During the pandemic, the rise of remote work visas—also called digital nomad visas—allowed anyone with a flexible remote job to not just work from home, but work from anywhere. A digital nomad is someone who travels outside their and their employer’s home country, while reporting into work remotely. These individuals are able to legally live and work in other countries through the use of digital nomad visas, rather than going through the hassle of immigration and applying for official residency. Typically, you can stay longer in a country with the digital nomad visas than you’d be able to with a traditional tourist visa.
But how feasible is it really to live as a digital nomad? Here’s how you can calculate whether you can afford to be a digital nomad in any of the many countries currently offering remote work visas.
Can you afford to be a digital nomad?
With a tourist visa, you can typically stay in a country between 30 and 90 days. With a digital nomad visa, you’re usually set for a yearlong stay. Around 49 regions accommodate digital nomads, including popular destinations like Space, Greece, Columbia, and South Africa.
If you’re curious about whether or not the digital nomad lifestyle is within your budget, the travel bloggers behind Goats on the Road created their own Digital Nomad Visa Calculator. To use the calculator, all you need to do is input your salary, and you’ll be shown which countries you can afford to live in based on each country’s visa requirements.
I tried it out myself, entering an annual salary of $63,000 and discovering 38 countries whose digital nomad visa monthly income requests I qualified for. When I lowered the sample salary to $20,000, my list shrank to 16 possible countries. For instance, Spain (one of the latest countries to release its digital nomad visa) has a monthly earning stipulation of $2,221.77; the option was available to me with the higher salary, but not the lower. For Colombia, however, the monthly earning stipulation is $684, and it remains an option even for digital nomads with an annual salary of $10,000.
If you’re serious about living on a digital nomad visa, it’s crucial to meet the minimum income requirements in your country of choice. From there, you can explore each destination’s cost-of-living, so you can make the most of living and working around the world as a digital nomad.