Suppose you have the freedom to work from anywhere. Why not sign in to your morning meeting after an early morning surf somewhere in Latin America, or negotiate with clients from an Airbnb overlooking ancient ruins on a Mediterranean island?
Whether you are looking to travel from place to place while working remotely or want to try a longer stay in a new country, working remotely while exploring the world just keeps getting easier!
In this article, we’ll cover some of the countries offering a digital nomad visa and highlight some of our top picks as of July 2022. Plus, we’ll link you directly to government websites so you can learn more directly from the source.
First, what is a digital nomad?
"Digital nomad" is a term used to describe people who travel while working remotely. Around 53% of digital nomads are full-time employees, around 16% are startup founders, around 16% are freelancers, and the remaining digital nomads include part-time employees, contractors, and others.
Do you need a digital nomad visa to travel while working remotely?
Many countries allow visitors to work remotely for a foreign company while traveling on a tourist visa. For example, you can work from Mexico for a foreign company for up to 180 days on a tourist visa.
Other countries allow you to work on tourist visas. However, tourist visas may only be valid for a short time. In these circumstances, extended digital nomad visas are a good option for remote workers traveling slowly from country to country.
Meanwhile, it is illegal to work in some countries without valid work authorization. One particularly strict country is the United States. Many people assume they can work for their foreign employer while traveling in the U.S. on a B-1 visa or ESTA. However, working in the U.S. without work authorization—such as a work visa or green card—could negatively impact future visa or green card applications.
With a rise in remote work policies and a decrease in international travel, the COVID-19 pandemic has led many nations to introduce new visa and residency paths for digital nomads.
This is good news because remote workers experience the physical and mental benefits of traveling abroad while supporting local economies. Remote workers’ employers also benefit as research suggests remote employees are more productive than those who go into a physical office. In general, taking vacations increases productivity as well.
The best digital nomad visas
Depending on how you define the term, there are around 46 digital nomad visas. As mentioned above, many countries allow visitors to work remotely on a tourist visa, so be sure to research all your options ahead of time! We go into detail on 11 of those visas below.
Keep in mind that some regions—such as Europe and the Caribbean—have numerous digital nomad visa options, while others—such as Asia, South America, mainland Africa, and Oceania—have minimal digital nomad visas. Expect more digital nomad visa options to be introduced in the coming years, especially as COVID-19 travel restrictions decrease.
- Bahamas Extended Travel Stay (BEATS): 12-month visa with the option to renew for up to three years
Why the Bahamas? Imagine logging on each morning with a view of the Bahama’s crystal clear Caribbean water, and spending your weekends exploring the Bahama’s 700 pristine islands and cayes. If you want to explore more of the Caribbean, you can also hop over to some of the other Caribbean nations that offer generous digital nomad visas (listed below).
You likely qualify if: You can provide proof of employment (including self-employment) and pay the application and permit fees, which comes to a total of $1025 USD for individuals. University students can also qualify and must pay $525 USD in application and permit fees.
Fees: $1,025 USD visa application fee.
- Dominica Work In Nature Program: 18-month visa
Why Dominica? The fact that Dominica’s digital nomad visa program is called the “Work In Nature Program” says it all. Dominica is an English-speaking tropical paradise that is known as the Nature Island of the Caribbean. Experience rejuvenation as you explore the island nation’s rainforests, mountains, beaches, coral reefs, and cultural sites during your evenings and weekends.
You likely qualify if: You have an annual salary of at least $50,000 USD.
Fees: $900 USD in fees for individuals, or $1,300 in fees for families.
- Mexico Temporary Resident Visa: temporary residence visa for up to 4 years
Why Mexico? You won’t run out of things to do in Latin America’s third-largest country. From the Yucatan’s white sandy beaches, cenotes, and Mayan ruins, to the rich culture and cuisine of Mexico City and Oaxaca, to the West Coast’s world-class surf towns like Puerto Escondido, to small mountain villages rarely explored by foreigners, Mexico has something for everyone.
You likely qualify if: You have earned at least $2500 USD (after taxes) each month for the past six months. You can also work remotely from Mexico for up to 180 days on a tourist visa.
Fees: $44 USD online application fee
Other nomad visas to consider in the Americas: Cayman Islands Global Citizen, Barbados Welcome Stamp, Work from Bermuda Certificate, Work from Anguilla, Costa Rica’s Rentisata Visa, Antigua & Barbuda's Nomad Digital Residence, @HOME in Curaçao, Panama’s Digital Nomad Visa, Belize’s Work Where You Vacation Program, Montserrat’s Remote Worker Visa, Aruba's One Happy Workation Visa, and Brazil’s Digital Nomad Visa.
- Mauritius Premium Visa: 12-month visa with the option to renew
Why Mauritius? East of Madagascar, Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean. Mauritius is world-class scuba diving, geological wonders, culturally rich cities, and of course, white-sandy beaches. Digital nomads love exploring Mauritius’ cultural and historical heritage and indulging in the country’s natural beauty while working remotely.
