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Spain, Romania, Cyprus: These are the best and worst countries in Europe for digital nomads

Several digital nomad schemes allow for tax-free working for the entire length of the visa  including Romania, Croatia and Malta.
Several digital nomad schemes allow for tax-free working for the entire length of the visa including Romania, Croatia and Malta. Copyright Aleh Tsikhanau
Copyright Aleh Tsikhanau
By Rebecca Ann Hughes
Published on Updated
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Digital nomad visas can vary in terms of taxes, length and minimum income requirements.

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Looking to move abroad and give remote working a try? There are dozens of destinations now offering visas to digital nomads.

These programmes ensure you have the legal right to live and work in the country for a certain period of time.

However, the visas can vary in terms of taxes, length and minimum income requirements.

VisaGuide, a travel guide website all about visas, has put together a ranking of the best options for digital nomads and countries for remote working.

Here are the best and worst digital nomad destinations in Europe.

Which European country has the best digital nomad visa?

VisaGuide’s Digital Nomad Index considers various factors critical for remote workers who travel and live abroad.

To rank countries’ digital nomad programmes, the site looked at taxation policies - including the length of tax-free periods - visa duration and minimum income requirements.

It also considered internet speed, cost of living, global health score and tourism popularity in order to establish the overall best and worst destinations for digital nomads.

Spain claimed first place globally and in Europe. Its digital nomad visa offers a period of six months tax-free, after which workers must pay 15 per cent, and it has a low minimum income requirement of €2,140 per month.

In terms of lifestyle, Spain has one of the highest internet speeds in the rankings and the highest health score.

Living costs were €673 a month, putting the country in the European average.

Work in these European countries tax-free

Several digital nomad schemes allow for tax-free working for the entire length of the visa including Romania, Croatia and Malta.

Romania came in second place in Europe thanks to the highest internet speed out of all the countries surveyed and the lowest monthly cost of living at €539.

The visa does come with a high minimum income requirement, however, at €3,300.

In 5th place globally and 3rd in Europe is Croatia, which doesn’t do well in terms of internet speed but has a monthly income requirement of €2,539.31 and a monthly living cost of €686.

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Malta, another country with a tax-free programme, asks for a minimum income of €2,700. The cost of living is a little higher here at €781 a month.

Iceland has the highest minimum income requirement

If you fancy relocating to Iceland, be prepared to find a job with a minimum income of €7,000 a month.

This requirement, along with a high cost of living at €1,181 a month, puts the country in 36th place globally and second to last place in Europe.

Although you’ll need to earn a lot, you can enjoy zero tax for the whole length of your visa.

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Cyprus is the worst country in Europe for digital nomads

Coming in second-last globally and last in Europe is Cyprus. The country’s digital nomad programme requires workers to pay 20 to 35 per cent tax after a six-month tax-free period.

It also has a high minimum income requirement of €3,500. Be prepared to struggle with getting online, as the country has one of the lowest internet speeds in Europe.

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