Aruba Digital Nomad Visa: Requirements and Application Process

Can you picture yourself basking in the white sandy coastlines and clear turquoise waters of Aruba as your new digital nomad playground? Yes, you can!

The Caribbean paradise of Aruba offers just that with its digital nomad visa known as the “One Happy Workation” program, launched in 2020 which offers a 90-day stay for remote workers seeking a balance between a short-term getaway and a longer-term living arrangement.

Aside from tax-free benefits on foreign income, visa holders are entitled to special perks and discounts in hotels and commercial establishments.

In this article, we go through the essentials of Aruba’s One Happy Workation program, such as eligibility, the application process, cost of living, and everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

hotels with some nipa huts by the bay of a beautiful beach

What is the Aruba Digital Nomad Visa?

Aruba’s Digital Nomad Visa, officially known as the “One Happy Workation” program, is a unique opportunity designed for remote workers and digital nomads looking to blend their professional lives with the tropical allure of Aruba.

Aruba is a Dutch territory. It is officially known as a constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Situated in the south of the Caribbean Sea, Aruba is located approximately 29 kilometers (18 miles) north of the Venezuelan peninsula of Paraguaná. As part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba shares its sovereignty with the other constituent countries of the Kingdom, including the Netherlands itself, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten​​.

  • Eligibility and Duration: The program is open to any remote worker or digital nomad with the capability to perform their work duties remotely via digital means. Initially, the visa allows for stays up to 90 days, catering to those seeking both short-term escapes and longer-term experiences without the need for a traditional work visa.
  • Application Process and Requirements: Applicants must provide proof of employment or business ownership outside of Aruba, ensuring they have a stable source of income to support their stay on the island. While there was no strict minimum income requirement at the launch, applicants should demonstrate financial stability to cover their living expenses in Aruba.
  • Key Features: Participants in the program can enjoy special accommodation packages designed for digital nomads, including hotels and rental properties equipped with high-speed internet and workspaces. The visa allows for a unique blend of work and leisure, encouraging participants to explore Aruba’s rich culture, beautiful landscapes, and community events, thus offering a deeper, more integrated experience than traditional tourism. There are no taxes on global income for participants under this program, making it financially attractive for digital nomads.
  • Costs and Living: While the visa itself does not impose a direct application fee, digital nomads should budget for their accommodation, living expenses, and any other personal expenditures. Aruba offers a range of living options to suit different budgets, from luxury resorts to more affordable apartment rentals, all offering the essential amenities for a comfortable “workation.”
  • Connectivity and Community: Aruba prides itself on excellent digital infrastructure, ensuring that digital nomads have reliable internet connectivity for their work needs. The island also hosts a growing community of remote workers, providing ample opportunities for networking, socializing, and professional collaboration.
peach flamingo near the beach

The Benefits of the Aruba Digital Nomad Visa

  • Work-Life Balance in Paradise:
    • Scenic Workspaces: Imagine trading the typical office view for Aruba’s stunning beaches, clear blue skies, and sunsets. The island’s natural beauty isn’t just a backdrop; it’s a lifestyle that encourages creativity, productivity, and relaxation.
  • Cultural Immersion and Community:
    • Local Engagement: Beyond the screens, digital nomads can immerse themselves in Aruban culture, from traditional music and dance to culinary delights, offering a rich experience beyond the typical tourist path.
    • Networking Opportunities: With a growing community of like-minded professionals, the program offers networking opportunities, making it easier to connect, collaborate, and share experiences with fellow nomads.
  • Infrastructure and Connectivity:
    • Reliable Connectivity: Aruba understands the digital nomad’s need for reliable internet. The island boasts strong connectivity across accommodations and coworking spaces, ensuring seamless work sessions.
    • Accommodation Flexibility: Special packages cater to remote workers, offering options from luxury resorts to budget-friendly apartments, all equipped with work essentials.
  • Eco-Conscious Destination:
    • Aruba is a leader in sustainability within the Caribbean, aiming to be powered by 100% renewable energy sources. Digital nomads passionate about sustainability will appreciate the island’s efforts in conservation and eco-friendly initiatives.
  • Rich Cultural Heritage:
    • Aruba’s rich history is reflected in its diverse culture, a blend of more than 90 nationalities. This multicultural environment makes it a fascinating place for cultural exchange and exploration.
  • Year-Round Sunshine:
    • With an average temperature of 82°F (28°C) and over 300 days of sunshine a year, Aruba is the perfect year-round destination for those looking to escape colder climates.
  • A Haven for Adventure Seekers:
    • Beyond the desk, Aruba offers adventures from windsurfing and scuba diving to exploring Arikok National Park. It’s an ideal setting for digital nomads who value work and play.
  • Diverse Culinary Scene:
    • The island’s culinary landscape is as diverse as its culture, offering everything from fresh seafood to traditional Dutch cuisine. Foodies will find a haven here, with flavors that cater to every palate.
3 red and black ATV in a brown sand

