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There are remote workers in the United States. Another country will start issuing residence visas for eligible foreign nationals, including Americans, as part of the Digital nomad trend. If you haven’t heard of this Eastern European country before, allow us to introduce you to it.
One of the cheapest places to visit in the world is the Baltic Sea, which is home to a nation steeped in History and tradition. Although it is not the most obvious of tourist destinations,Latvia has been growing in popularity in recent years, especially among travelers looking to escape overtourism
What is it that makes Latvia an appealing Digital nomad destination?
A Country That’s Been A Digital Nomad Hotspot In The Making For Years
A new country is Latvia. The region the Latvian people today call their home has existed as a province under several Empires. The Soviet Union’s collapse in the early 90’s opened the way for Latvia to proclaim independence.
Fast forward 31 years, and you will find a well-developed nation that is now a member of the European Union and NATO, despite being in close proximity to Russia. Since it found its freedom, Latvia has been looking for ways to improve its economy.
The 632,000 people strong capital of the country has been an entrepreneurship hub for many years due to its affordable cost of living and low bureaucracy for those starting a business. The zero bureaucracy policy has been committed to by the Latvia Government.
They want to make it easier for businesses to prosper by cutting unnecessary paperwork in the public sector. According to data from the European Commission, Latvia is at the forefront of the digital revolution in Europe, ranking 17 out of 44 European countries and territories in the Digital Economy and Society Index.
Launching a new Digital nomad residence permit is the next step. As we discussed in the previous article, both solo travel and long-term travel are here to stay, now that the economy and remote working is more popular than ever.
Latvian Digital Nomad Visa: The Easy Path To EU Citizenship For Americans?
Only citizens and residents of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development will be allowed to apply for the Latvian Digital Nomad Visa. natives of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Turkey and many more
For up to two years, digital workers can live in Latvia without needing local sponsorship if they are employed by a company that is registered in an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) state. There will be a path to permanent residence for those who apply to remain in Latvia after two years.
After five years of continuous legal residence in Latvia, foreigners are eligible to apply for Latvian citizenship, which would grant them EU citizenship as an extent, and the right to move freely across Europe.
What Are The Visa Requirements?
Digital nomads need to satisfy a few requirements in order to apply for this visa.
- They cannot hold Latvian or another EU/EEA citizenship, or Swiss citizenship*
- Their own company, or company they work for must be registered in an OECD country, such as the United States, Canada or Mexico
- They must be highly qualified professionals
- They need to prove at least six months of employment with a foreign employer, or register as an entrepreneur abroad
- Their monthly salary must be 2.5 times higher than the national average in Latvia**
The EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals already enjoy freedom of movement in Latvia, as per the Free Movement directive, with no requirement other than nationality. If you hold a U.S. passport, as well as a European one, you can apply for residency in Latvia without having to show proof of your other nationality.
According to Eurostat, the minimum wage in Latvia is roughly half a million dollars as of January, 2022.
Once the new visa is officially launched, other requirements, such as filling out an application form, presenting proof of mandatory health insurance and payment of a visa fee may be detailed. Non- Europeans have to prove they are qualified professionals in their field and have a stable source of income of at leastUSD 1,302.50 a month.
Digital nomad Visas have been issued by Latvia.
- Croatia (Already launched)
- Italy (Planning to launch)
- Romania (Planning to launch)
- Hungary (Planning to launch)
Latvia Could Be The World Capital For Digital Nomads
Several other EU countries will be opening their doors to Digital Nomads in the coming months, but none has been as generous as Latvia in regards to financial visa requirements. The introduction of this category will help the tourism industry by bringing in a large number of international travelers who are working remotely.
The Minister of the Interior of Latvia conceded that countries with a more open immigration policy have higher GDP, lower unemployment rates and better-educated labor force. Latvia has the potential to be one of the world’s digital nomad hotspots because of being open to the digital revolution.
It is ready for the roll-out of 5G next year, and is a front-runner in broadband coverage. One of the main strengths of Latvia is its extremely advanced coverage of fast broadband, which is higher than the EU-wide average, according to the European Commission.
One of the first countries in Europe to allocate a radio spectrum for 5G once it is fully implemented is Latvia. Digital nomads can find a reliable internet connection to carry out their daily work anywhere in the world.
Eastern Europe is our favorite destination to travel to right now due to its affordability compared to other Western states like France and Spain, and the freedom travelers now enjoy country-hopping in the region. Although there are a few exceptions, the East has no restrictions on travel at all.
American nomads will enjoy higher standards of living compared to the United States when they move to Latvia. They will have the chance to apply for Latvian citizenship if they integrate into Latvian society and have a good knowledge of the language.
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