Jobs Abroad

15 Best Countries for Digital Nomads - Grab Your Visa and Go!

Being a digital nomad is an exciting prospect for many remote workers. Find out the best countries offering digital nomad visas to make your dreams of life abroad a reality!

🔑 Key Takeaways

  • Digital nomad visas are your window to working and living in countries around the world.
  • Before becoming a digital nomad, you should ask yourself some important questions about your destination country. Things like cost of living, climate, and connectivity are top considerations.
  • Be on the lookout for new destinations as more countries move forward to approve legal routes for remote workers.
A woman sits at a table with her laptop surrounded by green plants.

COVID changed a lot of the ways we do things, including the way we work. Out of necessity, remote work became commonplace for many people. Now that life has more or less returned to “normal”, both employers and employees are realizing the numerous benefits of working remotely. Some companies even decided to scrap the office completely! This brave new world is opening up possibilities we didn’t have before – not just working from home but working from a home that’s across the world.

We've rounded up the best and most affordable countries currently offering digital nomad visas to make your move abroad easy and legal. Grab your laptop and get going!

What is a digital nomad visa?

Digital nomads, also known as remote workers, live location-independent lifestyles often moving from country to country over a short period of time. This is because tourist visas are generally short and although many do not allow the visa holder to work, it’s still done illegally because it can be hard for overseas governments to track.

This is where digital nomad visas come in. Countries around the world are starting to acknowledge and truly value the benefits of allowing digital nomads to legally live and work on their soil. Remote workers feed money into the economy by renting property, paying bills, and shopping all while not taking local jobs. They also get involved in daily life, often learning languages and making local friends which enrich the social and cultural fabric.

Digital nomad visas are typically granted for a year and often allow renewal for subsequent years. Many can be applied for online and are affordable. Generally, to qualify for a digital nomad visa, the applicant needs to meet a minimum monthly income and other requirements such as health insurance.

What to look for in countries with digital nomad visas

When considering where to settle as a digital nomad, whether you’re looking at a short-term stint or long-term residency, there are a few things you should look into. Some questions you can ask yourself are:

  • Do I meet the minimum income requirements?
  • Will I be able to afford a comfortable standard of living?
  • What is the climate like?
  • How fast is the internet?
  • Are there coworking spaces and/or public places with free wifi that are remote work-friendly?
  • What language is spoken? Am I interested in learning it?
  • Does the application require proof of insurance? If so, check out companies like SafetyWing or World Nomads to see if they meet the requirements.

Even if you only plan to stay a short time, it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you go. You want to be happy with your choice!

Best and most affordable countries for digital nomads

These definitely aren’t the only countries offering digital nomad visas but we’ve chosen them for a few reasons. The following countries have an affordable cost of living while not requiring high monthly incomes. While some remote jobs like those in tech pay bank, we want the digital nomad life to be accessible to everyone, from call center workers to creatives. The countries on our list have also been categorized by what makes them stand out. There are so many good choices – this might help narrow it down! Or why not try them all?

Best for income tax-free living: Costa Rica

Green jungle surrounds a white sand beach with blue water.
  • Avg. monthly cost of living: $1,000-$1,600
  • Language spoken: Spanish
  • Minimum monthly income required: $3,000 for individuals, $5,000 for families
  • Cost of visa: $190 upfront with another fee after approval

Costa Rica, loved for its Pura Vida laid-back vibes, is more than just a vacation spot. It’s now one of the handful of countries welcoming digital nomads to its sandy shores. Aside from the obvious benefits of great weather year-round, beach lifestyle, and low cost of living, Costa Rica also offers tax-free living to remote workers who choose to call it home.

Once the application is completed, it will take around 15 days for approval. The visa is good for one year but can be extended for an additional year if you can prove you lived in Costa Rica for at least 180 days during the first year.

How to apply: Fill out an application online

Best for up-and-coming destination: Malta

A city view of historic stone buildings in Malta.
  • Avg. monthly cost of living: $1,200-$1,600
  • Languages spoken: Maltese, English
  • Minimum monthly income required: $2,750 (€2,700)
  • Cost of visa: $305 (€300)

The beautiful island of Malta is ideal for remote workers with its nationwide 5G coverage and 400+ free public wifi spots – work in your home office or at the local cafe while you enjoy a pastizz, a popular local snack. Though it is an island, you’ll be far from isolated. Affordable flights to mainland Europe operate frequently giving you a great home base to explore.

