Nestled between the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains, Georgia is undeniably the most visited tiny country in the South Caucasus. And there are a plethora of reasons for it.
The spectacular landscapes, hot summers and cold winters, surreal museums, food galore, remote mountain villages, vineyards, watchtowers, mysterious cave cities, UNESCO world heritage sites, you name it. So it is quite easy to understand why Georgia is the finest European country for travelers.
Today, the former Soviet republic is among the best countries in the world for digital nomads, freelancers, and location-independent entrepreneurs. Gone are the days when Georgia attracted only avid hikers, history buffs, nature lovers, and wine connoisseurs – as of 2020, it is all about digital nomads and remote workers.
On 27 August 2020, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government of Georgia launched a state program called “remotely from Georgia” for freelancers, remote workers, and entrepreneurs to travel and work remotely from Georgia for a year.
Since then, Georgia has become a popular digital nomad hub for international remote workers and digital nomads. Citizens from 95 countries can apply for the digital nomad program to get a 1-year Visa-Free entry into Georgia.
Within a year of its announcement, the country successfully lured more than 2700 digital nomads and remote workers from across the globe. And the number of the digital nomad community is ever growing.
Today, Georgia is the leading destination for digital nomads and entrepreneurs. With fewer travel restrictions and generous visa conditions, the popularity of Georgia’s digital nomad visa is growing daily. On top of that, the low cost of living in Georgia is a shining perk for a digital nomad.
A digital nomad in Georgia has tons of benefits and opportunities. Starting with the affordable cost of living, fast and reliable internet, laptop-friendly cafes, free workspace, and favorable tax rates. Factor in the safe surroundings, and you will see why many digital nomads love to stay in Georgia and even extend their visas.
It is important to note that this specific program is technically not a visa but an entry permit that allows foreigners from 95 countries to stay and work remotely from Georgia for a year. However, the application process is similar to other digital nomad visas. Applicants apply online and within 10 days receive the answer from the government.
The Georgia digital nomad visa also allows dependants of the applicants to travel to the country once the applicant is approved for the visa. This means that the children, spouse, and other dependants can live in Georgia with no extra income requirement (unlike other digital nomad visas where the income requirement doubles). They do, however, need to have health insurance coverage (local Georgian health insurance is also valid), for at least 6 months of their stay. The applicant must mention the family members in the application if he intends to travel with the family. That is all.
One of the best things about the Georgia visa, besides the free visa application, is the facility of free workspaces for digital nomads. Digital nomads are connected with local businesses that offer co-working spaces free of charge. How cool is that!
If you are a digital nomad, a freelancer, or a business owner searching for the best country to travel to and work for a long-time, Georgia might as well fit the bill.
Georgia Digital Nomad Visa Quick Overview
Where to Apply: Online
Official Visa Name: Remotely from Georgia
Introduced on: 27 August 2020
Length of Stay: 12 months
Visa Application Fee: Zero
Processing Time: up to 10 days
Tax: 0% Income Tax if you stay for less than 183 days
Renewal: After 12 months of stay
Who Can Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Georgia
Anyone from 95 countries who are visa-exempt or can enter Georgia visa-free, can apply for this state-designed program called ‘Remotely from Georgia. The digital nomad visa for Georgia is open to any foreign citizens, provided they are freelancers, location-independent business owners, or full-time job holders who want to stay and work remotely in the country for 360 days.
Georgia Digital Nomad Visa Requirements
Luckily, there are fewer visa requirements to enter Georgia, and travel to, and work remotely for up to a year. Therefore, most remote workers, entrepreneurs, and freelancers can meet the requirement effortlessly. Besides being one of the eligible countries, the following are the stipulations for the Georgia digital nomad visa:
Negative PCR Test
Anyone entering the country needs to provide a negative PCR test taken in the last 72 hours. Children under the age of 10 do not need to submit a negative PCR test.
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of issue of the visa. If it’s not valid, make sure to renew it in your home country before applying for the visa.