You likely qualify if: You work for a company outside Mauritius and have no intention of entering the Mauritius labor market. You should have a monthly income of at least $1500 USD or €1300 EUR.
Fees: Free application!
- Cabo Verde Remote Working Program: 6-month visa with the option to renew once
Why Cabo Verde? This Atlantic archipelago is the perfect place to slow down and immerse in the country’s unique Creole Portuguese-Africa culture. You’ll also enjoy Cabo Verde’s natural beauty as you hike through volcanic landscapes and walk along pristine beaches when you’re not working.
You likely qualify if: You are a citizen or national of a country in Europe, North America, the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), and the Economic Community of West African States (CEDEAO), and you have earned at least €1500 EUR per month for the past 6 months.
Fees: €54 EUR application fee.
- Seychelles Workcation Program: visa for up to a year
Why Seychelles? Off the coast of Kenya, Seychelles is home to white-sand beaches, breathtaking jungles, UNESCO nature reserves, and a diverse ecosystem of flora, fauna, and animals you won’t find anywhere else on the planet. As a digital nomad in Seychelles, you will experience a slower pace of life while still being able to work for your current company.
You likely qualify if: You can provide proof of being an employee or business owner and that you have income or wealth (yes, this is vague).
Fees: €45 EUR application fee.
- Croatia Digital Nomad Permit: temporary stay of up to 12 months
Why Croatia? Stroll through the cobblestone streets of Croatia’s charming cities such as Split and Dubrovnik. Spend your weekends wandering through Roman ruins or dipping your toes in turquoise blue water. Croatia can even be your home base as you explore the rest of Europe.
You likely qualify if: You have a monthly income of at least HRK 16,907.50 (about $2600 USD) from a company outside of Croatia.
Fees: HRK 590 (about $90 USD) application fee and HRK 35 (about $5 USD) tax stamp fee.
- Malta Nomad Residence Permit: 12-month permit with the option to renew
Why Malta? Just south of Sicily, Malta is one of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful island nations. Swim in crystal clear lagoons, island hop around the Mediterranean, and explore the nation’s rich culture. Indulge in the local cuisine and taste the influences from the surrounding Mediterranean countries such as Italy, France, and Spain.
You likely qualify if: You are self-employed or employed by a company outside of Malta, and have a monthly income of at least €2,700 EUR.
Fees: €300 EUR application fee.
- Estonia Digital Nomad Visa: 12-month visa
Why Estonia? Nestled along the Baltic Sea, Estonia is not only home to breathtaking castles, dense old-growth forests, and unique Nordic-Baltic fusion cuisine. It is also home to a thriving tech scene, with more startups than Silicon Valley.
You likely qualify if: You are employed by a company based outside of Estonia and you can show that you have earned at least €3504 per month for the past 6 months.
Fees: €80 EUR or €100 EUR fee, depending on the length of your stay.
Other nomad visas to consider in Europe: Germany’s Freelancer Visa, Portugal’s Temporary Residence Visa, the Czech Republic’s Long Term Visa, Spain’s Self Employment Visa, Spain’s Digital Nomad Visa, Iceland’s Remote Work Visa, Norway’s Independent Contractor Visa, Italy’s Self-Employment Visa, Greece’s Digital Nomad Visa, Serbia’s Visa C and Visa D, Cyprus’ Digital Nomad Visa, The Netherlands’ Remote Work Visa, and Lithuania's e-Residency Program.
- Remotely From Georgia Program: While tourism is only open to citizens of five neighboring countries, Remotely from Georgia makes visiting Georgia possible for remote workers from up to 95 countries.
Why Georgia? Many digital nomads are drawn to Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, where you’ll find an eccentric mix of bumpy cobblestone streets, cleverly repurposed Soviet buildings and towering Gothic cathedrals. Others are drawn to the charming countryside, where you’ll find rolling mountains, charming vineyards, and ancient villages.
You likely qualify if: You are employed by a company based outside of Georgia and earn $2000 USD or more monthly.
Fees: GEL 80 (about $80 USD) fee to take a COVID-19 PCR test once you arrive.
Why Dubai? Located in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is a city like no other. Whether you want to explore the city’s extravagant architecture or use Dubai as a springboard for exploring the rest of the Arabian peninsula, Dubai’s Virtual Working Visa is worth considering.
You likely qualify if: You have a monthly salary of $5000 USD or more.
Fees: $611 USD application fee.
How can I come to the U.S. as a digital nomad?
As of July 2022, the U.S. does not have a specific digital nomad visa. However, there are many visa options available that may work for digital nomads who want to spend time in the U.S.
An O-1 visa is a popular option amongst startup founders and other successful professionals. The L-1 visa allows certain employees of foreign companies to transfer to related companies in the U.S. The E-2 visa grants temporary U.S. work authorization for certain individuals who invest in U.S. companies, such as a company they founded. The TN visa allows Canadian and Mexican nationals to work temporarily in the U.S. in certain occupations.
U.S. immigration can be confusing, but you don’t have to figure it all out on your own! Explore our free resources or set up a time to talk with a member of our experienced immigration team about your unique immigration situation!