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In this article I’m defining countries with long term visas for digital nomads as ones where you can stay at minimum for one year and at maximum the rest of your life.
These long term visas for digital nomads are available in six different countries on four different continents. So, if you’re sick of jumping from country to country every 90 days then these six long term visas for digital nomads may be right for you!
1. Germany Freelancer Visa
Visa Duration: Up to three years
Germany offers both an Artist and a Freelance Visa for digital nomads. If you’re interested in the Freelance Visa in Germany this article shares a lot of helpful information including what you need to apply, what to expect from the process, and much, much more.
The Freelance Visa in Germany is a popular way to sidestep the strict Schengen Visa requirements that only allow 90 days of travel in the entire Schengen zone (aka most of the EU) in every 180 day period.
Plus, Berlin is one of the cheapest capital cities in Western Europe and just a really cool place in general. I spent Christmas in Berlin and loved it, and now I’m seriously considering putting in the work for this Freelancer Visa as well.
2. Estonia Digital Nomad Visa
Visa Duration: TBD
The Estonian long term visa for digital nomads is currently in the works but not available quite yet. This article shares the details and explains that it should go live in early 2019.
When it does, the Estonian digital nomad visa will be different from the Freelancer Visa in Germany because it won’t require you to pay taxes in Estonia. Instead, it will just ensure that you are paying taxes to someone, somewhere.
I’m following this story closely because I would love to snag one of these babies soon, and I’ll update this section as the visa becomes available.
2019 Update: The visa is now expected to be available in late 2019, please see Dmitry’s comment below for more details!
3. Australia Holiday or Working Holiday Visa
Visa Duration: One year with the option to extend to a second.
The Australian Holiday Visa is pretty chill, just like most things in this country. The visa allows visitors to travel in the country for one year and the Working Holiday Visa even allows you to work with Australian companies for up to six months per company.
Some important things to note for this long term visa for digital nomads is that you can only apply if you’re between the ages of 18 and 30. Additionally, if you want to extend your Working Holiday Visa to two years you’ll have to work for three months in rural Australia… something I doubt that many digital nomads want to do!
4. Costa Rica Rentista Visa
Visa Duration: Two years with the option to extend it.
Costa Rica is one of the closest places to paradise that you can find on earth today. The country has generated 98.53 percent of its electricity from renewable sources over the past four years and they were even named the happiest country in the world by the Happy Planet Index.
Luckily, long term visas for digital nomads in Costa Rica aren’t too difficult to obtain. This website shares a lot of helpful information but the basic requirement is that you need to show proof of a steady income while you live in Costa Rica. How much? At the moment, it’s $2,500 per month.
5. Thailand Hand to Hand Combat Education Visa
Visa Duration: OneYear
Most digital nomads staying in Thailand have to make visa runs out of the country every 90 days. If that’s not really your thing you should consider the Hand to Hand Combat Education Visa in Chiang Mai.
This visa costs 35,000 baht / 1,000 usd (steep, I know) but comes with some perks. First, you actually get to learn hand to hand combat every week which sounds pretty cool. Plus, they’re flexible about missing classes for travel and help you with the required immigration appointments every 90 days.
On the downside, you’ll have to be based in Chiang Mai instead of Bangkok or on the islands, but on the upside, I spent 3 weeks in the country and Chiang Mai was by far my favorite place. Learn some self-defense and get one of these long term visas for digital nomads, what’s not to love about the situation?
6. Residency Visa in Svalbard, Norway
Visa Duration: Lifetime
This is by far my favorite long term visa on the list because Svalbard is an incredibly interesting place.
First of all, their official website states that “Polar bears are common in Svalbard, and it is not advisable to travel outside Longyearbyen without a proper firearm for self protection.” I have to admit, I’m intrigued.
Svalbard is a set of islands that sits far north of where any sane person would ever choose to live. The average temperature in the summer is 41 degrees Fahrenheit and they have 24 hours of darkness from mid-November to February. Oh, did I mention it’s one of the most expensive places in the world?
Who in their right mind would want to go to Svalbard and more importantly who in their right mind wouldn’t?? The official site shares a lot of important information about the visa and the main requirement for entry is simply proving you can afford to live there.
As I said, I was intrigued so I decided to check out some Airbnbs in the area. Honestly, they’re not as expensive as I thought and this nice house will only run you $1,500 a month!
BONUS: Mexico Temporary Resident Visa
Visa Duration: One year with the option to extend annually up to four years.
I’m heading to Mexico in a few months and just learned about the Mexico Temporary Resident Visa which is actually turning out to be one of the best options on this list.
Mexico’s tourist visa requires visitors to leave every six months, but you can get around that with the Temporary Resident Visa. It allows you to stay in the country for one full year and even extend it up to three times for four years total.
Some things to note, though: you need to get it before you come (you can’t change your visa status after arrival) and you will need to show proof of a certain amount of income before you’re approved. This helpful article shares many more details on the topic.
6 Long-Term Visas for Digital Nomads
I travel as a freelance writer and at the moment I’m enjoying my location independence and our ability to move wherever we please every few weeks.
However, I know there are also negatives to traveling full time and securing a long term visa as a digital nomad definitely has its perks.
If you’re on the market for somewhere more permanent to settle down for a bit, this list of six countries with long term visas for digital nomads will help you find the perfect place!
Ready to go? Compare flight prices on Skyscanner to find the best deal!
PS looking for more travel tips? Check out the Long Term Travel Series to see the essential packing list for long term travel (that fits in a carry on bag), the long term travel FAQ for digital nomads, and much more.
PPS This is not legal advice and you shouldn’t take it as such!