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The 5 Best Asia Visas for Digital Nomads 2024 (and how to apply)

Many digital nomads head to Asia for the diversity of travel options, networking opportunities, and comparatively low cost of living (in some countries). 

Here, we’re going to discuss the remote work Asia visas that allow you to work abroad legally, working holiday visas, and whether or not you should work on tourist visas at all.

asia visas

Should you Work in Asia on a Tourist Visa?

Typically, digital nomads have taken advantage of 90-day tourist visas, based on passport privileges or other tourist visa options which allow you to stay even beyond that for non-work related reasons, such as the:

  • Philippines Long Stay Visitor Visa
  • Cambodia Retirement Visa
  • Thailand Study Visas and Six-Month Visa
  • Indonesia Social Cultural Visa (B-211 Visa Budaya)

Of course, the catch is that you shouldn’t be working on these visas. While plenty of digital nomads have operated under this system, many remote work companies aren’t happy with their employees partaking in technically illegal activity at risk of fines or even being detained. 

Note: If you’re a freelancer, operating your own business, or working for a business outside of the country, then it’s worth checking, on a country-by-country basis, what the rules are there. For some countries, it’s a blanket rule that working is not allowed in any format; online work is more of a grey area in others. What a country or immigration officer deems “work” depends on their laws and interpretations.

Holding down full-time work duties while keeping an eye on your visa isn’t ideal, so remote workers understandably want a visa situation that allows them to work abroad, be entitled to some residency rights within the country they’re staying, and with the possibility to extend their visa if they’re settled.

So here are the current Asia visas that allow you to work legally. They can provide the security you need and a base in a new and exciting country. 

Tip: Make sure to leave plenty of time to apply for visas. Some can take up to two months to be processed!

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Asia Visas for Digital Nomads

Currently, the Asian visas that allow you to legally work if you’re not eligible for working holiday visas are few and far between. However, things are rapidly changing, so hopefully this list will be much longer in the future.

1) Dubai/UAE Remote Work Visa

asia visas dubai remote work

If you’re in need of some time near the beach and some hot weather, then the UAE could be the one for you. Dubai and Abu Dhabi offer plenty of travel opportunities for those looking to explore more of the United Arab Emirates and the beautiful natural scenery of nearby countries such as Oman while enjoying the luxuries only the UAE.

Living in Dubai becomes comfortable very quickly and is well-suited to anyone who loves brunch, shopping in world-class malls, lounging on private beaches, or visiting party islands.

Because it is a Muslim country, there are restrictions on pork products and alcohol. That said, drinking to excess is certainly not hard to do, thanks to hotel bars being the place to indulge, and specialist stores, catering to westerners offering everything you might want that isn’t widely available. Most chain stores and restaurants are available, and, of course, the wifi is excellent.

The downside is that the cost of living in Dubai is incredibly high, which is reflected in the visa requirement which states you should earn $5000 a month from your employer or your own business. You’ll also need health insurance which covers the UAE.

I worked in Dubai for six months and thoroughly enjoyed my time there until I wanted things to do outside of shopping, brunching, and sunbathing. However, I know many people who loved it in Dubai so much they’ve stayed for years and worked towards permanent residency.

How to apply for the Dubai/ UAE remote work visa: You can find other information and how to apply online on the Remotely in Dubai website.

Read More: Cheapest Places for Digital Nomads & Remote Workers

2) Remotely in Georgia Visa

remote working in tbilisi georgia

As Georgia sits on the border of Asia and Europe, we’ve also covered this fantastic remote work visa option in our favourite visas in Europe for digital nomads guide.

solis portable wifi

Nevertheless, it is officially an Asian country and remains an ideal option for anyone looking to work remotely in a friendly and dynamic country.  You’ll need to prove a minimum monthly income of $2000 USD and annual health insurance.

Georgia offers a perfect location, at the mid-point between Europe and Asia, for those looking to explore off-the-beaten-track boasting incredible natural scenery for blowing off some steam, great food, and a low cost of living. The internet is fast and cheap. 

Georgia has always been particularly generous, offering stays of up to one year for residents of ninety-eight countries. Now, their ‘Remotely From Georgia’ visa (applicable to ninety-five countries including UK, USA, and Canada) allows you to legally work your online business up to a year with the possibility to extend after.

