Digital Nomad Visa: The Ultimate Guide to Working Remotely Abroad

A Guide to Digital Nomad Visa

Remote work is quite popular nowadays. It provides flexibility, and more businesses and individuals see the many perks of working remotely. As remote workers can work from anywhere, there’s no reason they shouldn’t choose to work remotely abroad from a country of their choice.

Many countries offer a digital nomad visa. In this article, we’ll explore how you can work remotely abroad. We’ll talk about the digital nomad visa, explain the difference between the digital nomad visa and the regular work visa, and cover some of the best digital nomad visa countries and criteria that should guide your choice (like the cost of living, taxes, etc.)

Working in a foreign country can be a fantastic experience. If you’re thinking about working abroad, this article is for you. Let’s get started with the ultimate guide to the digital nomad visa.

What is the Digital Nomad Visa?

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines a digital nomad as “a person who earns a living working online in different locations that they choose for themselves.” Unlike the typical remote worker or freelancer who works remotely from their home country, a digital nomad frequently moves from one country to another to work there.

While you can find a visa for digital nomads issued by many countries, those visas are not called “digital nomad visas.” Dubai’s digital nomad visa, called the remote work visa, is one of the most popular digital nomad visas. The Bahamas calls its visa program BEATS (Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay). Nowadays, it’s better for digital nomads as more countries recognize remote work, offer digital nomad visas, and try to attract remote workers to their countries.

The remote work visa, digital nomad visa, or freelancer visa, no matter what each country decides to call it, is your gate to living and working in a foreign country. Let’s first discover the difference between a digital nomad visa and a regular work visa.

What is the Difference Between a Digital Nomad Visa and a Regular Work Visa? 

Regular work visa holders have to work for an employer in the country they wish to live in. Without a full-time contract with an employer inside the country, they can’t apply for a visa or get it.

The digital nomad visa allows freelancers and remote workers to live and work in any country. They don’t need a contract from an employer in that particular country. Digital nomads can provide contracts from employers who own companies registered somewhere else.

Also, business owners can provide paperwork for companies they registered somewhere else.

Advantages of the Digital Nomad Visa

There are numerous advantages to digital nomad visas. We’ll explore some of these advantages here.

  • Choosing a country with an affordable cost of living can be perfect for your finances in the long run.
  • Some countries offer limited tax or zero taxes for up to a limit, which is also great for your finances.
  • Countries offer benefits and perks, and you choose the country you prefer.
  • Visiting a country as a tourist is different from living and working there. You get to experience living and working in various countries.
  • You choose your favorite weather all year long. You may find yourself moving between countries with warm weather.
  • Enjoying work-life balance and not waiting until retirement to visit different countries.

Criteria for Choice or How to Choose the Country

Your Eligibility

Many countries offer digital nomad visas, but your eligibility depends on your nationality and where you’d like to go. Some digital nomad visas, for example, are easy when you’re an EU or US citizen. Nationality restrictions should be one of your main priorities when you pick a country to live and work in. While other countries don’t have nationality restrictions, they sometimes have minimum income requirements, for example, Dubai. So, you need to verify all the requirements and check your eligibility first.

Can you take your family?

Although several countries have their digital nomad visa, choosing where to go can be challenging if you have a family. Checking whether you can take your family is one of the main things you should consider. In Hungary, for example, you can’t relocate with your family. Another thing to think about is the educational options available for your children.

Taxes

Paying income tax is one of the things most digital nomads think about when they move to a different country. While we provide information regarding taxes in each country selected in the list, we recommend that you consult a tax expert and check any treaties or agreements between your country and the country you wish to relocate to.

Cost of Living 

The cost of living is one of the main criteria you should consider. While some countries offer no income tax, the cost of living is high. So, before deciding to relocate to any country, you should check the cost of living index. We’ve provided a general cost of living with 1 (most affordable) and 140 (most expensive). Feel free to check Numbeo, the cost of living database, for more information about rent, transportation, etc. You can also compare it to where you live now.

Services Offered

Sometimes, services offered can make a difference when picking a country to live in. One of the main services to consider is internet speed. If your work, for example, needs a fast internet connection, some countries may not be suitable. Countries with fast internet connections are UAE, Iceland, Norway, and Hungary.

