Best Digital Nomad Residency Options:
Securing temporary or permanent residency in a foreign country provides so many benefits for digital nomads, including the freedom to travel, explore new cultures, and potentially lower your taxes. As a resident of another country, you have the ability to access healthcare, establish businesses, and buy property, even when borders are closed for other foreigners.
Each country offers various pathways to residency like demonstrating economic solvency, owning property, or making an investment. After a couple of years, many temporary residencies can be upgraded to permanent ones, allowing you lifelong stay rights and possibly leading to citizenship.
If you’re considering acquiring an additional residency, I have identified five straightforward residencies to achieve. Obviously, the options presented just provide a snapshot of some popular methods, whether through purchasing real estate, showing financial independence, or establishing a business.
I love Portugal so much I’m about to spend another 6 weeks here (road trip blog pending!) This amazing country has so many appealing features, including affordable living costs, welcoming people, and endless coastline, which makes it one of the most desirable places in the world for digital nomads to live.
Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, is turning into a hub for entrepreneurship. If you fancy European culture, unrestricted access to the Schengen area, and a balance of work and recreation, Portugal might be just right digital nomad residency for you.
Among Portugal’s various visas, the D7 visa is designed for financially independent individuals and is one of the most straightforward and prevalent. It’s also known as the Retirement or Passive Income Visa, granted to those whose income surpasses the average Portuguese salary of 760€ (in 2023).
Obtaining the D7 visa simply requires you to live in Portugal for a minimum of 183 continuous days yearly or 8 months spread throughout the year. You also need to secure accommodation in the country, with no minimum price set.
The visa is valid for a year, renewable for successive periods of 2 years, and can be converted to a permanent residence permit after 5 years.
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After spending over a month in Ecuador, I can confirm that it’s got stunning beaches, a fabulous climate, and is an enchanting gateway to the Amazon rainforest and awe-inspiring Andes. With the highest biodiversity per square kilometre worldwide, Ecuador stands as an unrivalled natural paradise and one of the most popular places in the world for digital nomads to live.
Its capital, Quito, is home to an array of colonial architectures and a vibrant mix of people from diverse backgrounds, making it well worth exploring. Ecuador’s excellent health care and welcoming residents also make it an attractive destination for remote workers and digital nomads to secure residency.
For those seeking to invest in the country, Ecuador offers a clear and viable path to residency. With an investment of 45,000 USD, investors can secure a temporary residency permit for 2 years, which can either be renewed or used to apply for permanent residency. After living in the country for 3 years, investors become eligible for Ecuadorian citizenship.
Securing temporary residency in Ecuador via investment requires the individual to demonstrate a 45,000 USD investment in the country, potentially in real estate or business ventures. Another lucrative option is investing in an Ecuadorian COOP CD, offering annual returns of 6% to 8%. Family members can join without additional investment or income prerequisites. The process requires an apostilled police report and birth certificate not older than six months.
Once temporary residency is secured, unrestricted travel in and out of the country is permitted. The temporary permit can be renewed or used to apply for permanent residency after two years, granted the individual did not stay out of Ecuador for more than 90 days in total during the temporary resident visa period of 21 months.
Once permanent residency is achieved, you must stay in Ecuador for at least 180 days each year for the first two years. After that, leaving the country for up to two years is permissible while keeping the permanent residency active.
After 3 years of permanent residency, application for citizenship is possible, provided you did not stay out of Ecuador for more than 180 days per year during this period.
Visa costs are around 400 USD, with additional costs for hiring an immigration lawyer or visa specialist.
This breathtaking Balkan nation boasts extraordinary natural landscapes, affordable living conditions, and a pro-business environment. With no less than 117 beaches and a captivating mountainous landscape, Montenegro is a must-visit destination for tourists and one of the most desirable places in the world for digital nomads to secure residency. The local population is known for its friendliness and hospitality, contributing to a laid-back lifestyle.
In Montenegro, temporary residency can be obtained by forming a company. This permit lasts for a year and can be renewed annually. After five years, permanent residency becomes a possibility.