To qualify for the visa you’ll need a foreign job contract, to be an owner or part-owner of a registered company, or a freelancer with foreign contracts. Applicants should have health insurance and proof of temporary accommodation (ex. an Airbnb rental) in Malta. Processing is expected to take up to 30 days. Malta’s digital nomad visa is good for one year and can be renewed twice for a total of three years.

How to apply: Fill out an application for the Nomad Residence Permit online.

Best for low cost of living in Europe: Greece

White houses sit on a hill above blue water in Greece.
  • Avg. monthly cost of living: $900-$1,200
  • Language spoken: Greek
  • Minimum monthly income required: $3,565 (€3,500)
  • Cost of visa: $76 (€75)

Housing in Greece is among the most affordable in all of Europe, even beating out Portugal and Spain. Costs for food, shopping, and transportation are also low which means you’ll be well positioned to save while in Greece. What’s more, Athens and Thessaloniki enjoy more than 90% 5G coverage while the national download speed was clocked at around 37 Mbps.

Greece grants a one-year digital nomad visa that can be renewed as a residence permit if you can’t bear to leave the Greek way of living. This residence permit is good for 2 years and can be renewed for another 2 years after that for a total of 5 years if you’re looking for something more permanent.

How to apply: After gathering your documents, they’ll need to be submitted to your nearest Greek embassy either by email, mail, or in person. Responses are usually issued within 10 days.

Best for cheap travel home: Mexico

A drone shot of a beach with blue clear water in Cancun, Mexico.
  • Avg. monthly cost of living: $750-$1,000
  • Language spoken: Spanish
  • Minimum monthly income required: $2,730
  • Cost of visa: $190-$390 depending on visa length

If you plan to travel home frequently, Mexico is a great place to start out as a digital nomad. Affordable flights can be found from most major US airports with a reasonable travel time. Our southern neighbor is beginning to attract more foreign remote workers who love the food, friendly people, and music they’re able to immerse themselves in.

Mexico’s median broadband speed is around 46 Mbps and hubs like Mexico City offer digital nomads some great coworking spaces to get stuff done and meet new people.

How to apply: After gathering your documents and filling out an application, you’ll need to attend a visa appointment at your nearest Consulate of Mexico in the USA.

Best for lowest minimum income in Europe: Portugal

Boats in blue water with a back drop of buildings in Porto, Portugal.
  • Avg. monthly cost of living: $1,100-$1,600
  • Language spoken: Portuguese
  • Minimum income required: $717 (€705)
  • Cost of visa: $77 (€75) for less than one year, $92 (€90) for more than one year

If you don’t make a ton of money but still dream about living in Europe, then Portugal is the place for you. Friendly people, gorgeous architecture, and sparkling beaches are luring digital nomads in droves. While the D7 visa isn’t specifically for digital nomads, it does allow remote workers to settle in Portugal.

Part of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal’s geography is varied and has something for everyone whether you love laying on the beach or hiking through quiet forests. It’s also small enough that you can enjoy all of these things without having to compromise!

How to apply: After beginning the application process online, you’ll need to attend an appointment at your local Portuguese consulate in the US. The only downside to this visa is that due to increased popularity, processing times can take 4 months or longer.

Best for established program: Estonia

A grey cloudy sky over historic buildings in Tallinn, Estonia.
  • Avg. monthly cost of living: $1,110-$1,300
  • Language spoken: Estonian
  • Minimum income required: $3,568 (€3504)
  • Cost of visa: $81 (€80) for 90 days, $102 (€100) for 1 year
  • Estonia was the first country to offer a digital nomad visa in 2020. Since then, the country has been working hard to make Estonia an attractive place for digital nomads. Remote workers enjoy wide-ranging free public wifi coverage and cafes and coworking spots that welcome them. Another perk of an established program is that the process is clear and organized. US citizens can apply at their local Estonian consulate in the US, within Estonia if they are there legally, or through a VFS processing center.

    Estonia is known for its rich cultural heritage and preservation of traditional folk music and dance. Although the winters are cold and snowy, there are plenty of saunas to warm you up, even in the city!

