The number of destinations offering visas for digital nomads has grown significantly in recent years, with almost half now offering visas for at least one year.
According to a new World Tourism Organization analysis covering 54 destinations, the rise in digital nomad visas (DNVs) has gone hand-in-hand with the rise of digital nomads, with destinations in all regions working to meet market trends.
Destinations that welcome digital nomads
UNWTO summary examines DNV programs in seven areas: application process, visa duration, taxation, insurance, accommodation, minimum income requirements and criminal record check. It briefly reviews the background and current state of digital nomadism trends and provides an analysis of existing DNVs around the world in five regions. Key findings include:
- 47% of destinations offer visas up to one year,
- 39% of destinations exempt digital nomads from paying taxes,
- 17% of destinations do not have minimum income requirements,
- 76% of destinations have online applications for DNV programs,
- 80% of destinations process requests within a month,
- only 6% of destinations do not charge visa application fees.
Embracing the future of work
A digital nomad visa allows individuals to live and work in a foreign country while maintaining employment or performing self-employment for employers or clients in their own country or another country. With this visa, digital nomads can pursue their professional occupation while accepting the opportunity to immerse themselves in the unique lifestyle of the host destination in line with most future of work trends. Furthermore, destinations use DNV to attract professionals from creative and technological fields, and to stimulate these fields at the national level.
Flexibility and a digital access key
At the same time, the UNWTO brief highlights key considerations for destinations when offering or expanding their DNV programmes:
Digitization of destinations: due to the importance of good connectivity and productivity, host destinations tend to invest in digital infrastructure. Fast internet, co-working spaces and comfortable accommodation are available to enable optimal remote working conditions.
Balancing work and lifestyle: By offering a flexible visa framework, host destinations empower digital nomads to create work environments while immersing themselves in the local culture and lifestyle.
Future impact assessment: the summary highlights the importance of establishing impact assessment for DNV programs as a new mechanism.