Oleviste Church in Tallinn, Estonia.
Oleviste Church in Tallinn, Estonia. (Getty)

  • Estonia has officially launched its new Digital Nomad Visa.
  • The visa would allow remote workers to live and work in the European country for up to a year.
  • The application costs between €80 and €100 depending on how long you plan on staying.
  • But you can't travel there from SA yet – and you need to be earning R72,000 per month to qualify.
  • Visit Business Insider SA's homepage for more stories.

If you've ever dreamt of packing up and moving to Europe, you might have a chance to do that in the near future – when SA's borders open up, when Estonia accepts South African visitors again, and if you earn R72,000 per month.

On Wednesday, the Republic of Estonia officially launched its new Digital Nomad Visa, which it says is the first of its kind in the European Union.

According to the Republic of Estonia's e-Residency website, the visa allows remote workers to live and legally work in the northern European country, right across the Baltic Sea from Finland and Sweden, for up to a year.

Unlike Bermuda, Estonia is nearly in the same time zone as South Africa.

The website states that applicants must prove that they can do their job remotely, and that they are either employed by a company that's registered outside of Estonia, self-employed with a business that is registered outside of the country, or that they are freelancers that work mostly with clients based outside of the nation.

"There are no eligibility restrictions based on your country of origin or the sector in which you work.There is also no cap on the number of applications or visas issued," the Estonian government promises.

But applicants must meet a minimum gross income requirement of €3,504 – currently worth around R72,000 – per month for six months preceding their application, according to the website.

Applicants must then fill in the application form online and make an appointment at their nearest Estonian embassy or consulate to submit the form and documents proving the aforementioned employment and income requirements, the website says.

It notes that an application costs between between €80 and €100 depending on how long you plan on staying, and that applications should be processed within 30 days. Spouses and dependents will also be issued a visa, according to e-Residency's Medium blog post about the visa.

Currently, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Estonia, which is part of the European Union, is only open to a limited group of approved countries outside the EU, Schengen Zone, and the UK.

That does not include South Africa.

International travel from South Africa also remains banned except with special permission.

See the full list of who can enter Estonia on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' website; according to the Ministry, the list is updated every other week.

One caveat, per the e-Residency blog, is that if a Digital Nomad Visa holder is in the country for a significant amount of time - "more than 183 days in a consecutive 12-month period" - then they will have to declare and pay tax in the country.

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