Competition Heats up Among Digital Nomad Visa Nations


News / Switzerland 493 Views 0

Competition Heats up Among Digital Nomad Visa Nations


News / Switzerland 493 Views 0

As the digital nomad lifestyle becomes increasingly popular, countries around the world are setting up special visa programs for remote workers and digital entrepreneurs, allowing them to legally live and work in the country.

So-called digital nomad visas have popped up all around the globe over the past couple of years to tap into the digital nomad opportunity, seeking to lure cross-border remote workers into spending their foreign income domestically.

Since Estonia introduced the world’s first digital nomad visa program back in 2020, it’s estimated that over 50 locations have followed suit, including Dubai, Hungary and Costa Rica.

This year, competition is heating up among countries looking to attract international remote workers, with new programs being launched and new countries unveiling plans to join the movement.

Spain digital nomad visa

digital nomad spain

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Spain’s long awaited digital nomad visa finally rolled out in February 2023, allowing citizens from outside of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) to live and work in the country for a year.

The Spanish digital nomad visa is open to those who work remotely and whom make most of their income from non-Spanish firms. Applicants must not be living illegally in Spain at the time of their application and cannot have lived in the country within the five years prior to applying.

To apply, they must prove that they have worked with their clients or company for more than three months before applying, and must be able to demonstrate that they have a contract of employment or, if freelancing, have been regularly employed by a company outside of Spain.

They also need to prove that they are qualified or experienced in their field, and have at least three years of work experience. Health insurance is also required, in addition to a two-year clear criminal record and a sworn statement that they haven’t had a criminal record within the last five years.

The income threshold is set at 200% of the country’s monthly minimum wage, which currently amounts to about EUR 2,334 per month or EUR 28,000 per year.

Successful applicants will be eligible to apply for a Spanish residency permit, which will enable them to travel around the EU. The visa is renewable for up to five years.

Colombia digital nomad visa

digital nomad colombia

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After a 20-month legislative struggle, Colombia finally introduced its digital nomad visa program in January 2023, allowing freelance workers and remote workers to stay for up to 24 months.

To qualify, applicants need to have a minimum income of three minimum monthly legal salaries in Colombia, which is set at 1,000,000 COP (US$206) or about US$604 per month.

The visa allows visa holders to set up bank accounts in the country and also provides a pathway to immigration and citizenship. The visa costs a little less than US$300, according to CitizenRemote.

Colombia’s tourism bureau expects the visa to draw at least 45,000 digital nomads to the country in the next 18 months.

Italy’s forthcoming digital nomad visa

digital nomad italy

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In March 2022, the Italian government approved plans for the Italy Digital Nomad Visa, a scheme, which is set to be rolled out in early 2023 and which will be aimed at non-EU “highly skilled workers.”

Though details of requirements are not clear nor fully finalized yet, it is understood that the program would allow visa holders to stay in Italy for up to a year. Parliament members have also reported that applicants will need a proof of accommodation in Italy, health insurance and a clean criminal record. Applicants will also need to meet minimum income requirements.

South Korea plans “workcation” visa

digital nomad Korea

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South Korea is among the latest countries to join the movement, unveiling plans earlier this year to launch a so-called “workcation visa.”

The program, which is set to be introduced during the second half of 2023, will allow travelers to stay in the country for up to two years while also performing their usual tasks as an employee of a company from their home country.

The details of the new visa’s implementation have not been released yet, but the scheme will be part of a larger ambition to revitalize the local tourism industry, which has been hit hard by the lingering pandemic.

Ahead of the launch of the new digital nomad visa, the South Korea government has also been working on the creation of various workcation hubs. The workcation center at the Asti Hotel in Dong District, next to the Busan KTX train station, opened in early February 2023. Meanwhile, the port city Busan, which attracts many tourists due to its vibrant seaside, is expected to be hosting several workcation hubs designed specifically for digital nomads.

Croatia digital nomad visa draws thousands of foreigners

digital nomad croatia

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Croatia, which launched its digital nomad visa program in 2021, has become a popular destination for remote workers, drawing thousands of digital nomads.

Jan de Jong, founder of the Digital Nomads Croatia association, estimates that about 5,000 digital nomads reach Croatia each month.

He told Croatia Week in a recent interview that if every digital nomad was to stay in the country for a period of two months, one can estimate that there are about 10,000 digital nomads in Croatia every month.

Croatia is fast becoming a favored location for remote workers and digital nomads, De Jong said, noting the country’s advanced infrastructure, established community of digital nomads, pleasant lifestyle, and affordability.

Fetaured image credit: Edited from freepik here and here

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