Roamers with Laptops: Safest and Healthiest Countries for Digital Nomads

Quite recently, we heard that Bali and Italy would start issuing digital nomad visas allowing web engineers to move and live there without paying local taxes. In fact, digital nomad visa owners should prove only one thing — their relative affluence (the sum of money on their accounts shouldn’t be lesser than the legally permitted minimum). The conditions are quite lenient — so many programmers are impatiently waiting for the digital nomad visa countries to extend.  Luckily, Bali and Italy are not the only options for them. Do you want to see a complete overview of geographical possibilities for IT travelers? Relax and read along — we’ve covered everything in this article.

By now, around 40 countries have issued digital nomad visas allowing foreign web developers to live and work abroad without paying local taxes. Ten more countries have to face hard economic decisions and decide whether that’s a viable option for them to accept affluent digital nomads. However, the chances of them joining the list are quite fat. What factors influence IT specialists’ choice of country to live abroad? The key criteria are manageable visa requirements, tolerable cost of living, and perfect internet connection quality. Nevertheless, the few recent years (with the global pandemics, wars, and insecurity) have shown what truly matters: health and safety. 

We’ve performed our full-scale investigation and composed the ultimate list of digital nomads’ safest and healthiest states to live in. Are you one of the Python codersOpens in a new tab. or a React expert? Bite in, we’ve got a nutritious information chunk for you! 

Healthy & happy: our top 10

The Global Health Security IndexOpens in a new tab. has been designed to measure the capacities of 195 countries to prepare for epidemics and pandemics. We’ve analyzed data from the list, found the healthiest countries worldwide, and would certainly like to share our data. The USA occupies the top position, with a ranking of 75,9/100. Unfortunately, talented IT specialists still have no chance of getting digital nomad US visas — however, the second healthiest country in the world, Australia (with a GHI of 71.1), issues them freely and abundantly! We’ve arranged the top 10 countries with digital nomad visa chances for inquisitive wanderers. (Remember to get vaxxed!)

CountryGlobal Health IndexRank
New Zealand62.513/195

Security matters: top 10 safest countries for digital nomads

Health is essential, but what about overall safety? (It’s firmly connected with health, by the way!)
Having analyzed the Global Peace Index data, we can now outline the safest countries that issue visas for digital nomads. Luckily, Iceland and New Zealand, the two most peaceful countries in the world, are on the list. Pack your laptop & adapter— and don’t be afraid!

CountryGlobal Peace IndexRank
Iceland1.111 / 163
New Zealand1.272 / 163
Portugal1.36 / 163
Czech Republic1.328 / 163
Hungary1.4113 / 163
Croatia1.4415 / 163
Germany1.4616 / 163
Norway1.4717 / 163
Australia1.5727 / 163
Mauritius1.5728 / 163

Six prospects for combo fans

After merging data from the two databases, we’ve found out the top-6 countries that are the absolute must for IT sharpshooters choosing their workation destinations — both safety- and health-wise. Scan the table, and make up your mind!

CountryGlobal Health IndexRankGlobal Peace IndexRank
Australia71.12/1951.5727 / 163
Germany65.58/1951.4616 / 163
Hungary54.434/1951.4113 / 163
New Zealand62.513/1951.272 / 163
Norway60.219/1951.4717 / 163
Portugal54.733/1951.36 / 163

Chances are that after considering and analyzing all the lists, you still want to travel somewhere else. Don’t worry. You can always scan the list of countries in a so-called visa-pending category! Unfortunately, they still don’t issue a digital nomad visa. Nevertheless, all the required legislation is already on the way, and that’s the reason to widen your topological horizons, at least theoretically.

Wait a little longer! (our visa-pending top-3)

Below, you will find the three countries that will likely become available to digital nomads in the near future. They are the healthiest and the safest in the visa-pending category.

CountryGlobal Health IndexRankGlobal Peace IndexRank
Italy51.941/1951.64332/ 163
Latvia61.914/1951.6735 / 163
Bali / Indonesia50.445/1951.847/ 163

You’ve already started composing detailed plans in your notebooks and buying Lonely Planet guides? Then you’re probably considering relocation to one of these nine states. Double-check all the requirements, conditions, and norms on the embassy websites. Out of the sheer desire to help all the wanderlust kings and queens, we’ve prepared an informational starter pack for each actual and potential nomad visa option. Below are a few chunks of useful info to get you on track.

1. Australia

The #1 in our list, Australia is well-known for its echidnas, kangaroos, kookaburras, and Sydney opera (at least judging by the photobank materials). Pack your suitcase!

Avg. monthly rent, $Estimated cost of living(excluding rent), $EligibilityVisa durationVisa cost, $Required monthly income, $
1600920You must not have previously entered Australia on a:Working Holiday visa (subclass 417)Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462)1 year, renewable to 2 more years max.355None

2. Germany

Germans think beer is the best and the universal medicine (pretzels should be added for quicker effect). More than 1,500 types of beer and 1,000 types of sausages are the most illustrious proof. 