Achieving temporary residency in Montenegro through company formation involves starting a business in the country. All employees must be paid at least the national minimum salary of 450 EUR per month, with an additional 120 EUR paid in employment taxes and social contributions.
Company registration can be done either locally or from abroad with legal assistance, and the process usually takes between 15 and 20 days. Once the company is set up, you must become its director, necessitating a work permit from the Employment Agency. A one-year lease on an apartment is also required.
Temporary resident permit application follows, typically processed within two weeks, leading to a total process time of about 6-8 weeks.
An attractive feature of this route to temporary residency is the lack of time limit on how long the company’s executive director or their spouse and dependent children can stay outside the country. For this reason it has become a popular residency option for digital nomads and their loved ones.
Permanent residency can be pursued after five years of temporary residency, and the cost for the application process, typically facilitated by a lawyer or immigration agency, ranges between 500 and 1,000 EUR.
Mexico is one of the best places in the world for digital nomads to live due to its vibrant cities, stable internet infrastructure, and fast-growing economy. Not to mention its straightforward process of gaining residency.
The number of Americans who secured a Mexican temporary residency has increased by 75% in recent years, with Mexico now hosting 1.6 million US citizens. Furthermore, over 1,000 citizens from various countries like Spain, France, Germany, China, India, and Japan received temporary residency permits in 2022.
Mexico provides several temporary residency visas, valid for 1, 2, 3, or 4 years. The simplest visa to acquire is a temporary residency visa based on economic solvency. You initially receive temporary residency for 1 year, extendable for another 3 years. After 4 years on a temporary residency permit, you and your dependents can apply for permanent residency.
Life in Mexico can be highly affordable. Cities like Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Playa Del Carmen offer cost-effective living, with access to a variety of co-working spaces, picturesque locations, and a thriving community of fellow digital nomads. The country also has a reliable healthcare system, ensuring your health needs are covered.
Often overlooked in favour of its more famous neighbours, Paraguay is a hidden gem in South America for digital nomads and remote workers. Known for its tranquility, this land-locked country offers a serene environment for focused work coupled with an adventurous lifestyle.
Paraguay is also one of the most affordable countries in the region, which can translate into an improved lifestyle or higher savings, making it a truly awesome place for digital nomads to secure residency, especially if your finances are more limited. Asuncion, the capital, presents a variety of co-working spaces, vibrant nightlife, and a relaxed pace of life.
One of the strongest selling points for Paraguay is its straightforward and affordable residency program, which allows for living, working, studying, and enjoying tax benefits, all without having to permanently reside in the country. This makes Paraguay one of the best (and most underrated) residency options for digital nomads.
The investment for residency is relatively low, and Paraguay, a stable country and MERCOSUR member, boasts impressive GDP growth rates.
You can secure Paraguayan permanent residency via various routes: investing in a business (minimum $70,000 over 10 years), retirement (monthly retirement income of at least $1,022), or bank deposit (minimum $4,500). After three years of residency, meeting certain requirements, and understanding Spanish and Paraguay’s history, you can apply for citizenship.
Paraguay citizenship grants visa-free travel to over 130 countries and makes it easier to secure a US employment visa. You can also settle in any MERCOSUR country.
In the MERCOSUR, Paraguay stands out with its tax benefits. The foreigners who live in Paraguay only pay personal income tax on income earned in the country. The majority of the citizens and residents do not have to pay income tax because their annual income does not exceed the tax-friendly minimal threshold. Residents begin paying income tax when they earn at least $22,500 in Paraguay.
I hope this blog post on the best places in the world for digital nomad to secure residency has given you food for thought. If you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments below! 🌐🌐🌐
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Disclaimer: While I strive to provide accurate and helpful information on a wide range of topics, it is essential to note that I am not a tax specialist. I do not hold myself out to be a tax advisor. My knowledge is based on my experience, general principles and concepts, and the information provided should not be considered as specific tax advice tailored to your unique circumstances. For personalised guidance on tax-related matters, it is always best to consult with a certified tax expert or professional who can assess your individual situation and offer the most relevant and up-to-date recommendations. Remember, proper tax planning and adherence to tax laws are crucial for financial stability and compliance, so seeking expert advice is a wise decision.