Lonely Planet Writer

Estonia plans to introduce a visa to allow digital nomads work for a year

As working remotely becomes an increasingly popular option for people who want to travel the world while keeping a steady job, Estonia is courting travellers with plans for a digital nomad visa.

A digital nomad visa programme in Estonia could let you work and travel. Image by Tom Werner/Getty Images

The European country has already become a hub for tech careers, and even runs an “e-Residency” program that allows entrepreneurs around the world to access Estonian government digital services and start a business within the European Union. Now, the country plans to create a new visa that will allow people from outside Estonia to come and work and travel in the country for 365 days. Estonia’s EU membership also means that the digital nomads would have 90 days to travel in the Schengen Area of Europe, the 26 EU member states with a common visa policy.

Tallinn, Estonia has already become the centre of many tech companies. Image by ©KavalenkavaVolha/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Digital nomads are workers who can do most of their work online, leaving them free to work from any location. The new plans from the Estonia government will be created along with Jobbatical, a company that helps connect people with jobs around the world. The company surveyed members and found visas were generally considered the biggest barrier and that four out of five digital nomads say they would like to work in a new country each year.

Viru bogs at Lahemaa national park in autumn in Estonia. Image by ©Anna Grigorjeva/Shutterstock

At this point, who exactly will be considered a digital nomad and how the visa process will work has not yet been defined. Killu Vantsia legal migration adviser at the Estonian Ministry of the Interior, said in a statement: “The exact scope of possible applicants, as well as the criteria for obtaining such a visa are currently being studied. Though we are still in preparatory phase and it is too early to say how the visa will work in practice, the main idea would be that location-independent mobile workers could obtain a visa for travelling and working in Estonia for up to 12 months”.

But, if you can’t wait to get started on your life of work and travel, learn what you need to know about the digital nomad lifestyle here.