The most popular destinations for digital nomads in 2024

4 min read

The most popular destinations for digital nomads in 2024
The trend for digital nomadism is here to stay, with over 17 million digital nomads in the US alone in 2023. The nomadic lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular, and people are looking for ways to work remotely and travel freely. 
To get insights into this lifestyle, we interviewed Igor Buglo, an immigration specialist and the head of an Immigrant Invest branch in Malta. In the interview, Igor provides information about the legal aspects of living long-term in foreign countries and shares his expert observations on the latest expat trends.

What services does Immigrant Invest provide?

At Immigrant Invest, our team of lawyers and immigration experts provides professional advice and assistance to individuals seeking to obtain residency or citizenship in a foreign country. For example, we accompany wealthy expats interested in residency in the EU by investment and digital nomads seeking greater travel freedom. 
Some of our popular services include assisting with obtaining citizenship by investment in Caribbean countries and residency by investment in Europe. Besides, we assist in securing specific visas for digital nomads to Portugal, Malta, and other countries.
Our team of lawyers and immigration specialists works closely with each client to identify the most suitable visa program, prepare their application, and guide them towards successfully obtaining their desired visa, residency, or citizenship.

How can digital nomads legally reside in any country they choose? 

Digital nomads often choose countries with visa-free entry on their passports. Typically, visa-free entry is intended for short stays, but some countries lack strict absence rules. Nomads can reside long-term, renewing entry occasionally, as seen in Thailand and Indonesia. 
Yet, a more secure solution is gaining legal status through digital nomad residency, for example, in Portugal, a hospitable and expat-friendly country.
Special visas for digital nomads are a preferred way to stay in a country long-term. Digital nomad visas allow their holders to obtain residency in the chosen country. Countries like Portugal, Malta, the UAE, and many others provide visas tailored for remote workers. 

How much should one earn to become a digital nomad?

A digital nomad's key is a stable remote income, varying by destination. Places like Georgia and Montenegro allow comfortable living on $1,500 or less monthly, including rent. These countries allow visa-free entry to US and EU citizens, so obtaining a special visa or residence permit won’t be required in many cases.
When it comes to Digital Nomad visas, they usually require applicants to show a set minimum income and savings. For example, to become a resident in Malta as a digital worker, one must show proof of monthly income of at least €2,700 and €13,500 in savings. Successful applicants get a Maltese residence permit for 3 years.
To get a Digital Nomad visa in Portugal, one needs to earn at least €3,280 a month and have €9,840 in savings. The visa is initially valid for 4 months and can later be extended to a 2-year residence permit, giving digital nomads a good option for settling in the country.
The UAE’s Digital Nomad visa requires applicants to show an income of at least $5,000 monthly and a work contract for at least one year.

What makes a country suitable for digital nomads? 

There are several factors that make a destination popular among digital nomads, aside from expat-friendly immigration rules. Among the most important things are safety, good weather, accessibility, cost of living, and infrastructure.
Some countries intentionally create an inviting environment for expats. For example, Portugal created the world’s first Digital Nomad village — a community with all the necessary infrastructure for remote workers, such as high-speed wi-fi and comfortable coworking spaces. Besides, Portugal attracts people through affordable prices compared to other destinations in Europe. For instance, Internet prices in Portugal are significantly lower than those in the US.
Likewise, Malta invested in creating convenient infrastructure for digital nomads and provided 5G Internet nationwide. Aside from convenience, remote workers are attracted to Malta because of its mild weather and the fact that almost everyone in the country speaks English.
Now, the map of digital nomadism is expanding. For instance, the UAE has become a popular country for remote workers in recent years. Expats move to Dubai and Abu Dhabi for a high quality of life, warm winters, and one of the safest environments in the world. Besides, the UAE offers the convenience of readily available high-speed wi-fi in almost any public space. However, it's important to note that the cost of living in the UAE is comparatively high.

What are the most popular digital nomad countries right now? 

According to recent reports, digital nomads' most loved destinations are Malta, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Argentina, and Mexico. 
While Thailand had naturally become one of the hotspots for remote workers in the early days of the digital nomad trend due to warm weather and friendly immigration laws, Spain and Portugal managed to attract nomads by creating perfect conditions for them. 
Destinations like Argentina and Mexico are mostly preferred by expats and digital nomads from the USA — primarily because of the affordable cost of living and warm weather.
In Europe, one of the trending destinations is Malta. Aside from convenient infrastructure and an expat-friendly environment, digital nomads get a government-funded support system for entrepreneurs and a great multicultural community. Less popular destinations in Central and Eastern Europe are taking similar initiatives. For instance, Croatia opened its first Digital Nomad village, the Zadar Valley, two years ago.
If you want to gain global mobility and the opportunity to live and work in any chosen country, contact Immigrant Invest. Our dedicated team of legal professionals and immigration experts will assist you in selecting the most appropriate visa or residency solution that will align with your goals and bring you one step closer to the desired digital nomad lifestyle.