The Aruba Digital Nomad Visa- Requirements, Application Process, and Costs

Requirements

Eligibility and Application Process:

  • Nationality Requirements: Applicants from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Schengen Area countries, and other visa-exempt nations can apply if their stay exceeds 30 days. Those from countries not exempt must apply for a visa. Special exemptions apply for certain passport holders, including diplomatic and service passports from specific countries​​​​.
  • Required Documents: The application requires a valid passport, recent passport-sized photographs, a return ticket, proof of accommodation (hotel booking, lease, or rental agreement), health insurance, and proof of sufficient income. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is also needed if coming from or transiting through an endemic area​​​​​​.
  • Income Requirement: Applicants must demonstrate sufficient income, with a suggested minimum of $5,000 per month, to cover expenses during their stay​​.
  • Application Steps: Applicants should collect all necessary documents and submit their application along with the required fees (if applicable) at the nearest Dutch embassy. Some countries may offer online application options​​​​.
  • Tax Benefits: Digital nomads are not considered tax residents and are exempt from paying income tax in Aruba during their stay​​​​.
  • Diverse Work Environments: From beachfront hotels to full-service resorts, Aruba offers a variety of accommodations catering to remote work needs​​.
  • Rich Culture and Activities: The island boasts a rich history, diverse cuisine influenced by over 90 nationalities, and numerous activities ranging from historical explorations to water sports​​.
  • Affordable Living Costs: Despite being a popular tourist destination, Aruba offers reasonable living costs, with detailed examples provided to help digital nomads budget effectively​​.
  • High-Speed Internet: With an average broadband and fiber speed of 89.81 Mbps, digital nomads can ensure reliable connectivity for their work​​.

Key Points to Consider:

  • The visa allows for a three-month stay, offering an extended period to experience the island while working remotely​​.
  • Special accommodation packages and discounts are available for digital nomad visa holders, enhancing the workation experience​​.
  • Children under 12 may travel without a visa if accompanied by legal guardians or parents, simplifying family travel arrangements​​.

Application Process

Step 1. Determine Eligibility

  • First, verify if you need a visa to enter Aruba based on your nationality. For many countries, such as the US, Canada, and most European nations, no visa is required for stays up to 30 days. For longer stays or if your country does require a visa, you’ll need to proceed with the application​​​​.

Step 2. Gather Required Documents

  • You will need:
    • A valid passport with at least 6 months validity.
    • Two recent passport-size photos.
    • Proof of accommodation in Aruba (hotel booking, lease, or rental agreement).
    • Proof of sufficient income (at least $30,000 USD annually mentioned in one source or at least $5,000 per month but verify the amount as it may vary by country).
    • Health insurance coverage for your stay.
    • A return ticket or proof of onward travel.
    • Possibly a yellow fever vaccination certificate, depending on your travel history​​​​​​.

Step 3. Apply for the Visa

  • The application process can vary based on your nationality. Generally, you’ll need to:
    • Complete the application form.
    • Submit the application and all required documents to the appropriate Aruban embassy, consulate, or via an online portal if available for your country.
    • For U.S. citizens, the process involves applying online through the Embarkation and Disembarkation (ED) card website under the “One Happy Workation” option, which seems to be instantly processed with no fees​​​​.

Step 4. Pay the Visa Fee

  • Fees vary by country. It’s essential to check with the Aruban consulate or embassy for the exact fee. Payment is typically made during the application process. Note that some nationalities, like Americans, may not be required to pay the visa fee​​​​.

Step 5. Await Approval

  • Processing times can vary. It’s advisable to apply well in advance of your planned travel date to account for any delays.

Step 6. Enter Aruba

  • Upon approval, make your travel arrangements. Ensure you have all required documents for entry, including your visa if applicable, and proof of your digital nomad status (like employment contracts or business ownership documents).

