Not too long ago, the concept of catering specifically to digital nomads was too new and strange for most countries to truly understand all of the long-term benefits. It looks like things are going to be making a drastic change soon as countries are starting to open up to the reality of how financially sustainable it is to start attracting digital nomads with specialized visa options.
Tourism has taken a hit all around the world and some countries are pivoting to appeal to digital nomads and remote workers. Since a lot of tourist destinations are either closed or requiring a 14-day quarantine, it’s easy to see why luring in digital nomads for 6-12 months is a win for everyone involved. The new idea of digital nomad visas is gaining a lot of popularity around the world.
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It isn’t hard to understand why it has taken this long. Many of us who are digital nomads today have been doing this for over a decade. Throughout this time, it was common for media corporations and research agencies to contact us and ask questions about our lifestyle. When trends are new, it is easy for people (and especially government entities) to be skeptical as to whether or not they will stick around. Now that digital nomads have established ourselves as a sizable chunk of the world’s workforce and are based in all habitable corners of the Earth, remote work visas are becoming much easier to find.
Why get a digital nomad visa?
As a digital nomad, you will constantly be facing immigration bureaucracy in each country that you visit. As those of us who have been doing this for a while know too well, sometimes you just need to have a basecamp that you can depend on for a long-term stay. There are times when traveling and site-seeing can turn a little mundane and you just want to spend a month or two being productive and getting some work done.
In many parts of the world, you will have a hard time securing a visa that is more than 90 days long. In some cases, the maximum visa that you can attain will only be 30 days. As workers that typically enjoy traveling around at a much slower pace than a typical tourist, this amount of time is simply not feasible. This is why the idea of digital nomad visas has been gaining steam in many countries around the world.
2021: Year of the digital nomad visa
As nomads look toward the future, the data is clear that remote workers are not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, digital nomads are growing in numbers every day. Each time somebody picks up a computer and creates a profile on a remote job board, they are adding on to an already-large group of workers around the globe.
Looking toward the future, it’s great to see some countries open up their borders for remote workers by offering digital nomad visas with minimal restrictions. Generally, a little bit of proof that you are who you say you are is all that is needed to gain a long-term stay under remote work visas.
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Estonia was one of the pioneers of the digital nomad visa and paving the way for nomads and entrepreneurs. Being a small country with a rich history (and even free public transportation), there is a wide breadth of culture and sites to see in this country with a minimal budget. To secure a digital nomad visa in this country, you simply need to prove a monthly income of about €3500 to get a long-term stay. If you want a nice gateway to the rest of Europe and a consistent home base on this continent, Estonia might be the best option for you to explore.
Georgia is a bit of a hidden gem. They have their own unique language script, are the inventors of wine, and are creators of breathtaking architecture. Not to mention, some of the best natural views the world has to offer. If you can prove that you have consistent employment and health insurance, you will be able to secure a remote work visa in Georgia.
Barbados provides the mystical Caribbean island setting that many people only dream of visiting for special occasions such as honeymoons or short-term vacations. If you have been dreaming of living the island life in one of the world’s most gorgeous tropical settings, Barbados has it all. If you already make over $50,000USD a year, then you can secure a digital nomad visa in this Caribbean paradise.
Croatia is one of the best-kept secrets in Europe and traditionally where digital nomads would go to get out of the Schengen area. With some of the greatest beaches in Europe in towns like Split and the national treasure of Plitvice Lakes National Park, this is a great country to pursue a long-term residence. The exact terms of the visa are still pending, but it’s expected to change quickly in the future.
Are there any other countries considering digital nomad visas?
In addition to the countries listed above, it’s anticipated that more and more countries will jump on the bandwagon of digital nomad visas simply due to the extra income and cultural exchanges that they can provide for the world. Countries like Indonesia are soon to be the next on the list to add a digital nomad visa.
Olúmidé Gbenro has been helping pave the way with a petition for digital nomads to come to Bali and Indonesia and he had this to say: “I’ve been collaborating with Indonesian community like Wahyu Taufiq to make the Digital Nomad visa for Indonesia a reality. We’ve submitted a formal proposal to the President of Indonesia through the Secretariat office in Jakarta and also started a petition that is fast growing and has over 2000 signatures from both Indonesians and remote entrepreneurs from around the world.”
Throughout the past decade, there has been a huge influx of digital nomads and remote workers pursuing a lifestyle of location independence. Now that countries are starting to accept this lifestyle and notice the economic and cultural benefits of helping facilitate this lifestyle, it is only a matter of time. It may very well be common in a decade or so for countries all around the world to have remote work visas. As a result, now is the best opportunity available for anybody still working a desk job to start a new life as a remote worker.