Digital Nomad Visa Guide for Australians
Working holiday visas are a great option for young people who want to experience living in another country. But if you’re self-employed or already have a job that you’re able to work on remotely, a digital nomad visa could be ideal for you!
Digital nomad visas could also be a good option for Australians over 30 or 35 years old, who may not qualify for a working holiday visa or who wish to work remotely.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, digital nomad visas did not really exist. But in 2020, as COVID-19 decimated nations’ tourism industries and accelerated the shift towards working from home, countries including Estonia, Bermuda, Barbados, Georgia and the United Arab Emirates began offering digital nomad visas to remote workers.
This concept has since taken off and there are now well over 40 countries offering digital nomad visas in some form. More and more countries are now tapping into the potential of this trend by offering digital nomad visas and/or residency permits to entrepreneurs and remote workers who can work from anywhere.
With a digital nomad visa, you can live in another country for one year or more, while continuing to work online in your existing job or for your own business – and often without paying local income tax.
- Why digital nomad visas?
- Typical digital nomad visa requirements
- Which countries offer digital nomad visas?
- Summary of key digital nomad visa information by country
- Countries planning to introduce digital nomad visas in the future
Why digital nomad visas?
For governments, these visas are a way to attract visitors with a stable income who will stay for a longer time, spend money in the local economy and develop connections with locals. It’s great too for remote workers who now have more opportunities to live in more countries!
While this varies by country, digital nomad visa holders generally won’t need to pay income tax in the host country if all income is earned from a business registered outside of the country. But there are exceptions – for example, if you stayed for more than six months in Mauritius or Greece, then you could become a tax resident in that country.
Conversely, you will not have the right to enter the local labour market or work for an employer based in the destination country while staying on a digital nomad visa. This is not a traditional work visa.
Unlike working holiday visas, digital nomad visas don’t have an age limit. You may also be able to bring your children and/or family with you – something that is not generally permitted with a working holiday visa.
Typical digital nomad visa requirements
Remote worker and digital nomad visas are aimed more towards educated professionals with relatively high income, rather than backpackers. So, the requirements to get a digital nomad visa are a bit different to working holiday visa requirements.
The good news is that the countries offering digital nomad visas genuinely want to encourage people to move there. In fact, in many cases, these visas are actively promoted by the country’s tourism authority. Therefore, the application process is usually made as easy as possible.
To get a digital nomad visa, things you might need include:
- A minimum level of savings and/or monthly income (this threshold is generally much higher than the minimum savings required to get a working holiday visa)
- You must be self-employed or work remotely for a business based outside of the country (by comparison, you are not required to have a job to apply for most working holiday visas)
- Health insurance to cover your stay
- In some cases, proof of accommodation in the destination country
The visa fees for remote worker permits or digital nomad visas are generally higher than the fees applicable for a working holiday visa. But this isn’t always the case. Some countries, such as Mauritius and Georgia, do not charge anything to apply for a remote worker visa!
Which countries offer digital nomad visas?
The list of countries offering digital nomad visas to Australian citizens working remotely is constantly growing.
At the time of writing this article, they include:
- Anguilla (British overseas territory) – Remote work programme
- Antigua and Barbuda – Nomad Digital Residence programme
- Barbados – Welcome Stamp visa
- Belize – Work Where You Vacation
- Bermuda – Work from Bermuda Certificate
- Brazil – Visa for digital nomads (VITEM XIV)
- Cayman Islands – Global Citizen Concierge initiative
- Colombia – V (Visitor) Visa Digital Nomads
- Costa Rica – Rentista (freelancer visa)
- Croatia – Digital nomad residence permit
- Curaçao – @HOME in Curaçao
- Cyprus – Digital Nomad Visa Scheme
- Czech Republic – Živnostenský (freelancer) visa
- Dominica – Work in Nature
- Ecuador – Nomad Visa (rentista visa)
- Estonia – Digital Nomad Visa
- Georgia – Remotely from Georgia
- Greece – Greece Digital Nomad Visa
- Hungary – White Card
- Iceland – Long-term visa for remote workers
- Indonesia – B211A visa (see below)
- Latvia – Long stay visa for remote work
- Malaysia – DE Rantau Nomad Pass
- Malta – Nomad Residence Permit
- Mauritius – Premium Visa
- Mexico – Temporary Resident Visa
- Montserrat – Remote Workers Stamp
- Namibia – Digital Nomad Visa
- Norway – Residence permit for independent contractors
- Panama – Short stay visa for remote workers
- Portugal – Residency (D8) visa for digital nomads
- Romania – Digital nomad visa
- Seychelles – Workcation Visitor Permit
- St Lucia (British overseas territory) – Non-Immigrant Visa
- Taiwan – Gold Card
- United Arab Emirates – Dubai virtual working programme
You can click on any of the links above for more information about the digital nomad visas, remote worker visas or residence permits offered by each country.