Step 7. Enjoy Aruba

  • Once in Aruba, you can enjoy the benefits of the Digital Nomad Visa, such as tax exemptions on global income, and immerse yourself in the local culture and community​​​​.

Costs

There isn’t a specific visa application fee for U.S. travelers or many other nationalities. The program is particularly tailored to U.S. citizens, allowing them to stay for up to 90 days with no special governmental documentation required beyond booking one of the accommodation package deals offered under the program.

For non-U.S. travelers, the application process suggests contacting a local or Dutch embassy, indicating that fees could vary based on nationality and the specific embassy’s regulations. It’s important to prepare for standard visa application expenses such as the cost of obtaining any required documents (e.g., passport photos, return tickets) and potentially a visa application fee depending on your nationality.

Payments for any incurred costs can generally be made using credit cards or wire transfers, especially for accommodation and other service-related expenses in Aruba. U.S. dollars and all major credit cards for most transactions are accepted, including ATMs withdrawals with cards featuring Cirrus, MasterCard, Maestro, or Visa logos for cash needs​​.

Given the variations in requirements and potential costs based on nationality and individual circumstances, regularly check the official Aruban government websites or contact the nearest Dutch embassy for the most accurate and updated information regarding the application process, required documents, and associated costs for the One Happy Workation program.

white wind turbines on brown sand

Cost of Living in Aruba

Living in Aruba as a digital nomad combines the allure of a Caribbean paradise with the practicalities of remote work. Given that the local currency is the Aruban Florin (AWG), costs can vary widely depending on lifestyle, location, and preferences.

For simplicity, the estimates are provided in both Aruban Florin and U.S. Dollars (USD), noting that $1 USD is approximately equivalent to 1.79-1.80 AWG (this rate can fluctuate, so it’s wise to check current exchange rates for accurate conversions).

Monthly Cost of Living in Aruba for Digital Nomads (Estimates)

Housing:

  • Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center: AWG 1,200 – 1,500 ($670 – $835 USD)
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center: AWG 950 – 1,200 ($530 – $670 USD)

Utilities (Electricity, Cooling, Water, Garbage): AWG 250 – 350 ($140 – $195 USD) for an 85m² apartment

Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL): AWG 120 – 150 ($67 – $83 USD)

Food and Drink:

  • Meal at an Inexpensive Restaurant: AWG 25 – 35 ($14 – $19 USD)
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course: AWG 150 – 200 ($83 – $111 USD)
  • Cappuccino in a Café: AWG 7 – 10 ($4 – $6 USD)
  • Local Beer (0.5-liter bottle): AWG 4 – 6 ($2.22 – $3.33 USD)
  • Groceries (Monthly for 1 Person): AWG 400 – 600 ($223 – $334 USD), depending on dietary habits

Transportation:

  • One-way Ticket (Local Transport): AWG 5 – 7 ($2.78 – $3.89 USD)
  • Monthly Pass (Regular Price): AWG 150 – 200 ($83 – $111 USD)
  • Taxi Start (Normal Tariff): AWG 10 – 15 ($5.56 – $8.33 USD), plus fare

Leisure and Entertainment:

  • Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult: AWG 100 – 150 ($56 – $83 USD)
  • Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend): AWG 50 – 70 ($28 – $39 USD)
  • Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat: AWG 15 – 20 ($8.33 – $11.11 USD)

Miscellaneous:

  • Health Insurance (per month): Prices vary widely depending on coverage; digital nomads often opt for international insurance plans that could cost anywhere from $100 to $300 USD per month.

Total Estimated Monthly Cost of Living:

  • For a Single Person (excluding rent): AWG 1,850 – 2,500 ($1,030 – $1,390 USD)
  • Including Average Rent: Total monthly costs can range from AWG 3,050 to 4,000 ($1,700 – $2,222 USD) depending on lifestyle and specific choices in housing, leisure, and dining.

Please note that these figures are approximate and can vary based on individual lifestyle, the specific area of Aruba where you choose to live, and fluctuations in the market. For digital nomads, factors such as co-working space memberships, travel insurance, and equipment maintenance might also contribute to the overall cost of living.

Resources to Stay Up to Date with Visa Changes

Online Embarkation and Disembarkation (ED) program

Atlys.com

iVisa.com

World Visa Guide

green grass field during sunset

Do I Need an Aruba Digital Nomad Visa?

