Some European Countries Are Ending Their Digital Nomad Visas

This article is in partnership with Day Translations.

Digital nomads from outside the European Union that plan to work in a European country for a set amount of time are being faced with some difficult choices.

Some countries in Europe are changing direction and are ending their digital nomad visa programmes.

Then, there are other countries in Europe that do have digital nomad visas but selecting the right one makes a huge difference as there are different requirements in terms of earnings, taxation and length of stay.

The Best and Worst Places in Europe for Digital Nomad Visas

Euronews put together some useful information about digital nomad visas for people outside the EU based on the three factors mentioned earlier: minimum earnings, taxation and stay duration.

Spain won the top spot for the best destination based on these factors, because there you can work tax-free for six months and if you decide to extend your stay you will be taxed at 15%, which is still lower than the income tax in most European countries. The minimum earning requirement has been set at just over 2,000 euro per month, which is a very realistic goal to achieve. However, Spain has made some changes to its golden visa scheme.

The cost of living in Spain is relatively cheap and the quality of the health service is good, making it an excellent choice for digital nomads.

On the opposite end of the scale is Cyprus, where you will need to pay between 20 and 35% tax after an initial 6 month which is tax-free and the minimum earning requirement is 3,500 euro. The infrastructure is below average with low internet speeds, making this location less favourable for digital nomads.

In absolute terms, Iceland has the toughest requirements as you will need to earn at least 7,000 euro per month and has a high cost of living. Being a non-EU country with a population of only about 380,000 people and long, cold winters with short daylight hours, it cannot accommodate a large influx of expats. About 20% of Iceland’s population is made of foreign nationals.

The Financial Times has also clarified an important point about digital nomad visas: they are aimed mostly at remote workers rather than freelance digital nomads, as countries seek to attract more wealthy foreigners on a good salary to become permanent residents.

Countries That Have Stopped Digital Nomad Visas

Portugal made the news when it drastically changed its “golden digital nomad visa” scheme.

This scheme enabled foreigners to obtain residence by investing in the country. One popular type of investment was buying a property, which was easy to achieve with a minimum investment threshold of 280,000 euro; however, due to the ongoing housing crisis the country has been experiencing in the last few years, real estate has been taken out of the scheme.

Foreign investors are instead encouraged to buy shares into Portuguese companies.

Spain followed a similar path for its golden visa scheme, taking out its real estate element.

Hungary stopped its golden visa scheme in 2017 but reintroduced it in 2024.

The Netherlands discontinued its digital nomad golden visa scheme at the start of 2024 and so did Greece in 2024. Similarly, Ireland put its golden visa scheme to bed the year before, which included Irish residence to foreign nationals that invested between half a million and a million euro.

Golden visa but especially golden passports which require foreigners to invest in a country to obtain citizenship have been under scrutiny because they provide easy access to EU Member States including freedom of movement to a select number of affluent non-national individuals.

The main criticism and also the risk related to golden visa schemes is the potential for money laundering going unnoticed, as cash investments have been used to purchase residential properties in the European Union against a mounting housing crisis affecting many countries.