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U.S. Remote Workers Don’t Need A Digital Nomad Visa For These European Destinations In 2024

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Europe has been a magnet for digital nomads lately, particularly Americans looking to country-hop while working remotely: much of it has a lower cost of living, lower levels of crime, and it's rich in culture, making it a no-brainer destination.

The only major downside?

Woman in Montenegro

A majority of countries impose stringent visa rules on U.S. citizens and generally allow them to enter for 90 days out of each 180-day period.

If you've ever heard of the word ‘Schengen', you know by now it is every Europe-based digital nomad's worst nightmare.

The Schengen Area comprises as many as 27 (soon enough, 29) European nations. In effect, you have very little time to explore the Old Continent, as every major destination you can think of is a signatory to this treaty and applies the infamous acquis.

What Is The Problem With Schengen And Are There Ways Around It?

A Person Stands Behind A White Line And An European Union EU Flag Painted On The Ground Alongside Their Backpack

France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Croatia, and the list goes on: any time spent in any Schengen member state counts towards the 90 days, so once those are used up, nomads must leave and cannot return to any of the countries in question until a certain time has passed.

A popular alternative is applying for a Digital Nomad Visa in a Schengen state that offers them so they can stay beyond the initial 90 days, but these are usually very expensive, the bureaucratic hurdles never-ending, and failing to meet a certain financial threshold every month can compromise your status.

Young Male Digital Nomad Working From Greece, Mediterranean Sea

With Schengen growing larger every passing year and loopholes for long-term stays in Europe closing, it's only natural that nomads are wondering where they can relocate to, even if temporarily, with minimal hassle, without overly strict visa rules, or maybe no visas at all.

As it turns out, there are five European (and peripherally European) destinations where American nomads are welcomed with open arms, Schengen checks are not enforced, and most importantly, they don't need a Digital Nomad Visa to stay longer:

Immigration Queue For Border Control In Europe

Albania

The first entry on the list is Albania, a country you might have heard of, based on its astronomical rise as a tourist hotspot in recent years, but you possibly don't know an awful lot about it.

For instance, it issues one-year entry permits to Americans on the spot.

This means you can fly to Albania or cross a land border from any of its many neighboring countries and be granted a whole 365 days to remain in the national territory, on the basis of being an American.

This privilege is not extended to Canadians, nor to fellow Europeans: it's U.S. only.

Albanian Flag Flying On A Flagpole In Skanderberg Square, Tirana, Albania, Balkan Peninsula, South Eastern Europe

Why would you want to move to Albania, of all places, you may be be wondering.

This is a country that has all the qualities of a quintessential Mediterranean destination: it has pristine beaches hugged by turquoise waters, delectable cuisine, great weather, and a fascinating History.

The only difference is, unlike Italy, Greece, or any Southern European spots in the vicinity, Albania is not in the Eurozone, and prices are much lower than average.

It costs only $1,145 per month to live in Tirana, its quirky capital and the up-and-coming coast is not too expensive, either.

Ksamil beaches. Four islands. The bay. Ksamil. Albania.

A laid-back beach town facing Greece, with soft, white sands, and a stone's throw away from a major archaeological site, Ksamil is the number one coastal destination in Albania, currently trending on Airbnb thanks to its overnight rates starting from a mere $22.

Nomads have also been flocking into Durrës, an ancient Adriatic port with Greco-Roman origins, the colorful Shkodër in the mountainous North of Albania, and Gjirokaster, a preserved 12th-century city that holds UNESCO World Heritage status.

Cable Car In Tirana, Albania, Balkan Peninsula, Eastern Europe

They love Albania for its relaxed lifestyle, friendly locals, year-round warmer weather – it's an average 60°F on the coast in winter – and just as importantly, the cafe culture (most noticeable in Tirana) and high perception of safety.

The United Kingdom

The U.K. doesn't exactly have a reputation for being the most open country when it comes to immigration – especially pertaining to Brexit and its complicated developments – but something most people are not aware is that the British Government has no problem in hosting medium-term visitors.

While the European Union caps a tourist's allowed stay at 90 days and will send them back if they attempt to re-enter before a further three months have elapsed, border officers issue six-month entry stamps every time a traveler crosses the British border.

Big ben clock tower in winter sunny morning, London

In the case of American nomads, they do not have to cross a ‘border' at all: they are free to scan their passport and ‘enter' the U.K. at any time, without having to speak to an agent, and as the Home Office has clarified last year, they are permitted to work remotely from inside the country.

That being said, there are pros and cons to Britain as a nomad hub: contrary to lesser-known Albania, it's not one of Europe's cheapest offers.

The currency is the British pound, stronger than the euro even, and living costs in major cities like London, Birmingham and Manchester are soaring.

Digital Nomad At Cafe

Though it has a myriad of coworking spots and nomad-friendly centers, and perhaps the most diversity on this list, London is definitely not an ideal nomad destination, as life in the city can set you back by as much as $5,657 per month.

On the other hand, safety levels are great; you can leave your driver's license at home, as the well-structured public transportation, despite being costly, will get you anywhere you need to be in a reasonable time, and it is arguably the most multicultural, vibrant metropolis on this side of the Atlantic.

LONDON, Wide angle view of Piccadilly Circus- a famous London landmark in London’s West End

Armenia

Armenia is one of those unheard-of, peripheral states not enough American nomads are visiting, and we just can't fathom why.

Similarly to the United Kingdom, local authorities issue 180-day visas to visitors on arrival, so remote workers can take their time, put their bags down, and explore this hidden gem without the constant ticking of a clock in the background.