Aruba, with its stunning beaches, reliable internet, and lively local culture, presents an enticing destination for digital nomads.

For U.S. travelers, the program allows for stays of up to 90 days without the need for a traditional visa and is designed to welcome digital nomads and remote workers, providing them with the opportunity to work from this Caribbean paradise without undergoing the usual visa application process.

For non-U.S. citizens, the need for a visa would depend on your nationality and the length of stay.

Pros of Staying in Aruba as a Digital Nomad:

  • Breathtaking Natural Beauty: Work with a view of turquoise waters and white sandy beaches, offering an unmatched work-life balance.
  • High-Quality Living Conditions: Aruba boasts a high standard of living, with modern amenities and services that cater to the needs of digital nomads.
  • Tax Benefits: Under the “One Happy Workation” program, you are not considered a tax resident, sparing you from local income taxes during your stay.
  • Cultural Experience: Immerse yourself in a melting pot of cultures, enjoying local cuisines, traditions, and the friendly Aruban community.
  • Connectivity: With reliable internet and a variety of co-working spaces, staying connected to your global clientele or audience is seamless.

Cons of Staying in Aruba as a Digital Nomad:

  • Cost of Living: Aruba can be relatively expensive, especially when compared to other digital nomad hotspots in Southeast Asia or Latin America. Budgeting is key.
  • Island Size: The small size of the island might feel limiting for some, especially those used to nomadic life in larger countries.
  • Limited Stay: The “One Happy Workation” program limits stays to 90 days, which may not be sufficient for those seeking longer-term arrangements.

Aruba’s infrastructure supports a digital nomad lifestyle, from cafes and restaurants with Wi-Fi to beachfront resorts that double as temporary offices. However, this paradise lifestyle comes with a higher price tag, making it essential for digital nomads to plan their finances accordingly.

The social scene in Aruba is lively, with plenty of opportunities to meet fellow nomads and locals, fostering a sense of community and belonging. Moreover, the island’s safe environment and English-speaking populace make it an easy place for expats to navigate.

However, the limitation on the duration of stay could pose a challenge for those looking to set deeper roots or who prefer longer-term destinations. Additionally, while the island offers plenty of leisure activities, digital nomads seeking a fast-paced or urban environment may find the island’s pace slower than desired.

Best Places to Live or Explore In Aruba for Digital Nomads

Oranjestad

red troller bus like in the middle of the road surrounded by palm trees- aruba digital nomad visa

The bustling capital of Aruba, Oranjestad, is not just a hub of colorful Dutch colonial architecture but also a central point for digital nomads seeking connectivity and culture. Renaissance Marketplace offers a mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment options with plenty of spots to work outside with a view.

The National Library of Aruba provides a quiet place for focused work, along with free Wi-Fi. For a change of scenery, Surfside Beach offers the perfect backdrop for those who prefer to work with the sound of waves, complete with beach bars that offer Wi-Fi and a refreshing swim break.

Palm Beach

high coconut trees surrounded by nipa hut near the beach with people sitting and walking in the shore- aruba digital nomad visa

Known for its high-rise resorts and stunning coastline, Palm Beach is a favorite among digital nomads for its lively atmosphere and plethora of amenities. The Palm Beach Plaza Mall is not just for shopping; it also has cafes with Wi-Fi for a casual work environment.

Eduardo’s Beach Shack offers healthy smoothies and bowls for a nutritious workday meal, with outdoor seating to enjoy the sun. For after-hours, The Paddock lets nomads unwind with ocean views, good food, and live music.

Eagle Beach

green trees and brown sun during sun set- aruba digital nomad visa

Famed for its soft white sands and turquoise waters, Eagle Beach is an idyllic location for nomads who dream of working in paradise. The area is quieter, offering a serene environment perfect for productivity.

Tulip Caribbean Brasserie offers a peaceful setting with reliable Wi-Fi and delicious cuisine, ideal for lunch meetings or solo work sessions. Nearby, Bubali Bird Sanctuary provides a tranquil escape for nature lovers, perfect for a midday break. Magnolia Wellness is a spot for yoga and wellness classes, ensuring nomads keep their work-life balance in check.

