Digital nomads are on the rise, especially as the world faces the ‘Great Resignation’ where office workers are starting to resign.
The freedom and flexibility of remote work offered during the pandemic has allowed us all to rethink our careers, goals, and work / life balance, and it has become increasingly difficult for employers to bring their teams back into the office.
And why would you? … Return to the office?
When you can be working from Italy one month, and Greece the next?
Visas used to be one of the biggest issues for digital nomads, because tourist visas were capped at 30 days, meaning your work routine was constantly disrupted.
But now more and more countries are enticing remote workers to stay for an extended period of time, and 50+ can be considered digital nomads best countries, offering generous long term visas.
As a digital nomad, the cost of visas can really add up if you’re moving around a lot. So here we’ve compiled a list of the cheapest.
Countries with the Cheapest Digital Nomad Visas
If you’ve never heard of Mauritius it’s an island chain in the Indian Ocean with year round sunshine, and absolutely stunning, postcard worthy beaches.
Mark Twain said: “Mauritius was made first, and then heaven, and heaven was copied after Mauritius”.
It’s tropical island heaven, and their digital nomad visa allows you to stay for up to a year, completely free. It’s called the premium visa program; you apply online, and have your visa via email within 48 hours.
It’s a multiple entry visa, meaning you can travel back and forth as much as you need. You need to prove you make $1,500 per month in income to qualify.
When some countries are charging $2,000 + for an application fee, Georgia is an extremely appealing counry for digital nomads, as you can stay for a year, visa free.
The program is called “Remotely from Georgia” and the application is done online through the Georgia Nomad Visa website.
You’ll need to show that you make 2k + per month, or upload a bank statement with a balance of $24k +
You don’t have to pay taxes unless you’ve stayed for more than 183 days, and you’re free to open a bank account upon arrival.
If you register a business through the Individual Entrepreneur schemeyou have a pathway to apply for permanent residency. Which is great! Because you’d need a lifetime to explore all the mountains, sanctuaries, and black sea beaches!
Czechia (Czech Republic): 1,000 CZK
Prague has become one of the world’s hotspots for digital nomads, and really masters the essentials; fast Wifi (and free in coffee shops, buses, and the metro), cheap cost of living, and coworking spaces all throughout the city.
The Czech Živnostenské oprávnění ́visa is a trade and business license, which allows long-term residence while working as a freelancer for up to a year.
Your job has to be on the list, but it’s quite flexible and includes most digital nomad careers, such as teaching English, translations, copywriting, social media, content creation etc. – there are 80 jobs it covers.
You’ll need an online resume, a business plan, a website, proof of accommodation and health insurance, and at least 124,500 CZK in your bank account. The application fee of 1,000 CZK is around $45 USD.
But don’t be fooled to thinking that you need to only spend your time in Prague. Czechia is full of incredible cities and charming small towns, so look at all of your options, including places like Brno or Štramberk, North Moravia’s Fairytale Town.
Estonia & Latvia: €60
Estonia was the first country in the world to launch their e-residency program, a pioneer in the world of digital nomad visas! Their Digital Nomad Visa (DNV) gives you a year to work and travel the country.
Your income needs to be at least €3504 in the six months before your application, and you usually get a response from them within 15 – 30 days, so a relatively quick turnaround.
Right nextdoor is Latvia, which also offers cheap €60 digital nomad visas for a year.
Ah Greece! From it’s 227 islands, low cost of living, and fast internet speeds, why would you not want to work remotely from Greece! Warm weather all year-round and delicious Mediterranean cuisine!
Greece has a digital nomad visa that allows remote workers to stay for a year, that you can renew and extend twice before seeking a residence permit.
The process is incredibly simple; download the form from the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, book an appointment at your local embasst, and you’ll hear back from them within two weeks.
If you spend less than 6 months, you won’t need to pay any taxes. If you spend at least two years you can apply for their 50% reduction tax program and pay half the taxes.
Starting in 2024, the Greece ETIAS will be needed for all non-visa-required travelers.
Croatia: €80 – €130
In 2021 Croatia introduced their own Digital Nomad Visa, which offers the legal right to work and live for up to a year. This is a residence permit granted to freelancers and entrepreneurs.
You can submit an application online through the Croatian Ministry of Interior website, or in person through an embassy or consulate.
You need bank statements showing a stable monthly income of around €2,300/month, health insurance, and provide an address for your stay.
You can renew the visa before your expiration date if you fall in love with the country, and this gives you a path to Croatian citizenship if you stay for five years.
St Lucia: $75
Caribbean destinations like the Cayman Islands, Antigua & Barbuda, and Anguilla run application fees of up to $2,000 for their digital nomad visas, so that make’s the $75 you pay at the airport in St Lucia an incredibly attractive offer!
St Lucia have a campaign called ‘Don’t just visit – Live it!’, and they allow you to ‘Live it’ for up to 12 months while working remotely.
They process your visa within 5 days, you don’t pay income tax, and the island is bursting with incredibly nature, beaches, and tasty, tasty food!
Fixed internet speed is 124.72 Mbps, so don’t worry about your connection while you’re working from a hammock on your tropical Caribbean Island!
Countries Around the $250 Mark
While the above countries all prixe their application fees below $150, the next tier of cheap digital nomad visas starts around the $250 mark.
Within this category you have countries like Bermuda for $263, Costa Rica & Belize for $250, Dubai for $287, and Panama for $300. Then you start jumping up to countries like Thailand, who’s fee is $600.
One to Watch: Italy
Italy will be launching their digital nomad visa at the end of 2022, for both skilled remote workers and freelancers outside the EU.
While tourist visas only allow you to stay for 90 days, this new visa will offer residency for up to a year, and only tax you 5% on your income.
There are a couple of requirements; you’ll need to have a Master’s Degree, health insurance, show proof of accommodation and that your finances can sustain you for a year. You need to have earned at least €8,500 in the year prior to applying, and you’ll need to pay tax on your income.
Work during the day, and explore Rome, Venice, Florence, Naples, or Tuscany on weekends, feasting on pizza, pasta, and gelato as you fire your emails off of a night.
We’re yet to see what the application fee will be.