With the rise of remote working, many of us have started thinking, “if we can work from home, what’s stopping us from working abroad?”. This idea has been around for a while now as a movement called digital nomadism.
The fundamental principle is pretty basic: having a job that can be done from anywhere in the world as long as you have a laptop and an internet connection. These can be applied to a huge range of job roles and industries including many that have experimented with remote working during the pandemic.
However, one of the main considerations when it comes to picking your digital nomad locations is finding somewhere with a digital nomad friendly visa. After all, you can’t legally work on a tourist visa and work visas are famously difficult, inflexible and complicated to apply for. These types of digital nomad visas are on the rise with a huge list of countries quickly putting together digital nomad-specific visas to capitalise on this growing trend.
It’s important to note that not everyone is going to be eligible for every digital nomad visa. Most of these visas have specific maximum stay lengths as well as minimum monthly income requirements to make sure you’re financially stable enough to stay there and contribute to the surrounding economy.
Another thing to consider when you’re a digital nomad is where you’re going to call home. Renting a house or apartment doesn’t really feed into the nomadic aspect of this kind of lifestyle and staying in a hotel or AirBnB all the time can really add up quickly.
Instead, choose to stay in a hostel where you can keep costs low while maintaining the social aspect that a lot of digital nomads miss out on. There are also tons of hostels that now offer co-working spaces with desks, printers and high speed WiFi available for digital nomads to use. If you get a Hostel Card, you’ll find loads of hostels that have co-working spaces all across Europe, plus activities, that you can save up to 40% on. Discounts on the best Europe has to offer is something you can’t miss out on!
Okay, so which countries have the best digital nomad visas? Let’s find out…
Portugal has long been a favourite for European travellers wanting to get a bit of sun away from the crowds of Spain, France and Italy. As a result, it’s often cheaper to live and travel out there, but has all the facilities, infrastructures, history, culture and mod-cons you’d expect of a Western European nation.
Their independent workers and entrepreneurs visa is one of the easiest digital nomad visas to obtain. Costing just €83 to apply for, it lasts for up to one year, and you can reapply for up to five years. After this point, you can apply for permanent residency for just €72.
What makes this particular digital nomad visa really accessible is that the income amount is one of the lowest amounts in the world – just €600 a month – and it can come from a variety of sources. This combined with the fact that Portugal has the lowest cost of living in Europe, it’s a perfect, affordable place to be a digital nomad.
Next up is the beautiful nation of Croatia. With so much history, nature and loads of different vibes depending on which island or part of the country you’re in, it always feels like you’re on your summer holiday when you’re in Croatia. Soak up the sun, try the delicious Croatian cuisine, explore the waterfalls in the national parks or get your party on in Hvar.
Rather than a specific digital nomad visa, Croatia has created a sort of temporary residency visa for up to one year as long as you can prove you either earn €2,232 per month or €26,790 a year. These annual visas can be bought for between €80 and €130, and if you’re travelling with a partner or family member, you just need to add 10% to your income amount per extra person.
3. Costa Rica
If you’re looking to travel further afield, Costa Rica has always been popular with travellers of all ages and expats looking to get in on the Pura Vida spirit that the Central American country is famous for. With two gorgeous ocean coasts, volcanos, rainforests, and a focus on sustainability, it’s considered paradise by many.
Costa Rica has had a version of a digital nomad visa for a while now called the Rentista visa which allows you to stay for up to 2 years as long as you can prove that you have consistently earned $2,500 per month over the last 2 years or can deposit $60,000 into a Costa Rican bank account.
The other stipulation for a Rentista visa is that you have to either be self-employed or an entrepreneur, so if you’re a digital nomad who works for a company, this isn’t going to work for you, but if you’re a freelancer, this is a great option.
As with Portugal, Hungary has long been a European favourite place to visit thanks to a cheap cost of living, a long and illustrious history and frequent connections to the rest of the continent.
The Hungarian digital nomad visa is called the White Card and has one of the lowest income requirements in Europe with only a €2000 per month minimum for the past six months. However, if you’re travelling with a family or partner, this might not be for you as it’s for individuals only.
The White Card visa lasts for up to a year but can be extended for one additional year if you want to spend more time in this beautiful, affordable and cultured country.
So, there you have it! The best value digital nomad visas that are going to help you get that much needed work-life balance while providing you with a safe and interesting base to work from. The only question that remains is – where are you going to stay first?
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a digital nomad?
A digital nomad is a person who travels while working, they are location-independent. Digital nomads usually either work for themselves or work for a flexible company that lets them spend more time abroad or in different locations.
How to become a digital nomad?
We have a dedicated blog post about how to become a digital nomad, where you will find all the best tips and practices. Click here to check it out.