As with anything else that involves travel and money, there are a few things you'll want to consider before becoming a digital nomad.
In this post, ETIAS takes an in-depth look at what it means to be a "digital nomad" and how to obtain a digital nomad visa.
What Is a Digital Nomad Visa?
Digital nomads can visit most countries worldwide if they have a valid passport and a short-term visa (usually 30 days). However, if you want to set up shop somewhere and stay for an extended period, this will not likely work.
In most cases, you will need what’s called a “work permit,” or in many cases, a Digital Nomad Visa. A Digital nomad visa is a legal way for someone from another country to live and work in your country officially. It allows them to obtain employment legally without having any other immigration status like asylum or refugee status.
Generally, visa holders are allowed to travel to a particular country. There are different types of visas depending on the purpose of your trip, but they all serve one purpose: allowing you entry into another country for a set period.
Visas can be pretty complicated because the requirements vary from country to country. For example, some countries require tourist visas, and others do not. Some countries require permits for business trips, and others do not.
Some countries require student visas while others don't — so it's important to know which type of visa applies to your situation so that you're prepared ahead of time.
A new digital nomad visa allows the holder to live and work in another country without applying for long-term residency or citizenship. It's explicitly designed for those constantly on the go and require flexibility while living abroad.
How Do You Get a Digital Nomad Visa?
You must first apply for a digital nomad visa by:
- Applying for a visa online
- Applying for a residence permit online
- Applying for a work permit online
After you have been approved, the next step is to apply for your travel documents. Suppose you often travel in and out of the country or plan on staying longer than three months. In that case, it may be best to get an eVisa rather than waiting at immigration or having your passport stamped multiple times with multiple entry visas.
An eVisa allows travelers from certain countries (including those eligible for digital nomad visas) to enter the country without having their passports stamped each time they enter. Along with this process comes obtaining all necessary documentation such as proof of citizenship and two photos taken against a white background within 30 days of arrival.
The good news is that digital nomad visas are usually processed within a few days. The bad news is that certain countries require different additional requirements for your application to be approved.
Some countries will require a visa run, meaning you must leave the country and re-enter it at least once for your application to be approved. Other countries will require a medical exam, police check, or background check before they issue their digital nomad visa.
Getting this kind of temporary resident visa comes with many other requirements that are very important to ensure you are aware of. You’ll need health insurance in most places to have eligibility to apply, as well as a permanent residency in a home country.
How Are Digital Nomad Visas Different from Passports?
Both passports and digital nomad visas are used to travel internationally. However, there are some critical differences between the two.
A passport is issued by your country of origin and grants you permission to travel to other countries. A digital nomad visa is issued by another government that allows you to enter their borders for a specific amount of time — usually one year at a time — and requires you to leave when your visa expires.
Passports restrict the activities you can engage in while traveling abroad, such as working or studying, without proper documentation or authorization from local government agencies.
Digital nomad visas are not as restrictive because they're designed specifically for remote workers who want flexibility in where and how long they stay in each place before moving on again.
If you have a start-up that is paying your bills remotely, then getting a digital nomad visa shouldn’t be too challenging — at least, it’ll likely be more accessible than getting a tourist visa.
Why Should You Get a Digital Nomad Visa?
These modern work visa programs are essential to understand and master if you want to be a location-independent worker.
While it is one of the most exciting and rewarding lifestyles in the modern world, it’s still something that requires a lengthy application process with many application fees and application forms.
But no matter what, being a digital nomad is one of the best ways to make a stable monthly income while traveling the world.
If you have more questions about visa application, travel insurance, or how to incorporate family members into your freelance visa, check out our articles here at ETIAS.
We have countless resources on how to master the world of traveling in the modern world, whether you’re planning on a short stay of a couple of days or a more extended stay of six months or more.
What Is a Digital Nomad?
A digital nomad is someone who works remotely and travels the world. They have a job they can do from their laptop, tablet, or phone, and they often make money by working for companies worldwide.
Digital nomads usually work as freelancers (independent contractors) or in remote positions with an established employer; some choose not to work for a company.
Many digital nomads earn an income from multiple sources, including freelance work, blogging, and selling products through online marketplaces like Etsy or Shopify. Some even manage to turn their passions into profitable businesses.
Why Become a Digital Nomad
There are many reasons why people choose this route.
- Some like the idea of working remotely and traveling worldwide
- Others want something more out of life than just another day at their cubicle desk
- Some realize there's more to life than just making money and keeping up with the bores of ordinary life
Benefits of Being a Digital Nomad
- You get to travel
- You have the freedom to work wherever you want
- You can save money
- You’ll learn new skills
There are countless benefits to being a digital nomad — if you’re looking for some good reasons to try out a life of remote work, take a look at these:
You Get To Travel
Remote workers can live in their home country to stay close to their family and friends.
Alternatively, they can travel to:
- the Caribbean
- Costa Rica
You Have the Freedom To Work Wherever You Want
With a somewhat stable WiFi network, you can do your job anywhere that seems comfortable.
You Can Save Money
You can save money by living in cheap countries and buying your food from markets instead of restaurants. Significantly as costs rise in more affluent countries, you can easily find lower living costs in other countries, which can be very helpful with income tax for entrepreneurs.
You’ll Learn New Skills
If you're interested in learning new skills, being a digital nomad allows you to meet people and attend events where there's lots of learning (for example, coworking spaces).
Being a digital nomad gives you many opportunities to live in other countries on more long-stay terms.
If you're looking for a change in your life, consider becoming a digital nomad. It's not just something that college kids do on spring break anymore. With the rise of remote work, it's become an option for more people than ever, and the lifestyle has many benefits.
If you would like to trial life as a digital nomad in Europe, consider first applying for an ETIAS. On an approved ETIAS, you can visit your EU country of choice for up to 90 days, per 180 day period, while working on your business. This will enable you to have the flexibility to try living in a few different EU countries before selecting your ideal location.
EU travel authorization rules frequently change but you can keep yourself informed by following the current ETIAS requirements.
Work Permits/Age Certificates | U.S. Department of Labor