Which EU country is easiest to get a digital nomad visa?
The digital nomad lifestyle has grown exponentially in popularity, spurred on by technological advancements and, more recently, the global shift to remote work prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Several countries around the world have recognized this trend and established Digital Nomad Visas, catering specifically to remote workers who wish to live in a different country while continuing their employment. In the European Union (EU), several countries offer this opportunity, each with its unique application process, requirements, and benefits.
Estonia, known for its innovative digital society, became the first EU country to introduce a Digital Nomad Visa. This visa allows digital nomads to live in Estonia and legally work for a foreign employer or as freelancers for clients mostly outside of Estonia. Other EU countries, including Portugal, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, and Croatia, have since introduced similar visas or permits.
When considering which EU country offers the “easiest” process to obtain a Digital Nomad Visa, we should consider factors such as application simplicity, minimum income requirements, required documents, processing time, and overall cost. Based on these factors, Croatia seems to be one of the more accessible countries for digital nomads.
In July 2020, Croatia launched its digital nomad visa, becoming a popular destination due to its Mediterranean climate, beautiful coastline, rich history, and relatively low cost of living. The application process is relatively straightforward, and the visa allows stays for up to a year without requiring a work permit.
To apply for a Croatian Digital Nomad Visa, you must fill out a form and provide proof of the purpose of your stay. This proof could include a work contract or other documents that confirm you work remotely. The application can be completed at the local embassy or consulate or directly within Croatia if you are already there.
One of the key aspects that make the Croatian visa easier to obtain is the lower minimum income requirement compared to other EU countries. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the required proof of funds is around €2,200 per month, a lower threshold compared to many other European countries. The actual amount varies depending on your circumstances and the cost of living in the area you plan to live in Croatia.
Moreover, the Croatian digital nomad visa does not require you to pay income tax in Croatia, as you will not be offering services to Croatian companies. This tax exemption can make financial planning easier for digital nomads. However, it’s essential to understand your tax obligations in your home country or the country where your income originates.
The processing time for the Croatian Digital Nomad Visa is also relatively short, with decisions usually made within 15 days for straightforward cases. However, this can extend up to two months for more complex situations.
Furthermore, Croatia, as a member of the European Union, offers the added benefit of free movement within the Schengen Zone, allowing digital nomads to travel across many other European countries without additional visas.
In conclusion, while the “easiest” EU country to get a Digital Nomad Visa can depend on your individual circumstances and preferences, Croatia, with its lower minimum income requirement, straightforward application process, and the added benefit of free movement within the Schengen Zone, presents itself as one of the most accessible options. However, always make sure to check the most recent information, as visa regulations and requirements can change. It’s also a good idea to seek legal advice if you’re unsure about anything in the process.