- Popular cities for digital nomads in the US include Columbus, Portland, Kansas City, Houston, and St. Louis, each offering unique opportunities and lifestyles.
- The United States does not offer a visa specifically for digital nomads. Digital nomads can apply for other visas such as the B-1 or L-1 visa that allow for extended stays.
- Working remotely in the US on a tourist visa is generally not allowed. Digital nomads need to secure an appropriate work visa or explore other visa categories that permit remote work.
The United States has diverse landscapes, cultures, and opportunities, making it one of the many popular tourist destinations around the world, especially for those who work remotely as they travel. But it’s crucial to be well-prepared for the new type of adventure dominating the world of jet-setters: the digital nomad lifestyle.
From visa regulations to the cost of living variations, understanding how to be a digital nomad the right way helps travelers thrive while living and working in the United States. Unlike other countries, the United States has stringent visa requirements, and selecting the appropriate visa category that aligns with one’s intentions is essential. Moreover, travel enthusiasts should be aware of the intricacies of taxation in the United States.
As such, to thrive in this journey, travel enthusiasts must diligently prepare themselves for the complexities of digital nomad visa regulations, taxation, cultural diversity, and regional variations. Here are some of the most important things to know about being a digital nomad in the US.
What Are The Best Cities In The US For Digital Nomads?
Downtown Houston city skyline over Root Square in Houston, Texas, USA
According to the 2023 Zumper report, some of the most popular cities for digital nomads in the US include Columbus, Portland, Kansas City, Houston, and St. Louis. These cities offer a mix of affordability, job opportunities, and quality-of-life factors that make them appealing to digital nomads.
Columbus is known for its relatively low cost of living compared to other major cities in the United States. Portland offers a unique blend of natural beauty and urban amenities, while Kansas City is gaining recognition because of its thriving arts community, world-class barbecue, and dynamic nightlife scene.
- Short Answer: Popular cities for digital nomads in the U.S. include Columbus, Portland, Kansas City, Houston, and St. Louis., each offering unique opportunities and lifestyles.
Keep in mind that the popularity of cities among digital nomads can change over time, influenced by various factors, including economic conditions, job opportunities, and lifestyle preferences. Therefore, digital nomads need to research and assess their priorities when choosing a city to call their temporary home.
Does The United States Have A Digital Nomad Visa?
Woman Seated On A Brown Wooden Chair While Using A Laptop In Bentonville, USA
The United States doesn’t currently have a specific visa for digital nomads. However, digital nomads can apply for various visas that allow them to work remotely in the US, such as the B-1 (business visitor) visa and the L-1 (intra-company transfer) visa.
These visas can allow for extended periods of stay, depending on the specific visa category and the approval of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It’s essential for digital nomads to understand the terms and conditions of their visa and ensure they maintain legal status during their stay in the US.
- Short Answer: The United States does not offer a visa specifically for digital nomads.
Can Digital Nomads Work Remotely In The US On A Tourist Visa?
Times Square at night in New York City, NYC, USA
The USA is not among the best countries for digital nomads because it doesn’t currently offer a specific digital nomad visa. Also, digital nomads are not permitted to work remotely in the US on a tourist visa.
A tourist visa is designed for temporary visits for tourism, pleasure, or visiting friends and relatives. It does not grant authorization for employment, including remote work, within the country.
To work legally in the US as a digital nomad, individuals typically need to secure an appropriate work visa or explore other visa categories that permit remote work, such as the H-1B, L-1, or O-1 visas.
- Short Answer: No, working remotely in the US on a tourist visa is not allowed.
Working on a tourist visa can lead to deportation and difficulties obtaining other US visas.
What Jobs Can A Digital Nomad Do In The US?
A Person In A Coffee Shop In New York, USA
Typical types of digital nomad jobs include web developers, graphic designers, content creators, digital marketers, writers, and online consultants. Furthermore, many digital nomads operate as freelancers or entrepreneurs, providing services or products online.
They may also engage in e-commerce, dropshipping, or affiliate marketing to generate income. However, it’s essential to ensure compliance with US tax and immigration regulations when pursuing these opportunities.