Interactive map of countries offering digital nomad visas to Australians
Summary of key digital nomad visa information by country
This table contains a summary of digital nomad visas available to Australian citizens, in alphabetical order by country.
|Country||Visa duration||Able to renew?||Visa fee||Minimum annual income|
|Anguilla||1 year||USD2,000 (~AUD2,700)||N/A|
|Antigua & Barbuda||2 years||Yes||USD1,500 (~AUD2,000)||USD50,000 (~AUD69,000)|
|Barbados||1 year||Yes||USD2,000 (~AUD2,700)||USD50,000 (~AUD69,000)|
|Belize||6 months||BZD500 (~AUD365)||USD75,000 (~AUD111,000)|
|Bermuda||1 year||Yes||USD263 (~AUD350)||N/A|
|Brazil||1 year||Yes||Approx. USD100 (~AUD134)||USD18,000 (~AUD26,750)|
|Cayman Islands||2 years||USD1,469 (~AUD1,970) + 7% credit card fee||USD100,000 (~AUD134,000)|
|Colombia||2 years||Approx. USD52 + USD170 (~AUD324)||USD10,800 (~AUD15,100)|
|Costa Rica||2 years||USD250 (~AUD335)||USD60,000 (~AUD80,400)|
|Croatia||1 year||HRK640 (~AUD135)||HRK202,890 (~AUD43,000)|
|Curaçao||6 months||Yes||AUG535 (~AUD410)||N/A|
|Cyprus||1 year||Yes (up to 2 more years)||EUR70 + EUR70 registration fee (~AUD208 total)||EUR42,000 (~AUD62,500) after tax|
|Czech Republic||1 year||Yes||EUR100 (~AUD159) + CZK1,800 (~AUD111) monthly taxes||EUR5,587 (~AUD8,900) in savings|
|Dominica||18 months||USD900 (~AUD1,250)||USD50,000 (~AUD69,000)|
|Ecuador||2 years||USD450 (~AUD670)||USD15,300 (~AUD22,750)|
|Estonia||1 year||EUR100 (~AUD159)||EUR42,048 (~AUD66,800)|
|Georgia||1 year||Free||USD24,000 (~AUD32,150)|
|Greece||2 years||Yes||EUR75 (~AUD||EUR42,000 (~AUD62,500) after tax|
|Hungary||1 year||Yes (up to 2 years)||HUF39,000/EUR110 (~AUD172)||EUR24,000 (~AUD37,850)|
|Iceland||6 months||Must wait 12 months||ISK7,800 (~AUD85)||ISK12,000,000 (~AUD130,300)|
|Indonesia||6 months||IDR6,000,000 (~AUD610)||N/A (proof of USD2,000 in savings required)|
|Latvia||1 year||Yes||EUR60 (~AUD90)||Approx. EUR38,310 (~AUD57,000)|
|Malaysia||1 year||Yes (up to 2 years)||MYR1,000 (~AUD335)||USD24,000 (~AUD37,000)|
|Malta||1 year||Yes (up to 3 years)||EUR300 (~AUD470)||EUR32,400 (~AUD51,100)|
|Mexico||1 year||Yes (for 3 years)||CAD56 (~AUD60)||CAD32,640 (~AUD35,000)|
|Montserrat||1 year||Yes||USD500 (~AUD670)||USD70,000 (~AUD93,760)|
|Namibia||6 months||USD124/NAD2,200 (~AUD173)||USD24,000 (~AUD33,500)|
|Norway||2 years||EUR600 (~AUD950)||EUR35,719 (~AUD56,750)|
|Panama||9 months||Yes (up to 18 months)||PAB300/USD300 (~AUD417)||USD36,000 (~AUD50,000)|
|Portugal||4 months||Within first 4 months, you apply for a longer-term residency permit||EUR90 (~AUD138)||EUR33,840
|Romania||1 year||EUR120 (~AUD190)||~LEI219,420
|Seychelles||1 year||EUR45 (~AUD73)||N/A|
|St Lucia||1 year||XCD175 (~AUD90)||N/A|
|Taiwan||1-3 years||Yes||TWD3,700 (~AUD185)||N/A|
|United Arab Emirates||1 year||Yes||USD611 (~AUD820)||USD60,000 (~AUD80,400)|
There are a few other countries that also offer remote worker visas to people from specific countries, but not to Australians. For example, Cabo Verde’s Remote Working Program is available only to people from Europe, North America, Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) or Economic Community of West African States (CEDEAO).
Countries planning to introduce digital nomad visas in the future
