Estonia Digital Nomad Visa 3504 Euro monthly income - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Estonia Digital Nomad Visa 3504 Euro monthly income

Why Estonia needs 3500 Euro monthly salary for digital nomad visa?

Estonia is a small country in Europe's Baltic area. Estonia is part of Schengen region and shares border with Russia, Latvia and Finland. Estonia is expecting Digital Nomad Visa seekers to earn 3504 Euro every month. That is 3.1 lakh INR per month, which may be the standard salary in US and Europe but pretty steep by Indian standards.

First let us understand why Estonia has set 3504 Euro per month criteria.

Basis understanding of Digital Nomad Visa is that person earns in his/her home country, stays in Estonia, works online and uses his/her free time to explore Estonia.

What would be the cost of living in Estonia to support such a lifestyle?
  • Stay: Cheapest of the hostels cost about 10 Euro per person, that is 300 Euro per month
  • Mid range hotels cost 5000 INR or around 60 Euros per day= 1800 Euro per month.
  • Apartment rentals cost between 300 to 800 Euros a month (in city or away, 1 BR/2 BR etc)
  • Food: 10 Euro per day if you cook yourself, 50 if you buy a meal from budget restaurants= 300 to 1500 Euro per month
  • Travel: Public transport is free in Estonia. But assuming you need a few weekend flights to other EU destinations, taxi rides etc, factor about 500 Euro per month.
  • Those who come to Estonia will still have some expenditure in their home country- may be rent, EMI, family member expenses etc, let us assume a modest 30000 INR per month or about 350 Euros
  • Then there will be discretionary expenses- shopping, entry tickets to tourist places, medical emergency, tips, utility payments etc, let us assume about 200 Euro per month
All these sums up to about 300+300+500+350+200 = 1650 Euro per month for extremely budget way of living and goes to 1800+1500+500+350+200=4350 Euros per month in a slighly luxurious lifestyle.

Those who spend too less aren't contributing much to Estonian economy, so Estonia might prefer to weed out low earners and invite only those who earn more and hence might spend more. I think this is the reason for enforcing 3504 Euro monthly earning clause on Digital Nomad visa- this limit is bit higher than lowest amount needed to live in Estonia but lower than what it would cost for a fairly luxurious living.

How where does that put Indians?
A salary of 3.1 lakh per month weeds out most of Indians who might be interested in traveling and applying digital nomad visa. I don't think even senior software developers earn so much. Below is what I have extracted from Glassdoor, which states average salary range for various roles.
  • A project manager in Infosys or such major IT companies makes about 20-23 lakhs per year including variable pay etc. Let us assume best of them make about 30 lakhs per year- which is still lower than 3.1 lakh per month expected by Estonia.
  • And project managers are usually senior people with family, kids etc- they may not be keen to go work from Estonia given their family commitments, kids schooling etc.
  • Barring few exceptions like Google, most junior to mid level IT employees do not earn 3 lakh per month. Most startup employees are also ruled out. Some freelancers, social media influencers who charge a lot and earn several lakhs per month may qualify.
  • Some startup founders, core team members might also be drawing this much salary, depending on how well funded they are.
  • But 3500 Euro is at par with average salary a normal software engineer earns in UK, Europe or US. In fast experienced, best talents may earn 8000-9000 Euros per month as well. So for people from developed economies the rate is reasonable. Even those who have gone onsite for 6 months might be able to qualify
So what to do?
Best option would be to wait and watch. If not enough people could apply because of high earning limit, Estonia may lower it a bit. If the limit is brought down by 60-65% to about 1 lakh INR (1200 Euro per month), many mid level IT employees, reasonably well doing freelancers might qualify. But then Estonia is a small country- they may not want their cities flooded with low earning visitors who don't spend much and consume infrastructure. Estonia's population is just 13 lakhs. Probably Bengaluru alone has more software engineers than this number. So let us see what happens.

Maybe couples who are earning well might find it easier- as combined income is higher and per head expense is lower as many components are shared (rent etc)

Other countries offering Digital Nomad visa have income expectations as below
  • Antigua and Barbuda: 50000 USD per year  (4200 USD per month=3600 Euro)
  • Dubai: same as above
  • Cayman Islands needs twice the income at 100000 USD per year
  • Costa Rica is half that- 2500 USD per month (2100 Euro)
  • Croatia is more flexible, expecting only 350 Euro per month, even savings are enough.
  • Georgia: 2000 USD per month
  • Iceland: 7800 USD per month
  • Mexico: 1620 USD per month
  • Portugal: 600 Euros per month (couldn't verify if Indians qualify for this)

What do you think?


  1. You missed out the young generation working in Startups. There is quite a lot of that group (single & young) that qualify for the visa!


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