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Digital Nomad Visa

People who work remotely may be interested in the Digital Nomad Visa which could allow them to work overseas while exploring the world.

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    Being a Digital Nomad?

    In recent years there has been a growing rise in the number of people working from home – this may be due to the global Coronavirus pandemic as well as improvements in digital technology.

    The ability to work remotely means workers can now have more freedom where they live and some have opted to combine their remote employment with extended stays in different countries.

    This has led to the creation of digital nomads – who rely on technology to allow them to work while travelling and living overseas. As a result, some countries now offer such digital nomads a temporary visa that allows them to live in the country if they remain working remotely and do not take employment within the local job market. The digital nomad lifestyle has become a popular option for remote workers who want to travel world but still maintain a career with the security of a reliable income.

    The Digital Nomad visa, sometimes called the freelance visa, also has the added benefit to allow nomad’s dependents to join them in the country of their new residence.

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    The Digital Nomad Visa

    A Digital Nomad Visa is a temporary visa that allows holders to work in the country as remote workers. The Digital Nomad visa is not a global visa, instead you should apply for the specific Digital Nomad Visa that applies to your destination country.

    The limitations vary for each Digital Nomad Visa depending on country but generally they are granted for a year and include a monthly minimum income requirement.

    Digital Nomad Visas tend to be a popular options with the technology/digital industries and qualifying roles include content writers, social media experts, influences and software developers – who are able to benefit from remote working.

    Are you eligible for a Digital Nomad Visa?

    The exact eligibility requirements for the Digital Nomad Visa will vary depending on your destination country and the criteria they have put in place. However, generally you need to provide proof you meet the following requirements:

    • Are at least 18 years old – you may need to provide your birth certificate alongside your application form
    • Employed in a role that supports working remotely or freelance working
    • Proof of remote employment (this proof must also specify whether or not you are allowed to work remotely in another country)
    • Medical or health and travel insurance (this insurance must be able to cover any medical expenses incurred while traveling or living abroad)
    • Proof that as a remote worker or independent freelance you earn the minimum monthly income requirement – this varies depending on each country’s exact digital nomad visa requirements but you may have to show your current bank balance as part of the visa application.

    Some countries may require you to attend an interview and answer questions about your plans during your residency, as well as discuss your visa history and nationality plus assess your “good character” to see if you are suitable for the special tourist visa.

    You should seek advice on the exact requirements regarding the country you wish to live in to ensure you do qualify for the digital nomad visa or if another visa may be a better option for you. In particular, the minimum income requirements do vary considerably from nation to nation.

    Taxes and being a digital nomad

    It is important to understand that digital nomads need to pay taxes and the amount of tax depends on where they are resident.

    In the majority of cases, Digital Nomads will have to file tax returns in their home countries, unless they establish another tax residency for themselves somewhere else. You should do research to establish where you will be required to pay income tax and your tax resident status.

    To qualify as non-resident, most countries require you to be overseas for significant periods – from 183 days to 349 days in any given year – although this depends on each home country’s rules and laws on permanent residency.

    You must ensure you notify the relevant tax authorities and understand the long-term implications of changing your tax residency. You should consider corporation tax as well as whether you will have to pay tax on other income such as dividends or interest. You will need to know details such as where is your employer company registered.

    This can be a complicated matter and applicants will need to take time to review their tax status currently and what it will be when they work as a Digital Nomad visa holder.

    Benefits of the Digital Nomad Visa

    One of the main benefits of holding a Digital Nomad Visa is that it allows you to reside in a foreign country for a longer period that usually allowed under a tourist visa or student visa. It also allows further protection as some countries do not allow any form of work, even remote, on a temporary residency permit.

    Depending on the country, the Digital Nomad Visa also offers a route to a longer stay with the opportunity to apply for a long term visa that leads to settled status.

    Cost and processing times of the Digital Nomad Visa

    Again, the exact application fee and processing times of the Digital Nomad Visa will vary considerably. In some cases, many countries have opted to make the Digital Nomad visas available with no charge in a bid to attract digital nomads to their country, whereas in more popular tourist destinations such as Barbados, the digital nomad visa cost can be considerable.

