Want to move to Europe? Here are all the digital nomad visas available for remote workers

Across Europe, countries are capitalising on remote workers by offering digital nomad visas.
Across Europe, countries are capitalising on remote workers by offering digital nomad visas.   -   Copyright  Canva
By Euronews Travel

Across Europe, countries are capitalising on remote work by offering digital nomad visas.

Since the pandemic, many of us have enjoyed the freedom to work from anywhere.

Recognising the potential to boost their flagging tourism industries, countries from Croatia to Spain are making it easier to gain temporary residency while working for a foreign company.

Not only does this help fill the low-season gaps in tourism-reliant destinations, it offers non-EU citizens the peace of mind and the chance to legally work remotely.

Digital nomad visas help host countries combat other problems, too, from brain drain to ageing populations.

If you’re looking to move to Europe, work remotely, and gain the right to travel in the Schengen Area, a digital nomad visa could be just the ticket.

Here’s a comparison of the remote work visas currently - or soon to be - available in Europe, including length of stay, application fees and income requirements.

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 digital nomad visas are available in Europe?

Croatia: For sunshine undamped by tax woes

Visa length: One year, with possibility to renew

Application fee: Around €60

Income requirement: Around €2,300/month

Croatia launched its one-year residence permit for digital nomads in 2021. The scheme is open to non-EU/EEA citizens working in ‘communication technology’ - either through their own company registered abroad or as a remote employee for a company outside Croatia.

Provided they don't require a tourist visa to enter Croatia, remote workers can apply for a one-year residence permit after arrival. Close family members can also apply for temporary residence.

Remote workers are currently not subject to income tax in Croatia.

Czech Republic: For affordable living and fairytale castles

Visa length: Up to one year

Application fee: €200

Income requirement: Must have €5,000 in your bank account

Remote workers can apply for a long-term business or freelance licence in the Czech Republic. Colloquially known as the ‘zivno’ visa (short for Zivnostenske opravneni or trade authorisation), it is intended for non-EU citizens who freelance or run their own business.

It requires ties with a company in the Czech Republic, so can be used by those intending to gain local freelance work such as teaching.

Estonia: For digital-forward infrastructure on a budget

Visa length: One year, with possibility to extend by six months

Application fee: €100

Income requirement: €3,500/month

Estonia launched its digital nomad visa in summer 2020. It lets people working remotely for companies abroad - or freelancers with clients mostly abroad - stay in Estonia for up to one year at a time. You can apply for an additional six-month visa after your initial one expires.

Applicants must have earned at least €3,500 net per month in the six months preceding their application.

If you remain in Estonia for more than half a year, you will gain tax residency and be subject to local taxes.

The country also offers ‘e-residency’, which grants remote entrepreneurs digital access to Estonia’s e-services without providing residency. This can be used to run a company online, access banking, and declare taxes in Estonia without actually living there.

Finland: For untouched nature in the world’s happiest country

Visa length: Six months

Application fee: €400

Income requirement: €1,220/month

Finland’s self-employment visa is open to non-EU entrepreneurs who are self-employed or run an independent business. Applicants must meet the minimum income requirement and prove they have means.

Greece: For island-hopping and year-round sun

Visa length: One year, with possibility to extend with a residence permit

Application fee: €75

Income requirement: €3,500/month

Last year, Greece launched a scheme to allow non-EU citizens to live and work remotely in the country. To be approved, you’ll need to show you have sufficient resources of a monthly income of at least €3,500.

Digital nomads are not permitted to work or freelance for Greek companies under the scheme.

Hungary: For thermal baths and low-cost living

Visa length: One year, with possibility to extend

Application fee: €110

Income requirement: €2,000/month

Hungary's ‘White Card’ visa is open to non-EU digital nomads employed remotely outside the country. You must stay in the country for at least 90 days in a 180-day period, and will be exempt from paying tax in Hungary for the first six months.

You are not permitted to work for a Hungarian company under this scheme.

Iceland: For outdoor explorers on high incomes

Visa length: Six months

Application fee: €86

Income requirement: €7,075/month

Iceland’s remote work long-term visa is aimed at high-income individuals earning over €7,000 per month, either as employees of a foreign company or as freelancers. The visa lasts for six months and applicants will not be considered tax residents during this time.

You are not permitted to work for Icelandic employers under this visa.

Italy: For laid-back living and spectacular scenery

Visa length: One year, with possibility to renew

Application fee: TBC

Income requirement: TBC

A new visa for digital nomads was signed into Italian law in March 2022. However, details are yet to be finalised.

It is thought to be aimed at highly-skilled workers. Applicants will likely need to fulfil a range of requirements, including having health insurance and a clean criminal record. They must also be tax compliant in Italy before applying.

Malta: For mild winters and days on the water

Visa length: One year

Application fee: €300

Income requirement: €2,700/month

Malta’s Nomad Residence Permit is for remote workers and freelancers who work for companies outside the country. The one-year permit is open to non-EU nationals.

Originally, nomads were told they would be granted a tax exemption so long as they continued paying taxes back home. However, there have been legal complications with this promise that are currently being resolved.

Portugal: For rugged coastlines and wine-tasting weekends

Visa length: One year

Application fee: TBC

Income requirement: €2,800/month

On 30 October 2022, Portugal will launch its digital nomad visa, officially called the ‘residence visa for the exercise of professional activity provided remotely outside the national territory’.

It is open to non-EU citizens who are employed or self-employed by a company outside of Portugal.

The new scheme is an alternative to the existing ‘D7’ visa, which is aimed at retirees and ‘passive income’ earners.

Romania: For long hikes and pocket-friendly stays

Visa length: One year

Income requirement: €3,950/month (three times Romania’s average gross salary)

Romania’s digital nomad visa is aimed at non-EU citizens. Applicants must have health insurance, a clean criminal record and proof of income over €3,300 per month from a company outside of Romania.

If you have tax residence in another country, you are not required to pay tax in Romania under the scheme.

Spain: For beach escapes and tax breaks

Visa length: Up to five years

Application fee: TBC

Income requirement: Expected to be €2,000/month

Spain’s digital nomad visa was first rumoured in January and is thought to be coming into force in early 2023. The scheme would grant non-EU citizens the chance to live and work there for up to five years.

Though details are yet to be finalised, it is thought that the scheme will be available to freelancers with proof of regular employment and contracted employees working for companies outside Spain.

Under current plans, tax breaks will be granted to remote workers, who may only pay 15 per cent tax during the first four years of their stay instead of the usual 24 per cent.

The income requirement is likely to be €2,000 per month.

Norway: For mountain-climbing and local business

Visa length: Up to two years

Application fee: €600

Income requirement: €3,000/month

Eligible non-EU digital nomads can apply for a residence permit and independent contractor visa to live and work remotely in Norway. Applicants must have at least one Norwegian client and are required to pay local taxes under the scheme.