Your Guide to Digital Nomad Visas Around the World

In recent years, being a digital nomad has gained increasing popularity. With advancements in technology and the rise of remote work, more people are choosing to live a location-independent lifestyle, working and traveling from anywhere in the world.

However, one major hurdle for digital nomads has been navigating visa requirements and restrictions.

This is where the concept of a digital nomad visa comes into play. A digital nomad visa is a particular type of visa that allows remote working professionals to reside and work in a foreign country while earning an income through remote work or online business ventures.

It provides you with all the legal permissions to stay and work in a country for an extended period, longer than what is allowed under tourist visas.

If you also want to embrace the digital nomad lifestyle, then this article is for you. We’ve prepared the ultimate guide to digital nomad visas so you can work from anywhere in the world.

From understanding different visa options to navigating the application process, we’ve got you covered. So, without further ado, let’s dive into everything you need to know about securing a digital nomad visa.

What is a Digital Nomad Visa?

What is a Digital Nomad Visa

Working in some foreign countries with a tourist visa may be illegal due to the country’s immigration and employment regulations.

The way around this issue is a digital nomad visa, which provides a temporary residency permit for remote workers employed and paid by foreign companies. In other words, you can stay and work legally in the country that issued you a digital nomad visa.

Anyone working remotely from more than one location is a digital nomad. Since they have no fixed office and can earn an income from anyone, they often travel to another country and work from abroad.

Many countries have introduced digital nomad visas that allow remote employees, freelancers, and self-employed individuals to come to live and work there for a set period.

The specific terms and conditions of a digital nomad visa vary depending on the country offering it. Some countries have established specific programs or visas geared towards attracting remote workers, entrepreneurs, and programmers with side hustles, while others may offer more general long-term visas that anyone can use.

One of the main benefits of obtaining a digital nomad visa is that it eliminates the need to constantly apply for short-term visas or adhere to strict time limits and regulations imposed by tourist visas.

This can save time and money and provide peace of mind regarding potential issues with immigration authorities.

Advantages of Being a Digital Nomad

A digital nomad visa is valuable for those seeking a location-independent lifestyle. It provides legal permission to work and reside in a foreign country for an extended period, constantly eliminating the need to apply for short-term visas.

Depending on the country, it offers various other benefits, such as healthcare services, banking facilities, and tax exemptions that may not be available with different types of visas. Legal permission to work in a country can open up networking opportunities and collaboration with local businesses or other expats living there. 

With the rise of technology and a growing digital economy, more people are choosing to become digital nomads by starting their own business or working for someone remotely, and more countries are offering them visas. Unsurprisingly, more people are choosing this lifestyle with the right planning and preparation.

As this trend continues to grow, staying informed about the benefits and what to expect when working from a new destination is wise.

So, let’s explore some of the advantages of this lifestyle.

1. Freedom and Flexibility

The most lucrative advantage of being a digital nomad is its freedom and flexibility. You can set up an LLC and work from wherever you want as long as you have a reliable internet connection. This allows for a better work-life balance as you can choose when and where you want to work, giving you more control over your schedule.

2. Cost-Effective

Being a digital nomad can also be cost-effective in many ways. Since you won’t have to stay in one location, you can live in countries with lower living costs while earning an income from higher-paying countries. This can help stretch your budget further, allowing you to work on your self-employed business ideas without worrying about money.

3. Increased Productivity

Many digital nomads report increased productivity compared to traditional office workers. They can focus on their work and get things done efficiently without distractions like office politics or long commutes. Plus, being able to create your schedule means working during your most productive hours rather than being forced into strict 9-5 hours.

4. Exposure to Different Cultures

Traveling is an enriching experience that exposes us to new cultures, languages, and perspectives. It offers the opportunity to explore the world while maintaining professional commitments, which many digital nomads value. As they move between different countries, they get immersed in local cultures and can learn new languages or customs along the way.

5. Worldwide Connections

Another advantage of being a digital nomad is having access to a global network of professionals from all walks of life. This can lead to valuable connections, collaborations, and the opportunity to learn from others in different industries.

Disadvantages of Digital Nomads

While the digital nomad lifestyle may seem like a dream come true for many, it has disadvantages. You must learn to navigate local authorities, adapt to local settings, and manage legal and tax obligations for remote workers from other countries. So, before you take the plunge into a new world, check out some potential downsides of being a digital nomad.

1. Lack of stability

One of the major drawbacks of being a digital nomad is the lack of routine in your daily life. Traveling and changing locations can make maintaining a regular schedule challenging. 

2. Inconsistent Connectivity

An internet connection is a necessity for remote workers or digital nomads. However, not all countries have reliable wifi or cellular networks, making it challenging to stay connected and finish work on time. 

