Digital Nomad Visas in EU Countries

In this article

Digital Nomads are new in the professional space. They came up as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. During the pandemic, many companies were forced to work fully remote. This gave life to the digital professionals who looked forward to being digital nomads.
Professionals regarded as digital nomads are usually very flexible with their work. They can work in any location; usually, they only need their laptops and internet connections. Many countries worldwide realize this and are making changes to accommodate these new professionals.

What is the digital nomad visa?

There is a large vacuum for digital nomads concerning visa applications. This vacuum is accurately termed “gray area” because these professionals cannot apply for a work visa. After all, it requires an invitation letter or a letter of a contract with a local company. When they apply for a tourist visa, they can only stay for a maximum of 3 months which is rather quick for a digital nomad.
In addition to that, because they can carry their work everywhere they go, they usually spend more time in a location than tourists; hence tourist visas do not serve them well. The digital nomad visa solves that problem. A Digital Nomad visa permits professionals to stay longer than a regular tourist visa.

Tourist Visa vs Digital nomad visa

There are two main differences between a digital nomad visa and a tourist visa; the duration the holder can stay and the documents required for each application.
Tourist visas usually cater for short stays, with a maximum of 3 months, while digital nomad visas usually last for about one year or more. To apply for a nomad visa, you need a valid and eligible passport and proof of steady income earned remotely.
Depending on your preferred country, you may have to provide a few more documents, such as medical insurance, certificates of vaccination, and other health information, to ensure you are not a threat to their health system or economy.

Eligibility for Digital Nomads Visas

Eligibility for the digital nomads’ visa varies from country to country, but primarily each applicant must be able to prove that they work remotely. They also need to prove that they can support themselves for the duration of the trip. They can provide financial records like bank statements and the likes.
Not everyone who can provide financial records or proof that they work remotely would be granted the visa. Your intending country must be able to certify that you are not a threat to the health and security of the country. Before granting any intending applicant the visa, their visa history and nationality are also considered.

How Digital Nomad Visas Work in Europe?

Digital Nomads are new professionals that are unique in their way. Many countries are beginning to make provisions for them, with Europe at the forefront. This includes ETIAS countries, Schengen countries, and other subgroups within the European Union.
These nomads are known to boost the economy, hence why EU countries make room for them. Different EU countries have kickstarted the process and have different requirements, let’s take a look at them.

Estonia’s digital nomad visa

Estonia, in June 2020, introduced nomadic digital visas for freelancers and digital nomads. It was part of the first countries to adapt to change and introduce a residence program for foreign online entrepreneurs.
The Estonian Digital Nomad Visa allows foreigners to work for up to one year at an overseas registered company. Also, if you are a foreign employee, you can work in a remote location.

Croatia’s newly introduced digital nomad visa programme

In 2021, as part of the “Croatia, your new office” campaign, launched a visa application program for digital nomads. To apply for the program, you are expected to show you have sufficient yearly income, proof that you work remotely, provide your health insurance and a rent contract. Background security checks would also be run to ensure you are not any form of threat to their country, health or security-wise.
The request and application process can be carried out online. It takes about 20 days from the time of submission for the application to be processed. The visa comes with tax exemption, allowing the applicant to stay in Croatia for about a year without paying income tax to the government of Croatia.

Trade license: Czech Republic

The Czech Republic, an ETIAS country, launched its zivno visa or zivnostenské opravneni, which means trade license, and has been offered to special businesses which include digital nomads.
The application period for this kind of visa takes longer than a regular tourist visa. It takes between 90 and 120 days, during which background checks are run on the applicant. To apply for this visa, you need to have health insurance, proof of accommodation for at least a year, a trade license, and enough money in a bank account.

Germany Digital nomad freelance visas

In Europe, Germany was the first country to issue visas to freelancers and digital nomads. There are two types of nomad visas, one for artists and one for other professionals.
Digital nomads are required to register with the German tax office and submit documents such as portfolios, account statements, and, if necessary, certificates of expertise. Digital Nomads are required to have a customer base in Germany.

Greece’s digital nomad visa are now available

As part of the “Work from Paradise” initiative, the Governor of Crete, Stavros Arnautakis, introduced a digital nomad visa to visitors. It is targeted at boosting the economy of Greece.
The new Greek nomadic visa is valid for up to 12 months. Before the visa expires, the owner can apply for a digital nomadic residence permit for a longer stay.
To obtain a Greek digital nomadic visa, the applicant must prove to have sufficient funds - at least 3,500 euros per month.

Working in Iceland with a digital nomad visa

Iceland’s digital nomadic visas allow foreigners to work long-term for foreign businesses in Iceland. The Visas are for stays of 6 months or more.
Digital nomads can take their families to Iceland without an Icelandic Identity. To obtain a digital visa for Icelandic nomads, the applicant must provide proof of employment and sufficient financial resources and health insurance.

Portugal Digital nomad visa

Portugal’s nomad visa is a temporary residence visa that can be a stepping stone for a permanent residence visa. It allows its holders to stay in Portugal for up to a year and can be extended as need be.
At Pontado Sol’s Nomad Village, participants can stay in independent villas or hotel accommodations and enjoy free Wi-Fi, co-working stations, and special events.

Norway’s digital nomad visa for Svalbard

Although Norway is not an EU state, it is part of the Schengen countries and has launched a digital nomad visa. For digital nomads moving to the island of Svalbard, the visa they get is valid for all of the traveler’s life.
Norway also offers the Independent Contractor visa, which is designed for self-employed individuals who are working on a project for a Norwegian business. The visa is valid for as long as the project lasts.
Of the 26 countries under ETIAS, 7 have already developed digital nomad visa application processes for professionals in this field to visit their country.

Italy Digital Nomad Visa

On March 22nd, 2022, Italy approved a decree concerning their Digital nomad visa, allowing tourists to work in Italy while on vacation. The Italian government passed it into law on March 28. The nomad visa will last for one year, after which the holder can renew it.
The nomad visa is managed under article 27 of the immigration code, which translates to it being specifically for highly skilled workers. The scope of which is yet to be defined. The visa allows the holder to bring along immediate family members and will enable them to work remotely in Italy during their stay.
Applicants for the nomad visa must be tax compliant in Italy. There are no clear instructions on obtaining the visa because the government only recently passed it into law. However, the documents required should include recent passport-size photographs, adequate income yet to be revealed, proof of suitable accommodation, a clean criminal record, and health insurance, among other requirements.

What is ETIAS?

ETIAS is an acronym for European Travel Information and Authorization System. It keeps a record of all visitors entering the Schengen zone without a visa, and ETIAS application is entirely electronic. It is expected to be launched on January 1, 2022, and is expected to be compulsory for travelers by the end of 2022.
There are 26 countries under ETIAS. They are European countries that need visitors to provide a valid ETIAS on arrival within their borders.
Written by: Fikayomi Abisola
Abisola is an ETIAS Travel and Immigration writer with several years of writing experience in the industry. Abisola has a unique enthusiasm for travels, tours, and tourism and loves to educate travellers about the criteria involved in international travelling.

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