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Digital Nomad Visas: What are they and how do I get one?

Digital Nomad Visas

Have you ever thought –

“I don’t want to work in a cubicle.”
“I don’t want to work an office job.”
“I want to travel.”
“I want to do something I like.”
“Life is too short not to do what I love.”
“I want to be my own boss.”

These ideas are becoming more common as people’s discontentment with the modern working lifestyle continues to grow. If you think this way, it is time to look for a digital nomad visa.

The need for flexibility and freedom in professional life has caused people worldwide to look for new opportunities that allow them to enjoy their free time to do what they want to do, which in a lot of cases is not compatible with being shackled by their location.

Some digital nomads want to travel the world to encounter new cultures and people, have new experiences, and see everything there is to see. Unfortunately, not everyone can live without working, so they choose to take their job on the road, giving birth to the term digital nomad.

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What Does it Mean to Be a Digital Nomad?

By working remotely for a company, running their own business over the internet, or completing jobs for clients worldwide, Digital Nomads are not required to stay in a single location but travel the world and enjoy life in a way that was impossible before.

A common misconception is that digital nomads are required to be highly successful people with money to spare, but this is far from the truth.
Digital nomads are part of multiple industries with different degrees of what is commonly known as “success,” but they all share a common trait: Yearning for freedom.

The tensions between work and leisure are not easy to eliminate, but digital nomads can do so with high motivation levels.

Most people think about being a digital nomad as a fantasy that can’t be easily achieved, but the truth is that it doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive.

To learn more about what it means to be a digital nomad, check out our newer blog on the FAQ about being a digital nomad.

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Working Remotely is Now Easier than Ever

It is undeniable that while technology has advanced exponentially over the last decades, different factors like work, education, services, and governments, all with a significant impact on our daily lives, have failed to adapt and evolve in the same way.

Many nations are also offering special digital nomad visa programs.
While the internet facilitated the transition toward home offices and remote working long ago, most companies refused to allow their employees to work in such a manner permanently. Instead, they believed it could disrupt their existing models and negatively impact their businesses.

However, the ongoing Covid19 pandemic forced companies not only to allow their employees to work remotely but, in some instances, require them to. Surveys suggest that the overall perception of remote working is a success, which has increased to 83% in January 2021 from 73% in June 2020.

Companies consider remote working beneficial due to increased productivity, innovation, and morale and lower operational costs. Employees also realize the benefits remote work provides them. For example, over 50% of employees say they want to work remotely more than three days a week, and 29% want to work remotely for the entirety of their week.

Now, companies are adapting to facilitate remote work for their employees even as lockdowns worldwide ceased a long time ago and concerns around COVID 19 decrease as the vaccine rollout continues. Curious what companies have adopted remote work? Check out our blog on that!

Suppose you are one of these people looking to work remotely, liberating yourself from having to be chained to a specific location. In that case, this might be the perfect moment to transition to a digital nomadic lifestyle, as it is now easier than ever.

Not only are employers more likely to allow employees to work remotely, but governments worldwide are creating digital nomad visa programs to cater to the needs of digital nomads.

Check out this article to learn more about how digital nomad visas can benefit countries worldwide.

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The New Hottest Thing?

Digital Nomad visas are growing in popularity as a means for governments to attract tourists by offering travel permits designed explicitly for digital nomads’ needs while providing more extended stays than traditional visas with the option to travel with their families.

These visas are more accessible to obtain than other long-term visas, both in terms of the requirements, processing time, and necessary paperwork. Most of these visa processes are entirely online, making the process easier for people who cannot travel to the country beforehand or who need to expedite the process by avoiding in-person applications.

While all countries have specific policies and requirements, most digital nomad visas will require you to pay a processing fee and prove that you have the necessary financial means to sustain yourself in the country and support your status as a remote worker/ freelancer/business owner.

As of February 2021, there are a total of 25 Governments offering visas that can be applied for by Digital Nomads looking to live and work in their countries.

