Last Updated on 8 January 2024 by Brittany
There are some pretty easy digital nomad visas for remote workers to apply for and move abroad. You may be curious about the hardest digital nomad visas available right now, though.
Before digital nomad visas became one of the most popular means to move abroad, applying for a visa was complicated, difficult, and stressful.
Unfortunately, some digital nomad visas come with strict requirements and complicated application processes.
Luckily, with the help of Nomads Embassy: The World’s First Embassy for Digital Nomads, the digital nomad visa application process – even for the hardest digital nomad visas – has become easier than ever!
We’ve scouted numerous countries and have hand-selected immigration lawyers waiting to help our readers move abroad while working remotely with even the hardest digital nomad visas.
So, while you read through this list, don’t let it scare you away from applying for a difficult digital nomad visa. Always know that we are here to assist you in a smooth and stress-free process – no matter how hard the visa may be to apply to.
What are Digital Nomad Visas?
If you’re a new digital nomad or are just finding out about these unique visa opportunities, you may be wondering, what are digital nomad visas?
Digital nomad visas are temporary residence permits that allow remote workers to live abroad.
These visa holders get to experience the beauty and lifestyle of a new country. Before digital nomad visas, the only options people had to move abroad were to either get a job or study at a local university.
With digital nomad visas, even the hardest ones, remote workers can keep their jobs and simply open their laptops and earn their income from another country.
What Makes a Digital Nomad Visa Difficult to Get?
You’re probably wondering how we classified the visas on this list as the hardest digital nomad visas to apply for right now.
There were a few criteria that we consider to be limiting when it comes to those who are eligible for these digital nomad visas.
Some of the hardest digital nomad visas have very strict eligibility requirements, such as the minimum income requirement, profession, and wealth status.
A couple of the digital nomad visas on this list also require the applicant to either start a business in the country or sign a contract with a local client. While this goes against the idea of a digital nomad visa, they are still great opportunities for remote workers looking for a way to move abroad.
Some digital nomad visas can approve a limited number of applicants per year.
We definitely consider these some of the hardest digital nomad visas to apply for. Applicants must apply early and hope for the best!
While there are some digital nomad visas with online applications, the hardest digital nomad visas have a more rigorous application process.
Applicants may be required to visit an embassy or consulate in their country of residence to apply for the digital nomad visa. Other countries may require the applicant to submit their application through an immigration lawyer.
Remember, no matter how difficult the application process may be, it will always be easier when you work with a Nomads Embassy trusted immigration lawyer!
Hardest Digital Nomad Visas to Get Approved
Now that we’re clear on what makes these the hardest digital nomad visas to apply for and get approved let’s dive into our list.
Difficulty Level: 2/5
The beautiful country of Belize welcomes wealthy remote workers to come and live in the country for six months with the option to renew it.
The application process is done entirely online via email.
So, what makes Belize one of the hardest digital nomad visas to apply for?
The income requirement is quite high compared to other digital nomad visas available. Applicants must earn at least $75,000 per year when applying individually and $100,000 per year if bringing their families with them.
Unfortunately, this is higher on the income spectrum for many digital nomads, especially those who are self-employed or working as freelancers.
If you meet the income requirements, you may want to dive deeper into the visa requirements and how to apply for the Belize digital nomad visa.
Difficulty Level: 4/5
While the income requirement for Cyprus is just 3,500€ per month for individual applicants, that isn’t what makes this one of the hardest digital nomad visas to apply for.
The government has placed a quota for how many digital nomad visas in Cyprus can be approved each year.
In 2022, the quota was originally set to just 100 visa approvals. They later increased this quota to 500 visas just a couple of months later.
Unfortunately, the government has not expressed if they will renew the quota per year or increase it.
If you would like to take your chances and apply for this visa, then learn more about the visa requirements and how to apply for the Cyprus digital nomad visa.
Difficulty Level: 5/5
To be clear, the Czech Republic digital nomad visa isn’t actually a digital nomad visa. Instead, it is a freelance visa (also known as the zivno visa) where applicants must register a business in the Czech Republic and serve local clients.
It can be extremely difficult to meet the eligibility requirements and apply for this visa. To start, the applicant’s business must fall under one of the 80 categories eligible for a Trade License.
Applicants must also have an address in the Czech Republic where they will operate their business. This may be a residential address, but there is additional paperwork for the landlord to submit as well.
