Dreaming Of Being a Digital Nomad? Here’s Your Guide to Remote Work Visas
Digital nomad diaries

Dreaming Of Being a Digital Nomad? Here’s Your Guide to Remote Work Visas

Working and earning a living is part of life, which we typically don’t mind—until it gets in the way of our dreams to vacation and explore all the wonders the world has to offer. 

But now you can work and jetset around the globe thanks to the rise of the remote work visas or digital nomad visas—documentation that became popular earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic and, essentially, treats people like long-term tourists, allowing you to work remotely from different countries. According to the Harvard Business Review, 46 countries around the world now offer a digital nomad visa or some kind of comparable program; a 2022 survey from consultant firm MBO Partners found that as many as 25 million people say that they would apply for a remote work visa (though only an estimated 8 to 11 percent of them will actually follow through). Either way, the time to pack up your laptop and travel internationally while still holding a steady job is now. 

“It’s creating a different type of tourism,” says Leonor Echeverria, a Costa Rica-based partner at international immigration law firm Fragomen with an expertise in digital nomad visas. “In Costa Rica, for example, a lot of tourists had already been working remotely—but [before the visa], they had to leave every three months and reenter the country. These digital nomad visas offer people a lot more security with their legal status as they travel.” 

And while most of these applications can technically be completed on your own, Echeverria does recommend seeking guidance from an expert who can help you distinguish between all the various nuances (such as the type of health and travel insurance you’ll need) and expectations each country may set out when it comes to a remote work visa. Plus, don’t forget to actually have a conversation with your boss to make sure they’re okay with you working out of the country—in most cases, they’ll need to help you sign off on your remote work visa application. 

Read on to learn about just a few of the countries offering remote work visas. 


Length of remote work visa: One year, with the option to renew it twice

Application fee: €250 (about $270) + various admin fees  

What to know: Spain is one of the latest countries to enact a digital nomad visa, with the program coming into law this month. While applications and specific qualifications are still TBD, we do know that, according to SpainVisa, it will be available to foreign workers who do not work for a Spanish company. Also expect a yet-to-be-defined minimum income requirement (based on similar laws and minimum wages, TimeOut estimates it will be around €2,000 per month), you must be able to prove that you are a remote worker (or self-employed), and have valid health and travel insurance. Additionally, you will be able to live pretty much anywhere in the country, but can’t stay in one place for more than six months. If you stay longer than six months, you’ll have to start paying non-resident income taxes, which are at a reduced rate for digital nomads.

For more info: https://www.globalcitizensolutions.com/spain-digital-nomad-visa/


Length of remote work visa: One year

Application fee: €80-€100 (about $86-$108)

What to know: Estonia became one of the first countries to launch a digital nomad visa while remote work was heating up back in the summer of 2020. Its offering allows tourists to stay and work remotely in Estonia as long as they are employed by a company registered abroad or are a freelancer who earns the majority of their income from non-Estonian clients. They must also be able to prove they earn €3,504 (more than $3,670) per month. You can apply at the nearest Estonian embassy (the process will take 15-30 days, according to the government’s website). This visa can’t be renewed, but you can reapply for a second time, which, if approved, will only let you stay in the country for a maximum of six months. 

For more info: https://www.e-resident.gov.ee/nomadvisa/


Length of remote work visa: Six months 

Application fee: ISK 12,200 (about €80 or $85)

What to know: Who wouldn’t want to live and work in stunning Iceland? Its version of the digital nomad visa lets you do just that—if you are not a resident of a European Economic Area (EEA) or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) country, that is. Again, you must work for a foreign country or be self-employed, as well as fit a few other criteria, including proving that the purpose of your travels is remote work and having health insurance. Additionally, you cannot have been issued a different long-term Icelandic visa within the last year. Keep in mind that the cost of living in Iceland is more expensive than other European countries, which means you’ll have to prove that you earn a minimum of ISK 1,000,000 (more than €6,500 or $6,980) per month, or ISK 1,300,000 (over €8,400 or $9,076) if you’re applying with a partner or spouse. 

For more info: https://island.is/en/get-long-term-visa-for-remote-workers 


Length of remote work visa: One year, with the option to renew it twice

Application fee: $1,025 ($25 for the application, $1,000 for a permit)

What to know: You can call the sunny Bahamas (a temporary) home thanks to the Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay, which allows remote workers, freelancers, and students to spend time on 16 of the country’s islands. To apply, you’ll need valid health insurance, proof of employment (or a student ID), and a letter demonstrating your income, although no minimum amount is specified. If you plan on travelling with a partner who also plans to work remotely, you’ll each have to apply separately, but families are also accepted, for an extra $525 per dependent for each application and permit. 