How to apply for the Remotely in Georgia visa: You can apply online on the Remotely From Georgia website. Currently, over a thousand people have already applied for the visa.

We’ve covered what life is like in Georgia for remote workers in our guides:

A Complete Guide to Georgia for Remote Workers

A Guide to Tbilisi for Digital Nomads

3) Japan Digital Nomad Visa


Japan recently announced that it will launch a new digital nomad visa in 2024 to attract remote workers, which is exciting news. The new six-month Japan digital nomad visa also allows children and spouses to accompany the applicant, which is a welcome addition for families.

The requirements to qualify for a Japan remote work visa include:

  • An annual income of at least 10 million Japanese Yen (approx $68,000)
  • Private health insurance (we love Safteywing)
  • You must be from one of 49 countries and regions with which Japan already has a visa waiver. This includes the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Korea, and Taiwan.
  • Bank statements to prove income/ Proof of employment or work

The application will launch in early April 2024. Sign up for our newsletter to be among the first to know all the finalized details.

Tokyo Working Holiday Visa

Japan also has longer alternatives, such as their working holiday visa for those under thirty or the Designated Activities Visa. This visa category allows foreigners to engage in various activities, including remote work, for up to one year with the possibility of an extension.

Categories include composers, lyricists, painters, sculptors, craftsmen, writers, and photographers who engage in creative activities or instructors of creative arts. 

To be eligible, applicants must provide proof of sufficient financial resources for each of these options and a detailed plan of their intended activities during their stay.

Read More:

A Complete Guide to being a Digital Nomad in Japan

A Guide to Tokyo for Nomads and Remote Workers

4) South Korea Workcation and K-Culture Visas

south korea remote work visa

South Korea recently announced the launch of its digital nomad-friendly workcation visa and K-Culture, making it the first in East Asia to offer a dedicated visa that allows digital nomads and remote workers (plus their spouse and children) a chance to live, work, and experience Korean culture firsthand.

The program seeks to attract talent from around the world, introducing them to K-culture and allowing digital entrepreneurs to expand their working horizons far beyond their home countries. The visa also provides digital nomads with added flexibility and peace of mind, knowing they can stay connected while exploring all South Korea has to offer. Visitors will be able to stay in Korea for up to two years to explore their areas of interest.

    The requirements to qualify for a South Korean digital nomad visa include:

    • An annual income of at least 10 million Japanese Yen (approx $66,000
    • Private health insurance (we love Safteywing)
    • You must apply in your country’s Korean embassy. If you’re currently in Korea, you can switch from the visa exemption (B-1), tourist visa (B-2), or short-term stay visa (C-3), but it’s easier to apply from home.
    • Criminal Background check
    • Completed application form
    • Bank statements to prove income/ Proof of employment or work
    • Address in Korea

Ultimately, this long-awaited move signals an increasingly digital future, making South Korea a top destination for digital nomads everywhere.

5) Indonesia Digital Nomad Visa (Bali)

A Digital Nomad Guide to Bali

For years, Bali digital nomads have visited on a 60-day tourist visa. However, Bali has just announced their digital nomad visa is in its final stages. This is incredibly exciting for nomads looking for a slice of nature’s paradise that is also perfect for working, relaxing, and enjoying life.

It’s believed that Bali’s new digital nomad visa will allow international remote workers to work in Bali for up to 5 years. Digital nomads can work anywhere in Bali during their visa’s 5-year term without paying Indonesian taxes. 

The Indonesian government is finalizing the details of this visa (as of July 2022). More information about eligibility requirements and countries that can apply for the visa should be announced before the end of the year.

Working Holiday Visas in the Asia/APAC Region

I think it’s worth dropping a few words about working holiday visas if you’re thirty or under (or, in some cases, like Australia, thirty-five or under). Many countries, including most in the Asia/ APAC region, offer working holiday visas, which allow you to live and work in the country for a year with some options to extend depending on the country’s own rules. 

They’re usually swift and easy to apply for and require you to have a certain amount of money in your bank account to show you can support yourself. The idea is that you will spend more time travelling around the country than working but are legally allowed to work and have access to bank account options, formal rental agreements, etc.

This can be a great option if you fall within the age and passport bracket and your company has no problem with it. 

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Hopefully, in the near future with the ever-changing environment, there will be far more remote work Asia visas available.

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