- Short Answer: Digital nomads in the US can work in roles such as web development, digital marketing, content creation, freelancing, entrepreneurship, and e-commerce, as long as the work is conducted remotely and complies with visa regulations.
How Do Digital Nomads Pay Taxes In The USA?
Solo traveler standing inside the airport lounge while holding a laptop
While there are countries with zero income tax for digital nomads, America isn’t one of them. In fact, the way US digital nomads pay taxes is a bit stricter than in most other countries; US citizens or green card holders are required to pay taxes on their worldwide income, regardless of where they live or work.
To pay taxes in the US, digital nomads should file an annual tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Since most digital nomads are self-employed, they are liable for the US self-employment tax. The tax rate is 12.4% for social security and 2.9% for medical or hospital insurance.
- Short Answer: Digital nomads in the US are subject to federal and potentially state income taxes and must file annual tax returns with the IRS.
It’s recommended to get professional tax advice and help from an accountant or tax preparer, as errors can lead to penalties.
How Much Do US Digital Nomads Need In Savings?
A Person Looking Over Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas, USA
Tourists planning to become digital nomads in the US should recognize that the amount they need to save up can vary widely depending on their chosen lifestyle, location, and financial goals.
Some factors influencing the required savings include living costs in their chosen city, accommodation preferences (e.g., renting, co-living, or camping), travel frequency, and health insurance.
In high-cost cities like San Francisco or New York City, digital nomads may need a significant savings buffer to cover rent, food, transportation, and entertainment expenses.
- Short Answer: The amount US digital nomads need to save varies based on location, lifestyle, and financial goals. High-cost cities require more savings, while budget-friendly places can demand less.
What Are Some Digital Nomad Document Requirements In The USA?
People Boating On The Water In Central Park North, New York City, USA
The document requirements for digital nomads in the USA will vary depending on the digital nomad’s visa type. However, some common document requirements include a passport, visa, proof of travel insurance (which is very important), evidence of remote work, proof of financial income, and civic documents.
In addition to these general document requirements, digital nomads may be required to submit other documents depending on their circumstances. For example, if one has a criminal record, they may be required to submit a police clearance certificate.
- Short Answer: A passport, visa, financial income, travel insurance, evidence of remote work, and civic documents.
It’s essential to check with the US embassy or consulate in one’s home country to get the most up-to-date information on document requirements for digital nomads in the US.
What Is The Digital Nomad Visa Application Process In The USA?
Passports, sunglasses and toy airplane on map. Approved American visa
While the United States doesn’t have a specific program or category designed for digital nomads, the application process for tourism (B-2) and business (B-1) visas is generally the same.
The process involves:
- Filling out an application form
- Making an appointment with an embassy or consulate
- Preparing necessary documents
- Submitting the application
Be prepared to explain any business activities and how one’s work will benefit the US economy. Applicants will also need to answer questions about their finances and how they will support themselves during their stay in the USA.
What Are The Skills Needed To Be A Digital Nomad?
A hiker on a cliff’s edge in a canyon in Zion National Park, Utah, United States
Strong digital skills are essential, as digital nomads rely on remote work, often in web development, digital marketing, content creation, or online consulting. Proficiency in using digital tools and platforms is a must.
Adaptability and problem-solving skills are crucial for navigating the challenges of a nomadic lifestyle, such as changing environments, time zones, and communication barriers. Effective time management and organization are vital for maintaining a work-life balance while traveling.
- Short Answer: Solid digital skills, adaptability, problem-solving, time management, organization, and networking abilities.
What Cities Are The Least Suitable For Digital Nomads In The USA?
Neighborhood in Anaheim, Orange County, California
Some cities in the US pose challenges like high living costs, limited job opportunities in certain industries, or a lack of digital infrastructure. According to the Zumper report, Anaheim, California, is the worst city for digital nomads in the USA. Other less suitable cities include Santa Ana, Plano, Asheville, and Fort Lauderdale.
While these cities may present challenges for digital nomads, it’s essential to remember that individual preferences and career goals play a significant role in determining suitability.
- Short Answer: Anaheim, Santa Ana, Plano, Asheville, and Fort Lauderdale.
Consider factors beyond cost, such as internet connectivity and job opportunities, when choosing a city in the US to stay in.