Countries with Ski Resorts AND Digital Nomad Visas

HAVE LAPTOP, WILL TRAVEL...AND SKI

The mountains are calling all snomads, skiers and snowboarders who can work remotely as more countries with ski resorts offer long stay digital nomad visas...

When Italy launched a digital nomad visa in April, 2024, it was a momento fantastico for anyone outside the Schengen Area of the EU, who wants to work remotely and ski in the Alps or Dolomites for the whole winter season, while enjoying endless Italian lattes.

For those skiers and snowboarders who have a laptop and will travel, the mountains are calling. What better lifestyle is there than the WFM, Working From Mountains scenario, where you can stay all winter, to hit both the keyboard AND the slopes?

Now the world is opening up the possibilities for digital nomads, with more countries recognising the economic advantages for encouraging professionals to stay and work. According to the BBC, digital nomads contribute nearly $800bn to the global economy annually.

Spain, where you can ski in the Sierra Nevada in the southern most resort in Europe, was named the top destination for nomads thanks to its relatively low income visa requirement of €2,600 a month. Yes, you do need to prove an income if you want a visa to work in another country and usually have health insurance so you don't pose any threat to the nation's welfare and health services.

There is still a way to go before you can choose where to work and ski with digital visas only rolling out gradually. But, for now, digital snomads can migrate to Norway for that much more remote working, taking advantage of the long hours of daylight to ski after a day's work in the spring. It's not the cheapest destination, though. A nice cool beer for apres will cost around €8.

Meanwhile, Japan has also recently launched their digital nomad visa, in April, 2024, but is particularly picky, only taking digital nomads who are earning around €60,000 a year. If that's you, apply now for winter 2025 and enjoy working from the land of the falling pow.

HOW TO BE A DIGITAL SNOMAD

REQUIREMENTS: First consider which country offers the most suitable visa length, how much it costs, what you need for qualifying income and additional stipulations such as personal health insurance. 

ACCOMMODATION: Check out the costs (and availability) for seasonal accommodation in your preferred ski resort. More remote resorts, those further away from international airports and therefore less holiday orientated, may be better for more remote working without the tourist prices.

WIFI: You're going to be up a mountain, make sure there's good internet. 

LIFT PASS: Factor in other costs such as a season's lift pass. Take advantage of ski resorts' early bird offers of reduced pass cost if bought before the season.

WORK SPACE: These days many cafes are less welcoming to 'laptop squatters' taking up valuable table space for hours and only ordering one espresso, especially when you are in a ski resort where hospitality businesses rely on the lucrative turnover from tourists. So consider using a cafe for your work in the mornings when they are quiet and, then go skiing at lunchtime as they fill up. 

TAX BREAKS: If you can work for a ski or snowboard brand or company, check whether some expenses might be deductible.

WORK/SKI BALANCE. Be as flexible as possible with your working hours. So if it's a bluebird morning, catch the first lifts and then work in the evening.

COUNTRIES WITH DIGITAL VISAS AND SKI RESORTS

(Note that costs, exchange rates and conditions may change).

ITALY

Digital Visa: One year, renewable.

Cost: Approx €116

Income: €28,000 per year

Other requirements: Health insurance and no criminal record. Must also be tax compliant in Italy before applying

NORWAY

Digital Visa: Up to two years

Cost: €600

Income: €36,000 a year.

Other requirements:  At least one Norwegian client. Must pay local taxes.

SPAIN

Digital Visa: One year, possible to renew for up to five years

Cost: Around €80

Income: Approx €2,500 a month

Other requirements: Proof of qualification/experience. Pay 15 percent tax during the first four years of stay (usually 24 per cent).

JAPAN

Digital Visa: Six months

Cost: Approx €35

Income: Approx €59,000

Other requirements: Tax payment certificate, income certificate, employment contract, contract with a business partner (which clearly states the contract period and the contract amount. Documents proving that the applicant has insurance against death, injury or illness during their stay in Japan

ANDORRA

Digital Visa: Two years, renewable (also known as 'liberal professional' visa).

Cost: €2,500

Income: Approx £3,800 a month

Other requirements: Proof of work, health insurance, accommodation. and funds.

If you are already a Digital Snomad, we'd love to hear from you and your experiences. If you're planning to work and ski next winter, 2024 - 25, let us know how you get on. Email us: style@stylealtitude.com.