Visas for digital nomads now offered in nearly half of world: UN agency

Forty-seven per cent of all global destinations offer visas for up to one year, and 2 in 5 exempt these working travellers from taxes

By WAM

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AFP file photo
AFP file photo

Published: Wed 8 Nov 2023, 8:04 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Nov 2023, 8:06 PM

Digital nomads — or people who travel while working remotely — can enjoy the sights and sounds of nearly half of the world as they embrace their new-age lifestyle, a new study revealed.

The number of destinations offering digital nomad visas (DNVs) has risen significantly over recent years, with almost half now offering visas for at least one year.

According to a new analysis by the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) covering 54 destinations, the rise in DNVs has gone hand in hand with an increase in digital nomads, with destinations in all regions working to meet the market trend.

The UNWTO brief examined DNV programmes in seven areas: Application process; duration of visa; taxation; insurance; accommodation; minimum income requirements; and criminal records check. It looks at the background and current state of digital nomadism trends and provides an analysis of existing DNVs worldwide in five regions.

Here are the key findings:

  • 47% of destinations offer visas for up to one year
  • 39% of destinations exempt digital nomads from tax payments
  • 17% of destinations do not have minimum income requirements
  • 76% of destinations have online applications for DNV programmes
  • 80% of destinations process applications within one-month period
  • Only 6% of destinations have no visa fees for applications

A DNV allows individuals to live and work in a foreign country while maintaining employment or conducting freelance work for employers or clients in their home or another country.

With this visa, digital nomads can continue their professional pursuits while embracing the opportunity to immerse themselves in the host destination's unique lifestyle in line with much of the trends of the future of work. Furthermore, destinations use DNV to attract professionals from creative and technology areas to stimulate these areas nationally.

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