Remote work opportunities are on the rise and working professionals with a bit of wanderlust in them can take full advantage. Feel like drafting your next business proposal on an Italian beach? Or how about doing some coding in a Parisian cafe? How about doing both in the same week? If you love to travel and your work life is portable, the digital nomad lifestyle might be perfect for you. Before you can make your workation dreams a reality, though, you need to make sure you have proper health insurance that will protect you as you country hop.
What is the Best Health Insurance for Digital Nomads?
The answer comes down to length of stay, level of activity involved and whether or not the country you’re visiting has certain travel insurance restrictions digital nomads have to meet. Here’s a round-up of coverage options for each type of digital nomad.
Digital nomads traveling for over a year
If you’re planning on leaving your home country for an extended period of time (over a year) international travel medical insurance is the best option for you. This isn’t the same as travel medical insurance, which usually only provides coverage for unexpected medical incidents. Instead, international travel insurance acts similarly to domestic healthcare.
This insurance provides worldwide coverage that includes preventative care, maternity care, and other benefits that may not be covered by travel medical insurance. While the price tag might be a bit higher for this type of insurance than for more limited coverage plans, it provides the best all-around coverage, and helps ensure that your time abroad will be as memorable as possible.
Digital nomads traveling under a year of travel
While international travel insurance provides the most extensive coverage, it might not be preferable if you’re leaving your home country for a shorter stint of time. In the case of traveling for less than a year, international travel insurance may be the best option for you.
This type of insurance provides you with coverage for expenses incurred due to illnesses or injuries during your travels, emergency evacuation, trip interruption or cancellation, loss of passport of wallet, misplaced luggage, assistance in the event of a natural disaster, repatriation benefits, and many other potential risks that could spoil your time abroad.
Not only does travel insurance for digital nomads provide comprehensive coverage, but it may include specific coverage for Covid. Depending on the country, there will be certain restrictions and requirements you’ll have to meet.
Travel insurance for adventure-seeking digital nomads
In addition to your travel insurance plan, there are certain circumstances that may warrant an additional add-on or added benefit. Think about exactly how you want to spend your time abroad, what kind of activities you’re anticipating participating in, and how flexible you want your travel plans to be.
Adventure Sports Coverage: If you're hoping to participate in adrenaline-inducing activities while on your trip abroad, this add-on coverage is perfect for you. While traditional trip insurance covers you for emergencies, it may not cover you for specific high-intensity activities, such as skiing, rock climbing, ziplining, snorkeling, kayaking, and more. Purchasing this insurance provides coverage in the event of any unexpected mishaps related to adventure sports.
Travel insurance requirements for digital nomads
Depending on the countries you’re in, there may be specific requirements your travel medical insurance must meet. While many countries encourage digital nomads as they boost tourism, they also want to make sure you have the financial protection you need if you sustain an injury or contract an illness while in the country. Check the country requirements to verify whether they require travel medical insurance and if so what the coverage specifications are. Certain countries may offer visas for digital nomads. These visas might require the applicant to have specific travel medical insurance. However, visa requirements vary from country to country so it’s best to contact the government offices of the country you’re curious about.
What is a Digital Nomad Visa?
This type of visa typically requires you to work for an employer located outside of the country or run your own remote business. The best part is, you have the freedom to work remotely from anywhere! So, if you have a job that can be done remotely, this could be your chance to explore a new country and immerse yourself in a brand new culture while maintaining your career!
The traditional tourist visa usually expires after 30-90 days, and even then, it’s technically illegal to perform work while on these visas. What do you do if you want to stay in the countries on your digital nomad itinerary for longer periods of time?
Because of this global increase of remote workers, coupled with the potential for visitors to boost post-COVID-19 economies, many countries are responding by enacting visas for digital nomads.
Destination Inspiration for Digital Nomads
With numerous beaches and surfing spots, beautiful wildlife, and a carefree, laid-back vibe, a number of digital nomads are choosing to base themselves in Costa Rica. Currently, the available visa is called the Rentista, and allows freelancers to stay in the country for up to two years. Take note, however, that this visa only applies to individuals who are either self-employed or work as freelancers. If you’re an employee for another company (one that is based outside of Costa Rica), this visa doesn’t apply to you.
To qualify for this visa, individuals must pay a $250 visa fee and prove an income of at least $2,500 a month, or make a $60,000 deposit into a Costa Rican bank account. It’s highly recommended that you hire an immigration lawyer to assist with this process, since all documents need to be translated into Spanish.
We’re not talking about the peach state in the U.S. This Georgia is an Eastern European country located near Armenia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. With warm weather, cheap housing, high security and reliable WiFi, digital nomads have been flocking to this country recently.
To help stimulate the economy, Georgia has recently offered a digital nomad visa called Remotely from Georgia. Some of the basic conditions for this visa? You either own a remote business or work for a company outside of Georgia, must earn at least $2,000 a month and need to obtain your own travel insurance that is valid for six months.
A number of countries with digital nomad visas are located in or around the Caribbean, and it’s easy to guess why. Bermuda, with its laid-back atmosphere and array of colorful islands, is the perfect place to live out your fantasy of working on the beach. Their “Work from Bermuda” digital nomad visa allows both digital nomads and remote workers to stay and live in the country for up to a year. This visa is aimed at individuals who are location-independent and normally work from home, but are looking for a tropical change of scenery.
