Digital Nomad Visas: Where can teaching online take you in Europe?
The covid-19 pandemic changed the way we work and learn. More than ever, people are studying online, and the demand for teachers to deliver English lessons has shot up in the last few years. This has led to more and more TEFL teachers discovering their online careers and combining this with their passion for travel! If this sounds like something you would love to be a part of, your dream could become a reality! Due to the popularity of remote working and traveling, many countries in Europe (and worldwide) are introducing what is known as a Digital Nomad visa. This means that remote workers who want to stay longer in a country can legally do so on this new type of visa! The key often involves paying local taxes to contribute to the economy, but many countries offer a reduced tax rate.
A digital nomad visa may be perfect for you as a traveling TEFL teacher if you want to spend 6-12 months in a country and work online. These visas are particularly useful for non-EU citizens, who previously could not do this as quickly in some European countries. You can continue your flexible work schedule while exploring a brand-new country and culture! Have you dreamed of spending a year in Italy and then a year in Greece? Now you can with this brand new type of visa!
There are different digital nomad visas worldwide but let’s focus on where you can go in Europe! Each country has requirements and conditions for access, so always check this on official government websites. The key to applying for any visa or residency is being thoroughly prepared in terms of documentation, making copies of everything, and not missing any deadlines!
Spain is a trendy choice for traditional TEFL teachers; now you can join the TEFL teachers club there with your remote work! It is expected to launch their digital nomad visa in early 2023, so watch this space! The conditions haven’t been finalized yet, but the key is expected to make it possible for workers to stay for up to 5 years.
It is predicted that you need to earn a minimum of €2000 a month to meet the requirements for this visa, but there will be a tax reduction for remote workers, paying less than in other countries and the rate locals pay.
Spain is a vast country with different cultures and languages! You can explore national parks, multicultural cities, and delicious local dishes. Public transportation is effortless to use, which will allow you to explore spending little money! Of course, if you fancy yourself a sun lover, you can head down to the country’s south where the climate is good and the beaches are beautiful!
Portugal is one of the cheapest countries in terms of cost of living and visa requirements to offer the digital nomad visa. One of the most significant advantages of this digital visa is that it can be used to obtain more permanent residency and even Portuguese citizenship after a time. This is a massive opportunity for anyone who wants to settle permanently in Portugal and Europe.
The requirement depends on the type of digital visa obtained, with the minimum salary required ranging between €800 and €2500 a month. You also often need to provide proof of a rental contract and health insurance with your application.
Portugal offers a low cost of living and a warm and welcoming culture. Although it’s not a very big country, there is plenty to see and do along with a stunning coastline. The transport network is very affordable and reliable, so you can quickly get a bus to explore its many beautiful cities.
Croatia offers an exciting new digital nomad visa valid for up to a year and provides tax reductions. It is also possible to bring family members into the country on this visa, a big plus for those looking to travel with families while they work.
To apply for a digital visa in Croatia, you must be in the country and have a minimum income of €2500 a month. You also need proof of health insurance and a rental contract. You cannot be a teacher of a company in Croatia and must have employment with a company from another country to qualify for this visa.
Croatia is becoming increasingly popular with visitors from all over the world visiting (thank you, Game of Thrones). However, the country is much more than a popular TV show and features stunning coastlines. There are many exciting cities with a lot of history to explore and the bluest sea you’ll have set eyes on if you want to base yourself on the Adriatic coast. Croatia is also well connected with other Balkan countries via plane, train, or bus. So you can easily explore other unique nearby places.
Estonia was one of the first European countries to offer the digital nomad visa. Online TEFL teachers can live in Estonia for up to a year with this visa. You must provide proof of a work contract with a company outside Estonia. Estonia is one of the more demanding countries in terms of minimum salary; you’ll need to show that you earn around €3500. If you can do this, your cost of living in the country will be relatively low, with plenty to spare!
Estonia might be the place for you if you love the great outdoors and fresh air! 50% of the country is covered in the forest, so there is plenty of nature to explore! It is an upcoming place for new businesses and is very popular with remote workers worldwide. It’s also conveniently located near Latvia, Lithuania, and Scandinavia, so you can easily explore other hidden gems nearby!
The Czech Republic is a very affordable place to live and full of fairytale images! Imagine castles and beautiful bridges! The digital visa offers online TEFL teachers the opportunity to live and work there for up to a year. There is no minimum income, but applicants need to have around $5000 in their bank accounts before they arrive to show that they can support themselves.
Why the Czech Republic?
Prague is a traveler’s dream, full of stunning architecture and dreamy scenes. However, other attractive cities in the Czech Republic also offer adventure and beautiful landscapes! The cost of living is lower than in other central European places, and the extensive transport system can easily take you away to Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, and more! Living in the Czech Republic puts you in the heart of Europe – an excellent base to explore the continent!
If you don’t like the sound of any of the above, then some other countries with digital nomad visas that may interest you are:
An exciting announcement was made in early 2022 about Italy’s plans for a digital nomad visa. Before this, there was no way for remote workers to work in the country legally, but all that is about to change! The terms haven’t been worked out yet, so you must watch this space! However, if this is developed soon, you could live in la dolce vita in Italy next year!
Italy is a dream for many. This new digital working visa will allow you to teach and travel around this amazing country! If you see yourself eating gelato in Rome or shopping in Milan, this could be your visa! Not to mention the food, reason enough for moving to Italy alone!
Greece has one of the highest minimum income requirements in Europe for their digital nomad visa. But this country is more than worth it! It is full of history that leaves you wanting to explore more and more. Not to mention the possibility of studying its thousands of islands! You need a minimum of €3500 a month to work in Greece remotely and cannot, by law, work for a Greek company.
Suppose you’ve established yourself as a remote worker and want to take that on the road. In that case, the digital nomad visa is an excellent opportunity to explore Europe and have a sense of home in whatever country you choose to stay in. With your flexible teaching schedule, you can do this wherever you want (as long as your WIFI is good!).
Remote working and online teaching are becoming increasingly popular, and many countries are adapting to this. You’ll find communities of remote workers – some teachers and some in other professions too, where you can easily make friends and find people to explore with. You’ll notice more co-working spaces, better WIFI, and even apartments with workspaces set up for you.
Make sure you research before considering applying for a visa or entering the country. You must check government official websites for requirements and the documentation you need.
If you take the leap and become a traveling online TEFL teacher, you can ensure that you (legally) make the most of being in Europe! Who knows, after one country, you might do it all over again in a different one!