Avg. monthly rent, $Estimated cost of living(excluding rent), $EligibilityVisa durationVisa cost, $Required monthly income, $
630 — 880825Non-EU nationals6 months to 3 years101Unstated, but you must prove you’re self-sufficient

3. Hungary

Do you know what Hungarians say clinking their glasses with Tokai wine? Buy tickets to Budapest!

Avg. monthly rent, $Estimated cost of living(excluding rent), $EligibilityVisa durationVisa cost, $Required monthly income, $
300 — 380495Non-EU nationals1 year, extendable to 1 more year max.1102,020 for the last 6 months

4. New Zealand

The name of Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu hill is highly improbable to appear in the local crossword puzzles but still very appealing. What? Missed that? It’s Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu!

Avg. monthly rent, $Estimated cost of living(excluding rent), $EligibilityVisa durationVisa cost, $Required monthly income, $
1030 — 11501000Working holiday visas are available to young people, usually aged 18 to 30, but 18 to 35 in a select few counties. They let you travel and work in New Zealand for up to 12 months, or 23 months if you are from the UK or Canada. If you apply for a 23-month visa, you must provide a General Medical Certificate1 year165None

5. Norway

Norway is often marked as one of the happiest countries in the world, according to The World Happiness ReportOpens in a new tab.. Among many other things (including hygge feeling, northern lights, fjords, and endless summer days), this country is known for making a penguin called King Penguin Sir Nils Olav a mascot for the Royal Guard. We think he’s happy.


Avg. monthly rent, $Estimated cost of livingexcluding rent, $EligibilityVisa durationVisa cost, $Required monthly income, $
830 — 10501105Non-EU nationals2 years, renewable up to 6 years60536 060 plus accommodation proof 

6. Portugal

Portugal has always been one of the hottest tourist destinations: it can brag the tallest surfing waves and creamy pasteis de nata pastries to bite after a long physical activity. The westernmost point of continental Europe (Cabo da Roca) is also here. Alas, you can’t see the USA from it  — but it’s still splendid. 

Avg. monthly rent, $Estimated cost of livingexcluding rent, $EligibilityVisa durationVisa cost, $Required monthly income, $
560 — 705550Non-EU nationals1 year, renewable for 2 years more84 plus 73 resident permit fee606 (it can come from a variety of sources)

7. Italy (visa pending)

The land of pizza, wine, and cheese, Italy is famous for the Bernini sculptures, Renaissance palaces, and the Vatican city. Tourists leave more than €2,000,000 into the Trevi fountain each year to ensure they will soon come back and continue enjoying the long list of cultural heritage. We’re not giving any advice here, just saying…

Avg. monthly rent, $Estimated cost of livingexcluding rent, $EligibilityVisa durationVisa cost, $Required monthly income, $
535 — 700765No visa is available in Italy until an official decree has been issued.UnknownUnknown

8. Latvia (visa pending)

This incredibly marvelous Baltic state is known for its picturesque nature, powerful Daugava river flowing under long bridges uniting two parts of Riga, tasty cuisine, and Jugendstil architecture. Here, you can also visit a museum dedicated to the world’s greatest liar — Hieronymus Karl Friedrich Freiherr von Münchhausen! Local fans issued a commemorative coin in 2005 to celebrate this legend of lore!

Avg rent, $Estimated cost of livingexcluding rent, $EligibilityVisa durationVisa cost, $Required monthly income, $
260 — 350660Non-EU nationals1 year, extendable for 1 more yearUnknownMore than 2.5 the average monthly wages in Latvia (to date, monthly wages range at $2,000 a month)

9. Bali (visa pending)

In recent years, Bali has been cajoling hipster party makers, not-so-young nouveau riches with their spouses, and well-off programmers.  Re-check your dates when planning the journey: in addition to The Gregorian calendar, Balinese locals also use the lunar-based one, which is 78 years behind ours, and the Pawukon calendar.

Avg rent, $Estimated cost of livingexcluding rent, $EligibilityVisa durationVisa cost, $Required monthly income
305 — 500520All nationalities5 years (still in discussion if it’s renewable)UnknownUnknown

We surely hope that all the digital nomads (even the most persnickety ones) will find a destination to work peacefully and productively among the splendid views from the inn terrace. Just don’t neglect safety and health! 

Steve Todd

Steve Todd, founder of Open Sourced Workplace and is a recognized thought leader in workplace strategy and the future of work. With a passion for work from anywhere, Steve has successfully implemented transformative strategies that enhance productivity and employee satisfaction. Through Open Sourced Workplace, he fosters collaboration among HR, facilities management, technology, and real estate professionals, providing valuable insights and resources. As a speaker and contributor to various publications, Steve remains dedicated to staying at the forefront of workplace innovation, helping organizations thrive in today's dynamic work environment.

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