Personal Preference (Weather, Culture, etc.)

Besides other criteria, your choice depends on where you want to live. Some people prefer warmer climates. Others prefer cold weather. Some people wish to live on an island. Others prefer a more modern city. It depends on where you want to live. Some people prefer a country with history and museums, and others prefer nature and wildlife.

25 Best Countries Offering A Digital Nomad Visa for Remote Workers

We cover some of the best countries for the digital nomad visa based on internet speed, taxes, cost of living, etc. While this list covers different criteria, we recommend you compare the cost of living to where you live now to decide if the cost of living is reasonable.

Also, consult a tax expert to learn more about tax regulations or laws between your home country and the country you wish to live in.

Let’s get started with our list of the best countries for digital nomad visas.

The Bahamas

The Bahamas

The Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay program, or the Bahamas BEATS, is a fantastic digital nomad visa program that offers remote workers access to 16 unique islands, award-winning beaches, and water sports. It’s perfect for those who enjoy beautiful views of nature and some adventure.

  • The Bahamas BEATS is easy. You require a valid passport, medical insurance, a job letter from your current employer, or proof of self-employment.
  • Also, citizens from the following countries don’t need an additional travel permit: Canada, the USA, Britain, and the EU.
  • You can easily take your family with you to the Bahamas.
  • BEATS offers a one-year residence permit, renewable for up to 3 years, and the processing time is five business days.
  • No minimum income requirement
  • Digital nomads do not need to pay income tax in the Bahamas.
  • The cost of living varies depending on the island you pick, but the cost of living index for Nassau is 103.9, which is slightly higher than California and New York. 
  • Fixed broadband internet speed is around 40 Mbps.

Dubai

Dubai

Dubai is one of the most popular destinations for digital nomads nowadays. Dubai offers digital infrastructure and networking opportunities since it’s one of the popular choices for businesses worldwide. You’ll find a digital nomad community there and meet with like-minded people.

  • To get a remote work visa in Dubai, you must provide a work contract that is valid for one year, a salary slip, bank statements for the three previous months, and health insurance with UAE coverage. Business owners need to provide proof of company ownership and bank statements.
  • No restrictions on some nationalities. If you meet the requirements, you can apply.
  • $5,000 minimum income requirement
  • You can relocate with your family.
  • The visa is for one year and is renewable.
  • Zero income tax
  • Dubai’s cost of living index is 65.3, and it’s way less expensive than many major cities in the USA.
  • UAE is the 5th globally in fixed broadband speed: an average of 219 Mbps.

Norway

Norway

To work remotely in Norway, you need a residence permit. Norway is famous for its tourist attractions and for providing the unique experience of the polar day and polar night. It’s important to note that Norway doesn’t offer a special visa for digital nomads. Norway’s independent contractor visa eligibility is limited to those with at least one Norwegian client.

  • The visa is hard to obtain, and not all digital nomads can fulfill the requirements. You must have a Norwegian client.
  • You can relocate with your family.
  • In Norway, there is a high standard of living, and remote workers pay taxes.
  • The cost of living index in Oslo, Norway, is 81.4
  • As for internet speed, fixed broadband is around 111 Mbps.

Hungary

Hungary

The Hungary digital nomad visa, known as the white card, is also a good option for digital nomads. Besides being a beautiful country known for spa towns and hot springs, Hungary is very safe. To get the digital nomad visa for Hungary, you must work for a company registered abroad (outside Hungary).

  • This digital nomad visa is suitable for all non-EU citizens.
  • The income requirement is a minimum of €2,000 per month.
  • You can’t relocate with your family.
  • No taxes if you stay less than 183 days
  • The cost of living index in Budapest, Hungary, is 45.3.
  • As for internet speed, Hungary is among the countries providing fast internet connections. The fixed broadband download speed is 132 Mbps.

Georgia

Georgia

Georgia is one of the easiest countries to enter without a visa if you reside in one of the eligible 95 countries. You must complete an online application and provide paperwork as proof of income, employment, etc. Georgia is known for its great food and hospitality.

