Estonia’s government has approved the amendments to the Alien Act to allow the creation of a digital nomad visa, making the country one of the first countries in the world to establish such a visa.
According to Estonia’s Ministry of Interior, a digital nomad visa allows internationals who are engaged in jobs independent of location and time, mostly in the field of technology, finance or marketing, to work in Estonia.
The Ministry also explains that this kind of visa will be granted for both short-term and long-term stay intentions.
“A digital nomads visa strengthens Estonia’s image as an e-state and thus enables Estonia to have a more effective say on an international scale. It also contributes to the export of Estonian e-solutions, which is especially important in recovering from the current economic crisis,” Estonia’s Prime Minister Mart Helme pointed out.
According to minister Helme, the general conditions for issuing visas apply when issuing a digital nomad visa, noting that minimizing the risks of misuse was also taken into account when developing the changes. He stressed that “by default, no digital nomad is entitled to a visa and their background is checked as carefully as for other visa applicants”.
According to Estonia’s government, the Digital Nomad Visa Program will be implemented gradually. The first stage will include internationals who can prove that they are digital nomads, and they will be eligible to apply for a visa.
“In the future, solutions are being developed that will enable the integration of other Estonian e-government solutions, especially e-residency, with the digital nomad visa. The program offered by a reliable service provider is planned in the future,” Estonia’s Ministry of the Interior announced.
Nearly 1,800 persons per year could be eligible to apply for a digital nomad visa, according to preliminary estimates mentioned by the Ministry of the Interior of Estonia.
The Baltic country and EU member is the latest in a handful of countries to create a “digital nomad visa” in the hopes of attracting remote workers to live — and, of course, spend money — inside their borders. The upside for Estonia is a potential influx of newcomers who will spend their hard-earned euros and help the local economy, without taking jobs from native citizens.
As for now, countries that offer visas for digital nomads are Germany, Estonia, Costa Rica, Norway, Mexico, Portugal and the Czech Republic.
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