Is being a digital nomad legal?

Strictly speaking, being a digital nomad is legal only if you have the right visa that grants you the permissions to work in the country that you are travelling to.

Additionally, you need to confirm exactly what the entrance visa states and how it relates to the travel visa rights in the country.

Many visas relate to not taking away jobs from locals and that any business that is done within the territory will provide income tax to the local government if the business is operating as a resident in that country.

If this isn’t the case, then there shouldn’t be an issue.

Typically, if you reside in a country for longer than 180 days, you are obliged to register as a resident in that country for tax purposes. And you will need to inform your previous country of residence of the change in your residency and how that will affect your taxable income.

The second thing is if you are selling products or services, it cannot be done in the country/region that you are residing if you are on a travel visa. If you have the correct working or business visa, then it is fine to do so.

If you plan to get employment or income locally in a country, you must have the correct working visa to do so.

Before you plan to visit a country as a digital nomad, please check to see what the legalities are around the following.

  • The types of visas that you can enter into the country with, and what permissions are granted with those visas.
  • How your funds or external income may affect your travels.
  • Any specific legalities that you should be aware of when entering the country.

Do not plead ignorance!

There are many people that go to another country as a digital nomad and ignore the visa requirements and do things such as work remotely and takeaway jobs from the local talent.

There are cases where this has been clamped down on in Thailand and those nomads have been expelled from the Kingdom of Thailand and blacklisted from re-entering.

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