Italy and Turkey Launch Digital Nomad Visas

Italy’s Digital Nomad Visa

Italy has become the latest country to introduce a digital nomad visa, joining the ranks of other European countries such as Croatia, Cyprus, and Malta. The Italian visa, which came into effect on April 4, 2024, allows non-EU citizens to legally live and work remotely in Italy for extended periods. This is a significant development as, until now, there was no way for digital nomads to work legally in Italy long-term.

The Italian Digital Nomad Visa is specifically aimed at “highly skilled” workers, which the Italian government defines as those carrying out “highly qualified work activity with the use of technological tools capable of allowing them to work remotely.” This means that anyone looking to apply for the visa must be either a freelancer or on a company payroll, earning an annual salary of at least €28,000. Applicants must also hold a college degree (minimum three years) or a professional license, and be able to prove at least six months of working experience in their field.

The visa is valid for one year and can be renewed in the country. Family members are also allowed to join, but this is at the discretion of the local police. It is important to note that applicants will need to prove suitable accommodation in Italy and provide proof of healthcare cover, either through private insurance or by signing up with the Italian National Health Service. The visa costs €116 per person, with potential additional fees for document translation and legalization.

To apply for the Italian Digital Nomad Visa, you must:

  • Fill out an Italian digital visa application form.
  • Make an in-person appointment at your local Italian consulate and submit a signed declaration from your employer.
  • Provide two passport-sized photos, a valid current passport, and one blank page in your passport.
  • Pay the visa application fee of approximately $125 USD (€116).

Turkey’s Digital Nomad Visa

Turkey has also joined the list of countries offering digital nomad visas, with its program accepting applications from eligible individuals aged 21 to 55. The visa is currently only offered to citizens from select countries, including the US, Canada, Russia, and several European nations. Applicants must hold a university degree and be employed, self-employed, or have a business contract with a company outside of Turkey. A key requirement is proving an income of at least $3,000 per month or $36,000 annually.

Turkey has made the application process convenient by creating a website where interested individuals can apply. After submitting the necessary information and receiving a digital nomad identification certificate, applicants then need to visit a Turkish visa center or consulate to receive their visa stamp. The visa allows digital nomads to be based in one of the largest cities in Europe, Istanbul, or explore other major cities such as Ankara, Bursa, Izmir, and Antalya.

A Growing Trend

The introduction of digital nomad visas by Italy and Turkey reflects a growing trend among countries aiming to attract high-income foreign workers and boost their economies. Other nations with similar programs include Japan, Norway, and Brazil. With the rise of remote work, professionals worldwide are seeking job opportunities beyond their home countries, and these visas provide a legal avenue to reside and work overseas.

Turkey’s Digital Nomad Visa Requirements and Application Process:

Turkey offers a residence permit that serves as a digital nomad visa. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Most foreign citizens can stay in Turkey without a visa for up to 3 months every 6 months. To stay longer, a residence permit is required.
  • European citizens can enter Turkey visa-free, while citizens of the US, Canada, and some other countries need to apply for an e-visa
  • There is no specific digital nomad visa for Turkey, but a residence permit allows digital nomads to stay for more than 3 months.
  • A valid work permit and enrollment in Turkey’s social security system are needed to work remotely in Turkey.
  • There are 5 types of residence permits: short-term, family, student, long-term, and humanitarian.
  • The application process involves filling out an online form, scheduling an appointment, and submitting the required documents.
  • The visa fee varies based on nationality, with an average cost of around $9 for the first month and $3 for each additional month.
  • Processing times can take up to 4 months, depending on the applicant’s country and city of application.

Why Choose Turkey as a Digital Nomad?

Turkey is a multicultural country with a lot to offer digital nomads and remote workers:

  • It has a low cost of living, with monthly expenses in Istanbul averaging around $1,500.
  • The country boasts stunning landscapes, ancient cities, and a rich history.
  • Turkish cuisine is renowned worldwide, offering delicious traditional dishes like kebabs and meze.
  • Turkey has a well-developed remote working infrastructure, with co-working spaces, cafes, and fast internet speeds in major cities.
  • The country is known for its warm hospitality, making it easy for digital nomads to settle in and make friends.
  • Turkey enjoys a favorable climate, with 300 sunny days a year, mild winters, and pleasant temperatures.

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