Digital Nomad Visa 101: How to Work Remotely in a New Country

Last updated on April 17th, 2024 at 09:53 am

With the rise of remote work, it’s possible for people to live far away from the office—even overseas—and many countries have seized this opportunity to bring in more tourists. And that’s how the digital nomad visa was born.

Over a dozen countries offer nomad visas, making it easier for people to relocate abroad for months at a time and live in the country of their choice while working.

What is a digital nomad visa?

A digital nomad visa is a short-term visa that allows a person to enter and remain in a country for a set time. The digital nomad visa is often good for longer than a standard or students visa. While staying in the country, visa holders can work for an employer in their home country.

Do you have to be a digital nomad to use a digital nomad visa?

Each country establishes its eligibility criteria for digital nomad visas. In nearly all cases, you must prove that you have a steady source of monthly income to qualify. However, not all countries require you to be a remote worker; people with income streams from investments, royalties, or annuities may be able to obtain a digital nomad visa.

What are the benefits of a digital nomad visa?

There are a few key benefits of these visa programs:

  • Chance for an extended stay: With a digital nomad visa, you can take a more extended international vacation than you might otherwise be able to.
  • Easier process: Many countries have streamlined the application process to simplify obtaining a digital nomad visa.
  • Ability to continue to work: If your job is remote-capable, you won’t have to use paid time off to experience life in another country.
  • Lower financial standards: Some countries grant temporary residency visas to individuals with a high net worth or significant investments in local economies. The dollar thresholds for these programs are usually quite high. With digital nomad visas, the monthly income requirements are typically lower, allowing more people to experience the ex-pat life.

Digital Nomad Visa

What are the drawbacks of a digital nomad visa?

There are some potential drawbacks of these types of visas, including:

  • Renewal terms: Many countries won’t allow you to renew the digital nomad visa. If you love the country and want to stay, you must apply for a new visa after returning to your home country. Countries that do allow you to renew may require you to visit an immigration office more frequently for digital nomad visas than other types of visas.
  • The definition of “digital nomad” varies: Some countries define digital nomads only as people who work for an employer. Self-employed people like freelance writers and graphic designers may not qualify.
  • Your boss may not allow it: Some companies have policies that prohibit employees from working outside the country.

What are some countries with digital nomad visas?

Digital Nomad Visa


As of December 2022, some countries that have digital nomad visas include the following:


overseas’s digital nomad visa program will launch in 2023. People with European Union passports or who arrive from Schengen countries can work remotely for six months without registering. Other individuals can apply if they’re remote workers employed by foreign companies or earn less than 25% of their income from companies in Spain. Here are some things you should know before moving to Spain.


Portugal doesn’t have an actual digital nomad visa program, but it does allow people who earn at least €7,620 per year to obtain a two-year residency card through its passive income visa. Typically, passive income comes from pensions, rentals, dividends, and investments rather than wages. However, some digital nomads may qualify.


Like Portugal, Italy doesn’t have an actual digital nomad visa. However, the self-employment visa program allows freelancers to live and work in the country. Applicants must show proof of earning at least €8,500 per year, and the visa is good for one year.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica has a digital nomad visa program that allows people who work remotely with foreign companies to remain in the country for one year. A minimum monthly income of $3,000 is required to qualify.


Germany lacks a digital nomad visa but does offer a special visa for freelance workers in literary, artistic, educational, or academic fields. This visa is valid for anywhere between three months and three years.


Thailand offers a digital nomad visa for working remotely for established overseas companies. To qualify, you must:

  • Show proof of an annual income of $80,000 or more for the last two years or earn at least $40,000 per year with a master’s degree or intellectual property.
  • Have a public company employer listed on a stock exchange or a private company in operation for at least three years with combined revenue of at least $150 million each year.
  • Show proof of having worked for your employer for five of the last ten years.


Although Mexico doesn’t call its temporary visa a digital nomad visa, many remote workers qualify. Anyone with a salary or pension of at least $2,460 per month for six months may be eligible for a visa lasting 180 days to four years.


Colombia offers a digital nomad visa for up to two years for people who earn more than three times the Colombian minimum legal wage monthly. This amount fluctuates but is typically less than $300.


Argentina offers a digital nomad visa for applicants from countries who automatically receive entry into the country without a tourist visa — including U.S. and Canadian citizens. This visa typically permits you to remain in the country for up to one year.


Although Australia doesn’t provide a digital nomad visa specifically, there are alternative ways for you to work remotely in the country. Check out our guide and learn how to do it.

Digital Nomad Visa

How do you apply for a nomad visa?

How you apply for a this type of visa varies. In most cases, you’ll need to complete an application and submit it to an embassy or consulate office for your destination country in your home country. Some countries accept applications online, while others require you to make an appointment and complete the application in person.

What documents do you need for a digital nomad visa?

The documentation you’ll need to apply for a digital nomad visa varies from country to country. Some commonly requested documents include:

  • Valid passport from your home country
  • Proof of income (such as bank statements)
  • Proof of savings (such as bank or investment account statements)
  • Proof of employment (such as a letter from your employer)

How long does it take to get a digital nomad visa?

Processing times differ among countries with digital nomad visa programs. Contact the country’s embassy or consulate in your home country for specific information about processing time.

How long is a digital nomad visa valid?

Most digital nomad visas last longer than tourist visas. Some are good for only one year, while others last for two or more years. The embassy or consulate for your destination country can provide more details.

Do digital nomads have to pay taxes?

As with other features of digital nomad programs, tax requirements vary. You’ll need to pay income taxes in some countries, but others offer exemptions to encourage remote workers to relocate temporarily. If you do pay income tax abroad, you may be able to deduct the amount from your income tax.

Before relocating abroad on a digital nomad visa, contact a certified public accountant or the equivalent in your country. They can advise as to how working abroad will impact your tax liability.

Working remote

What kinds of jobs can digital nomads get?

These types of visas aren’t work visas. Typically, you can’t seek employment in the country once you arrive. These programs benefit individuals with a steady income through jobs with an employer or those who are self-employed.

Tips for living as a digital nomad

To get the most out of life as a digital nomad, follow these tips:

Research before you apply.

Get to know the country you’re considering relocating to. Read the CIA World Factbook entry on the nation to learn more about its religion, culture, languages, and government. Check out the travel advisories published by the U.S. State Department to determine if there are areas to avoid while abroad.

Consider time zones carefully.

If your work requires you to attend virtual meetings or communicate with clients during their business hours, factor in time zones when selecting a destination. Think about your preferred working hours and find a country that’s a good fit. For example, a European country may be a good destination if you work in the evening and have your days free to explore.

Don’t take connectivity for granted.

Most remote jobs require a reliable Internet connection. In some countries, this may limit the number of places you can live. Don’t assume you’ll be able to take advantage of public Wi-Fi during working hours. Often, these networks don’t provide secure connections.

Take the essentials and buy the rest.

To keep relocation costs to a minimum, pack only things that are absolute essentials. In countries where the cost of living is lower, replacing items is often less expensive than shipping or paying fees for extra bags on airplanes.

Make the most of your time.

All work and no play means missing out on the experience of living abroad. If you’re self-employed, resist the urge to spend the whole day in your home office. Pencil in time to see the sites and travel to other regions. Find out if your visa entitles you to visit any neighboring countries during your stay.