The world has been through a series of changes since the coronavirus pandemic began. The travel and tourism industry has faced a series of challenges with people being prevented from going abroad. As expected, new rules kicked in to help countries recover.
Economic losses are still up, and countries are still pushing to recover – especially those that depend on tourism. People are reluctant to go abroad, and employers were forced to run businesses outside their offices.
These two concepts have led to a common necessity. People can work at home, while countries try to bring foreigners in. As a direct consequence, the digital nomad visa has become the most popular type of visa implemented over the past few years.
The concept of a digital nomad visa
So, what does this digital nomad visa do?
Before digging deeper, you need to understand what a digital nomad is. Such a professional lives a nomadic lifestyle. Basically, they rely on technology – a laptop and an Internet connection – to work from any part of the world, including a different country.
Now, back to the digital nomad visa, this is a document that allows people to work abroad. Digital nomad visas are given by host countries – they allow people to come over and work there. While they can also come on a tourist visa, most countries do not allow work on it – although no one can really check.
The digital nomad concept is not new at all, and most countries providing such visas will use different wording for the program. Some countries have even come up with their own unique names. It is also worth noting that such a visa may not always target a digital nomad.
People of all ages can now benefit from such visas in a plethora of different countries. But then, each country has its own cost for the program, not to mention the requirements. You may need a certain income, and you will be allowed to stay for a particular period of time.
Some countries out there provide such programs to actual companies, rather than individuals. In other words, companies can apply for their workers, so each employee is free to travel abroad and work online. Again, costs and requirements vary widely.
The difference between remote workers and digital nomads
From many points of view, there are no differences between remote workers and digital nomads. If you dig deeper into small details, you will find many notable aspects. Now, all digital nomads are practically remote workers. But then, remote workers work from a permanent residence instead of an office.
When it comes to visas, there are not many differences between tourists and remote workers. However, without the so-called digital nomad visa, you will not be allowed to work in another country as a tourist. Can anyone check what you do online? Local authorities will not really bother.
Working from home has never been as popular as today. This is because employers need to keep an eye on their workers. They find workers to be less effective at home due to all kinds of distractions – things changed with the coronavirus pandemic, though.
Telecommuting is the norm lately. Many companies have seen significant changes over the past few years. Lots of workers can actually be more productive when they work from home, despite all the distractions. Plus, they work a bit more to complete their projects, rather than finishing bang on time.
The digital nomad follows the same rules, only they travel a lot. They do not work from home, but they work from a different country for a while. Some of them choose to relocate to another one later on and so on.
Pros and cons of working on a digital nomad visa
In terms of benefits, you have the opportunity to enjoy a long vacation with a solid source of income. You can live in hot heaven and work a few hours a day in the morning, then feel like you are on holiday throughout the rest of the day.
You can choose the Bahamas or perhaps a country with a low cost of life, such as Georgia. You can feel like you are always on holiday, but you can also live in a developing country and reduce your expenses if you want to save. Moreover, you discover a new culture, so you still feel like a tourist.
Another benefit is having the available resources right there, not to mention the infrastructure. If you think about it, there are only two requirements. You need a laptop or a computer to work on, as well as an Internet connection. Pretty much every country in the world can offer such facilities.
Apart from constantly being on holiday, being a digital nomad may also help you if you are trying to avoid the coronavirus. Some countries are safe heavens from the virus pandemic, so lots of vulnerable people have chosen such places.
But then, being a digital nomad is not the perfect scenario. Most importantly, not everyone can embrace this lifestyle. The job you do must be remote. Plus, you need some flexibility, so make sure you can actually stick to the work while going abroad.
Constant moving every now and then is also stressful. Most digital nomad visas are given for a specific period of time. You might be allowed there for a year, or maybe you can be extended for two. Starting all over again in a different country can be stressful.
Furthermore, this lifestyle can be an issue for those who are single. If you manage to get a partner, they should have a similar lifestyle, or you will find it almost impossible to plant roots in a certain place – not to mention finding a meaningful relationship.
Finally, some countries have harsh financial demands and impressive salaries.
Besides, moving can be an expensive venture.
Now that you know everything, what kind of countries provide digital nomad visas?
Countries with digital nomad visas
Here are some of the most popular countries with digital nomad visas.
Most countries in Europe allow you to work remotely as a digital nomad. Croatia is a common choice for foreigners, but the Czech Republic, Estonia, and France are not to be overlooked either. Georgia is another great choice, not to mention more advanced economies like Germany or Iceland.
If you are after warm places with a sense of holiday, opt for Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Portugal, or Spain. Those who want a low cost of living should focus on Hungary, Latvia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, or Romania. Norway has a similar visa.
If you are into Asia, more Asian countries have brought in digital nomad visas. The UAE – and especially Dubai – can take foreigners willing to work in the country now. You can also go further east and relocate to Thailand, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, or Indonesia.
More countries are in the process of implementing digital nomad visas, but their programs are under development. However, lots of freelancers choose to work in other Asian countries without getting a digital nomad visa upfront – no one ever checks what they do.
North and Central America are quite attractive too, especially for those in the USA or Canada. You can now opt for Costa Rica and enjoy better weather, a lower cost of living, and multiple benefits if you work there.
Mexico is similar, not to mention Panama or Belize. If you are into the South American lifestyle, Brazil is probably the best option out there. Other South American countries are also in the process of developing such programs.
Technically, nations in this part of the world are considered American, but they stand out because of their amazing tourism industries. They are attractive for the excellent weather, clear waters, and lovely beaches, but income requirements are also high – not suitable for the average freelancer.
From Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, and Bahamas to Barbados, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands, different nations have different requirements. Curacao, Dominica, Montserrat, Grenada, and Saint Lucia have similar programs as well.
There are not too many countries offering digital nomad visas in Africa – no one will check if you work there anyway. Those with official programs include Cape Verde, Mauritius, Seychelles, and South Africa.
Both Australia and New Zealand have digital nomad visas – the most developed countries in this part of the world.
As a short final conclusion, lots of freelancers have ignored these rules until recently. People have moved to Thailand, the Bahamas, or Georgia and worked online on tourist visas – no one bothered to check what they were doing.
The digital nomad visa is an official way to do things right. While many governments were aware that freelancers and business people worked there anyway, they were not bothered because they brought money into their countries.
Implementing official digital nomad programs aims to bring people back, but also to attract those who want to do everything by the book. Even if your favorite country does not have such a visa right now, it is worth checking regularly because many jurisdictions are in the process of developing such programs.