Are you tired of your current location and want to explore other attractive destinations as a digital nomad? Spain is one country you should visit. Its electrifying nightlife, picturesque landscape, and vibrant culture are enough to woo adventurous digital nomads to the country.
However, before you get super-excited, you must understand the requirements for the Spain digital nomad visa: requirements, application process, cost, etc. Lucky for you, we covered all the important information you need to obtain a Spain digital nomad visa in this article.
What is a Digital Nomad Visa?
A digital nomad visa is a document that offers visitors temporary residence in a foreign country. The visa, which lasts 12 months (extendable), permits visitors to work remotely while exploring the country.
One of the requirements of this visa is that potential applicants must work for a company outside of the host country or have a business that can be run from anywhere in the world. Potential applicants, usually remote workers, must also have sufficient funds to cater to themselves and family (should they come along with one) while working for a foreign client or company.
What is the difference between a Digital Nomad Visa and a Regular Work Visa?
A digital work visa allows holders to work remotely for a foreign company. Visitors aren’t allowed to work or seek employment from local businesses as that would violate the terms of the visa. Furthermore, they can have a business that can be run remotely.
A regular work visa is the opposite. This visa allows holders to work or seek employment from local businesses in the host country. The visa, which is usually longer-term, is connected to the duration of the employment contract. And unlike digital nomad visas, regular work visa holders cannot work for foreign companies.
Advantages of Living and Working in Spain.
Want to apply for a Spain digital nomad visa but need some convincing to make the move? Here are some benefits that come with living and working in Spain.
1. Your safety is sure.
A safe country with modern telecommunication technology is an attractive destination for digital nomads. Spain boasts of both and even more.
Spain is safe. It’s ranked as one of the top 41 safest countries in the world. Crime rates are low, transport and taxis are safe, natural disaster risks are low, and the same is true of mugging risks. However, visitors need to be alert to pickpockets and scams, which are rising in Spain due to the influx of tourists. Overall, Spain is a safe country for remote workers.
2- Cost of living in Spain
In addition to its picturesque beaches, vibrant culture, and impressive transport system, Spain is also known for its affordable living costs. Its rent, utilities, groceries, and healthcare are cheaper than most European countries.
In fact, on average, the cost of living in Spain is 43% cheaper than in the United States. Even her most expensive cities, like Barcelona, can be affordable for digital nomads who want to explore the cosmopolitan city while working remotely.
3. Quality healthcare.
Did you know that Spain has the 8th best healthcare system in the world?
That’s not all.
If you live and work in Spain, you’ll enjoy free access to healthcare, no premiums or out-of-pocket expenses. This benefit applies to expats and digital nomads. So, if you are looking for a country prioritizing healthcare, don’t look past Spain.
4. Great transport system.
It’s difficult to visit Spain and not explore its vibrant cities. You can do this easily thanks to its impressive local transport system and well-connected roads.
Spain’s transport system includes trams, buses, metros, and local trains. You can also leverage the high-speed trains to arrive at your destination faster. Spain also has several airports, making traveling to other EU countries easy even without a visa.
5. Internet connectivity
Every digital nomad needs strong internet connectivity to be efficient and productive. