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Today we are going to share with you a complete list of the different visas available for digital nomads in 2023. Throughout this article we will explain how they work and how you can obtain them. If you are a teleworker or digital nomad, this article will certainly be of interest to you.

Some of the visas and residence permits that we are going to discuss have been available for a while, but most of them have been approved following the economic crisis and the significant drop in tourism-related revenue in many countries as a result of Covid-19.

This, added to the fact that many countries are realising that times are changing and many people can now work freely from anywhere in the world with just a computer, electricity and a good internet connection, makes us believe that healthy competition between countries to attract talent, revenue and capital will continue to offer good opportunities for people who can separate their income from their place of personal residence.

Without doubt, this is a great time to get moving and become a Perpetual Tourist!

That said, experience has taught us that many of the tax benefits and special programs that states roll out to attract capital or high-earning and highly skilled workers are often limited in time (until they fill the quota or obtain the desired tax revenue) after which, they often tighten them or even withdraw them altogether.

As a result, if within the list you find an option that interests you particularly, do not overthink it and take the step while you still can—to avoid the risk that by the time you decide to leave it is no longer available or less attractive.

As you know, for many months in a large part of the world, and especially in Asia, the borders were closed to almost any type of visitor, be they tourists or business people. Only some essential workers, diplomatic personnel or residents and citizens were permitted entry into countries.

However, little by little, as the world population has become vaccinated (and as the relevant administrations have considered it appropriate), the borders have been opening up and “some” visitors are being welcomed again. That “some” includes news like this: https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/economics/article/3149188/indonesia-wants-ban-backpackers-bali-will-focus-quality, which seems to suggest backpackers will not be at all welcome.

General characteristics of visas for digital nomads and teleworkers

Visas for digital nomads that are appearing across the world are quite different one from another, but the common denominator is that they are targeting self-employed workers or employees with a certain purchasing power, in general those with a monthly income exceeding $2,000-$5,000 USD. They do not allow those working in the country for a company or local entity nor those having clients in said country (the vast majority, at least, must be foreigners).

Another characteristic common to these visas is the tax exemption on income earned abroad and the time limit of the visa, generally between one and three years.

It is important to note that, in general, these are temporary visas and not residence permits (the status that they often confer is of non-resident). In the majority of cases, it will be difficult or even impossible to obtain a certificate of tax residency from the country.

Meanwhile, some of the countries that we are going to discuss can be classed as tax havens, which could make entering directly more difficult. As a result, in certain cases, it could be an interesting option to use a bridge country (staying for a year in a country that has signed an agreement with our country of current residency) before leaving for our final destination. All this we can explain in more detail in our consultations.

To avoid problems, depending on the circumstances, it could be a good idea to work for a foreign company rather than doing so directly as a private individual—in this way you will be able to prove that it is not domestic income.

Generally speaking, the best option is to work with an LLC in the USA which does not pay taxes nor oblige you to submit the business accounts. Also of interest could be a company in Estonia, Hong Kong or the Emirates. At Tax Free Today we can help you to register these (and other) companies.

Visas for digital nomads and teleworkers in Europe

With the introduction done, let’s start looking at the options currently available in Europe (all of them only for non EU citizens):

  • Croatia
  • Estonia
  • Georgia
  • Greece (approved 04/09/2021)
  • Malta

Croatia

-Visa type: temporary residence permit, online application
-Maximum duration: one year
-Visa application requirements: possess at least 202,890 HRK (€26,370) for the whole year (an additional 10% for every family dependant) and health insurance including cover in the case of contracting Covid-19
-Tax benefits: exemption on income tax
-Cost: between 420 HRK (€55) and 880 HRK (€115) per person
-Processing time: 20 days
-Official website: https://mup.gov.hr/aliens-281621/stay-and-work/temporary-stay-of-digital-nomads/286833
-Notes: only for non-EU citizens

Estonia

-Visa type: temporary visa, part online and part in person (in the respective embassies)
-Maximum duration: one year
-Visa application requirements: gross monthly income exceeding €3,504 and proof of employment (employment contract with a foreign company/entity, self-employed, business owner…)
-Tax benefits: staying in the country for more than 183 days during a consecutive 12-month period, you become an Estonian tax resident subject to the corresponding taxes.
-Cost: between €80 and €100 per person.
-Processing time: between 15 and 30 days.
-Official website: https://e-resident.gov.ee/nomadvisa/

Georgia

-Visa type: temporary visa, online application
-Maximum duration: one year
-Visa application requirements: monthly income exceeding $2,000 USD or savings exceeding $24,000 USD and health insurance
-Tax benefits: no tax on income generated outside the country, alternatively, you can register as self-employed in Georgia and pay only 1% tax on earnings up to 500,000 GEL (€140,000)
-Cost: free
-Processing time: 10 days
-Notes: although it is not exactly Europe, for its characteristics and proximity we wanted to include it in the geographic area

Greece (approved 04/09/2021)

-Visa type: temporary visa, in-person application (in the respective embassies)
-Maximum duration: one year (extendable for two years by changing it to a residence permit at a cost of €1,000 per person)
-Visa application requirement: monthly income exceeding €3,500 (an additional 20% for a spouse and 15% per family dependant) and proof of employment (employment contract with a foreign company/entity, self-employment, business owner…)
-Tax benefits: 50% reduction on income tax
-Cost: €75 per person
-Processing time: maximum 10 days
-Official website: pending, Law 4825/2021, Art. 11
-Notes: only for non-EU citizens

Malta

-Visa type: temporary visa for non-EU citizens, online application
-Maximum duration: one year (renewable)
-Visa application requirements: monthly gross earnings exceeding €2,700 (in addition to an extra 20% of the median wage for each additional family dependant), proof of employment (employment contract with a foreign company/entity, self-employment, business owner…), health insurance and rental or purchase contract for property in Malta
-Tax benefits: no tax on income generated outside the country
-Cost: €300 per person
-Processing time: 15 days
-Official website: https://nomad.residencymalta.gov.mt/
-Notes: in contrast to the non-domicile program, with this you can introduce money into Malta free from tax

Visas for digital nomads and teleworkers in Africa, America and Asia

Outside of Europe, we find the following options:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Bali (awaiting approval)
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Brazil
  • Cape Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Curaçao
  • Dominica
  • Dubai
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Montserrat
  • Namibia
  • Panama
  • Seychelles
  • Thailand
  • Taiwan
  • United Arab Emirates

Anguilla

– Visa type: temporary visa, online application
– Maximum duration: one year
– Visa application requirements: health insurance including cover in the case of contracting Covid-19
– Tax benefits: no direct taxes
– Cost: $2,000 USD per applicant and $250 USD per spouse and additional family dependant
– Processing time: 14 days
– Official website: https://escape.ivisitanguilla.com/work-from-anguilla/
– Notes: considered tax haven by some countries. Home schooling legal.

Antigua and Barbuda

– Visa type: temporary visa, online application
– Maximum duration: two years
– Visa application requirements: prove annual income exceeding $50,000 USD and health insurance
– Tax benefits: no direct taxes
– Cost: $1,500 USD per applicant, $2,000 USD to include partner or spouse and $3,000 USD for the whole family (no limit on family dependants)
– Processing time: three to four days
– Official website: https://antiguanomadresidence.com/
– Notes: considered tax haven by some countries

Bahamas

– Visa type: temporary visa, online application
– Maximum duration: one year
– Visa application requirements: health insurance and proof of employment or student card
– Tax benefits: no direct taxes
– Cost: $1,025 USD per applicant in addition to $525 USD per spouse and additional family dependant
– Processing time: five days
– Official website: https://www.bahamasbeats.com/
– Notes: option for work and student visas

Bali (awaiting approval)

– Visa type: temporary visa
– Maximum duration: five years
– Visa application requirements: pending
– Tax benefits: no tax on foreign income
– Cost: pending
– Processing time: pending
– Official website: pending
– Notes: although there is still nothing approved, we wanted to include it in the list given its huge appeal to many travellers and digital nomads

Barbados

– Visa type: temporary work visa, online application
– Maximum duration: one year
– Visa application requirements: annual income exceeding $50,000 USD and health insurance
– Tax benefits: no tax on income generated outside the country
– Cost: $2,000 USD per applicant and $3,000 USD for the whole family (no limit on family dependants)
– Processing time: less than five days
– Official website: https://barbadoswelcomestamp.bb/

Bermuda

– Visa type: temporary visa, online application
– Maximum duration: one year
– Visa application requirements: proof of employment, health insurance and proof of financial means or sufficient income (quantity not specified)
– Tax benefits: no direct taxes
– Cost: $263 USD per applicant (spouse and family members must apply separately)
– Processing time: five days
– Official website: https://www.gotobermuda.co.uk/workfrombermuda
– Notes: considered tax haven by some countries

Brazil

– Visa type: Temporary visa, application at embassy or consulate.
– Maximum duration: 1 year, extendable for one more.
– Visa application requirements: monthly income of 1,500 USD or 18,000 USD in bank, no criminal record and medical insurance.
– Tax advantages: you pay taxes on all your income (but if you have an LLC in the USA you would only pay taxes on the distributed profit of the company)
– Application period: generally, 2 to 4 weeks
– Official website: https://formulario-mre.serpro.gov.br/sci/pages/web/ui/#/instrucoes-iniciais-visto

Cape Verde

– Visa type: temporary visa, online application
– Maximum duration: six months, renewable by a further six months
– Visa application requirements: minimum bank account balance of €1,500 (individuals) or €2,700 (family) for at least the last six months, expected income exceeding €2,000 per month and health insurance
– Tax benefits: non-resident status, no tax on income generated outside the country
– Cost: €20 per applicant and €34 airport tax on arrival
– Processing time: two weeks
– Official website: https://www.remoteworkingcaboverde.com/en

Cayman Islands

– Visa type: temporary visa, online application
– Maximum duration: two years
– Visa application requirements: proof of annual income exceeding $100,000 USD (individuals) or $180,000 USD (families) and health insurance including cover in the case of contracting Covid-19
– Tax benefits: no direct taxes
– Cost: $1,469 USD and 7% processing fee per couple ($500 USD and 7% for each family dependant)
– Processing time: three to four weeks
– Official website: https://www.visitcaymanislands.com/en-gb/global-citizen-concierge
– Notes: considered tax haven by many countries

Costa Rica

– Visa type: temporary visa, online application
– Maximum duration: one year, renewable by a further year
– Visa application requirements: proof of monthly income exceeding $3,000 USD (individuals) or $4,000 USD (family) and health insurance
– Tax benefits: non-resident status, no taxes on income generated outside the country
– Processing time: 15 days
– Official website: https://tramiteya.go.cr/

Curaçao

– Visa type: temporary visa, online application
– Maximum duration: six months, renewable by a further six
– Visa application requirements: proof of employment (employment contract with a foreign company/entity, self-employed, business owner…) and health insurance
– Tax benefits: no tax on income generated outside the country
– Cost: $294 USD per person
– Processing time: two weeks
– Official website: https://athomeincuracao.com/es/trabajadores-remotos/

Dominica

– Visa type: temporary visa, online application
– Maximum duration: 18 months
– Visa application requirements: proof of annual income exceeding $50,000, bank reference and health insurance
– Tax benefits: temporary exemption on income tax
– Cost: $900 USD (individual) or $1,300 USD (family)
– Processing time: seven days
– Official website: https://windominica.gov.dm/
– Notes: considered tax haven by some countries

Mauritius

– Visa type: temporary visa, online application
– Maximum duration: one year (renewable)
– Visa application requirements: monthly income exceeding $1,500 USD (an extra $500 USD for spouse and each family dependant) and health insurance
– Tax benefits: as well as being exempt from foreign-generated income, money spent in Mauritius through foreign credit or debit cards will also be free from tax
– Cost: free
– Processing time: maximum 48 hours
– Official website: https://www.edbmauritius.org/premium-visa
– Notes: considered tax haven by many countries

Mexico

– Visa type: temporary visa, online and in-person application (at respective consular offices)
– Maximum duration: up to four years
– Visa application requirements: proof of economic solvency (variable according to application, for reference: income exceeding $2,200 USD monthly or average bank balance during the last 12 months exceeding $36,000 USD)
– Tax benefits: high-tax country with tax system based on world income levels, but does have some (time limited) beneficial tax programs. On the other hand, if you earn 51% or more of your income outside of Mexico, you would not be considered a tax resident there.
– Cost: $44 USD
– Processing time: not specified
– Official website: https://www.gob.mx/tramites/ficha/visa-de-residencia-temporal/SRE260
– Notes: alternatively, you can remain in the country up to six months at a time with a simple tourist visa

Montserrat

– Visa type: temporary visa, online application
– Maximum duration: one year
– Visa application requirements: annual income exceeding $70,000 USD, proof of employment (employment contract with a foreign company/entity, self-employed, business owner…) and health insurance including cover in the case of contracting Covid-19
– Tax benefits: exempt from income tax
– Cost: $500 USD (individuals) or $750 USD (families)
– Processing time: seven days
– Official website: https://montserratremoteworker.com/
– Notes: considered tax haven by many countries

Namibia

– Visa type: temporary visa, embassy application
– Maximum duration: 6 months
– Visa application requirements: Average income of 2,000 USD as applicant through employment contract or bank statements, 1,000 USD monthly income per couple and for children an additional 500 USD per month will be added (further requirements).
– Tax advantages: territorial taxation, i.e. you only pay tax on your national income.
– Costs: USD 62 (individual) or USD 750 (family)
– Visa form: https://nipdb.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Visa_Application_Form-1.pdf
– Notes: one of the safest and most stable countries in Africa.

Panamá

– Visa type: temporary visa, application at Panamanian embassy.
– Maximum duration: 9 + 9 months
– Visa application requirements: Minimum income of 36,000 USD per year, evidenced by bank statements. Personal letter from the employer with company and personal information. Certification of the applicant’s “good health” by the family doctor.
– Tax advantages: territorial taxation (no taxes on foreign income).
– Costs: 250 USD for the national immigration agency and 50 for the Visa card.
– Official website (list of Panamanian embassies around the world): https://mire.gob.pa/ministerio/embajada-y-consulado/

Seychelles

– Visa type: temporary visa, online application
– Maximum duration: one year
– Visa application requirements: proof of employment (employment contract with a foreign company/entity, self-employed, business owner…), proof of economic solvency (quantity not specified) and health insurance including cover in the case of contracting Covid-19
– Tax benefits: exempt from income tax
– Cost: €45
– Processing time: seven days
– Official website: https//seychelles.govtas.com/workcation
– Notes: considered tax haven by many countries

Thailand

– Visa type: temporary visa
– Maximum duration: 10 years
– Visa application requirements: proof of income over USD 80,000 per year for the last 2 years, possibly investment in government bonds or Thai real estate over USD 250,000 or 500,000 (as the case may be) and medical insurance including coverage in case of COVID-19 PCR.
– Tax advantages: exemption from tax on foreign income, 17% tax on remaining income
– Costs: about 50,000 baht per person
– Application deadline: 20 days
– Official website: https://ltr.boi.go.th/
– Notes: Includes permission to work in the country and the possibility to own and rent land and real estate. 4 types of visas: high net worth individuals, pensioners, highly skilled workers and entrepreneurs (more information here).

Taiwan

– Visa type: temporary worker and resident permit, online application
– Maximum duration: three years
– Visa application requirements: proof of highly-skilled worker status (employment contract with a foreign company/entity, self-employed, business owner…) with monthly income exceeding €5,000 and health insurance including cover in case of contracting Covid-19
– Tax benefits: no tax on income generated outside the country for the duration of validity of the special residency permit (Taiwan Employment Gold Card)
– Cost: between $100 and $310 USD (depending on nationality and length of stay)
Processing time: 30 days (up to 60 in certain cases)
– Official website: https://goldcard.nat.gov.tw/en/

United Arab Emirates (Dubai)

– Visa type: temporary visa, online application
– Maximum duration: one year
– Visa application requirements: proof of monthly income exceeding $5,000 USD, proof of employment (employment contract with a foreign company/entity, self-employed, business owner…) and health insurance
– Tax benefits: no direct taxes
– Cost: $611 USD per person
Processing time: not indicated
– Official website: https://www.visitdubai.com/en/business-in-dubai/travel-to-dubai/visas-and-entry/work-remotely-from-dubai
– Notes: considered tax haven by some countries

Other visas with more complex requirements

In addition to all these countries mentioned, there are other possibilities of visas for teleworkers or digital nomads, but as they are more complex and are not as attractive fiscally speaking, we have not included them in the list.

Some of these options are: Germany (three months, extendable to three years), Spain (one year), Iceland (one year), Norway (two years) or the Czech Republic (one year).

And more visas have continued to appear…

Here we leave you an additional list with some more countries that have wanted to add to the fashion of visas for digital nomads, in case you might be interested:

  • Cyprus
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Montenegro
  • Norway
  • Romania

Conclusions

As we were already saying, it is important to bear in mind that many of these opportunities will only be offered on a temporary basis, until the respective economies reactivate the tourism sector or until it returns to normal. As a result, if you continue to doubt whether to pack your bags or remain where you are, waiting to see what will happen, be aware that you could end up missing the boat.

Also worth considering is that many countries are making leaving increasingly difficult for those who have had success financially. They are tightening up and introducing different types of exit tax in many countries with a high-tax burden. They are raising taxes and creating new ones, increasing checks and even limiting individuals’ movement in certain circumstances. The crisis has dealt a heavy blow to national coffers and states are in desperate need of money.

So, don’t give it another thought, take advantage of this opportunity with more ease than ever to live free of tax and free yourself from the weight of the state.

If you want us to help you to leave, you can book a consultation with us.

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