Digital Nomad

digital nomad

Capture the ‘remote talent’…What is “Digital Nomad Visa”?

Recently, the BBC noted Julien Tremblay (31), who works as a “digital nomad” in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Digital Nomad refers to people who work from home and on the move without space restrictions using digital devices such as laptops and smartphones on the premise of Internet access. Trembley, from Montreal, Canada, is a software engineer living in Dubai. The UAE launched a one-year digital nomad visa in March last year to attract new talent.

While receiving the visa, Tremble was also granted resident cards issued by the UAE and access to most public services. For example, he can rent a house to live legally or open a bank account, and there is no burden of local income tax.

Until now, there have been many cases of remote workers using tourist visas from the country. Tremble also said, “When it began to become a digital nomad more than five years ago, there were few visa options in each country.” Because of this, remote workers were not legally protected.

Digital Nomad Visa Requirements

The requirements for digital nomad visas vary from country to country. However, in general, remote employment, travel insurance, and minimum monthly income proof are required, all of which are aimed at allowing visa holders to stand on their own feet without having to get a local job. In the case of the UAE, the minimum monthly income is 5,000 dollars, but in Brazil, 1,500 dollars (about 2 million won) is required.

In addition, depending on the visa, the period of stay is usually valid for one to two years. In some countries, it is possible to extend it up to five years if the eligibility criteria are met. According to Visa Guide World, a travel information site, these digital nomad visas are currently issued in more than 50 countries.

Why are quite a few countries actively issuing digital nomad visas? There is also an intention to attract remote workers to lead to the development of the national economy. This puts digital nomads in front of more choices. In the future, the world is expected to wage a war, not a war, to attract “remote talent.”

Cafe in front of Duomo Cathedral in Florence, Italy. The mere imagination of working with a laptop on a table with coffee on it makes my heart full. What if there’s not much time left until it becomes a reality?

Italy is recently set to issue a new visa for digital nomads. It plans to release a visa that will remain valid for one year until at least September. The BBC reported that Florence and Venice have already developed a program to help digital nomads come in and make a soft landing.

There is a reason why Italy is trying to move toward a full-fledged “digital nomad paradise.” This is because of the expectation that it will benefit the country and the local community. Italy is a country that relies on the tourism industry and has the highest percentage of elderly people aged 65 or older in Europe. This also means that it is difficult to expect economic development potential.

So Italy’s government stepped up to attract young “remote talent.” It is a strategy to inject foreign capital into the local economy by utilizing the growth of remote work. As the tourism industry stagnates in the aftermath of the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19), it is trying to find new food.

It also found solutions to aging countries from the outside. “Our ultimate goal is not only to bring young digital nomads to Italy as guests, but also to settle down and live here,” Luka Carabeta, a member of the Oseong Movement Party, told the BBC.

Italy is currently investing heavily in this. It recently announced that it has spent more than 1 million euros (about 1.3 billion won) on strengthening ICT networks and improving transportation facilities to attract the attention of remote talent. “Italy expects to attract 5 percent of the digital nomad market, which is estimated to be around 40 million people around the world,” said Carabetta.

Italy’s hope is not just a dream. There is a real success story. Chile attracted foreign entrepreneurs through the Startup Chile program, which began in 2010. Chile gave them visas and cash incentives to set up their own startups for a year and mentor local talent.

Ten years later, Chile was recognized by entrepreneurs as a successful startup country. Thanks to the talent mentoring program, Chilean entrepreneurs have opened companies worth more than $1 billion (about 1.3 trillion won), including notCo, a vegan food technology company, and corner shops for on-demand food delivery apps. “It is a good example of how the ecosystem can change if you invite talented foreigners even for a year,” said Fritwiraj, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, about the case of Chile. “Remote talent is spending dollars in the local economy. We can also make connections with local entrepreneurs,” he explained.

Digital Nomad Work Requirements

What is the most important thing in choosing a country for remote work? Needless to say, I will recall the gold part. According to Canadian CTV News recently, Christopher Rio, a certified financial analyst, has lived in six countries since 2019 and worked as a digital nomad. It’s no exaggeration to say that I’m a telecommuting veteran. What countries’ prices would be attractive to work remotely.

Rio chose Southeast Asia and South America as low-cost countries. People in Southeast Asia such as Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and South America such as Colombia and Argentina live for less than 800 dollars a month. Rio said he spent 1,500 dollars a month comfortably.

Middle-cost countries are Portugal and Western Europe, such as Spain, Italy, and Greece. It is said that the budget can be set at around $2,000 to $3,000 a month here. Countries with high prices are the United States, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, and Singapore. Rio has a budget of $3,000 to $4,000 a month here, but for low-budget travelers, less than $2,000 is no problem. “How much you will spend in your chosen country is an important factor,” Rio said. “Many digital nomads are likely to start in countries with low prices such as Asia, Eastern Europe, or South America.”

Which country is the best to get a digital nomad visa?

First, you need to know if you are eligible for a digital nomad visa. According to Visa Guide World, the eligibility requirements for obtaining a digital nomad visa are △ 18 years of age or older △ certain monthly income (depending on country) and △ having a job that can work anywhere in the world.

The countries recommended by Visa Guide World are Germany, Costa Rica, Croatia, Norway, Mexico, Portugal, the Czech Republic, and Argentina. In Germany, if you have a “free-lancer visa,” various startups can also work with individuals through part-time contracts as needed.

Costa Rica has set up a ‘Lentista Visa’ for digital nomads. Those who hold this visa can stay for up to two years and extend it. However, it must be proved that it has an income of 2,500 dollars (about 3.3 million won) per month. Croatia created a digital nomad visa in 2019. It is a visa to encourage freelance workers to live here while working.

Norway is one of the most expensive places in the world. However, if remote talent wants to live on the island of Svalbard, located in the Arctic Ocean, it offers a digital nomad visa. The validity of the visa is ‘lifetime’. You just have to prove that you have enough funds to stay there.

Mexico has put forward temporary residence visas for digital nomads. You can extend your visa up to three times after staying here for a year. However, the visa will not allow you to stay for more than four years.

Portugal is advocating a ‘D7 manual income visa’. The remote worker must identify sufficient income and the source of the money. You can stay for one year, and then extend it by two years at a time. In addition, if you have stayed on the visa for five years, you can apply for a residence permit on the condition that you pass the Portuguese test.

The Czech Republic is also a popular country for digital nomads. This place offers freelance visas. It can be extended for another two years after the one-year validity period. However, it must be proved that the income is $5,600 (about 7.35 million won).

Argentina launched a special visa for remote workers in May. Some countries prefer digital nomads that work for overseas-based companies, but they also allow them to work for their own companies.

Some Caribbean countries have the highest visa application fees, with family applications reported to be up to $3,000 per person. Countries like Georgia also offer free visas to attract more digital nomads.