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digital nomads

61 countries offer Digital Nomad Visas

A digital nomad visa, also known as a remote working visa, serves as a specialized permit granting individuals the ability to live and work in a foreign country without the need to apply for residency or citizenship. Digital Nomad Visas

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These visas cater to the burgeoning population of location-independent professionals, providing them with a legal avenue to reside and work overseas while maintaining employment with companies or clients based elsewhere. Countries offering such visas typically have specific requirements, including proof of income, travel health insurance, and a valid work contract, to ensure that incoming remote workers contribute positively to the local economy and foster a vibrant, globally connected community.

UN Tourism’s latest Tourism Visa Openness report looks at the background and current state of digital nomadism trends and provides an analysis of existing digital nomad visas (DNVs) covering 54 destinations, mostly located in the Americas and Europe. It examines the DNV programmes in seven areas: application process; duration of visa; taxation; insurance; accommodation; minimum income requirements; and criminal records check.

According to this analysis, the rise in DNVs has gone hand-in-hand with an increase in digital nomads, with destinations in all regions working to meet the market trend. A digital nomad visa offers more flexibility than traditional work visas and the opportunity for applicants to experience life in the host destination’s unique setting.

The Citizen Remote blog reported in February 2024 that 66 countries around the world now offer digital nomad visas.

Key findings of the UN report include:

  • 47% of destinations offer visas for up to one year.
  • 39% of destinations exempt digital nomads from tax payments
  • 17% of destinations do not have minimum income requirements.
  • 76% of destinations have online applications for DNV programmes.
  • 80% of destinations process applications within a one-month period.
  • Only 6% of destinations have no visa fees for applications.
  • Almost all destinations require some form of criminal records check.
  • Estonia was the first country to officially introduce a specialised digital nomad visa programme in July 2020.
  • Aruba, Georgia, and Mauritius process visas free of charge.
  • The highest visa fees are in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Cayman Islands and Grenada
  • Canada offers the shortest stay (30 days) for digital nomads, while Thailand issues the longest DNVs (up to 10 years).
  • Generally, digital nomads become tax residents in the host country (with few exceptions) after 183 days of their stay.
  • Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Curaçao, Georgia, Malta, Mauritius, Namibia, and Seychelles require that visa holders possess both health and travel insurance, while the rest of the destinations require either travel or health insurance. Antigua and Barbuda, Curaçao, Iceland and Panama do not require visa applicants to make advance arrangements for their arrangements.

Digital nomads spend big money Digital Nomad Visas

The BBC reported that digital nomads are spending big money. According to US-based consultancy MBO Partners’ 2023 Digital Nomads Report, 17.3 million US workers are currently digital nomads, and 24 million aspire to join them in the next two to three years. A 2023 survey conducted by travel writer Carlos Grider estimates digital nomads contribute nearly US$800 billion to the global economy annually.

A lot of that cash was flowing to places such as Portugal and Spain. Nomads List, a website for remote workers) reported that Portugal was home to nearly 16,000 digital nomads in December 2023, thanks to its Golden Visa residency programme for expats looking to make Portugal a permanent home – plus a newly launched digital nomad visa. As for Spain, VisaGuide.World named the country the top destination for nomads thanks to its visa’s lower barrier of entry, requiring proof of income at just €2,600 per month.

Bangkok ranked as the overall most visited remote work hub by absolute trip counts in 2023, followed by Lisbon, London, Barcelona, and Paris, according to data by Nomad List which analysed more than 300,000 check-ins on its database.

The other cities in the Top 10 are Mexico City, Chiang Mai, Istanbul, Tokyo and Canggu (Bali).

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