Get paid to work remotely in these European cities


Get paid to work remotely in these European cities

The rise of remote work is leading some small towns in Europe to encourage people to settle there.

  • The rise of remote working is prompting many small towns around the world to encourage people to settle there.
  • In Europe, a number of sites facing a shrinking population offer financial rewards to remote workers.
  • For local self-employed people looking to relocate, these 4 European locations might be just what you are looking for.

If you are a remote worker or digital nomad, you might be pleasantly surprised that there are many cities and towns around the world that are in fact willing to offer significant financial incentives for you to live there. This is in addition to the many countries offering digital nomadic visas that allow foreigners to work and travel in different countries.

These financial incentives include resettlement grants, tax grants, and even land in some cases. Our recent article on which US cities pay you to settle there highlighted several enticing opportunities for US citizens.

There are also similar opportunities for remote workers and digital nomads in Europe, which we explore in more detail below.

One of the main reasons these small towns and villages offer financial and other incentives to get people to settle there is in an effort to help repopulate these places (which are sometimes referred to as ghost towns because they there are so few people there) and develop local economies.

The reason the villages have become so uninhabited is that over time many people have left to work in the cities. But now remote working offers people a way to live in these places while still being able to earn income and enjoy more rural areas and often lower cost of living.

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, there has been a major shift towards remote working, which means many more people are looking for opportunities to live in beautiful places and enjoy more space and freedom. of work – while saving on the costs associated with more expensive urban lifestyles.

We focus on four cities below that offer a range of different benefits to attract digital nomads and remote workers. These include the town of Ponga in Spain, the village of Albinen in Switzerland and the towns of Candela and Sambuca di Sicilia in Italy.

European cities offer incentives for digital nomads to relocate

The following European cities offer incentives for digital nomads and remote workers who move to live there, to encourage the repopulation of these places and to help rebuild their local economies.

Ponga, Asturias, Spain

About Ponga

Over the years, many people from rural towns and villages across Spain have moved to big cities in search of work. This has left many rural towns and villages with declining populations and declining local economies.

With the aim of repopulating these small towns and villages again, a National Network of Host Villages for Remote Workers (Red Nacional de Pueblos Acogedores para el Teletrabajo), which has 30 members from towns and villages, aims to attract digital nomads and remote workers. To do this, they make it easy to find out about the different towns and villages, the cost of living, the coworking hubs offered, the connectivity rates, the existing equipment and advice on where to stay.

Spain is also expected to introduce a digital nomad visa soon, which could allow foreign digital nomads to live and work there for up to a year, while providing tax incentives for startups and entrepreneurs.

The town of Ponga, Austria in northern Spain offers financial incentives to get people to settle permanently. The cost of living is also quite reasonable which is an added advantage of moving there. And from a lifestyle perspective, it is located close to the coast and several large national and regional parks.

Ponga Asturias
Ponga in Spain (Photo: Imag3s by Getty)

About incentives – benefits

According to In Spain News, for those approved by the program, the city is offering € 3,000 to couples who settle permanently in Ponga – and in addition will pay an additional € 3,000 for each child born there.

Eligibility

You must be a Spanish citizen or have a valid work permit and residence permit to participate in this program.

Albinen, Switzerland

About Albinen

Albinen is a small village in Switzerland, surrounded by mountains and close to the thermal springs of Leukerbad and the Rhone Valley.

Albinen recently voted (in 2017) to allow an installation grant to people who wish to settle there. This in order to stimulate the economy and ensure a future for the city which has a small population of around 240 people.

This quiet place is covered in snow during winters and close to ski slopes suitable for beginners as well as the more advanced. In summer Albinen offers a range of great hiking trails, alpine panoramas, mountaineering bike routes and proximity to many popular holiday destinations.

Albinen in Switzerland (1)
Albinen in Switzerland (Photo: Onepau from Wikimedia Commons)

Advantages

According to The Independent, the grant you will receive for moving to Albinen is approximately CHF 25,000 (approximately € 23,000) per adult and CHF 10,000 (approximately € 9,230) per child – provided you are first approved by the program.

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Eligibility

You must be under the age of 45 to apply for the program and you must also commit to living in Albinen for at least 10 years – by buying or building a house of at least CHF 200,000. You must also be a Swiss citizen or hold a valid Swiss C permit to work there. Your home should be your primary residence – it can’t just be an occasional vacation home.

An important condition is that the Swiss authorities expect only a handful of families to participate in this program, and the requirements are quite strict. This means that only a few applicants will succeed in living here.

Candela, Italy

About Candela

Candela is a small town in Puglia that once had around 8000 inhabitants and was called the “Little Naples” of Italy. But the city’s population has shrunk significantly to just 2,700.

The Italian government intends to attract digital nomads to various cities across the country that have become quite uninhabited or “ghost towns” and to stimulate local economies.

Installing high-speed broadband internet access is one of the initiatives the government is implementing to help attract digital nomads and remote workers to these places.

Italy has many small hamlets and interest in living in these areas has increased since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic as many employees can work remotely.

The small town of Candela in Puglia, Italy goes even further. The city offers financial incentives to people wishing to settle there, including grants and tax credits.

Candela, Italy
Candela in Italy (Photo: redcarpett from Getty Images)

About incentives – benefits

The incentive program pays eligible candidates around € 2,000 for a family of four or five; € 1,200 for couples who settle there; and 800 € for a single person. Tax credit incentives may include credits for waste charges, nurseries, and other municipal bills.

Rental units are quite affordable at around € 400 per month for a 4 bedroom house.

Eligibility

You have to move to Candela and it has to be your permanent home – either by renting a property there or buying a house there. You should also have a salary of at least € 7,500 per year. You also need to be an Italian citizen to love and work in Italy – or you can do so with the required visa or residence permit.

Sambuca di Sicilia, Italy

About Sambuca di Sicilia

Sambuca di Sicilia, in the province of Agrigento, is about an hour from Palermo, the capital of Sicily, and has around 6,000 inhabitants. This beautiful city has many cultural sites and churches and is a short drive from the stunning beaches of the south coast.

Sambuca Italy
Sambuca di Sicilia in Italy (Photo: DeniseSerra from Getty Images)

Advantages

Several towns and villages in Italy have developed their own programs to attract repopulation to their regions. Zungoli and Ollolai, for example, have offered real estate sales at cut prices on the condition that buyers renovate the properties.

The city of Sambuca di Sicilia is endorsing the 1 Euro Houses Project, offering a program that aims to help revitalize and repopulate the city. While this program does not specifically target digital nomads and remote workers, relocation to a small rural town is usually only possible for people who can make a living remotely, as there is not enough local jobs to support an influx of new settlers.

The city offers vacant accommodation at incredibly low prices – just € 1. The properties will be auctioned off with the person with the best bid being eligible to purchase the property. People who buy these amazing real estate deals must commit to renovating the homes within 3 years – spending at least € 15,000 on them and paying a refundable € 5,000 security deposit to ensure compliance. The city’s website has more information.

After the success of the first program (sale of houses for 1 euro), the municipality is offering a new program for 2 euros, which meets the same requirements: only houses cost one euro more!

Eligibility

You will need to be an Italian citizen to be able to live in Sambuca di Sicilia, but you can also use a visa or temporary residence to participate in the 1 Euro Houses project.

Other Italian villages, like Santa Fiora and Rieti, offer rental vouchers for remote workers, up to 50%.

So where are you going to move?

Now that you are aware of the many attractive offers for moving to cities across Europe, you have the difficult task of deciding which one you want to move to. Many factors will influence your decision – from the size of the total population, the natural landscape, national politics and economy, to the extent of financial incentives.

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