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Estonia or Malta? Which Is The Better Country For Digital Nomads?

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In the last few years, more and more people from all over the world have quit their stressful or unfulfilling desk job to become digital nomad. As a digital nomad, you can be your own boss, work less hours, and live anywhere you want.

Both Estonia and Malta have a lot to offer in terms of what they are like as countries. People who work online have known for a long time that these two countries are among the best places to call home. But which of these places is the best? Let’s investigate.

Estonia Vs Malta - Which Is The Best Country For Digital Nomads

Estonia: Best Destination For Digital Nomads

Estonia is one of the three Baltic States and is in the north-east of Europe. It doesn’t have quite the same weather as Malta.

Estonia is officially one of the most digitally advanced countries on the planet. Its capital, Tallinn, is known for its historic old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The small Baltic country started offering a Digital Nomad Visa not too long ago. With this visa, remote workers can legally live in Estonia and work for their employer, their own company registered outside of Estonia, or as a freelancer for a local company.

Since August 1, 2020, location-independent workers who qualify have been able to apply for the chance to live and work legally in Estonia for up to a year.

Like in Malta, successful applicants would need to have an active employment contract with a company registered outside of Estonia, do business through their own company registered abroad, or work as a freelancer for clients mostly outside of Estonia. This may also need a local business, which is something 1st Step can help you find.

Applicants must show proof that their income was above the minimum level for the six months before they applied. At the moment, the gross monthly income limit is €3,500 per month.

Estonia is a great place for expats to live because the cost of living is low compared to mainland Europe or Scandinavia, and the country is also very digitally advanced.

Estonia Digital Nomad Visa Eligibility Criteria

To get a digital nomad visa, you must meet at least one of the following:

  • A minimum of 18 years old.
  • You can use any kind of communication technology to work from afar in Estonia.
  • A partner, shareholder, or employer of a company based outside of Estonia.
  • Offer consulting services to businesses in other countries and be able to show a copy of a contract.
  • Must be able to prove that you are a digital nomad or freelancer.
  • You have enough money because you make at least €3,500 per month.

estonia visa for digial nomad

Documents to Submit When Applying for an Estonia Digital Nomad Visa

After looking at the requirements for the Estonia digital nomad visa and making sure you meet them, the next step is to get the documents you need to apply for the visa.

  • Valid passport:  Your passport must be valid for at least three months after the date you plan to return. There should still be two blank pages.
  • Application form: You can find an online copy of the application form, print it, fill it out, and sign it. Make sure to fill out the form completely and give the right information. Your visa application could be turned down if you give wrong or false information.
  • Bank statement: Ask your bank for a bank statement that shows your account information for the last six months. It should show that you have enough money to live in Estonia on your own.
  • Work contract: You must show proof that your employer outside of Estonia has given you a valid work contract. You also need to send a letter from your boss saying that you can work from home.
  • Proof of accommodation: You’ll need to show that you have a place to live in Estonia. It could be a letter inviting someone, a reservation at a hotel, a rental agreement, etc.
  • Health insurance: You need health insurance that covers the whole Schengen area and is still valid. It should have insurance for at least €30,000.
  • University degree: Send in any college certificate, training certificate, or other certificate you have.
  • Criminal record: A document that says you don’t have a criminal record is called a “criminal record.” The police in your home country can give you this document.

Malta: One The Best Countries For Digital Nomads

The beautiful island of Malta is in the Mediterranean, halfway between Europe and Africa. It is a great place for many expats to set up shop. Not only does it have a warm climate all year round, but it also just announced some great things for digital nomads.

At the beginning of June, a new temporary residency programme for people who want to move to Malta but work from home was announced. This caused quite a stir among expats.

The programme offers a six-month visa and the chance to get a “Nomad Residence Permit” for a year.

To qualify, applicants only need to show that they are hired by an overseas company to work remotely, that they run their own business, or that they provide a freelance service to customers overseas. This may also need a local business, which is something 1st Step can help you find.

Applicants must show proof that their income was above the minimum level for the six months before they applied. At the moment, the limit is €2,700 per month (gross). At just €300, the program is also a cheap way for people who want to move (at least temporarily) to the Mediterranean to do so. Malta has a much lower cost of living than most of the larger countries in central Europe, and the international schools reflect this.

Also, the climate and slow pace of life mentioned above make it an attractive place for expats, especially those with families. The country’s political and economic stability is also helped by its membership in the EU.


Malta Digital Nomad Visa Eligibility Criteria

If you meet the following requirements, you can apply for a Nomad visa:

  • You come from a third country.
  • You bring in at least €2,700 per month.
  • You are a partner in a company that is registered outside of Malta.
  • You work for a company outside of Malta and have a contract with that company.
  • You are a consultant and work with people outside of Malta with whom you have a contract to do freelance or consulting work.

Documents Required To Apply for an Estonia Digital Nomad Visa

When applying for a digital nomad visa in Malta, you need the following:

Valid passport. There must be at least two blank pages in the passport. Copies of all pages of the passport, even the blank ones, must be sent in.
Application form N1 If you want to apply for a nomad residence permit, fill out this form.
Application form N2. If you want to bring a family member to Malta, you need to fill out this form.
Application form N4. If you want a General Data Protection Regulation EU/2016/679 (GDPR) Declaration Form, you can use this form.
A cover letter. The letter must include important information about your trip to Malta, such as why you chose Malta as a freelancer, how long you plan to stay, where you plan to stay, etc.
Work contract.  Proof that you’ll have a stable income as a freelancer, such as work contracts that describe your job position, etc.
Latest CV. Make sure your CV is up to date with your most recent work experience and that you have all of your training documents, certificates, etc. in one place.
Relationship status. If you are married (with a marriage certificate) or in a relationship (with a rental agreement, a joint bank account, etc.), you will need proof.
Proof of accommodation. Show proof that you have a place to stay in Malta, like a rental agreement.
Bank statement. Your last six months’ worth of bank statements. This document shows that you have enough money to support yourself while you are in Malta.
Health insurance for digital nomads. To get a Nomad visa in Malta, you must have a valid health insurance plan.
Health declaration. You have medical records that show you are in good health.

What about the tax system?

Taxes are one of the most important things for digital nomads to think about. Let’s look at how Estonia and Malta stack up in this area.

There is no alt text for this image. In Estonia, the corporate tax rate is 0% until dividends are paid out, and it is a flat 20% when corporate profits are paid out. Estonia’s business tax system is called “deferred.”


  • Limited liability
  • No Corporate Tax has to be paid until the money is given out
  • There is a digital register and our society is highly digitalized
  • Registries that move quickly
  • Tax residents do not have to pay taxes on foreign dividends
  • Participation exemption applies if the Estonia LLC owns more than 10% of a foreign subsidiary, and foreign dividends are not taxed.


  • Great weather all year long;
  • Tax transparency option for your business, which means that you pay your taxes at home;
  • Taxation of people who live in a territory;
  • There is no need to keep records for MLPs;
  • MLPs only need to file a simple tax return once a year;
  • The tax resident’s foreign income is not taxed if it is not sent to Malta;
  • No Capital Gains Tax, even if the money is sent to Malta.


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