Countries That Offer Freelance Visas

Last updated: 14 November, 2022

In order to make the working process more flexible, effective, and beneficial several European countries have started to offer freelance visas and digital nomad visas to foreigners. The latter permit non-EU nationals to live in a European Union country while working for companies and clients in other EU countries and further in the world.

At present, the European countries listed below offer such possibilities, though the requirements to obtain such visas and travel permits differ among them, mobilesalary reports.

SPAIN

Persons interested in working as freelancers in Spain must pursue the so-called autonomo. In order to be registered as an autonomo, a person must prove that he/she is a freelancer and self-employed or runs a small business.

In addition, authorities in Spain have announced that they are planning to launch a special visa dedicated to digital nomads in an effort to attract talented people from all over the world and increase investments.

Once a person comes to Spain in order to live and also work remotely, the same is eligible to fill in an application for a residence permit.


FRANCE

Another European country that offers great opportunities for freelancers interested in working remotely.

Through the profession liberale visa, a freelancer will be permitted to work in France without being obliged to find an employer to sponsor the self-employment visa. Internationals who plan to start a new business in France fall into one of the profession liberale business categories.

They will be issued with a long-stay visa, which is equivalent to a residence permit, under the statement “entrepreneur/profession libérale”. It will be valid for one year, provided that the holder applies for visa validation on the fifteenth day of arrival.

In order to hold such a visa, a person must prove that they can earn at least €1,540 per month.

They are also required to complete all the required formalities in order to be permitted to carry out their professional activities in France.


PORTUGAL

Portugal is also very popular for its freelance, self-employment visa for all persons interested in a visa that permits long-term residence and permission to earn a living in Europe.

Applicants interested in such a visa have two possibilities:

  • A residence visa for persons interested in working independently (working locally for Portuguese clients as a contract employee)
  • A residence visa for entrepreneur work (digital nomad visa gathering clients from other countries worldwide.

According to the 2019 data provided by the World Bank, a total of 16.9 per cent of people in Portugal are self-employed workers or freelancers, which shows that such figures are higher compared to the EU average (15.2 per cent).


GERMANY

Germany’s self-employment visa, known as Freiberufler, permits its holder to work remotely in Germany, provided they fulfil specific requirements in order to hold the self-employment visa.

In addition, persons must prove that they have sufficient income, meaning that they are required to have at least €5,000 in a German bank account.

The residence permit for persons interested in working as freelancers can be extended for more than three years. In order to receive such an extension, persons must prove that they have previously succeeded in their freelance business. In addition, a person must also prove that he/she is generating sufficient profits to cover the living costs.

After working for three days with a residence permit for freelancing, a person may get a settlement permit.


CROATIA

Previously, authorities in Croatia also unfolded their plans to launch the Digital Nomad Visa for all persons interested to work remotely, independently from location and time in the Balkan country.

Such an announcement was confirmed by the country’s Prime Minister through a post on Twitter, in which he stressed that Croatia would adjust the Aliens Act to make the stay of digital nomads legal.

Temporary stay is granted for up to a year (possibly even less), and it cannot be extended,” the statement published by the Croatian Ministry of the Interior reads.

The same source reveals that the new application for regulating the stay of digital nomads can be submitted six months after the expiry of the previous document regarding the same purpose.

Among other requirements, third-country nationals who are regulating their stay as digital nomads must have at least 2.5 average monthly net salaries paid for the previous year, following the country’s Bureau of Statistics data.

At present, the amount required monthly is at least HRK 16,907.50, meaning that if persons plan to stay in Croatia for 12 months, they must prove they have at least HRK 202,890.00 available.


MALTA

Malta also launched its Nomad Residence Permits in June 2021, which permits travellers to work while living in the country.

All persons interested in living in Malta while working remotely must prove that they earn at least €2,700 per month.

Malta’s Nomad Residence Permits allow persons from third countries to require a visa to travel to Malta. Such a permit will be launched for one year and can be renewed upon application at the discretion of Residency Malta, as reported by Residency Malta. However, applicants must meet specific requirements.

All persons interested in staying in Malta for less than a year will be issued a National Visa during their stay.


ESTONIA

Authorities in Estonia approved the amendments to the Alien Act to permit the launching of a digital nomad visa, making this Baltic country among the first territories worldwide to create such travel permits.

Estonia’s Digital Nomad Visa permits persons interested to work independently from location and entrepreneurs to reside in this country for more than 365 days per year while working for employers or clients outside the country.

The Ministry of Interior previously stressed that such a visa could be granted for short-term and long-term stay intentions.

However, persons must meet the following requirements when planning to apply for such a travel permit:

  • Prove that they can work independently from location and perform their duties remotely using telecommunications technology.
  • Prove that they have an active work contract with a company registered outside Estonia.
  • Prove that the income met the minimum threshold in the six months preceding the application. Currently, the monthly income is €3,504.

ROMANIA

Romania also has announced that it will launch the Digital Nomad Visa scheme for all internationals interested in working remotely.

Regarding the issue, at the end of September, Romania’s Senate approved the draft law that would help such a scheme to be implemented in this country. Then, the draft law was sent to the Deputy Chamber for debates.

According to the co-founder and the co-founder and Business Development Manager at Impact Hub Bucharest, Vlad Craiovean, Romania’s decision to introduce the Digital Nomad Visa scheme would bring more benefits for holders of such travel permits compared to other European countries or even the United States, where the cost of living is nearly 50 per cent higher.

Besides, in Romania, for one person, expenses are on average less than €500 per month, the Craioveaun has pointed out, as reported by the Recursive.


GREECE

In order to bring more internationals to their country, authorities in Greece have passed a new law that permits digital nomad visa holders to half their income tax.

In addition, since the beginning of this year, self-employed workers have been permitted to enter this country as temporary residents.

“Following a raft of remote working visas unveiled by countries worldwide in the last six months, Greece and Croatia are the latest countries to roll out the red carpet for global remote workers with programmes designed to lure digital expats to their shores in a bid to replace the lost tourism dollars of the pandemic,” a report published by the Citizenship by Investment Guide reads.

The Hellenic Republic is also attempting to bring a large number of digital nomads to work in this country.

Holders of non-EU travel documents, including freelancers, must fill in an application for a long-term visa for a period of more than 12 months. The applicants are required to supply evidence that they have a steady income while remaining in Greece, not less than 3,500 euros monthly.


CZECH REPUBLIC

The low cost of the rent of a home office in Czechia, as well as the availability of accommodation, makes this country among the best places for all persons interested in remote work.

Freelancers can benefit from the Czech Republic’s work permit by applying for a long-term visa known as the “Zinvo visa,” taking into account the trade license. In order to qualify for such a visa, applicants must provide a copy of the trade license or documentation which shows that the applicant will be working from the territory of the Czech Republic.