    How to apply: Visit the Republic of Estonia website and review the eligibility requirements.

Best for access to the Middle East and Asia: Georgia

A murky river runs through Tiblisi, Georgia.
  • Avg. monthly cost of living: $850-$1,110
  • Language spoken: Georgian
  • Minimum monthly income required: $2,000
  • Cost of visa: FREE

You may have noticed that digital nomad visas are currently lacking in Middle Eastern and Asian countries. Hopefully, this will change in the future but for now, we recommend the country of Georgia as a launchpad for farther-flung travel.

Georgia has become popular with digital nomads and freelancers in recent years given its generous stay allowance for tourists. US citizens can enter Georgia for a period of one year without a visa. However, for those looking to officially settle down, there is also a digital nomad visa that is free to apply for and is generally approved within 10 days.

How to apply: Gather your documents and apply online.

Best for easy application process: Croatia

A bay of blue water below rocky cliffs with buildings in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
  • Avg. monthly cost of living: $900-$1,200
  • Language spoken: Croatian
  • Minimum income required: $2,400 (17,822.50 HRK)
  • Cost of visa: ~$180 when applying at local consulate in US, ~$100 if applying in-country

Meet the requirements and can’t wait to start your new digital nomad life in Croatia? You don’t have to! US citizens can apply for their visa within Croatia. Technically a residence permit rather than a visa, Croatia allows stays up to 1 year. Once your permit expires, you have to wait six months before applying again so unfortunately there is no path to permanent residency like in other countries.

Croatia has truly embraced the digital nomad movement and even offers a dedicated village for remote workers located just outside the waterfront city of Zadar. Affordable housing and the chance to meet other digital nomads from around the world make Zadar and Croatia as a whole a very appealing prospect.

How to apply: There are three ways to apply: within Croatia (US citizens and citizens from other countries with visa-free travel to Croatia), at the nearest Croatian consulate in the US, or online.

Best for single professionals: Hungary

A drone shot of a dark, cloudy sky over Budapest, Hungary
  • Avg. monthly cost of living: $700-$1,000
  • Language spoken: Hungarian
  • Minimum income required: $2,043 (€2,000)
  • Cost of visa: $112 (€110)

Hungary’s digital nomad visa is marketed specifically to single remote workers under the age of 40. As a single person with a single income, this is certainly the country to land in. The cost of living is very low but you don’t have to sacrifice a good standard of living in cities like Budapest and Debrecen. The money you save with your digital nomad income in Hungary will put you in a great position to travel around Europe.

How to apply: Once you have filled out the application form and gathered the appropriate documents, everything should be submitted at your local Hungarian consulate in the US. Applications decisions will generally be made within 30 days.

Best for zero income requirement: Saint Lucia

A drone shot of the blue waters of Marigot Bay in Saint Lucia.
  • Avg. monthly cost of living: $1,100-$1,700
  • Language spoken: English, French Creole
  • Minimum income required: none!
  • Cost of visa: $46 (EC$125) for single entry visa or $70 (EC$190) for multi-entry

People with income that varies from month to month as well as those with a stable salary are welcome in Saint Lucia. Located in the Caribbean, stunning Saint Lucia is among the cheapest of the nearby island destinations with a lower cost of living than the US and the UK. Due to its popularity as a vacation spot, there are plenty of flights to and from major US airports with deals to be had throughout the year.

How to apply: The application and document requirements are available online but the packet must be submitted at your nearest consulate.

Best for a window to Central and South America: Panama

Skyscrapers in downtown Panama City, Panama.
  • Avg. monthly cost of living: $1,100-$1,400
  • Language spoken: Spanish
  • Minimum income required: $36,000 annually
  • Cost of visa: $300

Acting as a literal bridge between Central and South America, Panama opens up a world of regional travel. Best of all, if you speak Spanish, you won’t have to worry about changing languages between countries.

Panama has attracted businesses and foreign investors from around the world. Panama City reflects this international feel with its skyscrapers and cosmopolitan downtown. It’s not all work and no play in Panama though. The country is lined by beaches on both the north and south coasts – miles upon miles of pristine shoreline where crystal clear waters lap the white sand. It’ll be easy to fall in love with Panama.

