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Which European countries have digital nomad visas?

Working remotely from Europe has just got that much easier

By Miriam Partington and Tim Smith

Digital nomadism was a thing before the pandemic. But now, with the rise of remote work, the trend has blown up.

Countries in Europe are waking up to the benefits — not least the cash —  that digital nomads can bring both to cities and to sparsely populated villages, and are designing ways to make it easier for them to settle. One way is the digital nomad visa — something a host of European countries have launched in recent years. 

What is a digital nomad visa?

“Digital nomad visa” is a pretty loose term, but it generally refers to a temporary residency permit that allows foreigners to stay in a country for anywhere between six months and two years. 

For remote workers from outside the EU, they can offer a perfect way to settle on the continent without being bound by restrictive tourist visas.

But not all digital nomad visas are created equally. In Iceland, for instance, applicants to the scheme must prove they earn at least €7,100 a month, while Portugal’s visa asks people to stay in the country for a minimum of 16 months in the first two years of being approved for the scheme.

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The countries in Europe that offer a digital nomad visa

We’ve unpacked how these digital nomad visas work in the European countries that offer them, and added what we know about the countries that expect to have one soon.  

Croatia

Vrbnik, Croatia
Vrbnik

Croatia launched its digital nomad visa in January 2021. It allows successful applicants to stay for a year, which can be extended for a second year.

The requirements include a government-issued background check from your home country, proof of health and travel insurance, proof of a Croatian address and proof that you’re a digital nomad.

Applicants must be able to prove they earn at least €2,370 per month, but will not be taxed by Croatia.

More info here.

Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic
Prague

Unlike typical digital nomad visas, the Czech digital nomad visa is a long-term residency permit that allows non-EU nomads to work independently in the country as a freelancer for up to 365 days. Nomads wanting to work in the Czech Republic should apply for a “Zivno” visa in person via the embassy of the Czech Republic in their home country. 

The process for applying for this visa isn’t entirely smooth — it can take between 90 and 120 days and the applicant must pay a fee of CZK1,000 (around €40). 

More info here.

Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia
Talinn

Estonia launched its digital nomad visa in August 2020, and the new scheme allows successful applicants to stay for a year. 

You’ll need to prove a monthly income of €3,504 per month, and must be self-employed or working for a foreign company. For the first 183 consecutive days in the country, digital nomads will pay no taxes — after that they’ll be considered Estonian tax residents.

More info here.

Georgia

Tbilisi, Georgia
Tbilisi

Georgia’s digital nomad visa, Remotely from Georgia, allows remote workers that earn a minimum of $24k annually to stay in the country for up to a year. During this time, nomads are registered as a resident in Georgia and can sign up for local healthcare. 

Beyond its beautiful countryside — where nomads can find plenty of outdoor activities in the Caucasus mountains and along the coastline of the Black Sea — Georgia is one of the cheapest nomad destinations in Europe. The process of applying for the digital nomad visa is relatively straightforward too: you can apply online in just 10 minutes and receive the visa within 10 days. 

More info here.

Greece

An image of a port in Piraeus, Greece, which offers a digital nomad visa for remote workers in Europe
Piraeus

Greece launched its digital nomad visa in September 2021 and allows people to stay in the country for 12 months, which can then be extended for a second year. Digital nomads need to prove they’ll be in work for the duration of their stay by producing an employee contract and show proof of a Greek address.

The minimum monthly income requirement is €3,500 and there’s an application fee of €75. Nomads won’t pay any tax for the first six months in the country, but also won’t be able to use public healthcare or education services.

More info here.

IcelandAn image of the Iceland landscape with snow-covered mountains in the distance

Iceland’s digital nomad visa, announced in November 2020, is perhaps the least attractive of the bunch, with a monthly income requirement of 1m Icelandic Krona ‚ more than €7,100 at current rates. There’s also a $83 application fee. 

Successful applicants will be able to stay in the country for up to six months and pay no local tax.

