48 million Americans, or 16% more than in 2021, are reportedly interested in becoming digital nomads, according to one study. This data is backed up by anecdotal evidence. No fewer than 52 nations have introduced special visas for digital nomads to take advantage of this trend and expand their economies.
Add it all up and you get the picture of a large group of people looking out the window of their crowded home offices wishing they could be working from a tropical island or a major European city. Daydreams, however, are by no means synonymous with firm plans. Relocating your independent business or work abroad may seem wonderful, but can you actually afford it?
Where do you qualify for a digital nomad visa?
Of course, the answer to this question depends a lot on your individual situation. If you are 25 years old and living with a roommate, your decision to move to Malta or Mexico will be very different than if you are 45 years old, have two children in school, and need to take out a large mortgage. But while there’s no easy way to figure out if being a digital nomad is the right choice for you, there’s now a tool that can at least help you think through the logistics.
Goats on the Road, a group of travel writers, developed this online calculator. You can enter your annual salary and find out if countries will grant you a digital nomad visa, allowing you to live and work there legally for many months or perhaps even several years. You can check out the calculator here (the site also provides more information on countries with the easiest programs for which you can qualify and apply).
The tool has been tested by the website Apartment Therapy, which reports the following results: “Colombia and Germany have the lowest monthly earning requirements for visa applicants. In these three countries, you can make less than $1,000 per month and still qualify for a digital nomad visa.”
Other aspects to consider
Of course, you can not just assume that if you meet the minimum requirements of a country, you can fly there tomorrow and everything will be OK. The pesky mechanics of adult life, like health insurance, retirement plans, and taxes, do not go away when you become a digital nomad. They just become more complicated.