We’ve finally reached the conclusion of our first round of digital-nomad visa articles, taking a look at countries around the world who have formally instituted such initiatives or something similar. Thus far, we have explored nations in Europe, Asia and Africa which fall into that category.
Now, we will list likeminded countries that are located in the Americas, i.e. North America, South America and the Caribbean.
Our goal for the near future is to post a series of articles focusing on where every country in the whole entire world stands as far as formally receiving digital-nomads is concerned.
For those of us who are actually engaged in or considering such a lifestyle – i.e. travelling internationally while simultaneously earning your living via a laptop – that is of course important information to have in tow. For instance, some nations appear to be reluctant in terms of letting foreign-based digital nomads into their country at all.
But in the meantime, we are focusing on those which have rolled out the red carpet for us, in a manner of speaking. Indeed, this is an exciting time to be a digital nomad, as about a fourth of the world’s countries – and counting – have already recognized us as a distinct group who should be afforded its own particular visa/entry privileges.
From a tourism perspective, the Caribbean islands may be the most-desirable locations on this list. And it just so happens that many of them which formally accommodate digital nomads are also bona fide resort countries.
Anguilla is a small Caribbean island, off the southeastern tip of Haiti, that is overseen by the British. In fact it is so relatively tiny that it ranks as the 20 smallest countries on Earth and has a population, at last count, of only about 16,000 residents.
Yet and still, the Anguillans were amongst the first to institute a digital nomad visa, having done so back in 2020, i.e. when the COVID-19 pandemic first started. Actually their program, which is called Beyond Extraordinary, is one that the Anguilla Tourist Board put into work even before the pandemic.
But there are caveats. For instance, applying for the associated visa, at minimum, costs a whopping $2,000. Also, some reports are indicating that in order to qualify for Beyond Extraordinary, an applicant must be making at least $55,000 annually.
Moreover, the visa cannot be extended beyond its 12 month maximum. And for citizens of countries who are not allowed into Anguilla visa free (for 90 days), it has also been suggested that they must acquire a standard tourist visa (which is valid for 90 days) on top of the Beyond Extraordinary one.
Unfortunately, perhaps due to the relative obscurity of Anguilla, there is a lot of conflicting information online concerning the requirements for a digital nomad who intends to stay longer than 90 days. Therefore, if you are interested in visiting this beautiful country, we suggest that you contact the Anguilla Tourist Board directly. But either way, keep in mind that this is a resort island, and as such residing there isn’t cheap.
ANTIGUA AND BARBADU
Antigua and Barbadu are a couple of Caribbean islands which, being separated by about 20 miles, are considered a single country. This English-speaking nation is also pretty small, with a population of about 100,000 residents. But the good thing about this locality is that they actually have a designated Digital Nomad Residence Visa, not some other, more general program that happens to also include us.
The reason it is called a residence visa is because it’s actually valid for two years upon initial entry. However, the processing fee is pretty high, currently at $1,500 for a single applicant, and also you need to prove an ability to make $50,000 annually in order to be approved.
This country is also known as a tourism hotspot. So accordingly, Antigua and Barbadu is another Caribbean nation with a notably-high cost of living and digital-nomad visa requirements which monetarily exceed those of even many European countries. But that said, when it comes to tourism, nothing beats being able to chill in a tropical paradise.
The Bahamian initiative which is catered to the digital-nomad community is known as BEATS, aka Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay. Besides for remote workers, this program is also catered specifically to visiting students.
In fact if you are able to apply under that latter category your processing fees will be significantly lower, unless you also opt for official access to the island’s only actual university, which is known as the University of the Bahamas.
As well known to residents of the United States, the Bahamas is by and large a resort nation. As such, it does have an applicable, i.e. higher, cost of living, which may explain why digital nomads have to pay $1,000 just to apply for BEATS. But once the associated visa is acquired, you’ll be able to chill in this lush, multi-island nation for up to a year.
The Barbados Welcome Stamp is the Barbadian equivalent of a digital-nomad visa, i.e. an entry program created specifically for remote workers. This document is good for a 12-month stay, and this is yet another picturesque island nation that has found its way onto this list.
As such, the general cost of living in Barbados is also pretty high. So you have to cough up a healthy $2,000 just to apply for the Welcome Stamp. And then to qualify, you also have to prove that you’re set to make $50,000 over the next year. So as with most of the Caribbean nations on this list, Barbados is an option for the more well-to-do digital nomad.
Curaçao is a Caribbean nation you probably never really heard of, yet it is willing to officially accept digital nomads. Their particular initiative to accommodate us is known as the @Home in Curaçao Program, with your stay being valid for six months, along with a possible six-month extension (though you can’t apply for residency afterwards). And overall, if you are going as a digital nomad, their criteria doesn’t appear stringent.
Curaçao is a resort nation, and their cost of living may be higher than most countries in the world but not as much as some of the other Caribbean islands on this list. Furthermore, it is close to Aruba – which is more renowned as being a tropical paradise – and just a stone’s throw away from Venezuela, i.e. the South American mainland. So this may be an opportunity that interested digital nomads would want to jump on if you’re also interested in visiting the nations around Curaçao.