More info here.

Latvia

Latvia’s digital nomad visa lasts for one year, with the possibility to extend it for another year. After the two-year period, nomads cannot apply for a new digital nomad visa for six months — they either have to apply for another visa or residence permit, or leave the country entirely.

A few things to consider: nomads wishing to settle in Latvia must have a health insurance policy that is valid in Latvia and Schengen member states.

If they are self-employed, they must earn a monthly salary of at least 2.5 times the average monthly gross salary in Latvia to obtain a visa (which amounts currently to €3,192). They must also get proof by the tax administration of a member state of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to certify the income they earned in the last six months.

More info here. 

Malta

Valletta, Malta
Valletta

Mediterranean sea, sun, sand… and a relatively straightforward visa process make Malta a good place to be a nomad. Interested applicants must fill in a typewritten form and sign it, stating how long they plan to stay in the country, and also write a letter of intent, explaining their motivations for applying for the Nomad Residence permit (as well as submitting the usual documents: passport, proof of income etc). 

The permit is issued for a year and is renewable — and usually takes up to 30 days to be approved. Applicants who plan to stay for less than a year will instead be issued with a National Visa for the duration of their stay.  

A few conditions to note: nomads must have a monthly income of €2,700 gross per month to be considered for the digital nomad visa and pay an application fee of €300. 

More info here.

NorwayAn image of a lake in Norway, which offers a digital nomad visa for remote workers in Europe

Norway doesn’t have a dedicated digital nomad visa but self-employed nomads (with a business abroad) can apply for an independent contractor visa, which allows them to stay in Norway for up to two years — if they earn a minimum of €35,718 per year.

To apply for the independent contractor visa, applicants must fill in an application form, print and sign this checklist and pay an application fee of €600. You can apply for the visa in person either at a police station in Norway, or via a Norwegian embassy in your home country.

Key thing to note: digital nomads with an independent contractor visa will have to pay local taxes while living in Norway and must apply for a VAT number. 

More info here.

Portugal

An image of houses in Lisbon, Portugal, which offers one of Europe's many digital nomad visas
Lisbon

Portugal’s D7 visa is one of the longest standing digital nomad residence permits, having been launched in 2007. Applicants need to be earning €9,870 annually and have a Portuguese tax number and bank account. One catch is that applicants must be able to stay in the country for 16 months for the first two years of their stay.

There’s a fairly lengthy application process, and people must have health insurance and proof of a Portuguese address.

More info here. 

Countries with visas coming soon

Italy

An image of Rome, Italy with the Victor Emmanuel II National Monument in the distance
Rome

It’s still unclear when the Italian digital nomad visa will be made available, but we do know some information about what it will mean for nomads. It’s thought it will give people the right to reside in Italy for one year, and is likely to come with a minimum income requirement. The visa will also only be available to “high-skilled workers”, but it’s not known how that will be determined.

More info  here.

MontenegroKotor, Montenegro

Montenegro hasn’t quite settled on its plans for its digital nomad visa yet, but it is expected to be rolled out later this year. As of now, the visa is expected to allow nomads to live in Montenegro for two years, with the option to renew the visa for another two years after that. There’s also been talk of tax breaks for nomads who hold this visa, though further details are yet to be released.

More info here.

Spain

An image of Barcelona, Spain, which has a digital nomad visa coming soon
Barcelona

Spain’s digital nomad visa has been in the works for some time, but Sifted understands that the government will have the legislation by the end of the year.

It’s still not fully clear what rules will surround the visa, but it’s thought it will allow nomads to live in the country for six to twelve months, with the possibility of an extension.

More info here.

Read more: Where are Europe’s top digital nomad villages?

Tim Smith is Sifted’s Iberia correspondent. He tweets from @timmpsmith. Miriam Partington is Sifted’s DACH correspondent. She also covers future of work, coauthors Sifted’s Startup Life newsletter and tweets from @mparts_

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Wilky
Wilky

Well done on this article!