For more info: https://www.bahamasbeats.com/


Length of remote work visa: One year 

Application fee: €75-€90 (around $81-$97)

What to know: In order to qualify for Portugal’s digital nomad visa, you must be a resident of a non-EU/EEA country who makes four times the current Portuguese minimum wage—currently, that is €705, so you’d have to be able to prove that you earn €2,820 (just over $3,000 USD) every month for a foreign employer or as a someone who is self-employed. You’ll have to apply at a Portuguese embassy, where you’ll be given two options: a one-year temporary stay visa, or a one-year residency visa that can be renewed for up to five years and potentially allow you to apply for more permanent visas to stay in the country. 

For more info: https://vistos.mne.gov.pt/en/


Length of remote work visa: Up to two years, with the option to renew  

Application fee: $450 ($50 for the application, $400 for the visa) 

What to know: Citizens from 183 countries (including the U.S. and Canada) are eligible to apply for Ecuador’s digital nomad visa, a.k.a. a “Rentista.” If you make the list, you’ll have to meet a handful of requirements: You must have valid health insurance, provide documentation showing you work for or provide services a foreign company and that said work is remote, and be able to prove that you have made at least three Unified Basic Salaries (an average monthly wage of $425) per month for three months. (TL;DR? You would’ve had to have earned $3,825 over the course of three months before your application is submitted.) Alternatively, you can demonstrate that you're financially self-sufficient by having earned a total of 36 Unified Basic Salaries (a $15,300 annual salary) per year. 

For more info: https://ecuador.travel/en/nomad-visa/ 


Length of remote work visa: One year, with the option to renew 

Application fee: N/A 

What to know: Like Ecuador, the East African island of Mauritius only accepts digital nomad visa applications from select countries (don’t worry both the U.S. and Canada make the cut). Called a Premium Travel Visa, this offering is actually not just for remote workers, but for any tourists and retirees who may be interested in spending an extended amount of time in Mauritius as well. To qualify, you must work for a foreign company, buy travel insurance and a return ticket, and earn a minimum income of $1,500 per month (plus $500 extra for any dependents under the age of 24). While the visa does allow you to stay in the country for up to a year, you will have to pay taxes after six months if you are bringing foreign money into an account in Mauritius. 

For more info: https://residency.mu/live/mauritius-premium-visa/ 


Length of remote work visa: Six months 

Application fee: $62-$124 

What to know: There are just two major concerns when it comes to getting approved for a digital nomad visa in Namibia: First, you must have valid health and travel insurance, and secondly, you will have to prove that you make at least $2,000 per month. From there, it should be relatively smooth sailing, but keep in mind you will have to demonstrate that you can earn an additional $1,000 per month if a partner or spouse is joining you, and $500 per month each for any children who are also making the trip. 

For more info: https://nipdb.com/nomadvisa/ 


Length of remote work visa: Six months to one year 

Application fee: HRK 1,190 (about $170) 

What to know: Like with most of the countries offering remote work visas, you’ll need to focus on three things to qualify for Croatia’s Digital Nomad Residence Permit—so long as you’re a resident of a non-EU/non-EEA country. First, is proof that your work is done for a foreign company and can be done online. Second is that you can demonstrate you can financially support yourself—in this case, you have HRK 213,870 (about $30,370) for the year, or earn at least HRK 17,822.50 (about $2,530) per month. And, of course, you must have valid health and travel insurance. 

For more info: https://mup.gov.hr/aliens-281621/stay-and-work/temporary-stay-of-digital-nomads/286833 

Costa Rica 

Length of remote work visa: One year, with the option to renew

Application fee: $100 + additional administrative charges (translating documents, a permit fee, etc.) 

What to know: Extending a tip to Costa Rica was made even easier when the country started its digital nomad visa program. To be eligible, you need valid health insurance and have proof of a stable income (from a foreign company, naturally) amounting to at least $3,000 per month. That minimum salary jumps to $5,000 a month if you’re being joined by your family.

For more info: https://www.visitcostarica.com/en/costa-rica/digital-nomads 


Length of remote work visa: Up to one year

Application fee: MYR 1,000 (about $230)  

What to know: Malaysia’s digital nomad visa—officially called the DE Rantau Nomad Pass—allows remote workers to stay in the country for as long as one year, but in order to qualify you must stay for at least three months. The program is specifically intended for remote workers or freelancers who work in digital fields (ex: cyber security, online marketing, etc.) for non-Malaysian companies, although freelancers can have clients based locally. You are also expected to earn more than $24,000 annually.   

For more info: https://mdec.my/ms/derantau/foreign 


Length of remote work visa: Up to one year, with the option to renew 

Application fee: €75 (around $81) + additional administrative fees 

What to know: Non-EU/non-EEA citizens can work remotely in Greece as long as they can prove that their work is remote and that they earn €3,500 (around $3,780) per month from a foreign company or clients. They will also need valid health insurance. If you end up staying in the country longer than six months, you will have to start paying local taxes—though you may be eligible for certain tax incentives if you end up staying for two years or more. 

For more info: https://workfromgreece.gr/