritius’s ‘premium travel visa’ is valid for one year (and renewable for even longer after that). All prospective takers have to do is produce ‘proof’ of their long-stay plans and adequate travel and health insurance for their initial period of stay. Interested? The country has set up an ‘e-visa’ application platform here.

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Panama

Fancy spending 18 months straddling Central and South America? Well, you can do just that with Panama’s short-term remote working visa. With its low up-front visa costs (about $300/£265) and about-average minimum yearly wage requirement ($36,000/£31,873), Panama’s visa is a solid choice indeed.

Estonia
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Estonia

The beautiful Baltic country of Estonia has launched its long-awaited ‘digital nomad’ scheme. With a monthly salary threshold of €3,504 (£3,050, $3,450), you must either have a job contract with an employer outside the country, have your own company registered abroad or work as a freelancer for mainly non-Estonian clients.

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Georgia

At the intersection of Europe and Asia, Georgia has a digital nomad visa programme that allows international visitors to work there remotely for an indefinite period. The programme is available to ‘citizens of all countries’ and is aimed at freelancers and the self-employed. To take advantage of it, all you have to do is fill out an application form.

Colombia
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Colombia

With its slightly cheaper monthly income requirement of $684 (£604), Colombia’s digital nomad scheme is a bit more easy to qualify than most of the others on this list. If you’ve got health insurance and a letter proving your employment, you can now stay in the country for up to two years. We’ve got all the info on the Colombian digital nomad visa.

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Anguilla

Anguilla welcomes remote workers on year-long visas. The country wants to prioritise ‘longer-stay visitors’, who can apply to live there for up to 12 months via an online form. Anyone who plans to stay for between three months and a year must pay a fee of $2,000 (£1,770), or $3,000 (£2,650) for a family of four.

Bahamas
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Bahamas

Bahamas is also running an ‘Extended Access Travel Stay’ programme allowing workers and students to work or study remotely from any of the country’s 16 islands for up to a year. All you have to do is fill out the application form here, then pay a fee of $1,000 (£884) for the head of household (and $500 (£442) for each dependent) for a work visa, or $500 (£442) as a student.

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Malta

Fancy upping sticks to the Med? Malta has introduced a scheme allowing you to make the island your office. The ‘Nomad Residence Permit’ allows non-EU citizens to work from the country for a year, as long as you have a monthly income of more than €2,700 (£2,350, $2,660) and work for a company outside of Malta.  

Malaysia
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Malaysia

With its requirement that you only need to have a yearly income of $24,000 (£21,000), Malaysia’s accessible digital nomad scheme comes in the form of the DE Rantau Nomad Pass – and it can last up to two years. The initial visa fee is 1,000 ringgit (£190, £220) and if you want to bring along any ‘dependents’ (spouses or children), they’ll cost an extra 500 ringgit (£95, $110) each.

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Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands’ Global Citizen Concierge Programme’ allows non-residents to work there for up to two years. However, this is only available to those who earn an annual salary of at least $100,000 (£88,500), or $150,000 (£132,700) for couples.

Seychelles
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Seychelles

Not only is the Seychelles archipelago a picture-perfect holiday paradise, but it’s digital nomad visa scheme is very generous indeed. The country’s ‘Workcation Retreat Program’ has been around since May 2021 and only requires health/travel insurance and proof of income, though eligibility is decided on a case-by-case basis. Digital nomads in the Seychelles are exempt from income tax, personal income tax, business tax and customs duty on work-related goods.

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Dominica

Could you see yourself dialling into Zoom calls from a sun lounger? Then you should know that the Caribbean island of Dominica is also allowing remote workers to live and work there for up to 18 months. Applicants must earn an income of $50,000 (£44,210) or more, and the visa itself costs $800 (£707) or $1,200 (£1,060) for families.

Latvia
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Latvia

Following in the footsteps of fellow Baltic state Estonia, Latvia also has a visa scheme for remote workers. Introduced in July 2022, digital nomads from OECD countries can stay in the country for up to two years so long as they have health insurance, can prove employment and have a minimum monthly income that is two-and-a-half times the average Latvian salary. Currently, that minimum is about £2,505 or $2,830 per month.

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Ecuador
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Ecuador

Ecuador has  started a scheme that allows remote workers to live and work in the South American country for up to two years. One of only 17 ‘megadiverse’ countries in the world, Ecuador has everything from Amazonian rainforest and Andean mountain ranges to huge stretches of Pacific coast. Remote workers can qualify for the country’s digital nomad scheme so long as they earn three times the country’s ‘basic income’ – which, in 2022, means earning a minimum of $1,275 (£1,130) per month.

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