The COVID-19 pandemic shifted the way we live and work. Millions of people across the globe were forced out of their offices to work from home. This phenomenon popularised the term – the digital nomad.
The term was first used in 1997 in a book titled “The Digital Nomad” by Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners. It refers to a group of people who can work remotely from anywhere globally as long as they have access to the internet. It advocated a way of life with travel at its core, enabling “global citizens” to explore the world while working to finance their lifestyle.
The pandemic disrupted international tourism across the globe. According to Statista, international tourist arrivals worldwide reached around 409.5 million in 2020, the lowest figure recorded since 1989, then went up by 9% in 2021.
As a response to this drop in tourism, countries around the world are in a race to attract the growing class of international remote workers known as “digital nomads.” As of the time of writing this article, more than 48 countries are offering this visa.
These countries are offering digital nomad visas
However, some of these visas have some complexities that make the process of obtaining them complicated. In this article, we selected these seven digital nomad visas based on the following methodologies: cost of visa fee, income requirements, internet speeds and the duration of the visa.
The countries are Portugal, Hungary, Mexico, Mauritius, Brazil, Croatia, Malta, and Estonia.
Portugal launched its digital nomad visa on October 30, 2022. The southern European country is a fantastic destination for digital nomads due to its amazing beaches, good weather, and great quality of life. The timezone also fits in perfectly for international work.
As an applicant, you must make a monthly average income of $2,750 and the visa fee is $187. The length of the visa is one year, and it can be renewed for 5 years. Portugal’s fixed broadband download speed is 116.57Mbps and 62.19Mbps for mobile.
The program allows recipients to travel visa-free throughout the Schengen Area, a region containing 26 European Union member countries where travellers can move freely without dealing with border control. Applications can be made at a Portuguese consulate in the applicant’s home country or at Portugal’s immigration agency, Servio de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras.
Hungary's digital nomad visa formally called a "white card," offers digital nomads an opportunity to experience the European lifestyle while also taking advantage of affordable living costs.
The Central European country has a slightly lower monthly income threshold of $2,000 and the visa lasts one year. The cost of applying for the program is $115. Hungary’s fixed broadband download speed is 119.36Mbps and 42.11Mbps for mobile.
The white card visa allows for visa-free travel through the Schengen area. Hungary is a country of immense beauty. It proudly boasts 10 national parks, 145 minor nature reserves, and 35 landscape protection areas. It's a country with a fascinating history, as well as a rich natural landscape. The application for Hungary’s white card visa can be done online.
Related Article: How to obtain the Namibian Digital Nomad Visa
Mexico’s digital nomad visa is called the Temporary Resident Visa. While the visa is not officially a digital nomad visa, it is suitable for professionals who have the means to work remotely.
To qualify for the visa, you must have an income of $2,595 (or at least $3,456 if you are going with one dependant) per month. The visa is valid for one year and the cost of obtaining the visa is $279. The fixed broadband download speed in Mexico is 49.88Mbps and 25.28Mbps for mobile.
Mexico has stunning beaches, fascinating ancient ruins, rich culture, and delicious cuisines. In addition, Mexico has a much lower cost of living than many other countries worldwide, and it’s right next to the United States.
Mauritius is an African country east of Madagascar and lies in the Indian Ocean. The East African country is a small, remote archipelago which is home to 16 islands and islets and for its stunning beaches with crystal-clear waters. The main islands that make up the country are Agaléga, Rodrigues, and Mauritius.
Mauritius’ digital nomad visa is called the Premium Visa program, and no fee or proof of income is required. The visa is valid for one year and renewable. The fixed broadband download speed in Mauritius is 27.23Mbps and 21.13Mbps for mobile. The Premium Visa application can be done online.
Brazil was the first South American country to adopt the digital nomad visa program. The program which began on the 24th of January 2022 is valid for one year and is renewable for an additional year.
The minimum monthly income requirement is $1,500 and the cost of the program is $100. The visa is valid for one year and is renewable for an additional year. Brazil’s fixed broadband download speed is 95.95Mbps and 32.17Mbps for mobile.
The South American country is known for numerous tropical beaches, the colourful Rio De Janeiro carnival, as well as for being home to the Amazon rainforest. The application process has to be done at a Brazilian embassy.
Related Article: Eight best African Cities for Digital Nomads
This is not a remote work visa per se, but it’s a residence permit that allows you to stay and work in Croatia through remote work. The program was started on January 1, 2021, as a response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To qualify for the visa, you must have an income of $2,325. The program costs between $85 to $130 and the residence permit are issued for one year. Croatia’s fixed broadband download speed is 44.42Mbps and 74.35Mbps for mobile.
Croatia has gorgeous seaside cities and towns, excellent cuisine, and affordable living costs. The residence permit application process can be done online.
The European island nation of Malta has a digital nomad visa called the Nomad Residency Permit. Malta boasts a nationwide 5G network and English as one of the official languages, it also has over 300 days of sunshine a year.
This program targets NON-EU remote workers and has a length of one year, which can be renewed. As an applicant, you must have a monthly income threshold of $2,815 and pay the visa fee of around $313. Malta’s fixed broadband download speed is 92.27Mbps and 50.68Mbps for mobile.
Malta offers a cosmopolitan culture, pleasant climate, and unlimited adventure opportunities to state-of-the-art telecommunications technologies and co-working spaces,
Some of the European country’s most iconic views include The Valletta City Skyline, the Upper Barrakka Gardens, the Dingli Cliffs and the St Agatha’s Tower (the Red Tower). Malta’s Nomad Residency permit application can be done online.
From Tartu to Tallinn, in the bogs, through the forests, and on the beaches, there is an exciting startup scene and rich ancient culture and landscapes to explore in Estonia. The North European country began its digital nomad visa on August 1st, 2020.
To apply for this visa your income must meet the minimum threshold of $3653 during the six months preceding the application. The visa fee is $104. The fixed broadband download speed in Estonia is 57.14Mbps and 58.59Mbps for mobile.
As a holder of the Estonian digital nomad visa, you can visit other Schengen countries. Estonia is dotted with castles, churches, hilltop fortresses, and museums and has more than 1,500 islands. You have to apply for the Digital Nomad Visa at the nearest Estonian Embassy or Consulate.
UK's global talent visa is another option for digital nomads who wish to settle down in the country. However, the requirements differ from the typical digital nomad visas.