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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 really 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 find yourself thinking this way, it is time to start looking for a digital nomad visa.

The need for flexibility and freedom when it comes to professional life has caused people around the world 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 of these digital nomads want to travel the world to encounter new cultures and people, have new experiences, and see everything there is to see out there. As not everyone can live without working, 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 all over the world, Digital Nomads are not required to stay in a single location but travel the world and enjoy life in a way that was not possible before.

A common misconception is that digital nomads are required to be extremely 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 get rid of but digital nomads can do so with high levels of motivation.

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.

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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 of them with a great 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 a long time ago, most companies refused to allow their employees to work in such a manner on a permanent basis, as they believed that it could disrupt their existing models and have negative impacts on 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 considers it to be a success, a perception that has increased to 83% in January of 2021 from 73% in June of 2020.

Not only companies consider remote working to be beneficial due to increased productivity, innovation, and morale, as well as lower operational costs but also, employees realized the benefits it provides them, with over 50% of employees wanting to work remotely more than 3 days a week and 29% wanting to work remotely for the entirety of their week.

Now, companies are adapting to facilitate remote work for their employees even as lockdowns around the world ceased a long time ago and concerns around COVID 19 decrease as the vaccine rollout continues.

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

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

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Digital Nomad Visa: The New Hottest Thing

Digital Nomad visas are growing in popularity as a means for governments to attract tourists by offering travel permits specifically designed for the needs of digital nomads while also offering longer stays than traditional visas with the option to travel with their families.

These visas are easier to obtain than other types of long-term visas, both in terms of the requirements, processing time, and necessary paperwork. Most of these visas can be applied for entirely online, which will make the process easier for people who are unable to travel to the country beforehand or who need to expedite the process by avoiding in-person application.

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

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

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

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 from while taking advantage of their newly found freedom from their routines.

While a lot of digital nomads look for exotic destinations to work from, this has not stopped countries not commonly associated with digital nomads to create their own digital nomad visas.

Countries like Spain, Germany, France, Iceland, and Norway have their own 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 rather work while having the aurora borealis over you during a cold winter with the warmth of a laptop, there is a digital nomad visa that will allow you to have exactly that.

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Why Should You get a Digital Nomad Visa?

Some people will tell you that digital nomad visas are not really 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 if you have the chance to do so.
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 period of time and then reentering the country, renewing the time they can stay in the country, and repeating the process once it is required again.

This process is not only bothersome but working while 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 risking 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 can 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 were to 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 an online application form and attaching the required documentation before submitting it, with 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 a level of complexity, thousands of digital nomads can apply 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 they need to 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 in which you will not only find information on the requirements and how to apply but also everything you should keep in mind 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 your traveling as one, make sure to 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.

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