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How to Apply for a Digital Nomad Visa: A Complete Guide

how to apply for a digital nomad visa

Becoming a digital nomad is incredibly exciting, and choosing where you’ll go is one of the best parts. However, the next step–applying for your visa–can be confusing. In this article, we’re taking the guesswork out of it for you and discussing what you need to know about digital nomad visas and the application process.

We’ll share digital nomad visa requirements, helpful information about the application process, and our favourite places with visas specifically for remote work. We’ll also answer common questions about digital nomad visas, including which is the cheapest and how long it takes to apply.

What is a digital nomad visa?

A digital nomad visa is a document specifically designed for you to work remotely while visiting a foreign country. Standard visas usually allow short-term stays, but digital nomad visas usually let you stay longer.

If you plan to travel and work remotely for less than a month, a traditional visa is usually suitable. However, if you hope to stay longer than a month, you need a digital nomad visa. Some digital nomad visas last up to a few months, while others let you stay for a few years or more.

Digital Nomad Visa Requirements

While digital nomad visas usually have specific requirements, it varies from country to country.

To qualify for many nomad visas, you’ll need to provide documentation to show you meet the following criteria:

How to Get a Digital Nomad Visa

The application process for your digital nomad visa will depend on where you go, so you’ll need to look for specific requirements and steps on official government websites. However, most countries have a similar process, which we’ll outline below.

Decide Where You Want to Go

Of course, you’ll need to choose which country you want to work remotely in. Most countries have options for digital nomads. We’ll share some of our favourites below, including Costa Rica, Dubai, and Barbados.

Fill Out the Application

The official government website for the country you choose to visit or move to will have an application for various visas. Choose the one that suits you best and fill out the accompanying application. For example, Brazil has multiple visa options, including a visit and digital nomad visa.

Gather Your Documents

Your digital nomad visa application form will tell you which documents you need. Most often, this includes:

  • A completed application form
  • A valid passport
  • Identification pictures
  • Your birth certificate
  • Confirmation of income, health insurance, and remote job
  • A criminal record certificate
  • Proof of accommodation where you’re working remotely

Submit Your Documents

Some countries allow you to mail in your documents, while others require you to make an appointment to submit your documents in person. You can schedule your appointment at an embassy or consulate closest to you. 

Some countries issue visas at no cost, while others require an application fee of up to a few hundred dollars, sometimes more.

Best Digital Nomad Visas

There are several countries with digital nomad visas or other visas suitable for remote workers to visit long-term. We’ll share some of the best and easiest digital nomad visas below.

Costa Rica

digtal-nomad-costa-rica-guide

Costa Rica is a dream destination for many digital nomads, and its new visa for remote workers makes it relatively simple. This is an ideal place if you’re looking for a tropical climate, scenic beaches, and a rich culture.

Costa Rica’s digital nomad visa allows you to live and work remotely for up to one year. You must earn a minimum monthly income of $3,000 if you’re going solo or $4,000 if someone is joining you to qualify for the Costa Rica digital nomad visa.

UAE (Dubai)

asia visas dubai remote work

The UAE is a wonderful place to work remotely if you enjoy warm weather, world-class shopping, and beautiful beaches. Since the UAE is a luxury destination, the cost of living is higher than many other digital nomad destinations. 

The UAE has a one-year virtual working programme. You must confirm an average monthly income of $3,500 with bank statements for three preceding months to qualify for the UAE virtual working visa

Georgia

working in georgia remote workers

Georgia is one of the best countries for a comfortable work-life balance because of its affordable cost of living and endless fun activities. There are many different cities suitable for various lifestyles, including Tbilisi for vibrant city life and Batumi for relaxed beach vibes.

solis portable wifi

Georgia is also one of the easiest places to work remotely because citizens from many countries can visit for up to one year visa-free, so you don’t have to apply for a digital nomad visa.

Read more: Living and Working in Georgia: Tips for Digital Nomads

Barbados

barbados digital nomad visa
Main water canal with ships and shops in Bridgetown, capital of Barbados. Caribbean

If you want to be a digital nomad in the Caribbean surrounded by gorgeous blue waters, friendly locals, and delicious local food, Barbados is the ideal destination.

The one-year Barbados Welcome Stamp Visa is easy to apply for online as long as you can certify that you expect to earn at least $50,000 or more per year or have other means to support yourself (e.g., a partner joining you).

Italy

italy remote work

Enjoy a colourful art scene, stunning countryside, and a welcoming atmosphere for up to two years with the Italy Self-Employed Worker Visa. There are many places in Italy where you can live and work remotely, including Florence, Milan, Rome, and Naples. 

To qualify for the Self-Employed Worker Visa, you must show proof of self-employment or freelance work

Estonia

digital nomad estonia

Estonia is an excellent destination for digital nomads who want to get off the beaten path to explore a lesser-known location. Tallinn is its most famous city and offers ample opportunities for remote workers and travellers, including cafes and unique cultural experiences.

Estonia’s Digital Nomad Visa allows you to stay up to one year. There’s a minimum income requirement of € 4,500 in the six months preceding your application. You must also show proof of a contract with a company outside of Estonia.

How to Apply for a Digital Nomad Visa: FAQs

To make choosing your digital nomad destination and applying for your visa easier, we’ll answer common questions below.

How long does it take to apply for a digital nomad visa?

Digital nomad applications usually take about half an hour to complete, but it can take up to a couple of months for your digital nomad application to process. 

To allow for plenty of time to complete your application and plan your trip, we recommend starting your application process at least three months before you want to leave for your adventure.

If you don’t have your passport yet, this will take extra time. It usually takes six to eight weeks to receive your passport, and you’ll need to do this before you start your visa application process.

What is the cheapest digital nomad visa?

Georgia has one of the cheapest digital nomad visas because many applicants don’t have an application fee or minimum income requirement.

Read more: How to Live Cheaply as a Digital Nomad (10 Must-Know Tips)

Do you have to file taxes with a digital nomad visa?

When you’re a digital nomad, you usually have to file taxes in your home country. That said, if you’re abroad for the majority or entire calendar year, you may file taxes differently and owe less. You can review your local government site for more information or contact a tax expert to learn more.

We hope you found this article helpful and feel confident applying for a digital nomad visa. To learn more about different digital nomad visa options, check out these articles: 

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