  • Citizens of 95 countries are eligible without a visa.
  • The income requirement is a minimum of $ 2,000 per month.
  • You don’t pay taxes if you stay for less than 183 days. After that, you are a tax resident and are expected to pay a 20% income tax. Also, Georgia offers the individual entrepreneur scheme, in which they pay only 1% of their first income ($ 155,000).
  • You and your family can both live in Georgia.
  • The cost of living in Tbilisi, Georgia, is 44
  • As for fixed broadband, the download speed is 25 Mbps.

Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia

Rated one of the best travel destinations, Bali, Indonesia, is a popular destination for digital nomads. While Indonesia doesn’t offer a digital nomad visa, the B211a visa is perfect for digital nomads. This visa allows visitors to stay for six months and is extendable. So, if you’re interested in working remotely from Asia in one of the best travel destinations, Bali is a good choice.

  • Many countries are eligible to apply for digital nomad visas.
  • A minimum bank balance of $2000
  • No taxes for 183 days, and you can’t stay longer than 180 days
  • The cost of living in Bali, Indonesia, is 37.9
  • The download speed is 31 Mbps

Argentina

Argentina

With a low cost of living, Argentina is one of the favorite destinations for digital nomads. If you want to visit South America, Argentina is a good choice. Argentina is very safe and has fantastic beaches, spectacular waterfalls, and beautiful landscapes. It’s one of the best destinations to experience nature, a different culture, and great food while you work remotely. 

  • Proof of income to support yourself in Argentina. They have no minimum requirements.
  • No income tax in Argentina
  • Argentina’s digital nomad visa is new, and no information about whether or not your family can accompany you.
  • The cost of living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is 31.6
  • Fixed broadband has a download speed of 47 Mbps

Bermuda

Bermuda

Besides being a beautiful destination, Bermuda has a reliable healthcare system and education options. It’s also one of the safest destinations out there. In addition to the famous pink beaches, you can go sailing, hiking, golfing, or visit Bermuda’s historic forts. While this seems like a lovely place to go, it’s important to remember that the cost of living in Bermuda is high, so it’s not suitable for all remote workers.

  • The Work from Bermuda certificate offers a one-year stay to remote workers
  • Proof of employment is required
  • No income taxes in Bermuda
  • You can relocate to Bermuda with your family
  • The cost of living index in Bermuda is 142
  • As for internet speed, it’s 95 Mbps.

Germany

Germany

A German freelance visa is a good option for digital nomads. While Germany doesn’t issue a specific digital nomad visa, the German Freelance Visa is close enough.

Between palaces, cathedrals, and architecture, Germany is a good choice for those fond of history and architecture. We must warn you, however, that paperwork is a bit annoying, and getting approval for the visa may take up to 4 months.

Plus, your business has to benefit the German economy, and as a freelancer, you can apply only for certain professions. So, if you have German clients or have business ideas for Germany, then Germany is for you.

  • You pay taxes in Germany, and how much you pay depends on your income.
  • No information about whether you can take your family
  • The cost of living in Berlin, Germany, is 69.7
  • Fixed broadband average download speed is 84 Mbps

Costa Rica

San Jose, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the best travel destinations. It’s known for its museums, beaches, and wildlife. Let’s see if it makes a good choice for digital nomads. A study by InsureMyTrip lists Costa Rica in the top 10 for digital nomads. You won’t run out of activities in Costa Rica: visiting the various beaches, wildlife spectacles, and cruises.

  • The minimum income requirement for Costa Rica is $3000, or $4000 if you also apply for dependants.
  • Foreign nationals won’t be considered tax residents in Costa Rica.
  • The cost of living index in San Jose, Costa Rica, is 50.1
  • The fixed broadband download speed is 69 Mbps.

Croatia

Croatia

Croatia is in Southeast Europe. You can visit Croatia for its fantastic beaches, seafood, climate, national parks, etc. With Croatia, you’ll have thousands of reasons why you should visit. And for digital nomads, Croatia is a good option if you can fulfill the monthly income requirement

  • Visa is for non-EU/EEA citizens.
  • Around $2500 as monthly income
  • There are no taxes in Croatia for digital nomads.
  • Family members can join you.
  • The cost of living index is 53.2
  • The download speed in Croatia for fixed broadband is 46 Mbps

Cape Verde

Cape Verde

Cape Verde is a country consisting of a group of islands and is 620 km off the west coast of Africa. Cape Verde is such an underrated country. There are many activities for visitors: Safaris and wildlife activities, water activities, cruises, water sports, spas, etc. So, let’s see who’s eligible to live and work in Cape Verde and how suitable it is for digital nomads.