To apply, you have to be over the age of 18, demonstrate good character, possess valid health insurance, demonstrate either student status or employment with a legitimate company, and demonstrate sufficient means and/or continuous income. There is no specific income requirement for Bermuda, which makes it easier for digital nomads to qualify for this visa.
Although Bali ranks as one of the most appealing locales for digital nomads. It’s recently launched the Second Home Visa which allows visitors like digital nomads to stay for up to five years provided they meet specific requirements. If you’re fortunate to meet all the necessary requirements, you’ll find that with inexpensive housing and food, your money can go a lot further than it would in many other locations.
Most nationalities can enter Indonesia without a visa for stays up to 30 days. However, if you plan to stay longer, your best bet is to get a 30-day visa upon arrival at the airport for $35. This visa is extendable once for another 30 days, which brings your stay to a maximum of two months. Once the two months are over, you can go on a visa run, meaning you’d leave the country’s borders and then return to restart your time in-country.
Digital Nomad Visas for Permanent Stay
One of the best things about being a digital nomad is that you get to explore and experience the world while you work. In the best case scenario you may love a country so much you want to make it permanent. The good news for digital nomads that want to give up the digital nomad lifestyle and stay put in a new home country is that there are a number of countries that offer visas that help you do exactly that.
Portugal digital nomad visa for permanent residency
Portugal has introduced a brand new visa that offers permanent residency, making it one of the most sought-after destinations in Europe. With a minimum monthly income of $2,750, you can now live your best life in Portugal and enjoy all the benefits of the digital nomad lifestyle.
The initial visa allows you to stay in this beautiful country for four months, but that's not all! If you sign a lease or purchase a property during this time, you can apply for a two-year residence visa, giving you even more time to explore and experience the Portuguese way of life.
And the best part? You can extend your residence permit for up to three more years, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in Portuguese culture. After five years of legal residence, you can even apply for permanent residency and become a Portuguese citizen! Just remember to brush up on your language skills and pass the citizenship test. So, what are you waiting for? Portugal is calling your name!
Armenia digital nomad visa for permanent residency
Armenia offers a fantastic visa program that grants temporary or permanent residency to those who register a business there. This business can be similar to a sole proprietorship or LLC, allowing you to continue working with clients from all over the world. And the best part? While you'll need to pay corporate income tax in Armenia, the tax rates are totally reasonable.
The best part of this visa? There's no minimum residency requirement, meaning you can easily change your lifestyle and business to match your needs. Plus, after just three years of residency, you can apply for citizenship and obtain an Armenian passport. And that's not all! Family reunification is also permitted with this visa, so you can bring your spouse and dependents along on your exciting new adventure. So what are you waiting for? Armenia is waiting for you!
Greece digital nomad visa for permanent residency
The visa is initially valid for one year. However, you can apply for a two-year residence permit if you are determined to make Greece your permanent residence and apply for permanent residency.
The residence permit is renewable if you continue to meet the criteria for a digital nomad visa. You can apply for a permanent residence permit if you have legally resided in Greece for five years.
You can become a Greek citizen if you have lived in Greece continuously for seven years, speak Greek, and pass the required citizenship tests.
Mexico digital nomad visa for permanent residency
Mexico's Temporary Resident Visa may just be the opportunity you've been looking for, even though it's not specifically geared towards digital nomads. As a digital nomad, you can obtain a one-year residence visa with the least restrictions, which can be extended for up to four years. And here's the best part: after four years of legal residence in Mexico, you can apply for permanent residency and in just five years, you can become a citizen through naturalization!
To obtain a digital nomad visa, you'll need to meet certain financial requirements, including keeping a $43,000 bank balance for 12 months, earning $2,595 every month for the last six months, and owning a property in Mexico worth more than $346,000.
Spain digital nomad visa for permanent residency
If your idea of a digital nomad lifestyle involves eating tapas in Barcelona or taking a work break to witness the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, this next sentence will be music to your ears. Early in 2023, Spain introduced a new visa specifically designed for digital nomads looking for long-term and permanent residency in the country. Provided you meet specific requirements, including earning at least twice the amount of Spain’s current minimum wage, you’ll be able to apply for a digital nomad visa that can ensure your residency in the country for up to five years. Want more information on how to make your dream of living and working in Spain a reality? Check out this page for the current information.
Croatia digital nomad visa for long-term residency
Imagine writing a blog, updating your company’s brand or editing a bit of code in a tiny hilltop town right on the Istrian peninsula. Now digital nomads like you are now welcome into Croatia under the country’s new legislation. While this is not necessarily a permanent visa, the new digital nomad visa does allow remote workers to reside in the country for a year provided they meet certain criteria and do not require a tourist visa to enter the country. Find out more about Croatia and what their digital nomad visa application process looks like here.
As the digital nomad workforce continues to grow, you can expect other countries to develop similar permanent residency visas. If you find yourself not wanting to leave the country you’re in, do a little research on what types of visas they offer. You may be surprised by what you find!