The Indonesian government announced in 2021 that it is planning to introduce digital nomad visas in the near future. Under this program, it will be possible to live in Bali for up to 5 years and not pay local income tax, provided your income is derived entirely from outside of Indonesia.
The Indonesian government has not introduced this yet, but did announce in September 2022 that digital nomads are now officially allowed to work remotely from Bali for up to 180 days using the existing B211A visa in the meantime.
Thailand, too, is planning to reinvent its “Smart Visa” program to allow freelancers and digital nomads to live and work remotely in Thailand for up to 4 years.
Other countries that have announced or are currently implementing digital nomad visa programs include Spain, Sri Lanka, Italy, North Macedonia, Argentina, Montenegro and South Africa. The Indian state of Goa is also considering this.
5 thoughts on “Digital Nomad Visa Guide for Australians”
Such a fantastic article Matt! It’s great to finally see the digital nomad visas available to Australians in one easy-to-use place. I’ve shared this already with a few people.
Once we fully open our border again, I’ll be keeping a close eye on how many online English teachers start taking advantage of these on my site [teachenglishonline.com.au] and in my community. Many, I think!
Love to see what business structure you would advise setting up in Australia to do this. I’ve learnt that While Australia is remote working friendly, it is not “digital nomad” friendly. What I mean by this is that setting up some sort of business ties you down the residency in Australia – You need to be able to have an Australian address at all times. You can set up a business entity and then get a permanent residence overseas.
The Sole trader you can actually reside overseas (But you’ll have to pay the australian non resident tax rates) but it’s not suitable for everyone because if you contract through a sole trader, the ATO classes you as an “employee” if you do work paid monthly etc and that’s not allowed on the sole trader. You can’t usually work for an employer, you normally have to be paid for a result and not a fixed rate per month or rate per hours kind of arrangement.
Then if you have a private company limited by shares, one of the directors must reside in Australia. The only way out is to get an Australian resident director so they can control the business back home in Australia while you update your address to your overseas address. The company address also has to be an australian street address and you can’t use a post office box. Thankfully you can use a virtual office to get out of this problem at least as the registered office.
So you see, it looks like you can zip over temporary while maintaining a property or rent back home, but you can’t move there for long periods, unless your a sole trader or you want to hire a director for your company.
Hi Chris, these are all interesting points. Unfortunately, I can’t give you advice on this kind of thing as I’m not an accountant. I would recommend talking to a good accountant about this.
Hello Matt I am French and I am wondering if you think Australia will be open to open at digital nomad visa soon ? Thanks
I haven’t heard anything yet, but have you looked to see if you might qualify for another type of visa?
Personally I can’t see Australia offering something like this within the next year or two (although I absolutely think they should!).