  • It’s eligible for citizens of Europe, North America, the Community of Portuguese-speaking countries, and the community of West African States.
  • For proof of income, you need a minimum bank balance of 1.500€ in the last six months for the individual and 2700€ for a family.
  • Digital nomads are exempt from income tax.
  • The cost of living index for Cape Verde is not available.
  • Internet speed for fixed broadband is 16 Mbps

Anguilla

Anguilla

Anguilla, a British territory, is one of the Caribbean islands that offer a one-year stay for digital nomads. Anguilla’s new digital nomad visa program is called “Lose the crowd, find yourself.” This program is suitable for those who love remote working.

Although it’s a tiny island, you will always find several activities in Anguilla: watersports, boat racing, visiting the various beaches, etc. Remote working for the self-employed can be fun in the Caribbean.

  • The visa application fee or the digital nomad visa cost or visa fee is expensive: $2000.
  • The application process is easy, but you must provide required documents like proof of employment or business incorporation certification, a copy of your birth certificate, health insurance coverage, etc.
  • There is no income requirement. You don’t pay local taxes, and you can take your family.
  • As for the cost of living, there is no available data.
  • In Anguilla, it depends on the location and varies. In urban areas, the average speed can reach 74 Mbps, but in rural areas, it can be as slow as 13 Mbps.

Seychelles

Seychelles

Seychelles, the perfect vacation, is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean (East coast of Africa). Seychelles has issued a Workcation Retreat program for remote workers to work and live in Seychelles. If you’re fond of experiencing a perpetual summer and would love to live on an island, then Seychelles is for you.

  • There is no income tax for freelancers or business tax for business owners.
  • You can stay up to one year, and Workcation permits can extend to family members.
  • Requirements are pretty easy to fulfill: proof of employment, proof of income, health insurance, etc.
  • No cost of living index data
  • Fixed broadband download speed is 18 Mbps

Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Before proceeding, we must say that the Czech Republic visa is difficult. But if you have the required documents and are patient, you can live in the Czech Republic and enjoy its rich history and culture. If you’re fond of visiting museums, you’ve found your place, as the Czech Republic has hundreds of museums.

The Czech Republic’s long-term visa for entrepreneurs is for those who are self-employed or those who run a business. Applicants need to provide a registry extract like a trade license extract.

  • You can bring your family members.
  • You must have at least $5200 in your bank account.
  • You are a tax resident and pay taxes if you spend more than 183 days in the Czech Republic.
  • The cost of living index for Prague, Czech Republic, is 54.6
  • As for the download speed for fixed broadband, it’s 60 Mbps

Estonia

Estonia

Estonia is one of the countries that offer digital nomad visa programs. It gives freelancers or remote workers the right to stay in Estonia for up to one year. It is suitable for the self-employed or those working for a location-independent business.

For Estonia, you can’t apply online. You have to visit the nearest Estonian Embassy. You still need proof of employment, even if you work for a location-independent business.

Estonia is in northeastern Europe and has 1500 islands and islets. With festivals, culture, food, and one of the largest collections of folk songs ever, Estonia makes a good choice. 

  • The income requirement is €4,500 (gross tax) per month
  • You pay taxes in Estonia if you stay for more than 183 days
  • You can bring your family
  • The cost of living in Estonia is 59.6
  • As for internet speed, it’s 58 Mbps

Iceland

Iceland

A New York Times Article calls Iceland a “magnet for tourists.” Iceland is a country in Europe famous for the Northern Lights, and it’s where you can go whale watching, see ice caves, visit hot springs, and see magma caves. As it’s a good destination for tourists, it would also be perfect for remote workers to enjoy the country’s beautiful landscape while working.

