How To Get a Digital Nomad Visa

Gone are the traditional days of commuting to the office five days a week as the standard mode of work. In our contemporary, post-pandemic world, an increasing number of individuals have uncovered the wonders of remotely working from home – the infamous WFH trend.

For those already accustomed to working from home, a revelation may dawn upon them: “I could be doing this from anywhere”. The realisation that work can be done from virtually anywhere, perhaps in a foreign country with sunshine and a nearby beach, becomes apparent.

Enter the digital nomad.

The digital nomad epitomises a whole new way of working. These are individuals who sustain their livelihoods online while residing outside their permanent country of residence.

This can all be legally facilitated by a digital nomad visa. However, the application processes, associated costs, permitted lengths of stay, and tax regulations differ across countries. Delve into the diverse requirements and eligibility criteria for digital nomad visas in various countries to make an informed decision.

How Do You Qualify For A Digital Nomad Visa?

First and foremost, it’s crucial to acknowledge that not all countries provide a digital nomad visa. Some may offer similar visas or programmes allowing foreign nationals to work within its borders, others may offer no such permit.

Furthermore, each country establishes its own distinctive application process and set of eligibility requirements that must be met.

Some typical requirements that must be met to qualify for a digital nomad visa include a minimum income requirement, necessary documents such as proof of identity and health insurance, a clean criminal record, proof of employment, and potentially an application fee.

However, it’s crucial to thoroughly research each country’s specific application procedures to determine your eligibility.

Which Country Offers The Easiest Digital Nomad Visa?

Selecting your desired location as a digital nomad shouldn’t solely hinge on the simplicity of obtaining the digital nomad visa. Nonetheless, this can be a stressful process, particularly for first-timers, so it may be important to opt for an application method that feels accessible and practical.

Between gathering all the necessary documents, communicating with embassies or consulates, and attending all the necessary appointments, applying for a digital nomad can be a long and complicated process.

What may make this journey a little easier is applying for visas that offer a short application duration time, low associated costs, and being able to apply for it online as opposed to travelling to an embassy. If you’d prefer a smoother application experience, keep an eye out for these aspects in the digital nomad application process.


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1. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

If you’re looking for a true change of scenery, Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates could be the place for you. As part of The Best Destinations for Winter Digital Nomads Report, conducted by BNG themselves, we were able to determine that Abu Dhabi comes equipped with an impressive 10.20 hours of sunlight, as well as a winter temperature of 22.60 degrees Celcius – which would be considered the depths of summer for most Brits.

Abu Dhabi has its own digital nomad VISA programme known as the ‘Remote Work VISA’, allowing you to live in the country for up to a year. You will need a sponsor if applying to live in the country for longer than 12 months, as well as proof that you earn over £2,742 per calendar month. You will also have to provide evidence of your passport and some form of health insurance policy.


2. Doha, Qatar

Doha, based in Qatar, has an even higher winter temperature than Abu Dhabi, sitting at around 23.20 degrees Celcius. Despite this, the sun shines for 8.60 hours, compared to Abu Dhabi’s 10.20. However, its monthly cost of living is more affordable, standing at around £2,440.00 per calendar month on average.

Similarly to Abu Dhabi, in Doha, people applying for VISAs must come equipped with a valid passport, proof of health insurance and also documents stating that they are earning a stable and regular income. Interestingly, to temporarily live in Qatar, a digital nomad must be earning just shy of £4,318pcm, which is well above the average income of £2,297 after taxes in the UK.


3. Bangkok, Thailand 

When it came to the monthly cost of living for digital nomads, Bangkok proved to be very affordable, with the average lifestyle costing just £1,077pcm. The average cost of rent is also half of that of the rent in Abu Dhabi and Doha, at around £578pcm – making other expenses more affordable for people working and travelling.

In order to apply for a permit, you must pay a fee of around £47 to fill out a form, which is then assessed by the Thai government. You may have to wait for up to a month to hear back, so make sure you have a fall-back option in place, to be prepared for all eventualities. If approved, you will be awarded a Certificate of Entry, which can be used for up to a year.


4. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Another location that offers a fairly cheap cost of living is Buenos Aires in Argentina. On average, the monthly rent in Buenos Aires costs just £312.79. Digital nomads can also expect an impressive 8.20 hours of winter sunlight, as well as a cosy average winter temperature of 21.80 degrees Celcius.

Similarly to the other countries we have listed, in order to gain a VISA to work in Argentina, a monthly salary of around £2,148 is required, as well as proof of the rental agreement and a valid passport. A thorough background check is also conducted, so make sure to be as upfront as possible when filling out any application forms.


5. Berlin, Germany

Another great place to settle down while you work is Germany. With its rich historical background and cultural experiences to indulge in, you can guarantee your weekends will be exciting yet relaxing breaks from work.

While not offering the warm winter weather that the other countries on our list may provide, Germany certainly makes up for this with too many restaurants, bars and sightseeing opportunities to cram into just one trip.

The country has unfortunately paused its digital nomad program, but permits like the Freiberufler VISA are still available. This particular permit allows digital nomads to stay in the country for up to three months, costing a mere £59. As well as this, you need only earn around £10,000 per year in order to gain this pass, making it very accessible.


6. Malaga, Spain

Spain, located in Europe, has been a holiday favourite for many Brits for years – but did you know that it is also a great place to temporarily live and work? Depending on where you choose to visit, you can expect an abundance of winter sunshine – especially in Andalucia, the Canary Islands and Málaga.

The country only started offering digital nomad VISAs in 2023, but you can get your hands on one for a reasonable £208. As well as this, you will have to prove that you earn around £1,743pcm. As a recent travel article highlighted that a single person could comfortably live on around £859, these numbers would align perfectly with the expected salary of digital nomads hoping to work in Spain.


7. Singapore, Singapore

Finally, we have Singapore, a location renowned for its exceptionally high quality of life for both natives and foreigners. Expect a staggering winter temperature of 26.40 degrees Celcius, along with sunshine lasting for around 6.80 hours per day.

Singapore has one of the highest monthly living costs on our list, sitting at around £3,371.00pcm. As well as this, the average cost of rent is £2,606.92pcm, meaning this spot should ideally be considered by people with higher salaries.

While Singapore doesn’t specifically offer digital nomad VISAs, there are many options to be considered, such as work and tourist VISAs. Whichever kind of permit you opt for, you must also apply for an SG Arrival Card (SGAC) with an Electronic Health Declaration.


How Difficult Is It To Become A Digital Nomad?

The initial application process to becoming a digital nomad can be tricky. But what about the rest of the jounrey?

The key to becoming a digital nomad is the tangible possibility of a career that allows you to work remotely online and with full location independence. Armed with this, along with a reliable laptop and Wi-Fi connection in your new international abode, any hopeful digital nomad can see their professional dreams materialise.

However, one cannot deny that this career path is more than a little different than the norm. It demands forging your own way, finding suitable accommodations, and carving out a workspace of your own. Beyond these practical considerations, relocating to a foreign country may bring moments of loneliness, with no central office hub to establish connections with.

Therefore, becoming a digital nomad, or, rather, becoming a successful one, will take meticulous planning and dedication. Particularly if the endeavour will involve learning a new language.

But is this all really worth it?

Is Becoming A Digital Nomad Worth It?

Embarking on the journey of a digital nomad’s lifestyle can be difficult, there’s no denying it.

However, the rewards of this adventure become evident for those who appreciate exploring new destinations, relish the freedom to work from anywhere instead of an office, seek opportunities to connect with people from diverse corners of the world and enjoy deviating from conventional norms.

Ultimately, the decision to embrace the digital nomad lifestyle rests solely on your shoulders. If you are open to an adventurous, flexible, and adaptable way of life, this unconventional path might well be the one you’re meant to tread.

For those in search of a transformative lifestyle, why not delve into the exciting prospect of becoming a digital nomad? It might be a better fit for you than you realise.