How to apply: To apply for a short-stay 9-month digital nomad visa, gather your documents and submit them to the nearest Panamanian consulate in the US.

Best for immersion in nature: Brazil

A drone shot of water and mountains around Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Avg. monthly cost of living: $600-$900
  • Language spoken: Portuguese
  • Minimum income required: $1,500
  • Cost of visa: around $100

Sure, Brazil is known for its lively festivals, bustling cities, and tourist-packed beaches, but it’s also the most biodiverse country in the world. Even if you’re based in Rio or Sao Paulo, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to venture out into the Amazon to observe the vast number of plants and animals native to Brazil.

How to apply: You can start the application process online but the form and supporting documents must be submitted at the nearest Brazilian consulate in the US. Processing time varies but decisions are usually issued within 2 to 4 weeks.

Best for mixing business and pleasure: Mauritius

A mountain on an island surrounded by clear blue water in Mauritius.
  • Avg. monthly cost of living: $700-$1,100
  • Languages spoken: Mauritian Creole, English, French
  • Minimum income required: $1,500
  • Cost of visa: FREE

While widely acknowledged to be an island paradise with some of the world’s best beaches, Mauritius also means business. This island off of East Africa was colonized by the Dutch, French, and English before gaining independence in 1968. The influence of these countries can be seen through the architecture and language but Mauritius maintains its own unique soul.

Despite ranking 1st in Africa and 13th in the world on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business scale, Mauritius is more likely to be admired by digital nomads for its gorgeous landscapes. Live a simpler, more beautiful life while working by the beach.

How to apply: To get a response within 48 hours, fill out the online application and attach the required documents. The Premium Visa is valid for 1 year and can be renewed.

Best for isolated island life: Cabo Verde

Waves break on a long stretch of beach with mountains in the background in Cabo Verde.
  • Avg. monthly cost of living: $800-$1,000
  • Language spoken: Portuguese
  • Minimum income required: $1,536 (€1,500) average bank balance over last 6 months
  • Cost of visa: $21 (€20) application fee and $35 (€34) fee at airport

Another affordable island paradise? Lucky you! Cabo Verde, known in English as Cape Verde, is an archipelago located off the northwestern coast of Africa. If you’re looking for a place to truly go off the grid without losing connectivity, give Cabo Verde a try.

In the event that your digital nomad schedule requires working during a certain US timezone, Cabo Verde is only three hours ahead of New York and Washington, DC and six hours ahead of Los Angeles. Perfect for catching some rays on the beach before logging on!

How to apply: The Remote Working in Cabo Verde website has all the information you need including the online application. You can expect a response within 2 weeks.

Best for fast internet connection: Romania

A view through some green leaves of a castle in Romania.
  • Avg. monthly cost of living: $700-$1,000
  • Languages spoken: Romanian
  • Minimum income required: $3,766 (€3,700)
  • Cost of visa: Not yet confirmed

When you think about Romania, super fast internet probably doesn’t come to mind. However, Romania does in fact have speedy broadband. Ranked 11th in the world for download speeds (130 Mbps), Romania’s connectivity mixed with its low cost of living will have you sitting pretty as a digital nomad.

Aside from being accessible to other fascinating Eastern European nations, Romania’s castles and historic architecture will have you feeling like you’re living in a modern-day medieval fairytale. You may also be surprised to know that Romanian is a Romance language so picking it up could be easier than you think.

How to apply: Fill out an online application and attach your documents to apply. You could have your Romanian digital nomad visa in as little as 10-14 working days.

Bonus: Be on the lookout for these countries

Pink, green, yellow, and blue painted houses on a street in Colombia.

Spain, Thailand, Italy, and Colombia are four popular and affordable countries with digital nomad visas in the works.

If one (or more!) of these is at the top of your list, be patient! Sometimes bureaucracy can be slow but these are indeed on the way. More and more countries are beginning to see the economic and social benefits of inviting international digital nomads to live and work legally and are working as quickly as possible to get legal frameworks in place.

Let’s get location-independent!

The prospect of being a digital nomad can be both exhilarating and scary. Picking up and moving abroad may seem daunting but once you get over the initial hurdles, you’ll realize it’s the best thing you’ve done for yourself. Who knows, you may want to keep living the digital nomad life for good!

Learn more about the digital nomad lifestyle: