There are a couple of reasons why it shouldn’t be any surprise to discover that a number of European countries have already adopted formal digital-nomad visas. First of all, Europe is the most-visited continent to begin with. And relatedly, many of the countries therein are ahead of the curve when it comes to instituting a more comprehensive and accommodating travel infrastructure.
For example, 27 European countries are grouped into what is known as the Schengen Area, and acquiring a single Schengen Visa grants its holder access to the entire area, which is over 4.3 million square miles in total. And the exciting thing is that, in many of the cases listed below, a digital nomad visa can also act as a de facto Schengen visa.
But the main point being made is that the countries on this list are not only ready and willing to accommodate travelers, but they are also very much interested in your digital nomad patronage. Also, there are entries on this list that are not part of Schengen or even the EU. So it is possible to see a good part of Europe as an official digital nomad. But of course, different countries have their own guidelines in terms of being registered as one within their nation.
Schengen Countries with Digital Nomad Visas
Below is a list of Schengen countries that offer official digital-nomad visas. Also included are some which do not, but may have a notable equivalent. All of the Schengen countries listed below, with the exceptions of Iceland and Norway, are members of the European Union.
It should be further noted that, as a standard rule of thumb, citizens of other nations that are part of Schengen or the EU are not eligible for these visas.
To those in the know, Croatia is a beautiful coastal country just a stone’s throw away from Italy. But this part of the continent is not as rich or politically stable as the West. So it isn’t as if Croatia is known as a tourism hotspot.
The good thing though, is that the cost of living in Croatia is relatively low. For instance, it is said to be almost 40% lower than that of the United States and a whopping 70% less as far as rent is concerned. So if as a digital nomad you’re making €2,300 (roughly $2500), you can apply for the related visa.
In 2020, Estonia reportedly became the first country in the world to create a visa specifically for digital nomads. In other words, this nation is really forward thinking as far as accommodating computer-based professionals is concerned. So you are likely to come across a vibrant digital-nomad community in places like Tallinn, Estonia’s capital, which is known to be a haven for us digital nomads.
The caveat, though, is that some of Estonia’s entry requirements may seem stringent compared to those of other nations. For instance, you’ll have to provide a bank statement documenting your last six months of income. Also, pretty unorthodoxly, a university degree or proof of enrollment in an educational institution is reportedly required on top of the usual stipulations.
It’s safe to say that Greece, given its history, geographical location, etc., is a place that many of us would like to visit. Thankfully, the Greeks are relatively open when it comes to receiving digital nomads.
In fact, they have a couple of digital-nomad visas in place. One is the standard Greece Digital Nomad Visa, which will allow you to stay for a minimum of six months and up to one year. But afterwards, if you decide you want to be in the country longer, instead of applying for standard residency, you can seek out what is referred to as a “Digital Nomad Residence Permit”, which then has to be renewed at two-year intervals.
But as far as ease of entry goes, few countries in Europe compare to Hungary when it comes to receiving digital nomads. As a matter of example, applicants can qualify for this visa while only making €2,000 monthly.
There are some caveats, though. For example, unlike most other digital-nomad visa programs, this one does not extend to the family of the primary applicant. Rather, as reported, the primary goal on the part of Hungarians is to attract digital nomads, albeit single ones under the age of 40. So if you’re a younger and freer remote worker, in particular, you may want to give this nation serious consideration.
Iceland doesn’t play around with the “nomad” part of this equation. Whereas other countries may be cool with letting you stay longer or even permanently if so desired, Iceland rather requires that digital nomad applicants prove they don’t intend to stick around.
As such, their digital visa is only really good for six months. Also, you have to be a pretty well-to-do remote worker, as the minimum monthly income requirement for applicants is reportedly a healthy 1,000,000 Icelandic Krona, which comes out to roughly USD $6,900 per month. So in that regard, Iceland is by far the priciest country on this list.
So this may not be the best option for a digital nomad if you’re intending to stay in Europe long term. Instead, it should really appeal to those who truly wish to see the beautiful country of Iceland and leave once the time is up.
Malta is an island nation which, although being nestled in the Mediterranean, is one of the lesser-known parts of Europe. That may be why, as reported, they aren’t super strict with documentation as some of their neighbors, with the Malta Digital Nomad Visa falling into the category of being a “self-declaration visa.” However, applicants should still be pulling in a minimum of about €2,700 monthly, on top of meeting other basic requirements.
As we pointed out in another post recently, Portugal is one of the top tourist destinations in Europe. This country has everything going for it, in a manner of speaking, as far as receiving digital nomads is concerned, including a relatively mild cost of living and a picturesque, Mediterranean environment.
Moreover, the Portuguese offer a Digital Nomad Residency Visa, which is valid for two years and indicative of this nation appearing pretty cool with such professionals going on to become permanent residents. So of all the nations in Europe, this is another that digital nomads would strongly want to consider.
The following European countries currently do not actually offer digital nomad visas. However, they have programs that are pretty similar to digital nomad visas for remote workers.
Czechia does not have an actual digital nomad visa but has launched an initiative popularly known as the Zivno to allow freelancers to legally reside in the country for up to a year. Acquiring a Zivno visa can prove relatively complicated as compared to gaining access to other European countries as a digital nomad.
