The digital nomad lifestyle is more than just a trend, it’s a new way of working that is here to stay. Hundreds of thousands of people are living freely, roaming around the world, working from all sorts of amazing destinations. It may sound like a dream but in fact many countries are developing ways to attract this remote workforce.
Perhaps you’ve already taken the plunge and are traveling around, to all kinds of exotic places. If this is the case, you already know that dealing with the legalities of moving to a new country can be confusing and difficult.
I know it because I’ve been there myself. I desperately wanted to move to locations like New Zealand, Denmark, Canada, Spain, and yes — even Estonia. With its rich history, temperate climate, and remarkable architecture, Estonia has been on my shortlist for a while.
However, until recently, it was impossible to apply for the long-term visa without a job in Estonia. When I discovered this was the case, I stopped looking and gave up trying to be a digital nomad in Estonia.
Earlier this year, Jobbatical, with the help and support of the digital nomad community, met with Estonia’s Ministry of the Interior and other stakeholders (including e-Residency, Remote Year, and WiFlyNomads) to discuss the creation of the world’s first digital nomad visa.
Fast-forward to now. Estonia, a tech-driven country and the birthplace of Skype, is expected to roll out it’s Digital Nomad Visa in 2019 and has nomads worldwide rejoicing. While the overall visa process will remain similar, the country’s new Digital Nomad Visa allows individuals to reside and work remotely in Estonia long-term.
The country plans to issue around 1,400 Digital Nomad Visas, though it is possible even more will flock to cities like Tallinn as company representatives look for business-savvy entrepreneurs and talent for their own workforces. Either way, the sheer number of digital nomads who will spend time in Estonia on account of this visa will will provide a huge boost to the local economy.
When you’re a digital nomad, you don’t take up a local job — but you do spend your money in the country on goods and services. A resident who spends but doesn’t cost the country makes a lot sense for an economy. For this reason, if all goes well, the Digital Nomad Visa might just catch on and be available worldwide sooner than expected.
Thanks to the work of Jobbatical and it’s partners, this visa will allow digital nomads to legally stay in Estonia for a full 365 days. It will also give access to a 90-day Schengen visa that allows for travel in Schengen-member countries (there are 28 European member countries).
Estonia’s Digital Nomad Visa is a big deal in the world of temporary immigration. With Estonia’s visa option and the continuing rise of nomadic culture, it is likely you will see other countries begin working toward their own version in the next few years.
So, don’t give up on your dreams of traveling the world just yet. If you’re already a location independent worker, add Estonia to your list for 2019.
Before you apply for your digital nomad visa, you’ll need nab a remote gig — Jobbatical can help with that. Also, don’t forget to get travel insurance through niche providers like SafetyWing. Many digital nomads forget this crucial step.