Europe and South America continue to be popular destinations for remote workers and travelers to experience rich culture, history, and cuisine. Now it is even easier to work remotely in several countries with the introduction of the digital nomad visa. The changes allow travelers working with foreign companies to live abroad without going through the approval process of a full visa. Keep reading to find out exactly what you need to know to apply and other essential facts on how the process works.
The general guidelines for a digital nomad visa are:
- Check that your employment status qualifies you to apply.
- Be sure you have all required documents including your passport, and that they are up to date.
- Apply for the digital nomad visa and pay any necessary fees.
- Understand the guidelines and length of time of your new visa (including taxes!)
- Enjoy living and working abroad!
The specific guidelines for popular destinations including Italy, Spain, Brazil, Colombia, and Costa Rica are below.
Previously, only individuals with EU passports could work in Italy for a specified time. On March 28th, 2022 a new visa for remote workers was signed into law. The guidelines for who can apply are still being developed, so stay tuned. We do know that the initial visa will last for one year and can be extended to close family members. There will be employment requirements that are not fully released yet, including evidence that you have held your position for a significant amount of time. It has also been announced that applicants will need to be “tax compliant” in Italy in order to be approved, as well as hold a clean criminal history and have health insurance.
The legislation for Spain has not officially passed, but they have made several announcements and are currently developing guidelines for a digital nomad visa. The good news is that the visa is expected to last for up to 5 years. Applicants must have lived outside of Spain for 5 years, stay tax compliant in Spain, and are expected to have relatively minimal employment requirements. Digital nomads in Spain will also be able to bring close family members.
The digital nomad visa program has already launched in Brazil! Recipients may stay in the country for up to one year and renew for one year. Applicants must meet income or bank balance requirements to be considered, and their income must come from outside of Brazil. Other documentation you will need to provide will include proof of employment while you are in Brazil, proof a clean criminal history, and private health insurance. This visa is open to remote workers as well as those that are self-employed. Brazil creates a great escape for digital nomads as it is known for being affordable in cost of living. Did I mention free health care? As a bonus, those that hold the digital nomad visa are eligible for the free public healthcare system that has been established for foreigners.
Recently launched in October 2022, Colombia’s digital nomad visa program allows qualifiers to stay up to two years. The program is open to remote workers and self-employed individuals and even provides a new path to citizenship. Colombia also has an affordable cost of living and continues to see growth in the number of tech startups the country hosts each year, making it a prime spot for entrepreneurs and remote workers. To apply you must provide proof of employment, a bank statement, and proof of health insurance. Approved applicants may bring family members along with them.
As one of the first countries to announce the digital nomad visa, you can now begin your application to live and work in Costa Rica. Remote workers and those that are self-employed may apply and stay for up to 1 year, with the chance to renew for an additional year. Applicants will be approved by meeting income requirements, providing proof of health insurance, and hold a consular or restricted visa. Digital nomads in Costa Rica may also bring family members that are approved.
The changes brought forward by the digital nomad visa allow for an extended stay compared to the tourist visa, while also making it more accessible by allowing you to keep working during your time away. For those interested in slow travel, this could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to immerse yourself in a different culture!
It may seem like a lot of requirements for approval, but the news of more digital visas being announced is a huge benefit for remote workers and travelers. Giving travelers the opportunity to extend their stay and work while they are abroad is a game changer for the growing number of remote workers.
If you want to make your location-independent lifestyle vision a reality, come over to my IG and let’s chat about how I can help you!