Many people in the world had to adapt and change their lifestyles in the last year and a half, especially the way they do business. The idea of becoming a Digital Nomad sounds very appealing, and it has become increasingly more popular than it was in the past.
Before we go any further, what exactly is a digital nomad?
Digital nomads are people who work from their laptop from anywhere in the world, and they move to different locations on a regular basis.
Digital Nomad or Freelancer?
You might wonder, what’s the difference between a digital nomad and a freelancer? Isn’t that the same thing?
You’re not completely wrong when thinking that, because they are very similar indeed. The main difference is that freelancers, although self-employed, are often under contract for certain companies, and they can move to different locations if they choose to, but they usually work from home. Digital nomads usually move from place to place, hence the term “nomad”.
Recently, many countries have changed the way they deal with working visas, which is what makes a difference for those who choose to go the digital nomad way. Many countries had to adapt their criteria for accepting foreign temporary workers in order to survive.
The Best Countries For Digital Nomads
Every country is different as far as length of visa and certain criteria they ask for, but most of them try to accommodate this new way of life. As you will see, some application processes can get pretty complicated and frustrating, but you have to decide if all the hassle is worth it for you.
For sure experiencing a new culture and a different venue can be very enriching. If you’re lucky enough to be able to do it you should consider it a privilege, as most of us can’t afford to live this way.
In the future there will be more of this trend, as people crave for adventure and change. How cool would it be to become a “citizen of the world”?
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular countries digital nomads tend to escape to, even if it’s just for a little while.
A British territory located in the Caribbean has recently launched a special visa for digital nomads. A year-long visa in Anguilla comes with a $2,000 US fee for individuals, or $3,000 for families.
What this includes is two COVID tests per person, surveillance, a digital work permit, and other costs associated with public health presence.
Singapore has many things to offer, and the speed of the internet is high on the list. For the digital nomad that relies on great wi-fi, this is their ideal spot.
The cost of living is not as low as in some of the other countries on the list, and they are not very approachable as a people. But the balance between quality of life and work life is decent enough to consider moving there for a while.
Spain is very favorable to retired expats who are looking to relocate, but the “non-lucrative” visa prevents you from working, per se.
Although their basic conditions for residing are quite steep, the mix of beaches, mountains, chill lifestyle and low cost of living makes the process seem less rigorous and worthwhile.
Expats love to make Taipei their temporary home away from home. With great weather year long, decent internet speed, and friendly locals, it is a reasonable place to experience something different.
The quality of life is pretty good, and it is not as expensive as some other places in the world.
Their budget-friendly prices, mixed in with beautiful historic architecture make Belgrade, Serbia’s capital one of the most popular European Cities with digital nomads.
The visas are favorable to the temporary workers, and their open borders are a key feature for those who are looking to relocate.
Madeira, the gorgeous Portuguese island, has launched a Digital Nomads Village recently, and it is known to be a remote workers’ hub.
Beautiful weather, gorgeous beaches and low cost of living make Portugal a very attractive option. And their conditions for application, although still complex, are not as stuffy as their neighbor’s Spain, for example.
Although Peru has attractions such as Machu Picchu that entices visitors, their new modernized cities have a lot to offer the digital workers. Even some of their more upscale neighbourhoods are more affordable when comparing them to North American cities, for example.
Better weather, friendly people, and many local cafes are some of the things that give Peru a chance if you’re looking for a change of pace.
This Scandinavian country is very appealing to many remote workers. Their progressive thinking, wealth and natural beauty are some features that attract visitors.
In order to relocate for work, you need to apply for an Independent Contractor’s Visa, which allows you to live and work there for up to two years.
You can get a taste of working from Mexico on a 6-month tourist visa, after which you can apply for a temporary Resident Visa, that gives you an extra year.
You also have the ability to renew it for up to three years, which will get you accustomed to their laid back, relaxed lifestyle. It might be hard to get back , but you can always try a different country after that!
A newcomer to the remote worker’s reality, Mauritius has lots to offer. Stunningly clear water, thick jungles, and epic mountains are just some of their attractions.
The biggest perk is most likely the Free Premium Visa which, aside from being free of cost, allows you to experience this little slice of heaven long term. Their conditions are pretty lax compared to other countries, so why not?
This Mediterranean island has been popular to remote workers for a while now, but recently they came up with their own Digital Nomad Residence Permit.
It is targeted to the citizens that reside outside the EU, and their super strong internet connections, not to mention the sunny lifestyle and perfect location, makes Malta a very attractive option.
You might wonder why leave a cold climate to relocate to another even colder one? Clearly, if you’re craving warm water and sunny beaches, Iceland might not be your top choice. But it has so much more to offer if you don’t mind the weather.
The landscapes are breathtaking, their lifestyle very appealing, and with a six month visa you have enough time to experience something different and unforgettable.
If you want to live in one of the most affluent countries in Europe, Germany offers you just that. They have their own special freelance visa that allows foreign self-employed people to reside in Germany anywhere from 6 months up to three years.
If you can prove that you have something to contribute to their economy, they will welcome you with open arms.
