Best Countries for Remote Work Visas & How to Apply

Last updated on 04/09/2021

Where to Apply for a Remote Working Visa

The flexibility to travel while working is a common dream for many office workers. However, this dream is becoming more obtainable as advances in technology have allowed many companies to shift to remote environments.

With a growing number of remote workers looking to relocate, many countries are launching remote working visa programs in hope of attracting a percentage of this market.

For those considering relocation, the team at InsureMyTrip compared data to identify the best locations for budding digital nomads. We’ve also produced a calculator, so you can find out exactly where to apply.

Best Countries with Remote Working Visas

Currently, there are just twenty countries with ‘official’ remote working visas. You can apply for working holiday programs in Australia and New Zealand, but as these are not officially for remote workers, we won’t be including them in our results.

According to our research, Norway is the ideal location for remote workers. Factors such as indefinite residence, impressive internet speeds and high happiness levels offset the relatively high visa cost ($750) and housing costs ($1,216 monthly for an apartment).

The Norwegian language also isn’t as difficult to master as others. It’ll take you just 600 hours of your indefinite stay there to chat like a local, compared with 2,200 hours in the United Arab Emirates.

Mexico, Germany, Portugal and Iceland are among the other key contenders. If you’re on a tight budget, Mexico is your best bet. The remote working visa is free, and monthly apartment rental prices average around $354.

How Can I Apply for a Remote Working Visa?

Visas are complex and each country has unique rules on who they will accept and how that determination is made. To simplify this, InsureMyTrip has developed a calculator to help you identify which locations would be right for you. Simply answer a few questions to find your best fit.

*Note - in all countries you’ll need written confirmation from your current employer or proof of being self-employed.

What is your annual salary?
$
Do you currently have health or travel insurance coverage?
Do you have clients in any of the following countries?
Do you wish to apply for permanent residency abroad as a digital nomad?

Is Being a Digital Nomad Worth It?

The lifestyle may seem glamorous, but it isn’t for everyone. There are some important factors you should consider before transitioning to the digital nomad life.

Below we’ve summarized the pros and cons of living the digital nomad lifestyle.

Pros:

  • Flexibility to travel anywhere, anytime
  • Flexibility to work your own schedule
  • Escape traditional office politics and dramas
  • Experience new cultures
  • Meet new people
  • Taste new foods
  • Potentially save money by living in a cost-effective location
  • Tax breaks for certain countries (i.e., Greece and Croatia)

Cons

  • Long periods away from friends and family
  • No sense of home or ownership
  • Language barriers (review our research if this is important to you)
  • Blurred lines between work and personal life
  • Less structure means you’ll need to improve your time management
  • The occasional sense of loneliness & short-term friendships
  • An extra effort is needed to form relationships



It is clear to see why the digital nomad lifestyle is gaining in popularity. Thanks to ongoing advances in technology, there are now more opportunities to work remotely now than ever before. However, like any life-changing decision, we encourage you to fully consider if it is the right fit for you. And remember, even if it is not, you can always head back home. Nothing is permanent when you are living out of a suitcase.

Methodology

Each data point consists of the latest research available from reputable sources. The data was standardized using minmax normalization. The minmax normalization value is multiplied by 10 to create a score (between 0-10). A score of 10 is always the best result, while a score of 0 is the worst. Each city is then ranked on their overall average rating across all data points which includes both city-level data and one country-level data point.

In the table, the raw data for each data point has been shown in full. The overall tab represents the averaged normalized values.

Sources

Internet Download Speed Fast Metrics

Average Rent For An Apartment Numbeo

Happiness Score World Happiness Report 2020

Average Hours To Learn Language U.S. State Department of State – School of Language Studies

Nomad Acceptance Score Migrant Acceptance Index

Remote Working Visa Cost Official Government Guidelines on Visas

Length of Remote Working Visa Official Government Guidelines on Visas