In this case we are referring to Dominica, not the Dominican Republic, though both countries are found in the Caribbean. Dominica has a much smaller population and is also recognized as more of a bona fide, even if largely unknown, tourist destination. They also have in place what is known as the Work in Nature program, which was created in direct response to the COVID-19 lockdowns.
The cost of living in Dominica is said to be noticeably lower than the US, Europe and even other Caribbean countries (such as some of those on this list). But still, you need to be looking forward to making $50,000 over the next year, in addition to being “able and willing to make the required financial contribution” in order to qualify. But by the looks of things, if you are in a position to rightfully contribute to the local economy, being able to reside in Dominica for a maximum of 18 months via Work in Nature is well worth it.
It costs $1,500 to apply to become a beneficiary of Grenada’s Remote Employment Act, which for many of us is a lot of money. But with a minimum-income requirement of $37,000 annually, this is actually one of the less-expensive options for digital nomads as far as Caribbean islands go.
Moreover Grenada, all things considered (i.e. compared to the US), has a lower cost of living, and it also has a lower crime rate than most of its neighbors (though is not LGBT friendly). Additionally, you can expect the type of beauty there that is typical of the Caribbean. And if for whatever reason you’re a digital nomad who also has a strong interest in spices, this is definitely a place you would want to go.
Montserrat is another Caribbean island that’s so small, it can only be considered a tourist destination by us outsiders. However, the reason you probably never heard of it in that regard is because over half of the landmass is closed off, being designated an official “Exclusion Zone” due to the very real possibility of its volcano, known as Soufrière Hills, erupting. So if you’re a digital nomad who has an interest in natural such phenomena, perhaps this is the place for you.
Indeed, this nation of less than 5,000 inhabitants has its sweet spots, to the point that they felt the need to provide what is called the Montserrat Remote Work Stamp for remote workers who are interested in coming over. By the looks of things this document can be acquired pretty quickly and easily, though you’d have to be pulling in a healthy $70,000 annually in order to qualify. But that’s understandable since the cost of living in Montserrat is reportedly higher than even that of the United States.
St. Lucia doesn’t have an actual digital-nomad visa but apparently doesn’t need one anyway. That is to say that, through initiatives such as their Live It Program, this is actually one of the easiest countries to go to and reside in for up to a year. For example, there is not an actual minimum-income requirement (though you must bring ample funds with you) to qualify for entry. The application fees, in relation to some other countries, are virtually nonexistent. To note, the cost of living in St. Lucia appears to be more or less on par with the United States.
South America is pretty big, but there’s only 12 countries found therein, since some of them too are quite large. And a third of them also have notable digital-nomad visa considerations in place.
Argentina, the nation which takes up most of the lower half of South America, is, in a way, one of the most-remote countries in the world. But it reportedly has a vibrant tourism industry, being a very-large and natural country with plenty of attractions. Furthermore, the Argentinians just initiated a digital-nomad visa in 2022, with the country’s capital, Buenos Aires, known to be especially attractive to remote workers.
It appears that the Argentinian government has yet to finalize all of the stipulations required to acquire this document, which may be a good thing, as it seems the current requirements are pretty loose.
What is known is that their applicable visa is valid for up to 180 days, which is twice as long as a standard tourist visa into the country. There are also a number of world citizens who, if they only intend to stay up to 90 days, do not need a visa (which is also the case for virtually all entries on this list, though which countries they let in visa free varies). But generally speaking, Argentina does not appear stringent in terms of letting digital nomads in.
Brazil, one of Argentina’s northern neighbors, is another extremely-large South American country with an actual digital nomad passport, which has been in place since 2021. As you probably know, certain parts of Brazil are known to have serious issues with crime, which may explain why the related documentation you must provide in the name of securing said document can be pretty extensive.
One area where Brazil is relatively lenient to foreign digital nomads though is when it comes to minimum-income requirements. In this case you only need to make $1,500 monthly, which is significantly less than most Caribbean and European countries for example. Or alternatively, if you have $18,000 in the bank that will also suffice since the cost of living in Brazil, relatively speaking, is really low.
Brazil’s entry stipulations are somewhat similar to those of Argentina. For instance, one preferable route, if you’re not sure how long you intend to stay, is to acquire a tourist visa (which can be valid for 180 days within a single year) and then, if so desired, proceed to apply for the digital nomad visa, which itself lasts for an entire year. In any event, all things considered it’s best to stay in touch with the Brazilian embassy throughout your application process(es) to make sure you don’t overlook any steps.
Colombia’s capital city, Medellin, has become a desirable destination for digital nomads. After first officially making their intention known in early 2022, a year later the Colombian government did apparently get around to launching its own digital nomad visa. However, it also appears that there are still some kinks they are working out.
But what is being reported for now is that the document is valid for six months out of a year. And it doesn’t seem to be difficult to acquire at all. For example, applicants only need to report a monthly income of 3,000,000 Colombian Pesos, which sounds like a lot of money but currently is only the equivalent of about $620. That speaks to the fact that the cost of living in Colombia is significantly lower than it is in places like the United States.
