Over the past couple years, there has been a trend of an increasing number of countries offering visas specifically for digital nomads.
A digital nomad is someone who has chosen to move to a different country and is able to because they work remotely. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the idea of living abroad was significantly more unattainable. However, the pandemic has brought about a rise in the option to work from home. Many companies have chosen to switch from a physical workplace to a digital one. Companies such as Dropbox, Reddit, Spotify and Meta, Facebook’s new platform have entirely gotten rid of the office space requirement, allowing employees to work from anywhere.
This shift has opened up an opportunity for those who wish to have the adventure of living abroad but were previously tied to a physical workplace.
Before digital nomad visas were so widely available, it was more common for digital nomads to use tourist visas to live in their desired countries. The new accessibility of the digital nomad visa has made the lifestyle of working remotely abroad significantly easier as it allows you to stay for longer than a tourist visa does. Portugal even has a two year renewable residence visa for remote workers.
There are currently over forty countries offering digital nomad visas, with several more on the way. Italy, for example, approved a digital nomad visa in March. There is no word yet on when Italy’s digital nomad visa will become available. The countries that are offering these visas are mostly located in Europe and Central and South America.
Different countries have different requirements for eligibility, costs and permitted length of stays. Most countries will require you to prove a monthly income of a certain amount. Required incomes can range from six hundred euros a month in Portugal to 3,500 euros a month in Greece, or possibly more.
It is likely that more and more countries will decide to offer a visa specifically for digital nomads as the influx of long-term visitors could be beneficial for many countries’ economies. These remote workers will bolster local economies when they spend money in the communities they live in. However, the effect that digital nomads have on the countries they migrate to might not be entirely positive. When it comes to housing in particular, there have been instances of increased rent due to an influx of digital nomads. When a substantial amount of wealthy remote workers move to countries where the cost of living is cheaper, landlords realize they can raise the price of rent. The remote workers can likely afford the new price of housing, but many locals cannot.
As time goes on, it is likely that the effects that digital nomads have on the countries they move to and the world at large will continue to be revealed.
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