While some of these programs have been around for years, most were introduced as recently as 2020, with more governments passing legislation for their schedules.

Countries like Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, Estonia, and Aruba have historically relied on tourism to maintain their economies, which caused them to struggle as tourism dropped during 2020 due to the pandemic.

These countries decided to create digital nomad visa programs to offer remote workers a safe place to work while taking advantage of their newly found freedom from their routines.

While many digital nomads look for exotic destinations to work from, this has not stopped countries not commonly associated with digital nomads from creating their digital nomad visas.

Countries like Spain, Germany, France, Iceland, and Norway have their programs in an attempt to attract some of the ever-growing digital nomad population.

This trend has ensured that digital nomads can choose from a wide range of destinations that cater to their interests and expectations, not being limited to Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe, some of the regions most attractive to them in the past.

It doesn’t matter if you are someone who enjoys working from a paradisiac beach while tanning and enjoying a cold drink or someone who would instead work while having the aurora borealis over you during a cold winter with the warmth of a laptop. A digital nomad visa will allow you to have precisely that.

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Why Should You get a Digital Nomad Visa?

Some people will tell you that digital nomad visas are not a requirement to live and work remotely as a digital nomad. While this is technically true, there are multiple reasons to opt for a digital nomad visa.
While being a digital nomad under a tourist visa is certainly a possibility in some cases, it is not uncommon for digital nomads to decide to stay in a country for a longer time than the one established in their tourism visa or the terms of their visa exemption.

Historically, most digital nomads have decided to work around these limitations by doing “visa runs” every certain number of days or months once their terms of stay expired.

Visa runs consist of leaving the country for a short time, reentering it, renewing the time they can stay in the country, and repeating the process once it is required.

This process is not only bothersome but working under a tourist visa is against the law in some countries, which could result in legal or immigration trouble depending on the stand of the country’s government. It is uncommon but not unheard of that some digital nomads find themselves unable to reenter the country when doing these visa runs.

Getting a digital nomad visa will not only allow you to stay in a country while working remotely with the ease of mind that comes with knowing you will not have problems with the law, interrupt your stay, risk not being able to return, or being unable to stay in the country for longer if you decide to do so. It could also provide you with some benefits you might want to consider.

These benefits could range from allowing you to move freely in and out of the country during the duration of the visa to providing you with tax residency and citizenship rights if you choose to stay in the country indefinitely or permanently.

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How Can You Apply for a Digital Nomad Visa?

Just like the requirements, the application process for a digital nomad visa will vary depending on the country you are applying to.

In most cases, the application process will consist of filling out an online application form and attaching the required documentation before submitting it to the relevant authorities, then reviewing the application and informing you of the result online.

However, as requirements and necessary paperwork vary, there are instances where the process can be more complex and require you to go as far as creating a company in the country to obtain the visa. While this certainly adds complexity, thousands of digital nomads can apply for and obtain these visas each year, and we will tell you how.

When applying for a digital nomad visa, you will need to pay special attention to the requirements and how the application must be submitted, as some countries will require you to obtain translations of the paperwork or attach them in a specific format.

In other instances, you will find that the official information asks you to provide evidence of financial status or professional activity but won’t elaborate on what documentation you can submit. In such instances, research is essential to ensure your application won’t be divided due to a technicality.

We have created guides for all digital nomad visas available at this time. You will find information on the requirements, how to apply, and everything you should remember when applying for that country’s digital nomad visa, hopefully making the process easier for you.

If you want to become a digital nomad or continue traveling as one, consider the benefits of obtaining a digital nomad visa to simplify the process and avoid any potential issues. Being a digital nomad with ease of mind is now easier than ever, and we are here to help you.


Harrison Pierce is a full-time digital nomad and freelance writer.

He specializes in travel and personal finance and works with a variety of companies and publications to create meaningful content. Harrison travels with his cat, Isabelle, and spends most of his time in South America. Although he has only been writing professionally for under a year, he has always had a passion for the craft.