Since remote work has become more and more common, many professionals have adopted a digital nomad way of life. With the help of technology, these people can perform their jobs from anywhere in the world. One of the challenges remote workers may face when traveling is getting digital nomad visas to live and work abroad for an extended period of time.
Find out how digital nomad visas work and what are the best ways to start your journey!
What are digital nomad visas?
The digital nomad visa is an authorization that allows you to work remotely as an entrepreneur or remote worker in a foreign country. Currently, about 30 nations have issued this specific kind of permit for people looking to work for companies or clients based outside their territory.
Besides enjoying the freedom of the digital nomad lifestyle, the new visas offer remote employees and freelancers more security. The recent changes in visa laws have created a more stable environment for workers and the companies that employ them.
This kind of visa became popular during the Covid pandemic in 2020. A lot of countries faced a decline in tourism during this time. To combat this, governments increased digital nomad visas to boost economic development by attracting skilled immigrants and encouraging entrepreneurship.
One of the most significant differences between tourist visas and the new visas for digital nomads is that they usually last longer. In addition to legally being allowed to work abroad, they generally last a year instead of 30–90 days for tourists. Also, digital nomad visas offer holders tax breaks in places such as Dubai.
An alternative for people looking for better opportunities as digital nomads is opening a US company. Even if your home country is not the US, and you won’t be based there, starting an American company can bring advantages. You will count on a stable and reputable environment to manage your business from anywhere in the world.
How to get a digital nomad visa?
The process to get a digital nomad visa can vary from country to country. Usually, just like other kinds of visas, applicants need to look for an embassy or consulate and go through processes like interviews and submission of documents.
This new kind of visa also comes with specific requirements that allow travelers to confirm their digital nomad status and ensure that they will be able to support themselves during their stay. Most countries will ask for proof of remote employment, travel insurance, and a minimum monthly income.
The proof of remote work requirement can sometimes be exclusive to people employed by companies outside the country. However, a great number of countries also accept proof of ownership of a company overseas or self-employment.
The minimum income requirement also ranges greatly. Places such as the Bahamas don’t ask for any proof of income, yet, in the UAE, digital nomads need to prove a monthly income of at least $5,000.
Countries like Spain and Italy have already announced they are also rolling out visas for remote workers. The requirements for these countries are yet to be determined.
Get to know some of the best countries to work and live in, and find out more about the requirement process!
Best countries to get digital nomad visas
With paradisiac views and tax benefits, the 16 islands can be an expensive but rewarding place to live in. The Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay (BEATS) Permit was created to welcome foreigners who are self-employed, employed by an overseas company, or students enrolled in an accredited educational institution outside the Bahamas. The program does not require proof of funds and the digital nomads can stay for up to a year, with the possibility to extend the stay for up to 3 years.
Other than beautiful places, Brazil has become an up-and-coming digital nomad hotspot. It was the first country to offer a digital nomad visa in Latin America. The program to get a visa that lasts up to a year in Brazil requires applicants to be employed by an offshore company or to provide services overseas. It also asks for a minimum monthly income of $1,500 or an available bank balance of $18,000.
The Croatian Digital Nomad Visa provides a chance to foreigners looking to live in Europe. Technically, this is a temporary residence permit of up to a year. Applicants must be employed by a company outside Croatia or are self-employed and have an income of $2,400 per month. Those who want to stay for 12 months must also have proof of a minimum of $28,800 in available funds.
As one of Europe’s most popular vacation destinations, Greece also provides a chance for remote workers looking to live and work from the country. The nation welcomes self-employed foreign citizens and employees of offshore companies for up to a year, with the option to renew for up to three years. To get this permit, digital nomads need to prove a monthly income of $3,700.
United Arab Emirates
Dubai’s Virtual Working Program was created to attract remote workers and digital nomads offering the benefit of zero income tax for individuals. The program is aimed at international business owners and employees from companies outside the UAE. Foreigners must prove a monthly income of $5,000 to apply, and they can stay in the country for up to a year.
One of the latest additions to the list of countries offering visas for remote workers is Portugal! The country was already a hotspot for digital nomads, now professionals with a working relationship with other countries can stay in the country for up to a year, with the option to renew for additional years. It is required that holders have an income of at least 4 times Portugal’s minimum wage of €705, around $2,820 per month.
How to start working as a digital nomad?
Are you looking to take on a digital nomad lifestyle? One of the best ways to ensure you will get the best deals with your clients is through an American company. This will help you get a legitimate, international audience, receive direct payment in USD, and attract businesses and clients worldwide.
In addition to increasing your profitability, your company in the US can have tax advantages in the country. For example, a single-member LLC in the state of Wyoming may be exempt from taxes in the country. This occurs because the state does not charge personal taxes for individual entrepreneurs offering their services from outside the state.