3. No Work-Life Balance

The line between work and personal life can quickly become blurred when you work remotely while exploring new places. So, you must balance your workload and prioritize tasks according to your travel schedule so that neither aspect of your life suffers.

4. No Oversight

As a digital nomad, you are responsible for your own schedule and productivity levels without anyone physically overseeing your work habits. It takes self-discipline and motivation to focus on work without getting distracted.

5. Cultural Differences 

Living in different countries allows digital nomads to experience various cultures and customs. While this can be a fascinating experience, adapting to new social norms and etiquette can take time and may be challenging for some.

Spotlight on Countries Offering Digital Nomad Visas

Spotlight on Countries Offering Digital Nomad Visas

While not all countries offer digital nomad visas, several have recognized the growing trend of remote work and created specific programs to attract more remote businesses and workers.

The number of destinations for digital nomads has risen significantly over recent years, with almost half of all global destinations offering digital nomad visas for at least one year.

It’s important to note that each country has specific requirements and conditions for their digital nomad visas. Therefore, it is essential to research thoroughly before applying and ensure you meet all the criteria.

1. Estonia

Estonia was among the first countries to introduce a dedicated digital nomad visa in 2019. Also known as D-visa, it allows individuals to stay in Estonia for a year while working remotely for their own company or employer based outside of Estonia.

One significant benefit of this visa is granting access to the Schengen area, allowing holders to travel within 26 European countries without additional visas.

Cost of Estonia D-Visa:

  • The application fee for Estonia’s D-Visa is €100.

  • Additional fees may apply for document processing and translation services.

2. Germany

Germany launched its digital nomad visa program in August 2021, making it one of the latest countries to join the trend. The German freelance visa allows self-employed individuals with specialized skills (such as IT experts) or those working in emerging fields (such as AI) to live and work in Germany for up to three years.

Cost of Germany’s Digital Nomad Visa:

  • The cost of Germany’s digital nomad visa (Freiberufler visa) varies depending on your circumstances and the duration of your stay.

  • Generally, expect to pay between €75 and €110 for the visa application fee.

  • Additional costs may include health insurance, accommodation, and other living expenses.

3. Czech Republic

The Czech Republic offers digital nomads two types of long-term visas: freelancer visa and employee card. The freelancer visa is suitable for self-employed individuals. At the same time, the employee card is for those working remotely for a company based outside of the Czech Republic. Both visas allow stays of up to two years with possible extensions.

Cost of Czech Republic Freelancer Visa (Zivnostensky Visa):

  • Application Fee is approximately CZK 2,500 (varies based on embassy or consulate)

  • The Residence Permit Fee is CZK 1,000

4. Portugal

Portugal initially launched a tech visa in 2019 but revamped it recently under a new name—the Startup Visa Program.

The program now includes not only entrepreneurs but also freelancers, remote workers, and investors interested in joining Portuguese tech startups. Successful applicants are granted a one-year residence permit, which can be renewed for two additional years.

Cost of Portugal Digital Nomad Visa:

  • The application fee for Portugal’s Digital Nomad Visa is approximately €80 to €90.

  • Additionally, applicants must pay a processing fee of €120 upon approval of the visa.

5. Barbados

Barbados introduced its “Welcome Stamp” visa in 2020, targeting remote workers who want to live and work on the island for up to a year. This visa is open to individuals from all countries and has been popular among digital nomads due to Barbados’s beautiful beaches and warm climate.

Cost of Barbados’ Welcome Stamp visa:

  • The cost is $2,000 for an individual applicant.

  • The fee is $3,000 for families, covering the primary applicant and up to three dependents.

6. Mexico

Mexico’s Digital Nomad Visa, officially known as the Temporary Resident Visa for Remote Workers, is a program specifically designed for individuals who work remotely and wish to reside in Mexico for an extended period.

It was introduced in 2021 to allow eligible applicants to live and work in Mexico for up to 12 months, with the option to renew for an additional year.

Cost of Mexico’s Digital Nomad Visa:

  • Mexico’s Temporary Resident Visa for Remote Workers costs approximately $208 USD (4,365 MXN) per applicant.

  • You can apply through the Mexican consulate or embassy website or in person at the nearest consulate or embassy.

7. Malaysia

Malaysia’s Digital Nomad Visa, officially known as the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program, is a long-term visa designed to attract remote workers, entrepreneurs, and retirees to live and work in Malaysia.

The MM2H program offers a renewable 10-year visa, allowing participants to reside in Malaysia with their families while enjoying various benefits, including tax incentives and healthcare and education services.

