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Ranked: The best digital nomad visa and what to consider before applying

There are currently 30-70 digital nomad visas and permits in countries worldwide.
There are currently 30-70 digital nomad visas and permits in countries worldwide.   -   Copyright  Olezzo/Getty Images/iStockphoto
By Anna Jaworska

Over the last couple of years, due to you-know-what, digital nomad visas have become available all over the world.

There are currently 30-70 visas and permits out there. Some have been specifically designed for remote workers while others are previously existing visas that have been adapted to people who want to work while travelling.

What these remote work programmes offer is peace of mind and the chance to legally work remotely. That said, the choice can be overwhelming and there are lots of details to work out.

What are the requirements? Where do you have to pay taxes? Which country is the most friendly? And, crucially, is the wifi going to be fast enough?

Bear in mind, as well, that rules can change at short notice due to factors such as political conflict between countries. See the Malta section for more details on this.

Read on for the answers to all this and more.

Farknot_Architect/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Over the last couple of years, lots of new digital nomad visas have become available in countries all over the world.Farknot_Architect/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Is it easy to work while travelling?

This was the exact question I asked myself when I started travelling full-time a couple of years ago. I left London in 2020 and since then I’ve been travelling non-stop. I absolutely love the flexibility, new cultures and the people I meet along the way.

But trying to decide what I want to see and do while navigating a completely new country as well as planning my next destination is a lot. Especially on top of a full-time job.

This is why I decided to create the Global Nomad Guide. My background is in finance and I help companies shape their ‘Work from Anywhere’ policies. So I have a lot of knowledge that I thought would be useful to others.

Global Nomad Guide
Looking for the countries with the best digital nomad visas out there.Global Nomad Guide

Global Nomad Guide has a tool that helps you filter and analyse all the digital nomad visas and permits that are out there.

You can compare them side-by-side and get all the details to help you decide which one is right for you.

Global Nomad Guide
Comparing countries.Global Nomad Guide

We verify all our information directly with governments so you can be sure it’s all correct.

Global Nomad Guide
You can check and compare all the information you need.Global Nomad Guide

Which is the best digital nomad visa?

Our Global Nomad Index collates lots of different data to come up with scores for each visa.

We rank all of them based on how attractive each of the programmes is and how appealing each destination is for remote workers.

Global Nomad Guide
The index ranks all countries based on how attractive their programmes are and how appealing each destination is for remote workers.Global Nomad Guide

Why is the Barbados Welcome Stamp the best digital nomad visa in the Caribbean?

Barbados is a stunning place with a laidback lifestyle, pristine white-sand beaches andwarm azure waters. There’s plenty of things to do, from swimming with turtles, snorkelling, sailing, exploring caves and so much more, you definitely won’t be bored.

Not to mention that it’s an English-speaking country with an amazing culture and delicious Bajan cuisine. Barbados is even referred to as the culinary capital of the Caribbean.

Barbados Welcome Stamp is designed for remote employees and self-employed digital nomads who don’t want to pay any income tax while in Barbados. The main requirement is that you must earn at least $50,000 a year (roughly €44,000).

This visa is especially good if your employer is reluctant to allow you to work remotely from abroad. This is because Barbados doesn’t require employers of remote workers to register or set up local payroll.

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Barbados Welcome Stamp is the best digital nomad visa in the Caribbean.Pexels

How much is the Barbados Welcome Stamp?

The fee for the Welcome Stamp is pretty high at US$ 2,000 (€1,749). But you only have to pay it when your application has been approved which seems pretty fair! It’s worth mentioning that the cost of living in Barbados is generally pretty high, but it can be lower than other Caribbean destinations.

What’s the wifi like in Barbados?

Barbados has some of the fastest fibre wifi in the Caribbean, so wherever you plan to work from, it should be strong. Even local cafes tend to have fibre wifi.

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Malta is considered a great place to work remotely.Pexels

Which is the best digital nomad visa in Europe out of those analysed?

Midway between Europe and Africa, the beautiful island of Malta is an excellent place to work remotely.

Malta’s Nomad Residence Permit is designed for remote employees, freelancers, and self-employed nomads who provide services for companies outside of Malta. The minimum annual income requirement is € 32,400 (which is roughly $36,000).

It is a one-year permit for non-EU nationals. It comes with an income tax exemption for anyone who keeps paying their taxes back home. And it gives them the chance to travel freely around the Schengen zone.

The fees are non-refundable but they are also fairly low at only US$350 (€306). The cost of living isn’t particularly low in Europe, but it is definitely lower than the Caribbean.

Due to sanctions against Russia during their invasionof Ukraine, Malta is not allowing applications for the Nomad Residen Permit from the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus.

How strong is the wifi in Malta?

Malta has one of the best Internet speeds in Europe, so you won’t have to worry about that. There are also plenty of co-working spaces if you prefer to work around others.

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A hike on the island of Gozo offers fantastic views.Pexels

What is there to do in your down time in Malta?

Malta is an English-speaking country and has over 300 days of sunshine a year.

It is a unique mix of Mediterranean and Arabic cultures and people from many backgrounds have lived here over the centuries.

There are plenty of things to do at the weekend, whether you want to swim in the Blue Lagoon, hike around the island of Gozo, tour markets like Marsaxlokk, or immerse yourself in Malta’s culture and history at the Rotunda of Mosta or St Paul’s Catacombs.

Don’t dream it, do it!

With employers becoming increasingly flexible, now is the perfect time to try out remote work.

There are also lots more resources around to help you plan and pick the right remote work programme. My advice is to go for it. It could be the start of a whole new life.