As countries recover from the drop in tourism caused by the ongoing pandemic, the idea of a digital nomad visa is growing. Working from home and homeschooling became the new normal during Covid-19, as countries target individuals looking to stay for 12 months instead of the average two-week holiday.
Thailand recently became the latest country to announce a digital nomad visa to revamp its tourism industry. The country’s digital nomad visa targets those primarily working in high-tech industries.
In February 2021, 21 countries had digital nomad visas in place. There are currently 44, and the list continues to grow.
What is a digital nomad visa?
A digital nomad visa enables a visitor to stay in a country and work remotely, from a laptop or computer, for a foreign-based employer or business. Typically, such visas have a duration of 12 months but can be extended by one or two years depending on the country.
How is Tax calculated for a digital nomad visa?
The tax requirements depend on the country of issue, with some requiring full tax, some offering tax reductions and others charging zero taxes. Digital nomad visa programs with zero taxes assume that you are still paying in your home country. Almost all countries on the current list require you to have private health insurance and almost all digital nomad visas come with a minimum income requirement.
Where are people heading?
From January to April 2022, Europe was the destination for 62% of cross-border searches by Europeans, according to a report from Indeed Hiring Lab created in June 2022.
A report from Expat Insider looking at 33 European cities found Malaga, Spain, Prague, Czechia, Basel, Switzerland, Madrid, Spain and Vienna, Austria are currently the top five destinations for remote workers in Europe.
Elsewhere, Indonesia introduced a five-year digital nomad visa last month. July also saw Cyprus update its digital nomad visa, and Italy and Columbia announced that they both have a digital nomad visa in the works.
Thailand’s 10-year digital nomad visa is available to employees of foreign companies who want to base themselves in the country. Visa holders will be taxed at 17% instead of the 35% charged on an income greater than $140,000. The visa will also be available to retirees with stable incomes and those with over $1m in assets, similar to ‘golden visa’ programs open to wealthy foreigners looking for residency abroad.