In order to stipulate their economy, which has been downhill since the start of this pandemic, the country has come up with the “Remotely From Georgia”, a digital nomad visa.
Their beautiful country, with their low cost of living and gorgeous landscapes, offers digital nomads a chance to experience a few months or longer of a slower pace of life.
Formerly part of Russia, Estonia has made major strides in the tech industry since their independence. They are pioneers in the E-Residency program, a program they created, which allows foreigners to run their EU-based online business and enjoy low-cost Estonian living.
Tallinn, their capital, is a very nice place to live, where you get a lot of the European charm for a fraction of the cost.
Not as hot as other South American countries, Ecuador is a pleasant and laid back place to transfer to for a little while. The low cost of living, and less restrictions as other countries on this list, makes it a very appealing place to be.
Between the historic architecture, its friendly people and great weather, moving there is a no-brainer. If you’re a US citizen, you can stay for three months and try it out without needing a visa.
9. Czech Republic
This country’s architecture is one of the most beautiful in Europe, but what makes this place so attractive is their lower cost of living and central location to many other destinations in Europe.
Their visa application is one of the most complex, so try to get help filling it out if you can. But don’t let that discourage you because the benefits of living in the Czech Republic outweigh the cons.
8. Costa Rica
A very popular destination, not only for tourism, but for remote workers and retirees alike, Costa Rican lifestyle has a lot to offer. From the relaxed vibe, to the great beaches, without forgetting the scenic waterfalls and jungle, there is lots to admire in this country.
The “Rentista”, a freelancer visa that allows you to stay for up to two years, or the one year Digital Nomad Visa are great options that give you freedom to experience a different pace of life.
7. Cayman Islands
Although one of the most expensive application processes and requirements we found, we think relocating to the Cayman Islands can be worth it. If you can afford it, of course.
They are one of the biggest offshore tax havens, that’s why many retirees and very successful business people do business there. They are the culinary capital of the Caribbean, have some of the best reefs in the world, not to mention gorgeous beaches.
A beautiful British Island that is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda has recently released a “Work From Bermuda” visa for remote workers.
They aimed this program at professionals who usually work from home, so they can get a taste of island life. With this visa you can stay for up to a year, and their requirements are some of the least demanding of the bunch.
A beauty of the Caribbean, Barbados is home to some of the best beaches in the world. Their economy, which relies mainly on tourism, has taken a hit since this pandemic started. In order to boost their economy, Barbados has opened its doors to remote workers.
If you want to relocate to this beautiful country and live the best nomad life, you need to apply for the Barbados Welcome Stamp, a 12 month visa created recently. It can be extended past the year, and you might just get tempted once you get a taste of what life has to offer.
4. Antigua & Barbuda
Another Caribbean gem is the island of Antigua & Barbuda, which is a lovely place to relocate to for a few years. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the North American way of life, you will like the laid back way of life of the island.
The Nomad Digital Residency (NDR) visa is aimed at the independent workers who can support themselves and have their own health insurance plan. The visa includes you and your family, so you can all experience this together.
Croatia is another increasingly popular European destination that has lots to offer the digital nomads. Although you cannot apply for the work permit unless you are in the country, you can visit for up to three months without needing a visa from many countries in the world.
Their Digital Nomad Visa is valid for up to a year, and that should give you plenty of time to decide if you want to prolong it. With such beautiful scenery and low cost of living, you might just want to.
2. Dubai, UAE
Ok, Dubai is not really a country, but it’s UAE’s most popular spot. Recently, Dubai has launched a one year virtual working program, which allows remote workers to live and work from one of the most sought after destinations in the world.
Their requirements are a bit stiffer than other countries, such as the minimum monthly salary, health insurance, among other things. But considering their cost of living, which is higher than most cities on this list, it is understandable. You will still get so many benefits, such as schooling for your kids while residing there, that it is definitely worth it.
1. Bali, Indonesia
The amazing island of Bali, Indonesia, has been on many people’s bucket lists for decades. With their amazing beaches, vibrant nightlife, varied and very affordable cuisine, living in Bali has many benefits.
Nomad workers have been making Bali their home away from home for years, but the improved requirements and the new digital nomad visa is on its way shortly. We will give more details once it’s confirmed, but as of now there are rumors that it will be good for up to five years, and if you hold such a visa, you will not have to pay taxes for income earned outside of Bali.
As you can see, if you are a digital nomad, or are striving to become one, the world is your oyster. We only have one life to live, why not do it from where we choose to?
- 25. Anguilla
- 24. Singapore
- 23. Spain
- 22. Taiwan
- 21. Serbia
- 20. Portugal
- 19. Peru
- 18. Norway
- 17. Mexico
- 16. Mauritius
- 15. Malta
- 14. Iceland
- 13. Germany
- 12. Georgia
- 11. Estonia
- 10. Ecuador
- 9. Czech Republic
- 8. Costa Rica
- 7. Cayman Islands
- 6. Bermuda
- 5. Barbados
- 4. Antigua & Barbuda
- 3. Croatia
- 2. Dubai, UAE
- 1. Bali, Indonesia