As the concept of embracing the digital nomad lifestyle gains increasing popularity, recent research has unveiled Spain as the top European hotspot for nomads to settle in, and for compelling reasons.
Spain effortlessly fulfils a multitude of criteria that define the ideal environment for digital nomads. So, only one question remains: How can one go about transitioning into the vibrant, sunny, and culturally rich landscape of this captivating country?
What Is a Digital Nomad Visa?
To attract talented and innovative business-minded individuals to their shores, several countries offer visas to digital nomads. This is regarding anybody who decides to take their professional journey to greener pastures and work remotely online, allowing them to earn their living abroad just as easily as from their desk at home.
A digital nomad visa can help to facilitate this move, giving you the legal right to work remotely abroad away from your country of permanent residence.
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Why Should Digital Nomads Choose Spain?
The allure of Spain as a favoured destination for digital nomads to settle in comes as no surprise. After all, tourists flock there year after year for its rich culture and weather, famously home to several UNWTO and UNESCO. And, according to Euronews, both Valencia and Madrid are already considered to be in the top 10 best cities for expats.
But beyond this, Spain offers even more to entice any nomad, housing a wealth of assets that would capture the interest of any remote worker.
Not only is the cost of living relatively affordable (roughly €1,000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment in its major cities) but any digital nomad can enjoy the plentiful coworking spaces, reliable Wi-Fi with an average speed of 248.25 Mbps and bustling urban scene.
Best of all, after already being a favoured spot for remote workers, fortunately, Spain’s long-awaited visa made specifically for digital nomads has finally arrived.
A Guide to Spain’s Digital Nomad Visa
Spain’s new digital nomad visa was approved by parliament in November 2022 as part of its new Startup Act – a programme which aims to attract entrepreneurship and bolster the country’s tech scene.
Who Can Apply?
According to The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation – a department of the Government of Spain – anybody wanting to apply for the country’s digital nomad visa must either be working remotely as an employee or as a self-employed individual.
If self-employed, the applicant may also be able to work for a company located within Spain on the condition that this doesn’t exceed 20% of the total amount of their professional activity.
Are Family Members Permitted to Join?
Depending on a country’s visa features, family members may or may not be able to accompany the applicant on their nomad excursion.
Spain’s digital nomad visa does indeed allow a spouse or unmarried partner, as well as any other children or relatives that make up the central family unit, to join them overseas.
What Are The Requirements?
Before applying for the visa, applicants must first apply for a Foreign Identity Number (NIE). This unique number is a necessity for any foreigner engaged in professional activities in Spain.
Beyond this, applications must also provide a national visa application form and payment of the visa fee, a valid passport and photograph of the application, a criminal record certificate and health insurance.
They must also provide proof of residence in the consular district and a university degree or professional certificate to prove the applicant has at least 3 years of experience in their business activity.
Furthermore, if the applicant is an employee, they must provide the length of their work contract as well as explicit consent to work remotely in Spain. If they are self-employed, they must provide the length of contract in addition to the terms and conditions of working remotely in Spain.
What Are The Financial Requirements?
As with most digital nomad visas, this one does have some financial requirements that must be met before it can be applied for.
Applications must earn at least 200% of the monthly Spanish national minimum wage, which is approximately £2140 per month or £25,700 per year.
And, additionally to the applicant themself, any family members must also provide documentary proof of financial means. The primary members (typically the spouse or partner) must prove additional financial means of at least 75% of the Spanish minimum wage, or £800 per month and £9600 per year.
Then, for any additional applicants, 25% of the Spanish national minimum wage is required, amounting to around £270 per month or £3200 per year.
What Is The Visa Duration?
Spain’s digital nomad visa is valid for 1 year – a fairly typical length of time for a digital nomad visa, though other countries offer visas that extend for multiple years.
If you decide you’d prefer a longer stay, you may proceed to apply for a Residence Permit Card.
What Are The Tax Implications?
Any digital nomad that stays in Spain longer than 183 days will become a tax resident and become liable to pay tax, regardless of working for a foreign company.
However, there are some tax benefits available for digital nomads who are residents under the country’s visa scheme.
Any remote worker may be able to pay a reduced tax rate of 15 per cent during the first four years of their stay, assuming they proceed to apply for a Residence Permit Card after their digital nomad visa has expired.
Provided they earn below €600,000 a year, workers can pay a reduced tax rate instead of the usual 24 per cent rate.
How to Apply For Spain’s Digital Nomad Visa?
You may apply for Spain’s digital nomad visa directly through your embassy in your home country, or through a consulate. Alternatively, if you like what you see on holiday in this beautiful country, you may apply within the first 3 months of entering Spain as a tourist.
As long as you have all of the required documentation and meet the visa requirements, you may go ahead and submit an application. Or, your visa application may be submitted through a representative. And, if you’re a minor, a parent must be involved in the process.
If all goes well, the process is relatively speedy and you can expect to hear back within 10 days of submission. The visa must be collected in person within a month, and used within a year of your successful application.