Best Countries For Remote Workers in Europe

Best Countries For Remote Workers in Europe

6 min read
Best Countries For Remote Workers in Europe Only a

Only a few years ago, remote work was exclusively enjoyed by only 4% of the workforce — reserved for the most internet - savvy professionals in marketing and IT. Now, in 2023, 27% of employees (in the U.S.) are working remotely.

With so many new remote workers added to the workforce, many countries have introduced remote working visas to attract digital nomads who aren’t bound to one location. While there are plenty of great options out there, a few countries in the EU stand above the rest. If you’re a remote worker with your sights set on Europe, we’ve put together a list of the top countries for remote workers based on Visa structure and tax rates.

1. Croatia

Visa granted for 1 year

We’ve put Croatia at the top of the list for one main reason. Taxes. With a Croatian digital nomad visa, you pay zero taxes to the Croatian government. The only downside is that this Visa is only issued for one year. Despite the length of the visa, the arrangement is ideal for first-time freelancers and remote workers. You’ve got a year to get set up without worrying about taxes — which means you can focus exclusively on your work and reinvest every extra dollar back into your business.

Croatia is still fairly cheap by European standards, which is great for two reasons; One, you can save a lot of money if you are diligent and keep your overheads low. Or you can go the other route and completely upgrade your lifestyle to something that you wouldn’t have been able to afford in other major metros. Whether that’s eating out more or taking a nicer apartment. You can read more about the visa here.

Visa Eligibility Criteria

  • Not a citizen of an EU or EEA country
  • Have a monthly income of at least €2,300/month
  • You must work for a country outside of Croatia
  • Accommodation secured
Item Price (€)
Room rent (city centre) 459.83
Meal 8.08
Coffee 1.71
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 990.63

2. Spain

Visa granted for 1–5 years

If you earn an entry-level salary (around €30,000/year) and want to work remotely for a couple of years, Spain is a great option to set up your home base. The visa lasts for 12 months but allows you to apply for a three-year residency permit, which can be renewed for an additional two years (five in total). This is an excellent option for long-term remote workers. Once you’re in Spain, you can get a residency card, and then go travelling for 6 months out of the year.

On top of all that great news, the taxes you pay will be the lowest in Europe (aside from Croatia). For the first four years, if you earn under €600,000, you’ll only pay a 15% flat rate. To put that in perspective, if you are earning between €30k - €40k in Spain, you would generally lose over 30% of your income to taxes. That’s a meaningful bump — especially if you’re earning between €300k - €600k, which is the 45% tax bracket. You can read more about the visa here.

Visa Eligibility Criteria

  • Non-EU nationals
  • Employment contract with a company outside of Spain
  • Earn a minimum monthly salary of €2,334
  • Clean criminal background
Item Price (€)
Room rent (city centre) 741.00
Meal 12.00
Coffee 1.74
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 1,779.68

3. Portugal

Visa granted for 1–5 years

Portugal has released a temporary-stay visa which is structured similar to the Spanish one. The visa is issued for one year, but you can extend it four times for a maximum of five years. So great for people who don’t want to move to a different country every year. You’ll also enjoy a 15% flat tax rate as opposed to the 25% standard rate.

Food, transport and accommodation are quite cheap in comparison to Western Europe, so you’ll benefit there. A one-bedroom apartment in the city centre will go for around €700 – but that depends on where you are living. You’ll also have the benefit of working in some of the most beautiful coastal regions in Europe. Read more about the visa here.

Visa Eligibility Criteria

  • Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens
  • At least €2,800 per month
  • Open a Portuguese bank account
Item Price (€)
Room rent (city centre) 775.58
Meal 9.00
Coffee 1.46
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 998.51

4. Greece

Visa granted for 1–2 years

Greece is a great option for remote workers for a few reasons. The first reason is the climate. Greece is spectacular in summer, and the winters are mild — temperatures generally don’t go below zero. So, you won’t be suffering through the winter months. Another reason is the tax benefits and the length of stay you can be granted. The Greek visa is initially issued for one year, but it can be extended for an extra year.

In terms of taxes, you’ll be exempt for the first 6 months and then after that you’ll be subject to normal brackets which are Western European standard. Thankfully, Greece has a law where only half of your income is subject to taxes (for the first seven years), which drops you down a few brackets. At a minimum, you’ll have to earn €42,000 to work in Greece remotely, this puts you in a 44% tax bracket, but with the exemption, you’ll drop to a 28% bracket. Read more here.

Visa Eligibility Criteria

  • Non-Eu citizen
  • Prove you are using telecommunications technology
  • Employment contract with a company outside of Greece
  • Monthly salary of at least €3,500
Item Price (€)
Room rent (city centre) 414.28
Meal 12.00
Coffee 3.13
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 827.54

5. Georgia

Visa granted for 1 year

Let’s be clear, Georgia is not in the EU. But if you are looking for a country close to Europe and with remote working options, there are a few reasons why you should consider Georgia. It mostly comes down to taxes. Georgia is ideal for the remote worker who wants to maximise their income while being in proximity to Europe.

The initial visa is for one year, but there are pathways to extend it or get permanent residency through the entrepreneur scheme. For taxes, you should consider the individual entrepreneur tax scheme, which if you qualify, is only 1%. Furthermore, you won’t have to pay taxes on foreign income. This makes Georgia one of the best countries for remote workers in the world. The only downside is the location and climate — it’s not that freezing but still cooler than say Greece, Spain, or Portugal.

Visa Eligibility Criteria

  • Valid passport
  • Income of at least $2,000/month
  • Proof of remote work
  • Health insurance
Item Price (€)
Room rent (city centre) 706.34
Meal 9.23
Coffee 2.50
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 449.63

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