Croatia is striving to become Europe’s top destination for digital nomads.
Although the Central and Southeastern European country has strong competition for this title, it is differentiated by several factors, including its Mediterranean climate, relatively low cost of living, an abundance of English-speaking locals and a new digital nomad visa program. with attractive terms.
Prior to 2020, Europe was a slightly less attractive region for digital nomads, with few countries making it easier or accessible for remote workers to visit for more than 90 days at a time.
However, that all changed when the COVID-19 pandemic paralyzed tourism around the world, while releasing millions of new remote workers into the global labor market.
The unprecedented situation has prompted several European countries, including Estonia, Georgia and Greece, to introduce special digital nomadic visas, in hopes that allowing remote workers to stay on for too long would boost their declining economies.
Croatia launched its digital nomad visa program in January 2021, becoming one of the first European countries to put its program into operation. The generous visa terms also made it clear that the Croatian government was serious about attracting remote workers.
With the initiative, digital nomads can live and work in Croatia for an entire year, eliminating the need to leave the country after just three months. Furthermore, remote workers do not need to pay income tax in Croatia as long as they pay income tax in their home country.
Although the visa is not renewable, remote workers can apply for a second visa after leaving the country for six months.
To be eligible for the program, applicants must prove that they work remotely for a non-Croatian employer, earn at least $2,700 USD per month, and have health insurance.
About 100 digital nomads have applied for the new visa since January, half of them Americans or British. So far, 33 applications have been approved.
The first visa recipient, the American entrepreneur Melissa Paul, told AFP because Croatia is great for digital nomads.
“Croatia is beautiful,” said Paul, who lives in the hilltop town of Labin. “It’s beautiful to live here, accessible compared to other places, it has a great climate [and] good internet access. ”
Croatian cities also compete for remote workers.
Earlier this year, Dubrovnik launched the world’s first Digital-Nomad-In-Residence contest, which granted 10 lucky remote workers free accommodation in the city for a month. About that, Sibenik has recently opened its first nomadic digital office.
However, it is said that digital nomads who want to enjoy cheap accommodation, high-speed internet, beautiful beaches and ancient Roman ruins should visit Split.