  • Iceland’s long-term visa for remote work allows remote workers to stay in Iceland for 90 days and up to 180 days.
  • You can take your family with you.
  • You must be from a country outside the EEA/EFTA to be issued a long-term visa for remote work.
  • An income of ISK 1,000,000 per month (around $7000) or ISK 1,300,000 if you’re applying for your family (around $9000).
  • You don’t pay taxes in Iceland
  • The cost of living index in Iceland is 85.8
  • Iceland’s internet speed is 216 Mbps

Greece

Greece

Greece, a beautiful country in Southeast Europe, is one of the top tourist attractions worldwide, with the Acropolis, Santorini, or Crete, the largest Greek island. Greece is a place of history, culture, and nature.

  • All non-EU citizens can apply for a digital nomad visa in Greece. 
  • You must prove you’re a digital nomad working for a foreign company with a minimum monthly income of €3,500.
  • You pay tax. However, half of your income is not subject to tax.
  • You can bring your family.
  • The cost of living index for Athens is 59.8
  • As for internet speed, it’s 44 Mbps (fixed broadband).

Romania

Romania

Famous for Dracula, castles, and some legends, Romania is a perfect destination for many people. So, will Romania be a good choice for digital nomads? Romania issues a long-stay visa suitable for digital nomads and gives them residence permits. Let’s see the requirements and eligibility.

  • Foreign digital nomads must work for a foreign company with a 3x average gross monthly salary in Romania for six months before applying for the visa.
  • You pay taxes only if you stay longer than six months.
  • Romania issues The Romania Family Reunification Visa (D/VF) to non-EU nationals who wish to join their family members in Romania.
  • You can bring family members if you’re a Romanian residence permit holder.
  • The cost of living index in Bucharest, Romania, is 43.2
  • Romania’s internet speed is one of the best in Europe, with 170 Mbps for fixed broadband.

Cyprus

Cyprus

Cyprus, a beautiful island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, allows remote workers to live and work in the city for up to a year (extended to 2 years). Famous for its beautiful beaches and nature, it’s one of the most popular destinations in the world, and working remotely there should be considered by digital nomads looking for beautiful destinations to live and work.

  • Cyprus issues a limited number of temporary resident visas or temporary resident permits.
  • Family members can live in Cyprus with their sponsor, but they can’t take up paid employment.  
  • The income requirement for Cyprus is a monthly income of €3,500
  • The cost of living index in Larnaca, Cyprus, is 63.7
  • Internet download speed for fixed broadband is 50 Mbps

Albania

Albania

A small country on the Balkan Peninsula, Albania is a beautiful country famous for its medieval castles and beautiful beaches. Albania’s visa for remote work allows remote workers to apply for permanent residency after spending seven years in Albania. It’s one of the countries worth visiting due to its low cost of living, making it a haven for freelancers and remote workers.

  • Albania’s annual income requirement is €9,800
  • You can take family members with you to Albania
  • Digital nomads will be considered tax residents after 12 months.
  • The cost of living index for Albania is 41
  • As for internet speed, it’s 46 Mbps (fixed broadband download speed).

Brazil

Brazil

This Portuguese-speaking country is one of the first in South America to issue a digital nomad visa. Famous for coffee, beaches, football, and music, Brazil is a good destination for anyone who wishes to explore this beautiful country in South America. Brazil issues temporary visas and residence permits so digital nomads can work for foreign companies and stay in Brazil. Brazil’s digital nomad visa is for one year (extended to another year). 

  • You need to provide a contract or any proof of employment.
  • The visa is for anyone, but EU nationals are exempt from issuing this digital nomad visa if they stay only for 90 days. 
  • The income requirement is $ 1,500 per month or more or availability of 18 thousand US dollars in the bank.
  • You pay tax in Brazil if you stay longer than 183 days.
  • Unclear if you can apply for family
  • The cost of living index in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is 38.2
  • As for internet speed, it’s 106 Mbps (download speed for fixed broadband).

South Africa

South Africa

Africa makes a good destination for digital nomads, and now, besides Seychelles and Cape Verde, you can also work and live in South Africa. As the cost of living is affordable, you can pick South Africa as the next stop for you as a digital nomad. South Africa is known for wildlife safaris and natural landscapes. Let’s see if it’s a good option for digital nomads.

  • There is no information about requirements or taxes (the digital nomad visa is new). 
  • Internet speed (fixed broadband download speed is 42 Mbps
  • The cost of living index in Johannesburg, South Africa, is 40.5

Latvia

Latvia

Famous for its sandy beaches and a heaven for those who love wildlife, this underestimated Northern European country is worth visiting by digital nomads who fulfill the requirements. 

