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Essential Tips for Digital Nomads Traveling in Europe

digital nomad working in a cafe
Allianz - digital nomad working in a cafe

One of the joys of freelancing or working in tech and other industries that don’t tether you to the office, is the ability to work while traveling abroad. If the idea of a long-term stay in Europe as a remote worker sounds appealing, check out these tips for working in the EU as a digital nomad.

Know the rules

While European nations are known to be very welcoming to digital nomads and eager to tap into this new market for tourism; it’s important not to overstay your welcome. Know the rules for length of stay of where you are visiting.

If you are planning a shorter stay, as a U.S. citizen, you can travel to nations in the Schengen Zone for stays of up to 90 days during any 180-day period, without a tourist visa. Starting in 2024, you will have to register with the European Travel Information and Authorization System to travel visa-free.

Know the countries

If the beauty and relatively low cost of living in the Balkan states attracts you, as it does many digital nomads, keep in mind that Croatia joined the Schengen Zone this year. By early 2024, Bulgaria and Romania are scheduled to join.

What this means for digital nomads

Many travelers from the U.S. who stay long-term in Europe reside in Bulgaria and Romania part of the year, using the nations as ‘wait zones’ until the start of a new 90-day period to enter a Schengen Zone country. Digital nomads could live in Europe and enjoy the Balkans  without having to travel back to the U.S.  until re-eligible to visit the Schengen Zone. But with the addition of Romania and Bulgaria, longer stays in Europe have the potential to be a little more complicated.

Here’s a list of both Schengen and EU nations, and the significance of each designation.

Digital Nomad Visas

If being in Europe for 90 days within half a year isn’t enough to satisfy your wanderlust, check into digital nomad visas, which allow foreign workers to stick around for terms of a year or more. Digital nomad visas differ from work visas, which require applicants to provide proof of employment by a local entity.

Each country that issues digital nomad visas has its own requirements and application process. U.S. applicants usually need a valid passport, proof of steady income, and a completed application form. Some nations allow you to apply online, while others require applications to be submitted at an embassy or consulate.

Here’s a list of  European nations that offer Digital nomad visas.

Shop around

Because each nation has different terms and application requirements for digital nomad visas, there’s a lot to consider. It’s a good idea to research the rate of broadband speed in your destination, income thresholds for visa-holders, and more. Here’s some helpful details:

For an easy day of work and play abroad

Six out of eight of the most convenient cities worldwide for remote workers are in Europe, according to Lists are based on broadband speed, cost of living, crime rates, and other factors.

The ranking is as follows:

  1. Madrid, Spain
  2. Mexico City, Mexico
  3. Prague, Czech Republic
  4. Tbilisi, Georgia
  5. Berlin, Germany
  6. Lisbon, Portugal
  7. Beijing, China
  8. Zagreb, Croatia

Your best chance at getting a digital nomad visa

As interest grows for digital nomad visas, many popular destinations such as Spain, Greece and Portugal have joined the trend. But visa applications for these popular nations often have long waiting periods and more stringent requirements. If you don’t have your heart set on a specific country, consider the following destinations for their fast and easy visa application process, and great sight-seeing. We’ve also included suggestions based on affordability.

1. Hungary

Enjoy luxurious hot springs and the country’s cosmopolitan and multicultural capital, Budapest, which is a hub for remote workers. The city is walkable, filled with lots to do and is a good base for your adventures. Budapest is a major railway hub, and budget air carriers such as Wizz Air, based in Hungary, can cheaply connect you to destinations across Europe and Asia. And broadband speeds in Hungary are some of the fastest in Europe.

Budapest is also considered the third cheapest capital city in the world for digital nomads. Your monthly budget could be as low as 1,300 euros. The White Card, Hungary’s digital nomad visa, allows holders to stay up to one year with a renewal option. Though, many workers choose to stay less than 183 days to avoid paying taxes in Hungary. Apply at the nearest Hungarian embassy with a 100 euro application fee to typically receive your visa in 30 days.

Here’s the requirements to receive a White Card. Applicants must make at least 2,000 euros monthly.

2. Malta

Imagine firing up your laptop on a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean and taking trips to Tunisia and Sicily on your days off. There’s a good chance you’ll be there soon — Malta’s Digital Nomad Residence Permit has an approval rating of nearly 90%, and the application is completely online. In practice, most applicants receive a letter of approval in 30 business days. The application fee is on the higher end for many digital nomad visas, at 300 euros, plus 27.50 euros for your residence card. Permit holders can stay in Malta for a year, with the option to renew for three years.

Here’s the requirements to receive a Digital Nomad Residence Permit. Applicants must earn at least 2,700 euros monthly.

3. Croatia

Now that Croatia has entered the Schengen Zone, it’s even more appealing for remote workers who plan to apply for the Baltic nation’s digital nomad visa. You wouldn’t have to go through lengthy border checks to visit other Schengen nations, but be sure to keep in mind the 90-day rule when you roam outside of Croatia. Croatia’s crystal blue waters, nature and culture make the country a worthy base for your European travels.

Croatia’s Boravak digitalnih nomada has one of the highest approval rates for a digital nomad visa within Europe, at 97%. You can apply online or at your home country’s embassy in Croatia for the year-long visa. To extend your stay, you would have to leave Croatia for six months before reapplying.

Here are the requirements to receive a Boravak digitalnih nomada. Applicants must earn at least 2,540 euros monthly, or have 30,472 euros sitting in the bank.

You may be required to purchase travel insurance, and it’s a smart move even if it’s not mandated.

Many digital nomad visas require that you purchase travel insurance, including Malta’s. If you are traveling to a nation that doesn’t require travel insurance for digital nomads, or you’re staying for a short while in the Schengen Zone, travel insurance is still essential. Your domestic health insurance coverage may not fully protect you during a medical or dental emergency abroad. You may also want to consider an annual plan to cover multiple trips made throughout the year.

Allianz Global Assistance offers annual travel insurance plans and single-trip plans that can protect you in the event of covered travel delays, baggage loss, medical emergencies, and more.

Get a quote today to find out how we can protect you on your travels.

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