Digital nomads: Visa, jobs and internet around the world | May 2024

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Last update: May 6, 2024
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Author: Roams UK
In a nutshell

To become a digital nomad, you need to know the requirements for issuing a visa, the types of jobs you can get and your options for getting Internet abroad. Find out everything you need to know and turn to this unique way of life.

Enjoy Internet connection abroad with the eSIM of Holafly

Digital nomad visa: What is it and how to get it?

The evolution of technologies, coupled with the push from the pandemic, has allowed more and more people to lead a digitally nomadic lifestyle. Jobs that you can do remotely and perform anywhere in the world.

This new type of work has forced many countries to consider the option of issuing special digital nomad visas. These are temporary residence permits to allow you to work in the country remotely, either on your own account or through a company that has hired you in your country.

Currently, the list exceeds 40 states, whose visas have the following characteristics:

  • Residence permit for more than 6 months.
  • Aimed at persons working for foreign companies.
  • Does not allow work in the country of temporary residence.

Each country's digital nomad visa has specific requirements and characteristics, which we will detail below. You should also remember that the UK is no longer part of the Schengen Area, so your ID card or passport will not be valid to work in the different European countries.

UK digital nomad visa

There isn't really a special visa for digital nomads in the UK, but that doesn't mean you can't do this kind of work in the British Isles.

Although it is best to speak to the Immigration Department or the consular office, you can work as a freelancer under one of these three visa programs:

  • Exceptional talent tier 1 visa: This is a temporary residence permit for which you need to prove that you are carrying out work from the UK.
  • Working holiday tier 5 visa: You must be between 17 and 30 years old and a Commonwealth citizen. You will be allowed to work for a maximum of two years and have a sponsor to support you, either your company or your home government.
  • Tier 1 entrepreneur visa: This formula is designed for people who want to set up their own business in the UK. One of the main requirements is to have £50,000 in your bank account.

Another option is to solicit a freelance artist visa for the UK. For this, you need to have been given a job offer in the UK as a creative worker. In addition, you have to pay the required fees and have, at least, £1.270 in your bank account.

If you are sure you want to become a digital nomad in the British Isles, we recommend you check the Holafly eSIM card for the UK. After all, you'll need the best internet connection to work abroad.

Spain digital nomad visa

To apply for a digital nomad visa in Spain, you must submit an application at one of the consular offices abroad. Once you get it, you will be able to live and work in this country for one year.

If you want to extend your stay on the mainland or on one of the islands, you must apply for a visa extension at the Large Companies and Strategic Collectives Unit. The formalities are simpler than those you will have to go through the first time you apply for a visa.

The characteristics of the visa for digital nomads in Spain are:

  • One year residence permit.
  • Possibility of permanent residency after the fifth year.
  • Tax benefits under the Startups Law.
  • You pay non-resident income tax instead of personal income tax.
  • Opportunity for the return of citizens and companies affected by the Brexit.

On the other hand, the main requirements to obtain the digital nomad visa in Spain are:

  • Certificate that you can work remotely.
  • Performing an activity for a foreign company.
  • No criminal record.
  • Take out travel insurance for Spain.
  • Prove a minimum duration of one year with at least one company.
  • Pay the required fees.

If you want to have Internet in the Mediterranean country and enjoy the full nomadic lifestyle, Spain Holafly's eSIM is the best alternative. You will be able to move around the whole country with unlimited data and 24 hour support in more than eight languages.

Portugal digital nomad visa

If you meet the requirements, you must fill in the form on the website of the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. You will then have to submit the requested documentation to the Consulate closest to you.

After that, you will simply have to wait for the response from the Portuguese institution. If you are granted the digital nomad visa, you will be able to live and work there.

The characteristics of the Portuguese digital nomad visa are:

  • One year residence permit, extendable.
  • Possibility of permanent residence after the fifth year.
  • No need for travel insurance if you are a citizen of any Schengen country.
  • There are no limitations on nationalities or activities in order to obtain approval.

Thus, the main requirements to obtain the digital nomad visa in Portugal are:

  • Have travel insurance in Portugal or medical insurance for the Schengen area.
  • Have an original and valid passport for at least 6 months prior to submitting the application.
  • Demonstrate an income of more than €580/month.
  • Have a declaration from a competent authority to prove your professional competence in the job.
  • Submit a criminal record certificate.
  • Pay the relevant fees.

eSIM cards are also available in Portugal, in order to have worry-free internet access throughout the country. Holafly, in this case, offers plans of up to 90 days with no data limit and high-speed networks.

Get your eSIM card for digital nomads

Italy digital nomad visa

Although Italy has not yet approved a special visa for digital nomads, there are other ways to work in this country. Your best option is to apply for a visa for self-employed workers. You will have a two-year residence permit, which you can extend.

Another advantage is you will have some benefits such as a 70% tax exemption, as well as being able to take your family with you.

Get your Italy eSIM with Holafly to get Internet abroad

These are the requirements you must meet to apply for your visa in Italy:

  • Valid passport.
  • Visa application form.
  • Original and copy of the ‘Nulla Osta’ authorization.
  • Proof of sufficient funds, the minimum is £7.500.
  • Evidence of adequate accommodation available.
  • Applicant must have medical insurance.

Surely there are several countries in Europe where you would like to work, in addition to Italy. If so, we recommend that you check the conditions of Holafly's eSIM for Europe. Mainly, because it offers unlimited data in up to 32 countries.

Altough Italy is not the destination you choose as a digital nomad, you must take into account aspects such as the driving licence or the taxes you must pay in the country. We recommend you to plan ahead of time and in detail all these issues, so as not to leavy anything important that could complicate your arrival in the new country.

Thailand digital nomad visa

The truth is that Thailand is becoming a favourite destination for digital nomads. Its paradisiacal climate and affordable standard of living make it a very good option. If this option appeals to you too, you should think about how to get a good Internet connection in the Asian country.

Book now your Thailand eSIM with Holafly to get Internet abroad

However, to get your digital nomad visa in Thailand you have to prove a good amount of income, among other requirements:

  • Submit online an application for qualification endorsement for LTR Visa and supporting documents.
  • Collect digital work permits at the Department of Employment at One Stop Service Center for Visa and Work Permit.
  • Demonstrate income between £33,000 and £66,000/year. People with a master's degree only need to show that they earned £33,000/year during the last two years.

If you think Thailand is your best option for becoming a digital nomad, you may be interested in moving to other Southeast Asian countries. Check the conditions of Holafly's eSIM Asia to be able to work from any of the 12 countries included in its payroll.

Other countries with digital nomad visa

As we said, there are more than 40 countries that have visas for digital nomads. If you are really interested in obtaining a visa in a country we have not mentioned, we recommend you follow these steps:

  • Present the option to your company Although many companies have already adapted to teleworking, moving to another country is an important step. Discuss it in good time and explain the reasons to your managers.
  • Visit official portals Get detailed information on the web portals of the different countries. Another option is to go in person to the consulate closest to your home.
  • Plan everything related to day-to-day life Housing, transport, insurance, currency... Make sure everything is sorted out before you get on the plane. That way, the first few days won't be so overwhelming.
  • Get a fare abroad Take the opportunity to get to know neighbouring countries and stay connected with an internet service between countries.
  • Enjoy the experience Whether you're on your own or with your family, the life of a digital nomad is personally enriching. Don't leave anything undone.

Another thing you can do is to ask directly to the Consulate. People that work there can help you to solve any doubt or question about to become a digital nomad abroad. We're sure they can expedite certain procedures.

Internet for digital nomads: All the options

One of the prerequisites for becoming a digital nomad is a good Internet connection. If you are abroad, you have several options:

  • eSIM card.
  • Roaming.
  • Pocket or public wifi network.
  • SIM card.

The roaming and pocket wifi or Mi-Fi options are very convenient, but have the disadvantage of being extremely expensive. SIM cards are cheaper, but we think your best option is to get an eSIM, a digital card that you receive directly in your mailbox and that you can activate with a simple code as soon as you arrive at your destination. It couldn't be easier.

More and more companies are offering such products, but as a digital nomad, we recommend you check out Holafly's plans. Many of them offer unlimited data at very competitive prices.

Tarifas populares de eSIM para nómadas digitales
Country Data Price
  • From 10GB
  • From £34
  • Unlimited
  • From £19
  • From 6GB
  • From £34
North America
  • From 6GB
  • From £44
South America
  • From 6GB
  • From £44
  • Unlimited
  • From £19

Tax situation with digital nomad visas

The tax situation for digital nomads is a complicated one. Each country has its own laws depending on its relationship with this type of work and its impact on tourism. Some countries require you to pay your taxes as a citizen, while others have reductions or special formulas.

Our expert opinion

There are also countries that assume you pay your taxes in your home country, so digital nomads are not required to pay them there. In these cases, however, it is better to have private health insurance, because you will most likely not be entitled to public health care.

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Roams UK

In any case, the best thing to do is to find out about your particular case, depending on the country where you want to go to work as a digital nomad.

Types of digital nomad jobs

Society's transformation to the digital environment is unstoppable, so there are more and more jobs that are compatible with the digital nomad's lifestyle. Here are some of the roles you could play:

  • Blogger: Take advantage of your stay abroad to talk about the countries you visit and guide others.
  • Graphic designer: Making logos, images, posters... You can do it from wherever you want, for a company or on your own.
  • Teacher: There are many online platforms to teach courses and classes in an area you master.
  • Translator: Take advantage of your knowledge of one or more languages to translate texts and videos.
  • Virtual assistant: You can carry out an infinite number of tasks online, wherever you are, depending on your training.

Like these, there are many other jobs that lend themselves to the lifestyle of a digital nomad. You simply need to find a job that you can do any remote job with a good internet connection.

These and many other jobs will allow you to move into the digital nomad lifestyle. But, as we say, you should be aware of the visa requirements in each country, taxation and other particularities you might need to know. We recommend you to get well-informed before taking this important step.

FAQs about digital nomads

What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is a person who works remotely abroad. These are usually online jobs that can be done from any country in the world.

How to become a digital nomad?

The only thing you need to do to become a digital nomad is to have the ability to do this kind of work remotely. Translator, graphic designer, blogger… The most common jobs tend to be freelance.

What do digital nomads actually do?

Digital nomads perform remote jobs, such as graphic design, journalism, virtual assistant and many others. Basically, they are people who can work remotely from any country in the world.

Who qualifies as a digital nomad?

Anyone who can do their work from any country in the world with their own tools and Internet connection. You don't need any specific qualifications to become a digital nomad, just the ability and experience to do this kind of work.

Do digital nomads pay income tax?

The tax situation of digital nomads varies depending on the country in which the work is carried out. Some countries have special taxes for digital nomads. There are even countries that don’t require them to pay taxes, as they assume that digital nomads paid his taxes in the country of origin.

Our methodology
Roams offers a free information and comparison service, which tries to help anyone find the product that best suits their needs. To ensure that the data presented is correct, extensive market research and product analysis is carried out. Our database of mobile phone and internet rates is updated every day. The content is frequently reviewed by a team of writers with previous experience and/or specific training in telephony.

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Laura Burón
Edited and revised por Laura Burón