Are you a hardworking side hustler with a love of travel? Or a recent grad who’s looking to see the world while embracing a non-traditional career path right from the get-go? If so, Estonia’s forthcoming digital nomad visa might be just the ticket to making your remote work, independent career, or entrepreneurial dreams come true.
Announced earlier this year by the Estonian Ministry of the Interior in partnership with the international job search site Jobbatical, the new visa offers a glimpse into what the future of work could look like. While there are heaps of challenges for digital nomads or online workers who want to stay in a country for an extended period of time right now, the new Estonian visa aims to cut out the administrative hurdles while making it much easier for a person to remain in a single spot longer-term — without needing to become a permanent resident. According to an article on Quartz, Karoli Hindriks (the Estonian co-founder and CEO of Jobbatical) collaborated with the Estonian government in the hopes of making it easier for people to work abroad. “In terms of the future of work we are all navigating, there is no policy to support the new ways of working,” Hindriks said.
Estonia (formerly part of the Soviet Union) already has a lot to offer. Nestled in Northern Europe, it boasts beautiful coasts and more than 1,500 islands. Tallinn, the well-preserved capital, has become an Instagram favorite with its charming Old Town section, galleries and museums, picturesque streets, and Tallinn TV Tower and observation deck. In terms of tech, the country has become one of the world’s most forward-thinking digital nations — it was the first country to host elections over the internet in 2005, and in 2014, became the first to offer e-Residency, a program that provides a government-issued digital ID to non-Estonians that enables them to start and run a global business in a trusted EU environment.
The innovative country’s digital visa news is exciting for a tremendous amount of savvy indie workers (the Quartz article cites the estimated number of digital nomads to be in the high hundred thousands to just over a million) who have hit lower-cost locales abroad and hopped from country to country while enjoying a fabulous work/life balance as they see the world. According to Quartz, “Nomads who obtain the visa will be able to legally reside in Estonia for a full 365 days and will also be entitled to a Schengen visa, which allows them to visit member countries for up to 90 days.” Potential digital nomad visa holders won’t be expected to pay taxes to their temporary country but instead to their country of permanent residence. Hindriks also told Quartz that Estonia may even consider helpful packages for digital nomads in the future, which could include healthcare or other important public services during their length of stay. Naturally, Estonia itself already offers some of the world’s best healthcare, as well as free education.
Does this new visa sound like a dream come true? You may as well start planning and plotting; Estonia’s digital nomad visa is expected to launch as early as 2019.
Do you hope to live and work abroad? Tell us which countries are on your radar on Twitter @BritandCo.
(Photo via Getty)