Noord

wide yellow building surrounded by green trees with white sand in front- aruba digital nomad visa

Just north of Palm Beach, Noord is home to a mix of residential areas, beaches, and local businesses, making it a great spot for digital nomads seeking a more authentic Aruban experience. Craft Coffee Bar is a favorite among locals and nomads alike for its excellent coffee and fast Wi-Fi.

Aruba Aloe Museum, Factory, and Store not only offer insights into the island’s aloe vera industry but also a quiet spot to catch up on emails. For a unique work setting, Mira Solo Bar at Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Spa offers stunning sunset views, cocktails, and a comfortable setting to work from.

San Nicolas

a man standing and looking at another man sitting and painting murals showing colorful wall with birds and fish- aruba digital nomad visa

Aruba’s second-largest city, San Nicolas, offers an active art scene and cultural richness that’s inspiring for creatives and digital nomads. Baby Beach provides a secluded spot for those looking to work in a tranquil beach setting, with nearby snack bars for refreshment.

The San Nicolas Art District is perfect for exploring local art and culture during breaks, with several cafes offering Wi-Fi. Charlie’s Bar, a historic and characterful bar, is a great place for networking and enjoying local cuisine and history after a day’s work.

Aruba Digital Nomad Visa – Summary

The introduction of the Aruba Digital Nomad Visa known as the One Happy Workation program opens doors for remote workers worldwide to this Caribbean paradise.

However, like any destination, being a digital nomad in Aruba presents its own set of challenges alongside its many benefits. The cost of living on the island, while comparable to other Caribbean destinations, may be higher than in many digital nomad hotspots around the world.

This factor requires careful financial planning and budgeting for those considering Aruba as their next remote work base. Furthermore, the limitation of the visa to a 90-day stay may require nomads to plan for their next destination sooner than they might in locations offering longer-term visas.

Despite these considerations, the quality of life, the robust infrastructure—including reliable internet and a variety of coworking spaces—and the opportunity for adventure and cultural immersion make Aruba a great digital nomad destination.

While weighing the benefits against the challenges, it becomes evident that being a digital nomad in Aruba is worth it for those who value a balance between productivity and the pursuit of leisure and personal fulfillment.

The Aruba Digital Nomad Visa offers a unique opportunity to experience one of the Caribbean’s most beloved destinations without sacrificing work commitments. For digital nomads in search of sun, sand, and a supportive environment for remote work, Aruba emerges as a meaningful and enticing option.

For more global destination and digital nomad visa details, check out our other posts on;


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Aruba Digital Nomad Visa – FAQs

Can you Work Remotely in Aruba?

Absolutely! Aruba is a welcoming destination for digital nomads and remote workers from around the globe. The island’s “One Happy Workation” program specifically caters to those looking to combine work with the pleasure of living in a Caribbean paradise. With reliable internet, a variety of coworking spaces, and an array of beachfront cafes, Aruba offers the perfect blend of productivity and relaxation for remote workers.

Do you Need a Visa to Work in Aruba?

Whether you need a visa to work remotely in Aruba depends on your nationality and the length of your stay. U.S. citizens, for instance, can take advantage of the “One Happy Workation” program, which allows for stays up to 90 days without a traditional work visa.

For longer stays or for nationals from countries that do not have this arrangement, a visa may be required. Always check the latest visa requirements with the Aruban consulate or embassy before planning your trip.

Is a Schengen Visa Valid for Aruba?

No, a Schengen visa is not valid for Aruba. Although Aruba is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, it is not part of the Schengen Area. Travelers will need to meet the specific entry requirements set by Aruba, which may include applying for a separate visa depending on their nationality and the intended duration of stay.

How Long can you Live in Aruba Without a visa?

The duration you can stay in Aruba without a visa varies by nationality. For example, U.S. citizens can stay for up to 90 days under the “One Happy Workation” program without needing a visa.

However, this duration can be shorter or longer for other nationalities, and the requirements can change based on current policies. It’s essential to consult with Aruba’s immigration authorities or the official Aruba tourism website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

What are the Internet Speeds Like for Digital Nomads in Aruba?

Aruba is well-equipped to meet the needs of digital nomads, with reliable high-speed internet widely available across the island. Most hotels, resorts, cafes, and coworking spaces offer Wi-Fi, ensuring that remote workers can stay connected with ease.

Average internet speeds in Aruba are conducive to most remote work tasks, including video conferencing, streaming, and file sharing. This makes Aruba an attractive destination for professionals looking to work remotely while enjoying a tropical lifestyle.

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