    You may also be required to pay additional costs such as medical, travel and health insurance, as well as general travelling expenses such as accommodation and flights.

    Processing times for the Digital Nomad Visa average at around one month, but this can depend on which country you applying to.

    Which countries offer Digital Nomad visas?

    There has been a rise in the number of countries that are now opening their borders to digital nomads. Each country will have different criteria and restrictions for the Digital Nomad visa so you should make sure you seek advice before applying to ensure you have a higher chance of being granted a Digital Nomad Visa.

    European countries that offer Digital Nomad Visas or freelance visas:

    Croatia – offers a 1-year limit and holders are exempt from Croatian tax. Dependents can also be covered by the Digital Nomad visa.

    Costa Rica – requires a monthly income minimum of £2,500 which rises to £4,200 for an additional family member. The visa is initially issued for 12 months but can be extended for a further year if the holder wishes to remain in Costa Rica.

    Estonia – one of the first countries to offer a Digital Normal Visa. They have a strict minimum income criterion, and you must not be employed by an Estonia-based firm or do freelance work for an Estonian company – all of your work must be for foreign companies or foreign entrepreneurs.

    Czech Republic – processing times are up to three months, and you will have to provide information on why you wish to work in the country.

    Norway – income requirements are higher than other nations. One of the advantages of a Norwegian Digital Nomad Visa is that once granted it is valid for life so this makes it a popular option for digital nomads.

    Hungary  – Offers an initial 12-month visa but this can be extended after this year has passed.

    Germany – You are required to register with the German tax authorities and if you are a freelancer then all clients must be based in Germany.

    Greece – Digital nomad visa holders can apply for an extension after the first 12 months.

    Iceland – you must be planning to stay for longer than six months and working for companies that are not located in Iceland.

    Spain – recently introduced, the Spanish Digital Nomad Visa has a six-month time limit and has a processing time of less than 30 days.

    Portugal – offers a year stay in the country and can be extended. The visa also offers a route to settled status in Portugal.

    Malta – issued for a year and can be renewed as long as the holder is continuing to work remotely for an overseas company/client.

    Italy – although not offering a Digital Nomad Visa yet, Italian immigration rules allow remote workers to apply for a self-employment visa that will cover their stay in the country.

    digital nomad visa

    Other countries that offer Digital Nomad Visas

    • Barbados
    • Mauritius
    • Bahamas
    • Bermuda
    • Andorra
    • Anguilla
    • Georgia
    • Mexico
    • Cabo Verde
    • Montserrat
    • Aruba
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Cayman Islands
    • Seychelles
    • Curaçao
    • Dominica
    • Taiwan
    • Dubai

    Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance with your Schengen Visa application. Contact Us

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      How can London Immigration Lawyer help?

      Applying for a Schengen visa can be a complex process, but our lawyers are here to help you with your visa application. We can inform you whether you must obtain a visa to travel to Schengen area countries and can answer any questions that you may have about the short-stay Schengen Visa application process.

      We also offer an application package to support you throughout your application, our visa services include:

      • Assessing your eligibility
      • Filling in paperwork on your behalf
      • Helping you to gather your supporting documents
      • Thoroughly checking your documents and application form

      For more information about how our lawyers can help you to apply for a visa for European countries, get in touch on 020 4502 8582.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                Visa processing time will depend on the country where you wish to travel to and if there are any backlogs at the embassy or consulate that is processing the application. However, most digital nomad visas are usually processed within one month or so.

                Digital nomad visas have differing expiry times. Some countries only allow foreign citizens to stay short-term in the country whereas other countries allow foreign citizens to stay for years and eventually can be offer a route to permanent residence and citizenship.

                Most digital nomad visas are valid for a length of time that is longer than the country’s specific tourist visa.

                Some countries may permit digital nomads to bring immediate family members with them. Eligible family members are usually spouses, long-term partners and dependent children. You may need to pay additional visa fees for each dependent.

                Digital Nomad visas can be denied for a number of reasons such as:

                • Previous serious criminal convictions
                • Not being able to meet the financial requirements or having sufficient funds.
                • Not providing the necessary supporting documents/evidence for a digital nomad visa
                • Providing false/misleading information on your visa application form
                • No longer having remote work
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