Are you a digital nomad looking for a country to live in? For good reasons, Spain is one of the best countries to be a digital nomad, it is the destination par excellence for tourists, expatriates and even digital nomads. It has pleasant weather, a relatively low living cost, and many unique places to visit. Moreover, with the long-awaited Startup Act of remote workers visa set to be written into law in January 2023, non-EU residents working from home who wish to move to Spain will get a chance to live and work in the country for up to 5 years. This article will discuss everything you need to know about the Spain Visa for digital nomads.
What is a Digital Nomad Visa (DNV)?
Digital nomads refer to people who work from home, from anywhere. All they need is a laptop and internet access. Although the nomadic lifestyle dates about a decade ago or more, it was until the year 2020 that digital nomad visas started being created. Estonia was the first country to introduce this type of visa, which also provides e-residency for remote workers. The Spain visa for digital nomads is a residence permit tailored for non-European citizens who wish to live and work remotely from Spain. This visa is ideal for anyone planning to spend a longer duration in Spain without the time limits of a tourist visa. With a Spanish visa for remote workers, your stay can extend up to 5 years. This visa is best for
- Self-employed people who engage in online activities with multiple clients spread across the globe.
- An employee working for a foreign company remotely or an employed worker whose company permits them to travel and freelance away from their home country
Is Spain a good destination for digital nomads?
Spain ranks as one of the best places to live and work as a digital nomad. It provides remote workers with all they need to lead a fulfilling lifestyle. Here are some reasons why Spain is an excellent place for digital workers.
- Affordable cost of living- One of the reasons you can truly thrive and be successful as a digital nomad is that it offers a relatively low cost of living compared to other EU countries. In Spain, you will find different housing options. So, choose one within your budget. Also, food and other amenities are pretty affordable. You can find the cheapest places to live in Spain near the sea.
- Good weather – Spain boasts favourable weather conditions all year round. It is mostly sunny with mild temperatures.
- Reliable internet access- Spain has an excellent internet connection that is reliable and super-fast. Internet connections in this country are typically fibre optic cables and ADSL.
- Plenty of coworking spaces- another thing that makes Spain a hotspot for digital nomads is that there are plenty of coworking spaces in major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona. Working from a shared workspace as a remote professional makes it easy to network.
- Good public transportation. Spain has a good infrastructure of high speed trains to move around Spain without any problem, also most cities have trains, trams, subways… Also the roads are in good condition and it is very easy to drive in Spain.
Requirements for the Spanish Visa for Digital Nomads
Before, only EU and EEA citizens were allowed to live in Spain and work from remote for up to 3 months without any restrictions and could extend their stay term by registering with the local registration hall. But non-EU citizens who wished to live and work in Spain had to seek employment from a Spanish company. They were not allowed to engage in remote work even if they had a Schengen Visa or a tourist visa. But with the introduction of Spain DNV, any digital nomad who wishes to settle in this country can do so without hassle. However, there are several requirements you need to meet to be eligible for a visa. Which include
- You must demonstrate that you have worked remotely for at least one year.
- You must prove you are employed by a non-Spanish company and have worked remotely for the company for a minimum of one year. To improve that, you will be required to present an employment contract. Or you need to prove that you have clients outside Spain and have been having a freelance relationship with your clients for a minimum of three months before your application.
- Meet the minimum income requirement -Your income must meet the amount set by the Spanish Government. Although the actual national minimum wage required when applying for this visa is not yet known, it is expected to be higher than the current minimum wage in Spain, which is €1,050. Expect the set amount to be around €1,000 – €3,000.
- You must have a clean criminal record for the last five years. Also, you shouldn’t be prohibited from entering Spain. To demonstrate that, you must submit a legalized and apostilled criminal record certificate with a minimum validity of 90 days.
- You must show proof of accommodation by submitting a rental contract for the house you will be living in during your stay.
- You must have private health insurance coverage with validity for the term you will live in Spain.
- You must not have held Spanish residency status in the last five years preceding your application.
- Demonstrate the ability to pay the required administrative fee of 790,038.
How to apply for the Spain DNV
The Spain visa for digital nomads will be available in January 2023, and you can apply for it from your home country, where you will get a 1-year visa that you can extend for up to four more years later. You can apply for a remote workers visa directly from Spain as a tourist, you will need a law firm to assist you in the process of your digital nomad visa. That way, you will obtain a three-year permit that is renewable twice.
Below is a step-by-step process on how to apply for the Digital nomad visa
- Fill out the application form-The first step is to complete the application form. Check whether you can fill it up online or whether you will have to download the form and fill it out physically. Moreover, you must ensure you fill in all the required parts and provide correct and up-to-date information.
- Book an appointment-After you fill out the visa application form. It will be time to book an appointment with the Spain embassy or consulate in your home country. At this stage, you will know the exact date and time to attend the interview.
- Prepare the must-have documents-There are several compulsory documents you must submit along with your application during the interview day. Failure to submit any required documents can lead to the denial of the visa. Therefore, make sure all the documents are in order as soon as possible. If necessary, translate the papers and get them certified with an apostille stamp. Some required documents include a passport, the visa application form, passport photos, travel health insurance, proof of financial income, remote work evidence, and civil documents such as birth certificates, qualifications, and a CV.
- Submit the application-Next, submit the documents with the application form to the embassy or consulate and wait for the approval of the visa. At this stage, you will be required to pay the visa fee. Therefore, make sure you have money on hand.
- Wait for approval of your visa- It will be time to wait for the processing of your visa. The Spanish visa for digital nomads will take around one month to process. Take this time to prepare for your travels. You will receive an email alerting you to your visa approval.
Do digital nomads pay tax in Spain?
Yes, in Spain, digital nomads pay taxes as if they were non-residents, which before the implementation of the Spain DNV was only for workers who didn’t live in the country for more than 183 days. Moreover, the law about the DNV offers a tax benefit to the beneficiaries for the first four years. Instead of paying the usual rates, which can reach almost 50% (depending on your income), you will only have to pay a maximum of 24%.
Conclusion about Digital nomad visa in Spain
In conclusion, the newly introduced Spain Visa for remote workers means a lot to foreigners who wish to move to the country as they work from home. With the visa, you get a permanent residency permit for up to five years. Also, once you get the DNV, you can bring along eligible family members.
FAQs about Spain Visa for remote workers
Can I move to Spain if I work remotely?
Yes, Spain is one of the most desirable places to move to as a digital nomad and one of the cheapest places to work remotely in Europe. From the pleasant climate, low cost of living, reliable internet and security to the abundance of shared workspaces, the country remains a hot spot for freelancers. Moreover, with the digital nomad visa available, foreigners can relocate and work from home in Spain for an extended period without restrictions.
Which European countries have digital nomad visas
Apart from Spain, which launched its remote worker’s visa, other countries in the European economic area have that visa. These include Estonia, Croatia, Greece, Iceland, Romania, Cyprus, Hungary, Romania, Malta, Latvia, Norway, and the Netherlands.
Does Spain offer a digital nomad visa?
Yes. The DNV is a new programme that allows non-European nationals to live while working from home for up to 5 years.
When can I apply for Spain’s digital nomad visa?
If you are a digital nomad and wish to move to Spain, you can apply for a DNV as of January 2023.