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The New Rule For Being A Digital Nomad

You don’t have to be a “digital nomad” to extend your 3 month visa in many European countries; you just need to provide income. And, if you qualify, your 90 day stay can be extended to one year. 

This is the new rule and regulation that seems to be building up momentum worldwide.

Croatia was on the forefront of this movement and used the new digital nomad definition to identify someone who: 1) works remotely 2) and ideally, brings revenue into the country. Even before COVID, digital nomads were a “thing,” but as more of us recognized that we were location independent, that ‘aha‘ moment opened up the world. And the world is welcoming us with open arms.

Most Digital Nomads Are Younger Than Me

I never identified myself as a digital nomad since many/ most of them are half my age. More or less. They grew up online and learned to generate income remotely in a host of different ways. I am a writer and consultant and really only need an internet connection and I am off and running. Even so, I was profiled in a Croatian magazine as a digital nomad.

Due to COVID, many countries, primarily in Europe, came up with a way to entice us to hang out on their beaches, and coffee shops and wherever else we work. Croatia, Greece, Georgia, all enticed us by saying, “come to us, stay for a year,” which is very attractive to those that want to stay longer than 90 days, the normal “Schengen Zone” limitation. 

Europe, the European Union, or EU, has several definitions, but when it comes to visa limits, the “Schengen Agreement” is the benchmark, and encompasses 26 countries. They are all considered ONE country for visitation, so if you spent 85 days in France, you could only spend 5 days in Belgium, or any of the other countries. Read my report which shows you how to play the Schengen Chess Game, as I call it. There are many tricks to playing the system, and some amazing and attractive countries are part of the EU, but not part of Schengen. Most notable are some of my favorite places in Eastern Europe. 

Spend 90 days in the EU, then pop over to Croatia, Romania, Albania, and a host of former Eastern Bloc countries, OR travel a bit further and leave the EU totally. 

Romania’s Digital Visa

digital nomad

Romania recently came up with their own version of a digital visa which only requires a 1100€ monthly income, which equals $1336 USD in May, 2021. That is much less than the second lowest, Georgia, at about $2K mo., or 1650€. Croatia, my personal fave, requires 2240€, which is $2700 or so, USD, which eliminates a lot of possible residents. Ironically, I also love Romania and spent about 3 weeks there in 2019 and explored much of it on a motorcycle. I look forward to doing it again.

What does it take to “get” a digital nomad visa? 

Each country (no surprise) has their own rules and nuances. The income guidelines are usually the most variable and proving your income can be done in a variety of ways. 

Do you have to “own a business??” 

In most cases “no,” but you do need to show that you are “employed” and that also has several definitions. 

For many or most of you, this is moot, since spending 90 days in any one country is not on your radar, but for some of you, that is your dream. My dream is to help you fulfil yours. If 90 days is not enough, maybe 365 days will be.

When I started my travels in 2019 I tried to get residency in Spain. What a pain, and full of complicated paperwork and silly requirements. When I was declined I said, “screw the visa,” and instead learned how to play the game. Pop in and out of different countries every 90 days; no brainer. BUT, to extend that to a year, well, that opens up lots of possibilities.

I am in the process of writing a guide on this for those of you that are interested. In the meantime, if you have questions, contact me at Don’t forget to checkout my piece on traveling in 2021.

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About The Author
Norm Bour
Norm Bour
Norm Bour is one of our regular contributors and for the past two years he has been a Traveling Nomad after leaving the US permanently with his girlfriend at ages 64 and 66. They traveled through Europe and Asia and were together 24/7 which offered a great chance to know each other; both the good and the bad. Stay in Your Own Lane came from an expression they used to make sure that each of them gave each other space, and Norm compared that concept of the Relationship Highway with the Road Highways we have been driving for years, and all the signs we see there. Norm will be publishing Stay in your Own Lane within the next few weeks and invites all our readers to share their experiences which may relate to the premise of the book. If you would like to contribute or get an advanced copy, contact Norm at [email protected].
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