Currently there are no common EU or Europe digital nomad visas, however the last year has seen an increasing number of countries start to offer their own. Digital nomads from EU countries or those holding EU passports have long benefited from free movement within the block, effectively a golden ticket for those looking to lead a digital nomad lifestyle. However, Europeans looking to do likewise have typically been left needing to work on tourist visas and abide by the 90 in 180 day Schengen rules, which make it hard for anyone looking to stay in European countries for longer periods.
Times are changing though. The growth of digital nomadism worldwide, combined with the rise in remote working during the pandemic, has encouraged more and more countries to start offering digital nomad visas or something similar. In this post, we’ll go through which EU and non-EU countries offer them (or are planning to do so in the very near future) and what the requirements are to be eligible for one.
Which EU countries have digital nomad visas?
Croatia Digital Nomad Visa
- Minimum Earnings: 2250 Euros per month OR 27000 Euros savings
- Length of Stay: Up to one year
Croatia started issuing their digital nomad visas in January 2021. You are eligible if you can prove you make the equivalent of 2250 Euros per month or have sufficient savings to live in Croatia for a year (12 times the monthly minimum). There is a small application fee of around 80 Euros and a few requirements such as passing a criminal background check in your own country, but if you can meet the financial requirements, you shouldn’t have a problem. Note that the figures are converted from Croatian Kuna into Euros and are accurate as of October 2021.
- Minimum Earnings: 3504 Euros per month
- Length of Stay: One year
The Estonia digital nomad visa was the first of its kind in the summer of 2020 with the tiny Baltic nation acting as something of a trailblazer. Many countries around the world have since followed by starting their own remote work visas programs. Estonia does have quite strict requirements in terms of earnings with proof that you have made on average 3504 Euros per month over the course of the last six months required in order to be eligible for a one year stay in the country working remotely on your own business or for companies outside of Estonia.
Greece Digital Nomad Residence Permit & Visa
- Minimum Earnings: 3500 Euros per month
- Length of Stay: Up to one year (Visa) | Two years with option of renewal (Residence Permit)
A new addition, Greece launched their digital nomad visas in September 2021. The required monthly earnings mirror that of Estonia but they do also offer the option of a digital nomad residence permit which effectively makes it possible to make Greece your longer-term home with two year stays possible and the option of renewal as long as you continue to earn enough money.
NOTE – It should be pointed out that since all these schemes are new, it’s likely we’ll see changes to the exact requirements over the coming years once governments figure out how best to operate them. You should also consider that if you are planning on coming with a spouse or children, in most cases the minimum earnings requirement will increase.
Iceland Long-Term Visa for Remote Workers
- Minimum Earnings: 6700 Euros per month
- Length of Stay: Up to 6 months. If you’re already in the Schengen Area when you apply, it’s only good for 3 months.
Iceland may seem an unlikely destination for a digital nomad visa but it is a beautiful country and a peaceful place to work on a big project and the country does have its own remote working scheme. However it has some very high requirements in terms of what you must earn, due to it having some of the highest living costs in Europe. You can also only stay for a maximum of six months.
- Minimum Earnings: 2700 Euros per month
- Length of Stay: One year (Renewable)
As featured in our recent Malta digital nomad guide, the Mediterranean island nation was already popular with remote workers and there is now a nomad residence scheme allowing non-EU nomads to stay longer. Renewals are possible at a cost of 300 Euros per year, allowing a total stay of up to 3 years. Unlike some other digital nomad schemes, there is no obligation to pay income tax in the country with this permit.
Portugal D7 Passive Income Visa
- Minimum Earnings: 635+ Euros per month
- Length of Stay: One to Two Years (Two year extensions possible)
This is a visa that was initially introduced in 2007, more geared towards retirees than remote workers but it has become increasingly popular with digital nomads. The minimum requirements are quite low but there are various different interpretations of the true minimum earnings as each case is seemingly judged on its own merits. Essentially the more you earn, the higher chance you have of approval. The application process is quite lengthy taking three to four months including a consular appointment and an interview in Portugal but no Portuguese language skills are required and it is a pathway to permanent Portuguese (& therefore EU) residency.
In addition to the above countries, it has just been announced that Romania (EU) will also start offering digital nomad visas, although the exact details are not known at this point. Spain also plans to do likewise but it has to get parliamentary approval before any formal scheme begins. Check out our Madrid digital nomad guide for an idea of life working remotely from there.
Are there any non EU digital nomad visas in Europe?
Remotely From Georgia Visa
- Minimum Earnings: 2000 USD per month
- Length of Stay: Up to 12 Months
Getting a Georgian remote working visa is quite straight-forward compared to many countries. There are no costs involved and no nationality restrictions. You just need to prove you can make 2000 USD per month, the equivalent of around 1730 Euros at the time of writing. There is one online application form to fill out and if you’re accepted, you’re good to go. It’s also cheaper to live there than in most European countries. For more on this topic, head over to our digital nomad blog.
On the whole, it’s usually easier to travel and work remotely outside of the EU as each country has its own entry requirements and stay limits, separate to the common Schengen rules. That may be about to get easier still in some countries with Albania having also recently approved a new visa for remote workers. Neighbouring North Macedonia also introduced plans for a digital nomad visa earlier in 2021.
It’s also worth noting that there are some extra requirements in many of the places offering digital nomad visas such as having proper health/travel insurance or background checks into the nature of your work but it does vary from country to country.
Which is the best Europe digital nomad visa?
Accessibility and whether or not it offers a path to permanent residence or even citizenship are factors you may want to consider. You’ll also want to look into any taxation implications, whether it also enables you to travel around the continent, and of course whether it’s actually a good place to live or not!
Much will depend on your personal circumstances and earnings but on the face of it, the Portugal digital nomad visa is perhaps the most attractive option at the moment. It is the most affordable Western European country to live and with most of its main towns and cities on the coast, it’s already a very popular digital nomad destination. For those earning less money, you have much more chance of getting a Portuguese visa than in some of the other European countries and if you stay long enough, you can end up gaining full resident status in any case.
For info on the country, check out our Portugal digital nomad guide which goes into more detail on the remote working experience there.
There are also various studies into the best digital nomad visas in the world which attempt to rank the various options with those in Europe tending to fair favourably.
Other European visas that may appeal to digital nomads
In addition, it’s worth noting that while most European countries don’t offer a “digital nomad visa” per se, many have relaxed their rules to make it easier for nomads and remote workers to stay longer in their countries while others have e-residency schemes. Depending on your circumstances, there may be other options too outside of the above list of digital nomad visas.
Other options include the Czech Republic’s freelancer visas (Zivno) which only people working in specific areas can apply for, although it is notoriously difficult to submit an application and it won’t suit all digital nomads.
Germany also has a freelancer visa – the wonderfully named Aufenthaltserlaubnis zur selbständige Tätigkeit! It gives foreign freelancers the ability to live and work in the country for up to three years however it’s quite a lengthy application process and significantly you have to prove there is “local economic interest”. This basically means you have to work with German clients or have German companies who wish to hire you. As such it’s not really a true digital nomad visa.
There is a similar arrangement in Norway where you can get a two-year Independent Contractor visa, providing you are working on a project with Norwegian roots. The country also famously has the visa-free archipelago of Svalbard where anyone can go and work remotely but the high living costs and freezing temperatures, not to mention 24-7 winter darkness, may be enough to put you off!
A better option may be Italy’s self-employment visa which offers people the chance to work remotely from the country with some tax incentives for doing so. You can find more information by contacting your local Italian embassy or consulate.