With the newly launched Digital Nomad Visa (DNV), Estonia is ticking all the right boxes for the digital nomads, freelancers and entrepreneurs around the world. The DNV program lets you legally live and work (virtually) in Estonia for up to a year. Digital nomads unfortunately often break the law without realizing it by working while on tourist visas. While governments have no way of knowing this, it is still technically a violation of the tourist visa.
If you’re looking up flights to Estonia right now you should be aware that there is no connection between a digital nomad visa and a permanent residency. The approval of a digital nomad visa does not make anyone a candidate for a permanent residency and it also does not grant any special benefit in any other potential status change. There is a bright side to this as Estonia is a Schengen area member country, which allows you to freely travel to any other Schengen country on your Digital Nomad Visa.
The DNV is not the only thing that Estonia is promoting to digital nomads. They have also had an e-Residency program for years which grants recipients a digital ID that allows them to use Estonian private sector and public sector resources and start a legitimate virtual EU company and declare Estonian taxes online. It’s been a game changer for many entrepreneurs around the world. Anyone, with any passport can apply to become a digital resident of Estonia and experience the benefits of running a company “based” in the EU. Even former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is an Estonian e-resident.
A lot of other countries are trying to attract the millennial digital nomads who are generating enough money for themselves and their local economy. Although countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, Portugal and Czech Republic visa programs similar to Estonia’s DNV, the alternatives are mostly for freelancers exclusively. This Digital Nomad Visa not only includes the freelancers but also includes several other kinds of professionals who earn their living digitally, creating a very large pool of potential migrants. It will be interesting to see if Estonia begins a wave of change that other countries follow once tourism and business travel returns to normal levels. To apply for the digital nomad visa, follow this link.