Khor Virap Church Pictured Against Mount Arat In Armenia, Caucasus Region

Armenia is best known for being one of the oldest nations in the world, and the first to have made Christianity a state religion, as early as the 4th-century.

It boasts a plethora of historical landmarks, and the nature is otherwordly.

Its sprawling capital, Yerevan, is the quintessential example of Soviet city-building, with its brutalist architecture and vast open spaces, and a great place for slowing down while soaking up the culture, as it will only set you back by roughly $1,602 every month.

Aerial View Of Yerevan, Capital Of Armenia, Caucasus Region

The second largest municipality in Armenia is the charming Gyumri, the country's most picturesque, with cobbled streets, ornate facades, and ancient churches.

People are extremely friendly, but Americans may find it more difficult to get around with just English compared to Yerevan.

Looking to beat the crowds and work from a more peaceful environment? \

You can always take a weekend trip to the serene Lake Sevan, the ‘sea' of Armenia, fringed by historic towns frozen in time and full of unique Airbnb stays (picture adorable wooden cabins and lakeside villas).

lake sevan armenia

When traveling to Armenia, however, American nomads must first educate themselves on the regional conflict and refrain from visiting certain areas along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, where most of the ethnic tensions are centered.

Armenia remains an incredibly safe destination, with very low rates of pickpocketing and other forms of petty crime and violence across urban centers.

Regarding last year's stand-off with Azerbaijan, recent border disputes seem to be on their way to being settled.

Beautiful Street Lined With Historical Buildings And Old Street Lamps In An Unspecified City In Armenia, Caucasus Region

Georgia

Sitting just north of landlocked Armenia, Georgia is the Caucasus state that is geopolitically the closest to Europe, having been granted EU (European Union) candidacy status and having set out on a West-bound path since breaking away from Russia in the nineties.

Despite its clear aspirations of becoming an EU member, Georgia is still miles away from achieving that feat, and this spells great news for digital nomads, as once it does, it will likely enforce stricter entry guidelines.

For now, it has the most generous visa policy in Europe.

colorful houses of tbilisi georgia

Most foreign nationals landing in Georgia – Americans included – can stay for an uninterrupted one-year, and if they wish to ‘renew' their permit for a second year, and third, and so forth, going on a visa run to a neighboring country, such as Armenia or Turkiye, usually suffices.

You read that right. U.S. passport holders basically don't need visas to live in Georgia for various consecutive years, so long as they leave before the current 365-day period expires, and re-enter at a later date (they don't need to spend any specific amount of time outside to be re-admitted).

Young Female Tourist Wearing Winter Clothes In Old Town Tbilisi, Georgia, Eurasia

Similarly to Armenia, Georgia is an incredibly old nation-state with origins lost to time and one that has certainly left its footprint in our shared culture. It is where wine was invented, it is the birthplace of polarizing Soviet leader Stalin, and its abundance of food is unparalleled.

We dare you to hit up any Georgian restaurant in central Tbilisi with the equivalent to $20 in hand, and walk back out not having feasted lavishly on a hearty babushka-cooked comfort dinner: trust us, your wallet, and your tummy, will be the happiest here.

Khachapuri Dish Served In Georgia, Eastern Europe, Western Asia

Expenses in Georgia can total between $1,251 to $2,158 per month, and the varied selection of coffee shops, English-speaking youth, warm, hospitable natives, and the diverse tourist offer certainly make it permanent home material.

‘The Balkans'

The last entry is not a country, proper, but rather a collective of countries. The Balkan peninsula comprises much of Southeastern Europe, and it includes up to 11 countries, a majority of which are not in the Schengen Area.

You know where we're going with this. You can essentially split your time between those non-Schengen states, where you can stay for 90 days each and stay up to a whole year, or even longer, so long as you keep jumping country.

Stari Most, Mostar Old Town And The Neretva River On A Sunny Day Seen From Atop The Minaret At Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque, Mostar, Herzegovina Part Of Bosnia And Herzegovina, Eastern Europe

Now, we know this isn't the best-case scenario for nomads looking to settle, or at least linger a while longer in a single place, but Balkan countries are quite small in size – smaller than the smallest U.S. states – and three months in each is usually more than enough.

What are some of them, you may be wondering? We have:

  • Albania (already mentioned previously);
  • Montenegro, the pearl of the Adriatic. Expect a coastline interspersed with quaint villages and scenic beaches, and total monthly expenses of up to $2,161;
  • Serbia, rich in medieval Orthodox heritage, and represented internationally by Belgrade, hailed as the ‘ New Berlin' due to its energetic nightlife. Living costs range from $1,822 to $2,760;
A Digital Nomad Working From A Cafe At An Unspecified Location
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina, the land of postcard-ready Ottoman bridges and religious quagmire, with living costs estimated at $1,412 to $2,521 per month;
  • North Macedonia, home to the world-famous Lake Ohrid and the quirky, capital-of-kitsch Skopje, costing $1,210 to live every month;
  • Kosovo, a partially-recognized, ethnically-Albanian state with a youthful population and hugely underrated foodie scene ($$1,089.00 to $2,080 monthly).*
*You may have issues entering Serbia on the same trip if you have been to Kosovo first. Learn more about this here.

Bulgaria and Romania were once viable options for extending a stay in Europe beyond the Schengen 90-day limit, but as they have joined the fabled area as of this year, they are bound to become less popular with digital nomads.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

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