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Estonia launches digital nomad visa - first in the EU

12 Aug 2020

The Republic of Estonia recently launched Estonia 's Digital Nomad Visa (DNV), in conjunction with e-Residency.

Authorized by the Estonian parliament on June 3rd 2020, the visa will be available to citizens around the world who wish to take advantage of a 12-month stay in Estonia with the possibility of extending it to support their working and living arrangements worldwide.

Given that there are currently nearly 5 million digital nomads in the world, with predictions suggesting a billion digital nomads worldwide by 2035, the digital nomad visa is hugely relevant to the current climate, with remote work and borderless work becoming the norm in light of COVID-19.

Siim Sikkut, the Estonian government's CIO, comments: "If the global pandemic has taught society anything about the nature of work, it is because people value their work-life balance, and above all else desire freedom and security. Estonia is offering the first EU Digital Nomad Visa to
meet the evolving needs of workers and freelancers, who are increasingly choosing to become independent locations in this current economic environment.

"We hope to encourage more companies to provide their employees with the option to work remotely, and to have Estonia, Europe's most digitally advanced nation, on their radar."

The digital nomad visa will allow individuals to stay in Estonia for up to one year, allowing them to have the freedom to work for their employer or relocate as a freelancer or business founder without applying for a residence permit.

The visa will initially be available for digital nomads who have been able to demonstrate a monthly income of over £3000 (gross) over the last six months.

"The main objective of the Digital Nomad Visa program is to promote Estonia as a digital society and attract innovative and creative people from all over the world," says Ruth Annus, Head of Citizenship and Migration Policy Department at the Estonian Ministry of Interior.

The Estonian government, as long-standing supporters of borderless work, has generated hundreds of millions in revenue for the small Baltic nation by allowing businesses to be established virtually with e-residency.

Now, following its departure from the European Union, this latest development will take Estonia's business model to the next level and act as a channel for maintaining positive relations with the UK.