How you can work remotely from countries that don’t have a Digital Nomad visa

These popular remote working hotspots still don’t have a Digital Nomad visa. Here’s how remote workers can get around the red tape.

Our experts

We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality.
Written and reviewed by:
Helena Young
Direct to your inbox Email Newsletter viewed on a phone

Sign up to the Startups Weekly Newsletter

Stay informed on the top business stories with’s weekly email newsletter


Digital Nomad visas have taken the world by storm. Well, most of it. While 50 countries now have visa programmes specifically for tech and freelance workers, others lag behind.

Dreamy destinations such as Japan, Italy, and Thailand have all rolled out their own Digital Nomad-specific schemes this year. Their governments are catching onto the benefits that nomadic workers bring, such as a boost to tourism and the creation of knowledge clusters.

But remote workers are still waiting for big-names such as the United States and Australia, and ten countries in the EU, to announce their own schemes.

Below, we’ve listed the most sought-after remote work countries that don’t yet offer a Digital Nomad visa, and the alternative work permits that digital nomads can apply for.

1. UK

York evening cityscape view from the street with York Minster in the background.

Despite considerable demand from Brits to work abroad, the UK still doesn’t have its own Digital Nomad visa. We’re also unlikely to announce it anytime soon. Our visa process is highly complex, and the government faces mounting pressure to curb migration numbers.

In December, Whitehall raised the minimum income requirement for a skilled overseas worker to £38,000, making it much more difficult for companies to hire foreign talent.

The rules are not much better for short-term stays. As of December 2023, visitors to the UK can now engage in remote work tasks (such as answering emails or taking business calls) on their travel visas, but it cannot be the primary reason for their visit.

Read about eight countries that are beating the UK in the race for global tech talent.

2. Austria

Beautiful of Aerial panoramic view in a Autumn season at a historic city of Salzburg with Salzach river in beautiful golden evening light sky and colorful of autumn at sunset, Salzburger Land, Austria

Located on the Eastern Alps, Austria would be a dream deskspace for ski lovers. There’s no Digital Nomad visa available in the country yet. However, there are a number of visa schemes that interested workers and business owners can apply for.

They include the Red-White-Red Card for those wanting to launch a business in Austria, and the Schengen Visa, a joined-up scheme that allows you to stay and work in up to 27 EU countries. You’ll be able to spend up to 90 days in each country for a total of 180 days.

3. Belgium

Brussels City Hall and Mont des Arts area at sunset in Brussels, Belgium

It gave the world french fries, but teams will need to wait for an official Belgian Digital Nomad visa. It is currently illegal to work in the country as a tourist, and no word has been given yet as to when, and if, a remote working visa is on the cards for the Belgium government.

Thankfully, there are still ways you can work in the country of chocolate, waffles, and beer if you’re a sole trader. The Belgium Professional Card, also known as the Freelance Visa or D-Visa, allows freelancers to pursue self-employed work while visiting Belgium.

4. Denmark

Nyhavn with colorful facades of old houses and old ships in the Old Town of Copenhagen, capital of Denmark.

Denmark came out on top in the 2023 Global Remote Work Index by network provider Nordlayer. Judges praised the country for its low crime rate and digital infrastructure. But what they didn’t mention is that Denmark doesn’t actually have a Digital Nomad visa.

Instead, as with Austria, tech-enabled employees and freelancers who want to live and work in Denmark can apply for a 90-day Schengen Visa to access the land of Lego. Working in Denmark without a work permit is illegal, so this programme is your safest route.

5. France

France received the most visa requests in the last decade, and it is consistently voted as one of the favourite destinations for visa applicants. But the country still does not offer a Digital Nomad visa, and the government has also made no provisions for one.

Francophiles can instead apply for the visa de long séjour (“long-stay visa”) to work in the country. It is valid for a period of three months to one year. According to the French government, around 130,000 Brits applied for the scheme in 2023.

6. Netherlands

The Netherlands is a lot more than its postcard image suggests. As well as windmills and tulip fields, the country is also a hub of action for remote workers, many of whom flock to the country for the Netherlands Startup Visa, which is a great alternative for digital nomads.

Similar to Austria’s Red-White-Red card, the scheme allows foreign entrepreneurs to apply for a one-year temporary residence permit, during which they can launch an “innovative” product or service from their new, Dutch base.

7. Australia


You’ll likely already know an expat who had made the great move down under. Thousands of Brits are being drawn to Australia’s warm climate, trendy cities, and beachside lifestyle. As of now, Aussies do not offer an official Digital Nomad visa for remote employees.

One outback-route into the country, though, is the Visitor Visa. This is for tourists who would like to live and work in Australia, but don’t sing to the sound of six months of farm work. This visa can be valid for up to one year, and costs an estimated £99 to apply for.

8. USA

As home of the tech capital, Silicon Valley, the United States should be a shoe-in for the Digital Nomad scheme. But the country is more used to exporting talent than importing it, and there is currently no visa available for remote workers to live out their American dream.

The US is not the most welcoming. It’s a challenge to find a long-term work permit, as many of the programmes only cater to specific roles and degree-holders. Still, most remote workers will qualify to work in the country for up to six months with the B-1 Business Visa.

9. Canada

Skyline of Toronto in Canada from the lake Ontario

Snowy Canada is often included on lists of the ‘best countries for digital nomads’, so you might be surprised to see it featured here. But even though the so-called Great White North still doesn’t have an official Digital Nomad visa, it’s certainly speaking to them.

Last year, Canada unveiled its Tech Talent Strategy, a new immigration initiative to allow temporary tech workers to work remotely in the country for up to six months. And the best part? During this time, employees only need visitor status, so you won’t even need to apply.

10. Vietnam

Straße in Hoi An Vietnam

Abundant natural wonders, unique cuisine, and tens of historic towns and cities has made Vietnam one of the best-known tourist destinations. It’s also increasingly called home by thousands of remote workers across the globe, despite not having any Digital Nomad visa.

Many pass through Vietnam on their way to other destinations in southeast Asia, such as Bali and Thailand, which is why they apply for the Business Visa. It permits holders to work for a total of 90 days, and is valid for up to one year with unlimited entry into Vietnam.

11. New Zealand

New Zealand visa

You can’t get much further away from the UK than New Zealand; the home of Hobbiton and Russell Crowe is the ideal destination for those who love travelling. And, while it doesn’t yet have a Digital Nomad visa, there are signs it could plan to announce one soon.

New Zealand’s ruling party, the National Party, has begun outlining early plans to introduce a one-year long visa scheme, admitting 250 applicants to begin with.

No official launch date for the scheme has yet been announced. In the meantime, Brits should content themselves with New Zealand’s Working Holiday Visa. The scheme allows visa holders from the UK to live and work in NZ for three years.

Learn about the potential New Zealand Digital Nomad visa and what we know so far.

Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.

Leave a comment

Leave a reply

We value your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, constructive and respectful. Please review our commenting policy.

Back to Top