  • Foreign nationals must work for an organization recognized by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
  • The self-employed must be working in a company registered in an OECD country. 
  • You must be earning around €3000 per month.
  • Digital nomads pay income tax in Latvia.
  • You can’t bring family members to Latvia.
  • The cost of living in Riga, Latvia, is 54.9.
  • As for the download speed of the fixed broadband, it’s 77 Mbps.

Thailand

Thailand

Famous for diving spots, fantastic festivals, and wildlife, this exotic destination is not for everyone. While it would be perfect for digital nomads to live and work from Thailand, the requirements for Thailand’s LTR or long-term visas for long-term visitors are hard to fulfill. Thailand’s LTR visa lasts for ten years. This visa is for highly qualified professionals who are well-off.

  • The annual income of USD 80000 per year for the past two years
  • Five years of work experience in the relevant field.
  • Tax exemption for overseas income.
  • You can easily take your family to Thailand.
  •  The cost of living in Bangkok, Thailand, is 49.8
  • As for internet speed, it’s 204 Mbps (fixed broadband)

How to Apply (General Guidelines) 

Some countries offer an easy online application, while others prefer applicants visit the embassy or the consulate. When it comes to how to apply, it depends on the country you pick, but here are the general requirements that you need:

  • Valid passport
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Bank statements (to ensure you meet the monthly income requirements)
  • Proof of employment (contracts, etc.)
  • Pay application fees (some countries take no fees while in others, the digital nomad visa cost can be expensive, like the Bahamas: $1000)

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve talked about visas for digital nomads. We’ve explored some of the most popular destinations for digital nomads. The guide aims to help you decide where to live and work. Digital nomad visas are a good option for remote workers and help you obtain a temporary resident visa in your favorite country.

It’s easy for digital nomads to get a visa in most countries. Your only criterion shouldn’t be how beautiful the country is. Always check the cost of living, services offers, and tax rules and regulations. Work doesn’t have to be boring. Nowadays, you can easily apply for a digital nomad visa and work remotely abroad.

FAQs

FAQs about the Digital Nomad Visa 

What is a digital nomad visa?

A digital nomad visa is for freelancers, remote workers, and business owners who want to work remotely from a foreign country.

How much does a digital nomad visa cost?

It varies. Some countries offer the digital nomad visa with no fees: Georgia. Others cost as much as 1000 US dollars: the Bahamas.

Which country is the easiest to get a digital nomad visa?

Georgia is one of the easiest countries to get a digital nomad visa if you’re a citizen of 95 eligible countries.

What is the cheapest nomad visa?

Georgia’s digital nomad visa is free.

Does the US have a digital nomad visa?

The US doesn’t offer digital nomad visas for remote workers and freelancers.

Which country is the best for digital nomads?

It depends on your income, personal preference, and whether or not you can take your family, etc.

What is the best country to move to as a digital nomad?

Many countries make a good choice. Georgia’s visa is easy and free, and Dubai has a fast internet connection. 

Can you get a work visa for remote work?

Remote work visas are different from regular work visas. However, some countries don’t offer an official digital nomad visa, but they can accommodate remote workers through other visas like Indonesia’s B211A.

Which EU countries offer nomad visas?

Many EU countries offer nomad visas. Some EU countries offering nomad visas are Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Romania.

Do I need a visa if I work remotely?

Yes, and you can’t work remotely with a tourist visa. You should check the rules and regulations of each country.

How do digital nomads get visas?

Digital nomads get their visas by filling out an online application.

Who is eligible for a nomad visa?

Every country has its own set of rules. Some countries require certain nationalities to apply, while others focus on a minimum monthly income.

Which country has the best digital nomad taxes?

Dubai takes zero income tax.

Is the digital nomad visa similar to the freelancer visa?

Yes, different countries have different names for remote work visas.

Does Spain offer digital nomad visas?

Yes, Spain offers digital nomad visas.

Can I work remotely with a tourist visa?

No, it’s illegal to work remotely with a tourist visa. You should always apply for a digital nomad visa. 

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