Cost of Malaysia’s Digital Nomad Visa:

  • The application fee is approximately $2,400 USD (RM 10,000), and the annual renewal fee is $22 USD (RM 90).

Balancing Work and Leisure: Life as a Digital Nomad

Being a digital nomad allows you to live and work from anywhere in the world. However, finding a balance between work and leisure helps you avoid burnout and maintain overall well-being. While being a digital nomad lets you create a flexible schedule, having some structure in your day-to-day life is essential. 

Having a routine helps with productivity and ensures that you make time for leisure activities. It’ll help you prioritize tasks effectively and efficiently and complete your work within designated hours. You can also take breaks throughout the day to prevent burnout and recharge before diving back into work. 

Be transparent about your availability and let your clients and coworkers know if there are any changes in your schedule due to travel plans or other commitments. Setting clear schedules when you are available for work or traveling can prevent interruptions during leisure time and working hours.

Challenges of Being a Digital Nomad

Challenges of Being a Digital Nomad

It may seem like a dream lifestyle: traveling the world while still being able to work and earn an income. However, this lifestyle comes with its own challenges that can make it more difficult than it seems.

Luckily, you can overcome these challenges with proper planning and preparation, allowing for a fulfilling remote work lifestyle.

1. Constantly Changing Environments

Traveling to different countries can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming and exhausting. Digital nomads must always be ready to adjust to different time zones, languages, currencies, and workspaces.

2. Time zone differences

As a digital nomad, you may have to deal with significant time zone differences depending on where your clients or team are. This can sometimes make communication and coordination challenging for your clients, seniors, and coworkers.

3. Limited access to healthcare

While most countries have decent healthcare systems, your healthcare plan might not provide coverage in a foreign country. So, if you require medical attention, you may be without healthcare access due to unfamiliar locations or inadequate insurance coverage.

4. Legal complications

Working remotely while traveling can also present legal complexities that must be carefully considered and navigated, such as tax discrepancies or financial mismanagement. You can read more about the tax implications in our comprehensive guide on digital nomad taxes.

The Future of Digital Nomadism

As more people embrace remote work and the freedom it offers, the future of digital nomadism is looking brighter than ever. The number of countries providing specific visas for digital nomads has grown significantly.

This trend is likely to continue as countries realize the economic benefits of attracting remote businesses that you can set up from anywhere. By opening their doors to location-independent workers, they are not only boosting their tourism industry but also attracting new skills, ideas, and income.

In addition to governments making it easier for digital nomads to live and work abroad, many technological advancements will shape the future of this lifestyle. With 5G networks becoming more accessible, working from even the most remote locations will become a seamless experience.

This means that even more destinations will be accessible for digital nomads. So, one thing is sure – we will see more opportunities in this space as technology advances and society becomes more open to remote work. 

Is a Digital Nomad Visa Right for You?

Is a Digital Nomad Visa Right for You?

After learning about the various digital nomad visas available and their requirements, you may wonder if it is the right choice. The answer to this question depends on your personal goals, lifestyle, and career aspirations.

However, this lifestyle requires flexibility, resilience, and money. Consider the cost of living in the countries you plan on visiting and ensure you have enough funds to support yourself during your stay. Therefore, you should assess your financial situation and ensure your plans won’t derail your life before committing to it.

These visas allow you to stay in a country for six months to a year. It’ll give you enough time to explore the local culture while still being able to work, but you’ll be gone for a long time.

Moreover, consider how this lifestyle will affect your career goals since working remotely may also limit opportunities for growth within a company or industry.

So, carefully weigh the pros and cons and adequately plan and research to determine if being a digital nomad is the right path for you.



What are the eligibility criteria for a digital nomad visa?

The eligibility criteria vary depending on the country you’re applying to; however, all programs have some standard requirements. In most cases, applicants must be able to prove their income source, have health insurance, and have sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay.

Do I need to pay taxes in my home country and the country I live in with a digital nomad visa?

Tax laws can be complex when working remotely from another country. It’s advisable to consult a tax specialist to understand your obligations in both countries and ensure compliance.

Can I bring my family with me on a digital nomad visa?

Again, this depends on the specific country’s regulations. Some countries allow dependents to accompany the primary visa holder, while others do not.

Can self-employed individuals or business owners apply for a digital nomad visa?

Yes, you must be self-employed or have a business to apply for a digital nomad visa. Many countries allow applicants as long as they meet specific requirements, such as proof of income and health insurance.

doola's website is for general information purposes only and doesn't provide official law or tax advice. For tax or legal advice we are happy to connect you to a professional in our network! Please see our terms and privacy policy. Thank you and please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.

Start your dream business and keep it 100% compliant

Turn your dream idea into your dream business.