When presented with two great countries to live in as a digital nomad, it’s important to know the differences between the Malta digital nomad visa vs. Portugal digital nomad visa.
While both countries offer sunny weather, incredible beaches, strong wifi, and large remote worker communities, each digital nomad visa differs in its rules and benefits.
Malta introduced its digital nomad visa in 2021, while Portugal later launched it at the end of 2022.
Choosing the right digital nomad visa is crucial for those remote workers who are serious about settling down abroad. With factors such as taxes, residency, and your overall goals, there is plenty to consider.
As you can see, there are many details that can influence your decision about which digital nomad visa to apply for. That’s exactly why Nomads Embassy has analyzed the differences of the Malta digital nomad visa vs. Portugal digital nomad visa.
By the end of this article, you will have a better idea of whether Malta or Portugal’s digital nomad visas is right for your goals and nomadic lifestyle.
What is a Digital Nomad Visa?
There are over 30 digital nomad visas available worldwide.
A digital nomad visa allows remote workers to temporarily reside in a foreign country. Oftentimes, this gives access to public services, such as healthcare and education for children.
It’s important to understand that digital nomad visas do not allow applicants or family members to seek local employment. Applicants must satisfy minimum income requirements from their remote jobs abroad.
Many digital nomad visas allow family members to join the main applicant too.
Why Choosing the Right Digital Nomad Visa is Crucial
Applying for a digital nomad visa is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
While they do not require you to search for a job abroad, there are some serious things to consider, such as how to find an apartment to live, if you can drive in the country, and opening bank accounts if necessary.
There are also the tax implications of digital nomad visas that you must consider. Sometimes, moving to a foreign country can be detrimental to how much you owe in taxes if you don’t plan accordingly.
Choosing a digital nomad visa should be something you think deeply about and research. And well, if you’re here reading this article, you’re doing just that!
Comparing the pros and cons of each visa and imagining what life will be like for you is a crucial part of picking the right digital nomad visa to apply for.Malta Digital Nomad Visa vs. Portugal Digital Nomad Visa by Nomads Embassy
Malta Digital Nomad Visa vs. Portugal Digital Nomad Visa: Everything You Need to Know
Nomads Embassy: The World’s First Embassy for Digital Nomads has a mission to make the world more accessible to digital nomads by sharing verified information in an easy and comprehensive way.
Plus, with our hand-selected local immigration lawyers and our Done-for-You Digital Nomad Visa service, we’ve made the digital nomad visa application process even easier.
From research to relocation, Nomads Embassy is here to simplify the digital nomad visa process.
Each digital nomad visa has a specific set of eligibility requirements applicants must meet to be considered for approval.
Below is a comparison of Malta digital nomad visa vs. Portugal digital nomad visa requirements.
- Malta – Passport must be valid at the time of applying
- Portugal – Passport must be valid at the time of applying
You must have a valid passport when applying for both Malta and Portugal digital nomad visas.
- Malta – €2,700 per month
- Portugal – €3,040 per month
Malta’s income requirement is less than Portugal’s requirement.
For Portugal, the minimum income requirement increases by 15-20% for each additional family member you include. Malta’s minimum income requirement does not increase.
- Malta – Yes
- Portugal – Yes
Both countries require applicants to show proof that they work remotely through employment and/or freelance contracts or a business established abroad.
International Health Insurance
- Malta – Yes
- Portugal – Yes
Both countries require applicants to have an international health insurance policy that covers them in the country for the duration of their visa.
However, British citizens can access Malta’s healthcare for free, thanks to an agreement between the countries. Therefore, they do not require an international health insurance policy.
Clean Criminal Record
- Malta – No
- Portugal – Yes
Malta does not require applicants to submit a criminal background check when applying for a digital nomad visa.
Portugal requires a certified or apostilled criminal background check when applying.
National ID Number
- Malta – No number required
- Portugal – NIF number required
Some countries require you to apply for a national ID number when relocating to the country and applying for a visa.
In this case, Portugal requires applicants to obtain an NIF number before applying for the digital nomad visa.
Address of Accommodations
- Malta – Yes, after approval in principle
- Portugal – Yes, at time of applying
Both countries require applicants to have proof of accommodations in the country.
However, Malta requires your accommodations after receiving your approval in principle, allowing you to visit Malta and search for housing.
Portugal requires an address of accommodations while applying for the digital nomad visa.
- Malta – Yes
- Portugal – Yes
Malta and Portugal allow applicants to include a spouse and dependents below the age of 18.
- Malta – Online application
- Portugal – In person at an Embassy or Consulate in country of residence
The Malta digital nomad visa application is done entirely online. There is no need to visit an embassy or consulate, and you can apply from anywhere in the world.
For the Portugal digital nomad visa, applicants must always attend appointments at the nearest embassy or consulate in their country of residence.
Time to Approval
- Malta – 30 days
- Portugal – three to four months
After submitting your documents to the authorities, it will take about 30 days to receive an answer from Malta.
When you apply through the traditional method at an embassy or consulate, processing the application and waiting for an appointment can take months.
- Malta – 12 months
- Portugal – 12 months or 2 years with residence permit
Both digital nomad visas in Malta and Portugal are valid for one year.
Portugal’s residence permit is valid for two years.
- Malta – renewable twice
- Portugal – residence permit unlimited renewals
The Malta digital nomad visa is renewable twice, allowing digital nomads to live in the country for up to three years.
When you apply for either the Portugal digital nomad visa for just 12 months, you cannot renew it again unless you apply for a residence permit.
The residence permit can be renewed unlimitedly if you meet the minimum stay requirements (six months out of the year) and other criteria.
Path to Permanent Residency
- Malta – No
- Portugal – Yes, after 5 years
The Malta digital nomad visa will lead to permanent residency.
After living in Portugal for five consecutive years and meeting minimum stay requirements, you may apply for permanent residency there.
There are additional criteria and requirements for eligibility, but the digital nomad visas can put you on a path to both permanent residency and citizenship.
- Malta – €300
- Portugal – €90 visa fee and €155 residence permit fee
The government fees for Portugal and Malta are about the same amount.
These fees include the visa application and residence permit fees.
- Malta – Tax resident
- Portugal – Tax resident
Malta and Portugal digital nomad visa holders that spend 183 days in the country out of the year will be considered tax residents.
The Portugal digital nomad visa automatically determines visa holders are tax residents, especially because they must stay in the country at least six months out of the year. However, there is a friendly tax program, the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) program, where foreigners can take advantage of reduced tax rates.
Difficulty of Applying on Your Own
- Malta – 3/10
- Portugal – 8/10
While it is completely possible to apply for both the Malta and Portugal digital nomad visas on your own, it has not proven to be easy.
When dealing with embassies or consulates, you can count on long wait times on phone calls, emails, and low-tier custom service. There also tends to be a lot of miscommunication between the consulate, the government, and applicants.
Applying for a digital nomad visa with an immigration lawyer can ease this stress and miscommunication. Part of the lawyer’s job is to communicate with the embassy, consulate, and other authorities on your behalf so you don’t have to wait on hold for hours.
Having a local immigration lawyer that speaks the language can also help you get questions answered, push your application faster, and get updates on the status of your application quicker.
Begin Your Digital Nomad Visa Application with Nomads Embassy
Did this article help you decide which digital nomad visa to apply for?
After weighing the pros and cons of the Malta digital nomad visa vs. Portugal digital nomad visa, you probably have a better understanding of which is best for your lifestyle and goals.
Deciding which digital nomad visa to apply for is just the first step. Now, it’s time to connect with a local immigration lawyer to assist you with your relocation process.
Nomads Embassy is here to help connect you with our hand-selected and verified immigration lawyers worldwide.
To begin your digital nomad visa application process, request our free eligibility check today!