Ecuador is another South/Central American country which is known for sporting pristine natural beauty alongside a low cost of living. And the Ecuadorians are up on the digital-nomad wave, having instituted what is known as the Rentista for Remote Work Visa in 2022.
This allows qualified applicants (from which some countries, to note, are outright restricted) to stay in Ecuador for a couple of years. And in the process, you only need to report a salary of about $1,400 per month. Again, this document is specifically for those of us who intend to stay in the country for an extended period while simultaneously working remotely. Therefore, standard tourists are rather encouraged to pursue their own applicable visas.
Who knows when or if the two most-desirable migration locations in North America, the United States and Canada, will ever get around to enacting their own digital-nomad visas. Perhaps, since demand to get into those countries is so high, they are reluctant to do so. Yet and still, there are other nations on the continent which have gone about making it easier for us digital nomads to visit.
Belize knows that it is akin to a tropical paradise, which is why they named their digital-nomad entry program Work Where You Vacation. Indeed, the Belize Tourism Board read as if they are very much interested in our patronage, and in their own words, the associated “requirements are fairly easy to achieve”.
However, that “fairly easy” part is a matter of perspective, as applicants must report an annual income of $75,000 annually, which is pretty steep for many of us, even beyond digital nomads. But that noted, whereas the cost of living in Belize is, technically speaking, significantly lower than that of the United States, it is still generally understood that if you really want to enjoy this country, especially as a foreigner, you will need some sort of significant funds.
The good news is that the necessary requirements to qualify for the Work from Bermuda Certificate are relatively nonexistent. Furthermore this country, which is actually found a good distance off the east coast of the United States, is an island paradise with one of the most-unique positions on the world map.
So of course it would be awesome to spend an entire year there, as the Work from Bermuda Certificate allows. On top of that, those of us who acquire the certificate (before landing) are considered residents. And after the year is up, if so desired you can apply for permanent-resident status.
But the unstated caveat is this case is actually a pretty huge one. As fate would have it, Bermuda actually has the highest cost of living in the whole wide world. So although there may not be any minimum-income requirements to go there as a digital nomad, this is just about the last place on Earth you would want to be with your funds lacking.
Nómadas digitales, as we are referred to in Spanish, are welcome in Costa Rica. The main thing to be mindful of in terms of qualifying is proving an income of $3,000 monthly. Besides that, the Costa Ricans appear to be really serious about paperwork but in general not too tight in terms of their entry requirements.
Costa Rica is a part of Central America that is in fact known for its natural beauty. The cost of living may not be as low as some of us would prefer, but at least rent is significantly cheaper (as, once again, compared to places like the United States). However, Costa Rica is also known to have its issues with certain types of crimes. But all things considered, that’s not likely to stop determined tourists from visiting a country whose name literally translates to “rich coast”.
Mexico City has become a major draw for American digital nomads in particular – to the point that some of the locals are now complaining about their presence. What has made this country so desirable to remote workers from the United States, besides its close proximity to the US, is of course the lower cost of living. On top of that, the Mexican government itself is also quite cool with digital nomadism.
The Mexico Digital Nomad Visa is more officially known as the Mexico Temporary Residence Visa. The reason it is called so is because this document allows its holders to stay from six month up for a whopping four years, which is considerably longer than digital-nomad visas to other countries. However, you will need to prove a bank balance over the past year of at least $43,000, in addition to bringing in a monthly income of about $2,600, with these entry requirements being more or less akin to those of many European nations.
Panama, like Mexico, is a country we researched before in terms of it being considered an ideal location for the likes of American expatriates and retirees. This is in part due to its impressive infrastructure (in some areas) as well as a lower cost of living. In 2021, the Panamanians also extended the privilege to us digital nomads via a project called Short Stay Visa for Remote Workers.
This initiative allows qualified applicants to stay in the scenic Central American country for a year and a half total (i.e. nine months, with another nine-month extension) and in the process not be obliged to pay local taxes. What may stump some digital nomads though is that in order to qualify, proof that you make $36,000 annually has to be provided.
So in that regard, Panama may not be as attractive as some of the countries found further south. But it is closer to the United States and reportedly a nation with First World infrastructure as far as its cities are concerned.
What an exciting time to be a digital nomad! Our profession is being formally recognized throughout the globe, even in some of the most attractive travel destinations out there. Indeed, the situation could potentially reach a point where no matter what part of the world you may desire to visit as a digital nomad, hopefully there would be an associated visa somewhere in the general vicinity.
That said the Americas, as a whole, are just as accommodating to digital nomads as Europe is. In fact from some angles, the Americas may even be preferable. For instance, it has a number of tropical paradises. Also its countries tend to be a lot less expensive to live in, which is always a factor to consider when intending to stay in a nation for an extended duration. But in any event, as a digital nomad it isn’t as if you have to make a single choice anyway. Hopefully, your endeavors will be successful enough to allow you to visit any country that is willing to receive us.