Moreover, since the Czech Republic is part of Schengen in general, getting a digital nomad visa from some other countries in the group should also grant you limited access to Czechia. So pursuing a Zivno should only be done if you really have the desire to reside in the Czech Republic for an extended period of time.
Germany is another Schengen country that doesn’t currently have a digital nomad visa to speak of. But it is also one of the top tourist destinations in the entire world, which is another way of saying that the Germans are prepared to accept all types of visitors.
So what they do have in place as a viable alternative is called a Freelancer Visa. Digital nomads who only intend to be around for a short stay, i.e., three months, may even prefer this option, as that is its typical validity period.
However, compared to some other countries, it reads as if pursuing the Germany Freelancer Visa can potentially devolve into a bureaucratic nightmare. The good thing about following the procedure though, even after arriving, is that obtaining this document then makes its holder eligible to apply for a three-year residency, which is longer than many digital-nomad visas allow.
Italy is one of the tourist hotspots in Europe, with the only other country on this list to attract more visitors being Spain. So it would make sense that the Italians would address digital nomads sooner or later, and they officially decided to do so as recently as March 2022.
As it currently stands, Italy does not provide an actual digital nomad visa, though they reportedly will in the near future. But in the meantime, there are other types of visas that remote workers can apply for, most notably, as far as ease of acquisition goes, the Italy Freelancer Visa.
Latvia has a designated digital nomad visa alright, though with a notable catch. The only remote workers who qualify are those working for businesses based in nations that are part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, as it is also called. Currently, the said organization consists of only 38 countries, with the overwhelming majority of them being found in Europe already. So most of the world’s citizens, by default, would not be eligible to secure this document.
According to one honest source, Norway doesn’t have an official digital-nomad visa as some sources would imply but rather what is called an independent contractor visa. That latter designation makes more sense anyway, as by the looks of things, you’d have to be an entrepreneur with a viable, income-generating business as opposed to a general remote worker.
Furthermore, in order to secure this document, you would actually need to have a client in Norway. Meanwhile, the majority of digital nomads are apparently employees themselves, as opposed to business owners.
So Norway may be a desirable destination from a financial standpoint, considering that it’s a rich nation. But on the flip side, it’s also an expensive place to be, which is perhaps why the government wants to make sure digital nomads can sustain themselves before landing.
Spain is Portugal’s much larger neighbor to the east, and in many ways the two countries are similar. This includes Spain, the most-popular tourist destination on this entire list, being on the verge of instituting a digital-nomad visa which reads a lot like that which Portugal already has in place, such as applicants being required to document an income within the range of about €2,500 monthly.
But in the meantime, since Spain is likewise part of the Schengen Area, a Portugal Digital Nomad Visa can be used to at least visit this country also.
Non-Schengen European Countries offering Digital Nomad Visas
The following is a list of additional European countries not found in the Schengen Area that have, at the very least, set the wheels in motion in terms of instituting official digital-nomad visas.
Albania hasn’t officially launched their digital-nomad visa program yet, though it should be noted that about a third of the countries in the world are able to visit Albania without a visa anyway. That said, the one which is currently in the works sounds very accommodating, offering qualified applicants a residency permit which can allow an official stay of up to a whopping seven years in total.
The government of Cyprus, another small Mediterranean island country, has formally expressed the desire to make their land attractive to the likes of digital nomads. But keep in mind that Cyprus is a nation of only about 1.2 million people. So as it currently stands, there are only 500 spots officially available for digital nomads. Also, the financial stipulation is higher than in many other countries on this list, as qualified applicants need to be making €3,500 per month after taxes.
“Remotely from Georgia” is a program that was recently launched by the Georgian government in the name of attracting the likes of digital nomads, even while the COVID-19 pandemic was going on. As such, even though it isn’t an actual digital-nomad visa, this initiative and others like it make Georgia one of the easiest European countries to enter as a remote worker. For example, the minimum income requirement is only $2,000, which comes out to less than €1,900 monthly.
And overall, the amount of documentation you have to provide to qualify is minimal. However, the caveat, if you will, is that only 95 countries are eligible for this document, meaning that those of us who are citizens of the other 100 would likely have to go through regular channels in order to gain access to Georgia.
North Macedonia appears to be pretty open in terms of accepting visitors. For example, even though it isn’t part of the European Union, citizens of the EU and a few other countries are able to visit visa-free for up to 90 days. And even their actual visa requirements appear relatively lax compared to some other nations.
This small country, which is directly north of Greece, also seems quite serious in terms of positioning itself as a nation which is considered a hotspot for digital nomads. So perhaps a formal digital-nomad visa from North Macedonia is on its way.
Here’s a fun fact – Romania currently has one of the fastest internet speeds in all of Europe (the second-highest on this list, behind Spain). This country is also known to be sort of a popular yet hidden gem amongst digital nomads. However, the minimum monthly income requirement to get the associated visa is relatively high, at about €3,300 a month. But beyond that, the requirements to attain their digital nomad visa, which is good for up to 12 months, are pretty basic.
In the near future, we hope to publish a more comprehensive article about digital-nomad visa initiatives across the entirety of Europe, even as far as countries which may not be as friendly to this line of workers. But in the meantime, the nations listed above are already known to have such a standard in place or to be more accommodating to us in general.