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This list of countries with long term visas for digital nomads covers ones where you can stay at a minimum for one year and at maximum, well, the rest of your life. The options vary from freelance visas for digital nomads to passive income visas to working holiday visas and much more.
Even better, these visas are available in nine different countries across four different continents and will help you settle down in:
- Costa Rica
- the Czech Republic
- and two bonus countries!
So, if you’re sick of jumping from country to country every 90 days, keep reading because these nine long term visas for digital nomads may be right for you.
1. Germany Freelance Visa for Digital Nomads
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 visa for digital nomads because it gives you a 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.
Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights to Germany and then explore accommodation like unique stays on Airbnb or the top-rated hotels on Booking.com to plan your long-term stay in the country. I personally love Berlin, but cities like Munich and Frankfurt offer two great (but totally different) experiences as well.
2. Estonia Digital Nomad Visa
Visa Duration: One year.
The Estonian long term visa for digital nomads is currently in the works but not available quite yet.
I emailed the Estonia Ministry of Interior in October 2019 and they told me that ‘Our goal is to achieve acceptance of a law by the end of 2019 and implementation of the visa during first half of 2020.’
When it does, the Estonian digital nomad visa will be more than just a freelance visa in Estonia.
For example, it will be different from the Freelance 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.
The Ministry of Interior also told me that it will allow digital nomads to work and travel in Estonia for one year (no word on if there will be an option to extend it) and that ‘Digital nomads can only come to Estonia through trusted intermediaries, who will also be responsible for the digital nomad.’
All visa fees, backround checks, and proof of sufficient means that other Estonian visas require will be required for this digital nomad visa as well. And finally, to get it, you’ll need to make your way to an Estonian Embassy because they won’t be available online.
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 Estonian digital nomad visa becomes available in 2020.
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!
If you’re interested in this option, you can find more information about Australian visas here. Canada also offers a similar Canadian visa program that you can explore.
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. The Viva Tropical website shares a lot of helpful information about the Rentista visa, 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.
Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights to Costa Rica and then explore accommodation like unique stays on Airbnb or the top-rated hotels on Booking.com to plan your long-term stay in the country. Some popular expat havens in Costa Rica are the Guanacaste region on the coast and the mountainous Central Valley area.
5. Thailand Hand to Hand Combat Education Visa
Visa Duration: One Year
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 Svalbard 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!
Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights to Svalbard and then explore accommodation like unique stays on Airbnb or the top-rated hotels on Booking.com to plan your long-term stay in this remote outpost.
7. Mexico Temporary Resident Visa
Visa Duration: One year with the option to extend annually up to four years.
The Mexico Temporary Resident Visa which is one of the best options on this list and one that Dan and I have talked extensively about pursuing in 2020.
Mexico City is one of our favorite places (explore the complete Mexico Series to see why) and as we enter year four of the digital nomad lifestyle the prospect of getting an apartment in the lovely Condesa neighborhood with this Mexico Temporary Resident Visa is mighty tempting.
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 about the Mexico temporary resident visa shares many more details on the topic.
Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights to Mexico and then explore accommodation like unique stays on Airbnb or the top-rated hotels on Booking.com to plan your long-term stay in the country. I love living in Mexico City, but other popular spots to check out are Oaxaca and the coastal cities like Puerto Vallarta.
8. D7 Passive Income Visa in Portugal
Visa Duration: One year, but can be renewed for two-year periods after that.
The D7 Passive Income Visa from Portugal is similar to the Rentista Visa in Costa Rica because the main requirement is that you must show proof of sufficient income to live in Portugal, whether that income comes from inside the country or not.
This is an attractive visa for digital nomads looking for a really long-term solution because you can apply for permanent residence in Portugal after five years if you can pass a Portuguese language test. You also don’t have to pay taxes to Portugal on your foreign income (although, I’m sure it’s complicated to iron that out) if you play your cards right.
And finally, it’s freakin’ Portugal. Sunny, warm, beach-lined, beautiful Portugal. What’s not to like about settling down here for a few years?!
This guide to the Portugal passive income visa will help you get a better understanding of what’s required and start the application process on the right foot.
Thanks, Rhiannon for sharing this visa in the comments so I can share it with our readers!
9. Zivno Trade License Freelance Visa in the Czech Republic
Visa Duration: Somewhat unclear – various sites say it must be renewed after 6 months, 8 months, or one year, but after that, the renewed visa will last at least one year and can be as long as two years.
The Long Term Stay Business visa costs $217 at the moment and requires proof of at least $5,600 for your year-long stay. They also need proof of accommodation, an affidavit that you’ve never committed a crime, and more stuff in a long list of Czech long term visa requirements that I stopped reading because it was technical and boring.
This interview with a teacher on the freelance visa breaks it down into much more manageable prose and explains how she got the visa (you have to apply inside the country, and then leave to finish the process at an embassy outside of the country), how much she paid, how to renew it, and more.
Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights to the Chzech Republic and then explore accommodation like unique stays on Airbnb or the top-rated hotels on Booking.com to plan your long-term stay in the country. Start your trip in the popular (and absolutely gorgeous) city of Prague.
Thanks, Chris, for sharing this visa in the comments so I can share it with our readers!
Bonus: Georgia and Albania Tourist Visas
Visa Duration: One year
When ranking the best Non-Schengen countries for digital nomads, I discovered something crazy: both Georgia and Albania offer one-year tourist visas! That means you can show up in either country and stay for an entire year without any paperwork, fees, or other annoying shenanigans.
Out of all 20 Non-Schengen countries that I rated based on safety, internet speed, visa length, and cost of living, Georgia came out at the very top of the list along with three others. If you go, you’ll also quickly discover that Georgian cuisine is some of the best in the world.
If going through the motions with all the visas above seems like a little too much commitment for you at the moment, consider making a one-year move to Georgia or Albania on their super simple tourist visas instead.
Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights to Georgia or Albania and then explore accommodation like unique stays on Airbnb or the top-rated hotels on Booking.com to plan your long-term stay in the countries.
Explore These 9 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 nine countries with long term visas for digital nomads includes freelance visas for digital nomads, passive income visas for digital nomads, and much more, and will help you find the perfect place!
Ready to go? Compare flight prices on Skyscanner to find the best deal, and then take the leap, by that ticket, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!
This article is part of the Digital Nomad Series. Read the rest below:
Then, explore the complete Long Term Travel series for more insider tips on making the transition to a location independent lifestyle.
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I’ve been traveling full-time for three years, these are the resources that make it happen:
➤ I exclusively use Airbnb for savings and security on long-term stays in furnished apartments.
➤ I use Booking.com for short-term stays in hostels and hotels on weekend trips.
➤ Upwork allowed me to take the leap to travel full-time because they make it so easy to find freelance clients in any field.
➤ The Superstar Blogging Travel Writing Course launched my travel writing career and helped me become a contributor at sites like Cincinnati Refined and International Living, and even get published in the Boston Globe.