While the Czech Republic digital nomad visa isn’t impossible to apply for, we definitely recommend working with a local immigration lawyer to assist you. (Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!)
Learn more about the visa requirements and how to get in touch with our hand-selected immigration lawyer partner for the Czech Republic freelance visa.
Difficulty Level: 2/5
Your dream of living on a tropical Caribbean island can come true if you meet the hefty income requirement for Montserrat’s digital nomad visa.
As one of the hardest digital nomad visas in the Caribbean, Montserrat requires applicants to earn at least $70,000 per year working remotely. For many digital nomads, this can be difficult to reach, especially if they are just starting their location-independent lifestyle.
While the application process is done right online and has an application fee of $500 per individual applicant, the only limiting factor is the high-income requirement.
If you meet the income requirement, you may want to learn more about how to apply for the Montserrat digital nomad visa.
Difficulty Level: 4/5
Norway’s digital nomad visa is officially known as the Self-Employment visa. To be eligible to apply for it, applicants must be self-employed and have a contract with a Norwegian client.
So, before applying for this visa, a contract must be signed and secured. The client must also pay at least the national minimum wage, which is 35,719€ per year.
The application process can also take four to five months to complete. However, you may apply for it while already in the country.
The fact that the applicant must seek out a contract with a local client in Norway makes this one of the hardest digital nomad visas to apply for.
However, if granted, it is one of the digital nomad visas that lead to permanent residency. After three years of legally living in Norway, visa holders can apply for permanent residency.
If you have connections in Norway or would like to make them, learn more about the visa requirements and how to apply for the Norway digital nomad visa.
Difficulty Level: 1/5
Soak in the sun and find your favorite beach in Panama with their newly introduced digital nomad visa. While the income requirement is fairly low at just $3,000 per month, we still consider it to be one of the hardest digital nomad visas to apply for.
Why do we categorize it as difficult?
The government requires applicants to submit their visa application and documents through an immigration lawyer. There is absolutely no way to apply for this digital nomad visa on your own.
Now, in the grand scheme of things, this could also mean that Panama is one of the easiest digital nomad visas to apply for if you’re willing to work with an immigration lawyer. They will act on your behalf to communicate with authorities, tell you which documents you need, and submit them to the right department.
So really, Panama isn’t one of the hardest digital nomad visas to apply for. If you’ve factored a professional service fee into your budget, then Panama could be the easiest digital nomad visa to apply for.
It’s also never been more simple to apply for Panama’s digital nomad visa. To save you time and stress, Nomads Embassy has already scouted for the best immigration lawyer in Panama to assist you with your application.
Request a consultation with our immigration lawyer for the Panama digital nomad visa today!
Difficulty Level: 3/5
Thailand has been a long-time favorite destination for digital nomads. From the affordable cost of living to the excellent wifi speeds to a large community of remote workers, Thailand’s digital nomad visa was anxiously awaited by many.
Unfortunately, it came to disappoint thousands of digital nomads worldwide with its strict eligibility requirements.
There are three eligibility categories to apply for Thailand’s Long-Term Residence Permit, each with their own set of requirements.
- Remote Worker – Must earn at least $80,000 per year as a remote employee of a publicly traded company that earns $150 million in revenue for the last three years
- Wealthy Individual – Must have at least $1 million in assets and make a $500,000 investment in Thailand
- Wealthy Pensioner – Must earn at least $80,000 per year in pension or investments
These high-level requirements create a more elite group of digital nomads who can apply for this type of visa. However, if eligible, the applicant will receive ten years of residency in Thailand.
Even though the application process is done online, we do recommend working with an immigration lawyer to verify your documents and submit them to save time and stress.
Learn more about the specific visa requirements and how to apply for the Thailand digital nomad visa.
Nomads Embassy: The Easiest Way to Apply for Digital Nomad Visas Worldwide
Now that you know which digital nomad visas are the hardest to apply for, you’re probably ready to beat the odds and prove that you’re worthy of obtaining one of them!
Nomads Embassy is here to help you achieve your goal of applying for one of the hardest digital nomad visas with our team of immigration lawyer partners.
Our hand-selected immigration lawyers are here to assist you with your document verification, application submittal, and residence permit retrieval when you arrive in your new home.
Interested in getting in touch with a lawyer to discuss your eligibility?
Simply fill out the contact form in the individual visa articles on our website. They can be found in the top menu or throughout this article.