Income of $2,000/month or $24,000 in savings
You must produce documents proving an active income of at least $2000 per month. You can submit bank statements or any supporting documents (stock statements, contracts with fixed reimbursements, a contract showing future income, etc.) to prove your income status. If your income is less than $2000 a month, you can also meet this requirement by showing savings or bank deposit letters of $24,000 in your bank.
This infers that you can pay taxes while staying in the country and proves your financial ability to support your family. If you plan to apply with your spouse or other dependants they do not have to meet the income requirements.
Proof of remote work
Proof of remote work should clarify your remote work in a foreign country or your business status outside of the country.
Requirements depending on the application:
- Freelancers: freelancing contracts for the last 12 months
- Employee: details about the employer
- Entrepreneurs: proof of company ownership or partnership of the company
Health Insurance Coverage
You must purchase international health and travel insurance that safeguards your travel and health for at least 6 months or the duration of your stay in the country. In addition, the policy must cover all medical expenses, emergencies, and the cost of repatriation.
How much does it cost?
One of the perks of choosing a Georgia digital nomad visa as a digital nomad to work remotely is that there is no application charge. Yes, you heard it right. You can apply online, and you can get the visa, free of charge. While the majority of countries demand non-refundable fees, Georgia doesn’t have any application charges.
What is the application processing time?
The process, from applying online to acquiring a visa, takes less than 2 weeks. You must ensure all the documents are ready beforehand and comply with the stipulations. The government may contact you after 10 days to confirm or reject your application.
In the case of adding more information and resubmitting, the processing time is likely to extend for a few more days, depending on how long you take to submit the application.
Tax and Cost of Living in Georgia
Georgia has this unique tax regulation for digital nomads. If a digital nomad works in Georgia for more than 183 days within 12 months, he/she will become a tax resident automatically (Tax Code Article 34 (2)) and is legally obliged to pay tax.
And if a digital nomad stays in the country for less than 183 days, he will be exempted from paying the taxes to the government. So if the gross revenue is 155,000 USD a year, individual entrepreneurs should pay just 1% tax.
It’s super-easy to pay the tax; you can log in to the revenue services website and pay the tax via the card. Also, opening a bank account in Georgia is a simple process; anyone can open an account with just a passport.
The true cost of living in Georgia can vary depending on your needs. But rest assured that the cost of living in the country is realistically low. In fact, it is lower than in many Western and European countries and as affordable as Southeast Asia.
Everything from rent to food and drink is cheaper in this country. A digital nomad can expect to spend around $1000 monthly on accommodation, transportation, and food. You can find a flat on Airbnb for less than $30 per night in the capital city. A delicious meal at a quality restaurant can cost you around $5. And surprisingly, you can travel on the metro for as low as $0.20.
Steps to Apply for Georgia Digital Nomad Visa
Step 1: Gather all the documents required
You must collect all the required documents before filling out the online application form for Georgia’s digital nomad visa. Please don’t forget to scan the document and make it ready in digital format to upload and submit. The 4 important documents are:
- Copy of Passport
- Proof of Income (Bank Certificate)
- Proof of Remote Work
- Proof Health Insurance
Step 2: Submit Application
With all the documents ready, you can now fill out the application form and submit it. When filling out the form, applicants should first select the type of visa application form and choose whether they are a freelancer, full-time employees, or business owners. Again, the process is simple and easy; it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.
They also need to input personal information like name, surname, date of birth, passport number, nationality, phone number, e-mail, marital status, and other vital information.
Due to unprecedented circumstances and official amendments, the government can change/update the requirement of the remote program. So, it is advised that you check the official website and apply accordingly.
Step 3: Wait for Approval
The government can take up to 10 days to process your application. Therefore, please wait for 10 days to get the decision from the Georgian government. Then, if your application is approved, the officials will contact you and give you an invitation letter that grants permission to enter.
The Georgia digital nomad visa is an excellent way to live and work in Georgia remotely for an extended period of time. Whether you are a full-time employee, a freelancer working remotely for a company based outside the country, a digital nomad, or own a location-independent business in general, you are welcome to apply for the Georgian digital nomad visa.
Besides the beautiful nature, affordable lifestyle, and tax-free living, Georgia offers free entry to dependants of the digital nomad and you don’t have to spend a single dime for the application.