Digital Nomad Visa Comparison: United Arab Emirates vs. Kyrgyz Republic

A comparison of remote work visas for United Arab Emirates and Kyrgyz Republic.

Digital Nomad Visa Comparison: United Arab Emirates vs. Kyrgyz Republic

Digital Nomad Visa Requirements in United Arab Emirates and Kyrgyz Republic

Introduction

If you're a digital nomad seeking new adventures, the United Arab Emirates and Kyrgyz Republic are two countries that have recently launched visa programs to attract remote workers. Whether you're looking for a new destination to explore, want to experience a different culture, or simply need a change of scenery, let's dive into the requirements of each country's digital nomad visa program.

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates launched its Virtual Working Programme in 2020, offering remote workers the opportunity to live and work in Dubai for up to one year. Here are the requirements:

Cost of Visa US$611 (including application fees, processing fees, pre-application medical exam, and emirates ID)
Length of Stay 1 year, renewable upon re-application
Income Requirement Yes - a minimum of US$5,000 per month salary
Remote Work Allowed Yes
Dependents Allowed Yes, but each dependent requires a separate application
Local Employment Allowed No
Business Ownership Allowed No

Note that Virtual Program document holders and their dependents cannot perform work for a local employer in Dubai or provide any services to any person or entity carrying out business in Dubai. To be eligible, you must hold a passport valid for at least 6 months, have health insurance with UAE coverage validity, and provide proof of employment from your current employer with a one-year contract validity.

Kyrgyz Republic

The Kyrgyz Republic has launched a pilot project called the Digital Nomad status, which allows foreign nationals engaged in certain activities to live and work in Kyrgyzstan for up to three years. Here are the requirements:

Cost of Visa -
Length of Stay The pilot project “Digital Nomad” shall be valid up to 31 December 2023. Thus, if foreign national obtain the “Digital Nomad” status in February of this year, then the status will be valid not for 12 months, but until 31 December 2023.
Income Requirement -
Remote Work Allowed Yes
Dependents Allowed -
Local Employment Allowed No
Business Ownership Allowed -

To obtain Digital Nomad status, you need to submit an application through the online portal along with your passport, a digital picture of your face, and an income statement (such as a newly concluded contract or employment contract) for the period of 2021-2022 or for the upcoming performance of works and services. The Digital nomad status holders may be foreign nationals engaged in software development, analysis, design, and programming of information systems and software products, as well as other activities listed on their website.

Conclusion

If you're a digital nomad looking for new destinations, the United Arab Emirates and Kyrgyz Republic offer visa programs that allow you to live and work remotely in their countries. While the United Arab Emirates has a more established program with stricter requirements, the Kyrgyz Republic's Digital Nomad status is a promising opportunity for those in the tech industry. Regardless, both countries offer a rich culture and unique experiences waiting to be explored.