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How to ensure compliance as a Digital Nomad

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For those looking to pursue an international career, gain experience working for a variety of different companies and/or achieve a better work-life balance, international contracting can be an exciting opportunity.

Whether you are leading the digital nomad lifestyle yourself or an organisation thinking about recruiting or hiring a digital nomad, we have put together this piece to simplify the process and make achieving compliance easy. This article will explore the important considerations for digital nomads working and living in Europe.

Compliance for digital nomads:

Compliance is vital for international contractors and freelancers who fulfil the category of a digital nomad. The consequences of non-compliance can range from country to country and consist of fines and more severe punishments such as deportation and prison time. Therefore, digital nomads must comply with all the relevant laws of the countries they spend time in.

Residence permits and visas:

EU citizens living and working across various other countries within the European Union can move freely without requiring a residence permit. However, this is different for non-EU citizens. Digital nomads from non-EU countries should ensure they comply with the residence laws of each country where they spend time. Non-EU citizens should, in particular, be aware of the 90-day limit for visa-free travel in the Schengen area of Europe. This 90-day visa waiver is provided by non-US citizens from certain countries who can travel through the Schengen area without a visa. However, if they wish to stay beyond 90 days, they will require a visa to comply with international laws. Check out our full article on the 90-day limit here.

Many countries offer digital nomad visas. Italy recently debuted a new visa explicitly targeted at digital nomads. We recently discussed the eligibility criteria for the visa and essential considerations for applicants in our recent article, which you can read here.

Another country that has a residence permit for digital nomads is Malta. Contractors and freelance professionals pursuing a digital nomad lifestyle can apply for this permit if they meet the relevant criteria. Once approved, the contractor must renew the permit yearly for a maximum of 3 years. For more information regarding the Nomad Residence Permit, visit the Residency Malta website. To learn more about international contracting in Malta, check out our article here.

Other European countries offer digital nomad visas to eligible applicants. These countries include Estonia, Spain, Portugal, Iceland and Hungary.

If you are a non-EU citizen and want to explore what visa options are available or discuss the Nomad Residence Permit, please get in touch with us today!

Tax compliance:

Tax compliance is one of the most important things to ensure when working as a digital nomad. Digital nomads should familiarise themselves with the 183-day rule. Many countries use the 183-day rule to help determine where an individual is tax resident and liable for taxation on their worldwide income. This taxation rule generally applies to the number of days within a 12-month rolling timeframe or calendar year an individual spends in that country. One important distinction to note is that the criteria for this varies from country to country. Digital nomads must consider many important factors to ensure tax compliance. To learn more about the 183-day rule, check out our article, where we examine this taxation rule, the essential factors to consider, and the risks of non-compliance. If you require more information on how the ruling affects your tax residency, please get in touch with our knowledgeable team, who will be happy to assist you with your query.

In conclusion:

For digital nomads looking to work and live in Europe, it is essential to prioritise compliance with the relevant laws and regulations of the countries they visit. From obtaining residence permits and visas to ensuring tax compliance, several important factors must be considered. It's crucial to stay informed about the specific requirements of each country and seek professional guidance when needed. That is where 3C Global can help. Our team has extensive experience working with international contractors and digital nomads, helping ensure our clients are fully compliant. Our knowledgeable team are on hand to assist with your queries. Please do not hesitate to contact us today.

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APSco SIA CM Member