Everything You Need to Know About Freelance Visas and Countries Welcoming Digital Nomads

You're not a tourist; you're an extended-stay remote worker.

May 14

Photo via Global Residence Index on Unsplash

TL;DR: Looking to work abroad for a while? You might need a freelance visa. Here's the scoop on which countries are the most welcoming to digital nomads!

Digital nomad life has absolutely exploded: As of 2023, 35 million people worldwide were living the dream, with 10 million more Americans in the mix than were in 2019.

Travel the globe without quitting your job? We love it—and a lot of us Stackers do it. If you want to follow suit and become a digital nomad, you'll need to prepare.

For some countries, simply buying a plane ticket and heading over with your laptop will work, though most often no more than a few months.

If an extended stay is more your speed, you'll need to learn what a freelance visa is and how it works with the country you have in mind.

What is a Freelance Visa?

When you're doing your research on how to work from anywhere as a digital nomad, you'll need to figure out how a freelance visa figures into your plans. 

To accommodate the boom in traveling workers, as many as 61 countries have reportedly created freelance visas. You can check out a full list of those countries from Freaking Nomads, which features a breakdown of the following for each:

  • The visa's name
  • Its launch date
  • How to apply
  • How long it lasts
  • The freelance visa cost
  • Income requirements
  • Family inclusion
  • Potential tax implications
  • Eligibility for permanent residency and citizenship 
  • Useful contacts for questions and help

 

You could browse the list and see if the country you have in mind fits your needs or if there's a freelance visa that specifically appeals to you. 

The biggest difference between freelance visas is that some are designed for shorter-term stays, while others can accommodate longer ones and even provide paths to citizenship. 

Popular Short-Term Freelance Visas

Photo via Austin Distel on Unsplash
 

If you're not quite sure what the less-immediate future holds, you may not want to commit for a lengthy span of time. These are just a couple of the more popular short-term freelance visas you should look into.

Spain

When looking at freelance visas in Europe, the Spain Digital Nomad Visa is an affordable and flexible choice. As of May 2024, fees are about $86 for the visa application plus around $18 for the residence authorization, and that's for a year-long initial stay with the option to renew for up to five years.

Dubai

The Work Remotely from Dubai Visa is easy to apply for online and lasts for one year. It's renewable for another year and costs just $287 for the application and residence card, making a buzzworthy destination more accessible.

Popular Long-Term Freelance Visas

Photo via Bench Accounting on Unsplash

If you want to truly live like a local and get a place really etched in your soul, extended freelance visas are the way to go. These two are rather popular, but of course there are others to explore.

Germany

This German visa has gained popularity over time and has an option for a three-month visa or a three-year resident program. Once you've been in the country for three years, you could earn the option to extend for two more, and then after that, you could become eligible for German citizenship

Turkey

Turkey doesn't have a digital nomad visa, but many traveling professionals have found equal value in its long-term residence permit. You can apply online (sweet), and its duration is indefinite (sweeter). After living in the country for five years, you can use the permit to pursue permanent residency (sweetest). 

Deals for Digital Nomads on Any Freelance Visa

Working travelers need to pack more than just clothes. For those on shorter stays, products that are easy to stash and carry around win the day. Digital nomads who are staying put for an extended stay will likely want to get more serious about "real life" in another country. Here are some of our suggestions to make living and working abroad easier!

Laptops and accessories

A tool like this plug-and-play portable dual-screen laptop monitor makes extending your workspace incredibly simple and can be used in portrait mode—perfect for coders, writers, and editors. It's currently on sale for $200 (reg. $339).

Need a lightweight laptop that gets the job(s) done? This refurbished Apple MacBook Air is a great pick for $400 (reg. $575). It has a decent amount of RAM (8GB) and weighs under 3 pounds.

If saving money is more important to you than heft or being able to multitask with infinity tabs open, this refurbished Apple MacBook Pro 13.3" is a steal at $260 (reg. $600) and will suffice for basic browsing and document needs. 

Plane tickets

Unless you're planning to move abroad to a country that's within driving distance, you're going to need plane tickets. You can get a lifetime of updates on discounted flights, mistake fares, and great travel deals with Matt's Flights Premium Plan, which is only $90 (reg. $1800). 

Communication skills

The more time you spend in a place, the more you'll feel any existing language barriers. Use this deal on a lifetime subscription to the Babbel language learning app for only $150 (reg. $599) to get a head start on staying in touch with locals. 

VPN and malware protection

Just because you want to spend a long time in a country doesn't mean you need to expose your work and life to its networks. Keep your activity private with a reliable and well-reviewed VPN subscription and ad-blocking solution. 

Protect your long-term work abroad with these lifetime deals on a VPN and ad blocker:

 

Going From Freelance Visa to Official Resident of Your Preferred Country

Photo via HiveBoxx on Unsplash

For a path to permanent residency, in addition to the German and Turkish options, you can invest in a golden passport or visa from over 30 different countries worldwide

Citizenship often takes quite a while to achieve, and you can take your time getting there by traveling, working, and exploring the vast range of freelance visas and remote work opportunities available. 

StackSocial works with a variety of merchants and brands to bring you deals worth talking about. We may earn a commission on purchases made through our links. Prices subject to change.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign up to see our latest collections, exclusive offers & get 15% off.

Trending

6 AI-Powered Apps and Subscriptions to Save You Time and Supercharge Your Life6 AI-Powered Apps and Subscriptions to Save You Time and Supercharge Your Life

Invalid Date

Read More

10 Essentials for Your Digital Nomad Packing List10 Essentials for Your Digital Nomad Packing List

May 14

Your Cart
Your cart is empty. Continue Shopping!
Processing order...