The global market for digital nomads has never looked so full of intrigue and excitement. As the digitization of the whole world moves at a lightspeed pace, more and more people are deciding to take their careers abroad to give their working lives a nice travelling twist. Thanks to the ability to work remotely at an exponential increase all around the world, the option to be able to travel all across the globe while working has never been this easy to grasp. Millions of people all around the world are now able to work from any location they want, which is why we are seeing more and more people working from home, cafe’s, co-working spaces, even out in public places like gardens and parks.
Why do people travel across the world to work?
Whilst many people just do it because they want to expand their company’s reach to new jurisdictions, others do it because they get bored sitting and working in the same spot all their lives. Then you have those who travel to benefit from the perks a company gets when it’s registered in a specific country, since there are many foreign places where one can register a company to benefit from many things, such as better working environments, better customer bases, more affiliation opportunities, and in some cases, differences in legislations and even lower tax rates. Two of the most popular countries digital nomads move to are Estonia and Bulgaria, and in this article, we will go through the advantages of moving to these two countries, as well as some important things one should keep in mind before moving to a country like Bulgaria or Estonia to set up work there.
A Digital Nomad’s guide to Bulgaria;
Bulgaria is a very popular destination amongst those looking to expand their work environments to foreign countries. Not only is the country filled with a massive abundance of virgin land full of picturesque nature, you can find pretty much anything in Bulgaria, ranging from stunning mountain plains with snowy tips, to nothing-but-green flatlands, to spa-esque hot springs, enormous forests, gigantic annual festivals, historic architectural wonders, and much more. Nature isn’t the only thing Bulgaria has up its sleeves though, there’s plenty other advantages that can convince someone to move and work there, namely the super low cost of living – which is less than half of that of almost any other European country, and also, the unmissable cuisine, which is known to add a little extra weight to its visitors, considering it’s so delicious and yet incredibly cheap!
What are the basic living costs in Bulgaria?
For foreigners, Bulgaria could be seen as one of the cheapest places ever seen. Compared to other European countries, it’s one of the easiest countries to maintain a good, solid life without any excessive expenses. Rent there starts from around 400 Bulgarian Lev (Approx. 200 euros) a month, and utilities won’t cost you more than 50-100 euros a month. With regards to food, snacks and alcohol, it’s so cheap there that you could go out to eat at a restaurant every day there without busting the bank. Realistically, monthly expenses to live and eat there at a basic level would cost one around 500 euros a month, while for those who want to live in a more spacious, higher class area, you would be looking at 1000 to 1500 euros in monthly expenses, which to be honest, isn’t really expensive either!
How’s the climate in Bulgaria?
Bulgaria has a special season for anyone’s preference. Whether you like to be kissed by the hot tropical sun, or if you’re more of a cosy snowy winter person, Bulgaria’s got it all for you. One day, you can be floating around the edge of the Black Sea on one day from the coast of Varna, and snowboarding or skiing down the steep slopes of Vitosha mountain, a short drive from Sofia on the next day. One can safely say that anyone would be satisfied by a trip to Bulgaria if they visit it in their preferred season.
What’s it like moving to Bulgaria?
If you are an EU national and you want to move to Bulgaria for three months or less, you don’t need any visas. For those who do not reside in the EU or those who want to stay for longer than three months, obtaining a visa can be a long process, but it’s definitely not impossible or too far-fetched. One should also keep in mind that they need a permit for Freelance activities in order to apply for a visa to stay for a longer period. The following documents are needed for anyone to apply for a Bulgarian Visa;
- Background check
- Medical Insurance
- Proof that you can financially support yourself (eg. bank statements)
- Passport-sized photos
- Rental contract as proof of accommodation
A Guide to Estonia for Digital Nomads;
If you are a digital nomad looking for a place to call home, Estonia is perhaps the place for you. It gained even more clout than ever when the Digital Nomad Visa went into effect in August of 2020. People who like a traveller’s lifestyle or are curious about the digitised world of locationless employment should definitely visit the Baltics. The Estonian state, administration, and local authorities are always working to ensure that these online workers have access to the most up-to-date facilities.
What are the basic living costs in Estonia?
Estonia might not be as cheap as Bulgaria to sustain a life but it’s still on the rather cheaper side of Europe. A digital nomad’s cost of living in Estonia may be affected by a number of factors, including the kind of lodging, its quality, and its location. Between €300 to €500 is the typical monthly cost of staying in Estonia. The average cost of housing could span up to around 1000 Euros per month for well furnished accommodation in a higher-class area, while utilities would cost up to 100 euros a month. Also, with food, you don’t have to worry much, as you won’t be spending much for sure, and you will come across all kinds of epic traditional dishes set to send you on a flavorful adventure.
What should one know about Estonian Visas?
The Estonian government is well aware of the country’s popularity for digital Nomads, which is why they have come up with three kinds of permits for different digital working solutions.; Digital Nomad Visas, Startup Visas, and E-Residency Permit Visas.
Digital Nomad Visas were introduced recently for those who want to live and work in the country with permission by the law. For eligibility, one should always meet the following requirements;
- Meet the minimum salary requirement in Estonia for the last six months.
- Fit into at least one of the three categories:
– Work contract of a foreign company/employer
– A shareholder/partner in a registered company
– Consulting/freelancing service to the client and obtaining a contract.
- Prove their digital nomad status
Non-European business founders may now apply for a Startup Visa in Estonia. The startup community will evaluate the applications of those who are interested in presenting their business plans. One should keep in mind the requirements below for eligibility.
- Willing to spend a minimum of €160 every month or €1920 per year.
- Your business has global potential, such as tech-based business.
In 2014, Estonia became the first nation to launch an e-residency program. This has led to an influx of EU-based internet businesses owned by non-citizens from all corners of the globe. Entrepreneurs and digital nomads, including freelancers and small company owners, may easily enter the EU market with this e-card provided by the Estonian Government. Non-residents who want to launch a remote company may conduct bank transactions, write off tax, and avoid regulatory hurdles. With their smart cards, e-residents may access legal experts, tax accountants, government digital e-services, and other business-related services. The e-Residency program has now been used by around 70,000 thousand individuals.
Q1; What do digital Nomads do?
A1; The term “digital nomad” refers to those who work from home and travel often. With a WiFi-enabled laptop or smartphone from any location in the globe, they may work from coffee shops, hotels, co-working spaces, or libraries.
Q2; Is it illegal to be a digital nomad?
A2; There is nothing that makes being a digital nomad specifically illegal, but one should keep visa regulations in mind.
Q3; How do you get a job as a digital Nomad?
A3; For those who aren’t working on their own business or company, most digital nomads do freelance work on websites like Fiverr, Freelancer, and Upwork.