Everything You Need to Know About Applying for a Digital Nomad Visa

Whether you’re fearful of November’s election results or simply need a break from the chaos and commotion that’s become of the good ol’ U.S. of A, there is no better time to pursue a digital nomad visa in another country. These give Americans the opportunity to temporarily live and work abroad for a year (or more!) without the time and money limitations enforced as a typical tourist or business traveler. 

But digital nomad visas are so much more than glorified permission slips to extend a stay. Plenty of incentives, like access to local housing and healthcare, ease of transportation between nearby countries, and general tax breaks, make the application process and subsequent move worthwhile. 

While each destination has its own set of rules, qualifications, and stipulations, these generally include: proof of self-employment, a sum of pre-existing money in the bank, an agreement that you can’t collect more than a certain amount of money overseas, no criminal history, and mandatory enrollment in medical insurance.

We’ve rounded up six locations around the world and included links so that you can get a head start on the application process. Keep in mind that most approvals will require a trip to your local consulate, as well as a handful of fees to process certain documents. 

Costa Rica

For those in search of a more tropical backdrop, Costa Rica may just be the spot for you. Digital nomads will enjoy an exemption from income tax, as well as the ability to open a national bank account and receive an eligible driver’s license. Visas can also be extended up to a year with the option to renew. But don’t embrace the demeanor of the region’s indigenous three-toed sloth: These visas are in high demand, so it’s always best to act quickly. 


Perhaps one of the most popular destinations on this list, Spain offers a diverse array of nomad-friendly metropolises, including Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville. Best of all, those looking for longer stays will have the option to renew for up to a whopping five years, making it ideal for the traveler who actually wants to put down roots and call the country their semi-permanent home. 


Embrace your Eat, Pray, Love phase of life with a stint in beloved Bali. The Southeast Asian hot spot attracts wellness-minded nomads from around the world through a pretty straightforward visa process that guarantees two to six months of extended stay. They do, however, enforce one of the strictest employment policies: You can’t make money or receive any type of income in Indonesia to qualify.  


The latest country to offer a digital nomad visa mirrors nearby Spain’s application process. Once remote professionals get the green light, they can enjoy the region in its entirety, from historical Rome and gastro-heavy Bologna to scenic Amalfi Coast and bustling Milan. Needless to say, la vita è bella for those who can swing it. 


You won’t experience an icy reception if Iceland is your locale of choice. The Nordic region offers miles of stunning natural beauty with hubs of human activity in cities like Reykjavik and Kópavogur. Needless to say, it’s a perfect spot for anyone in need of striking a more effective work/life balance. You’ll have no other choice but to explore volcanoes, lakes, beaches, and geothermal pools during your downtime. 


Go completely off the grid with a journey to Africa’s smallest country. The Seychelles’ archipelago of 115 islands is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, making each workday feel like a vacation. This is also a wonderful option for those who want to travel the Southern and Eastern Hemispheres without having to sacrifice literal days for air or boat travel.

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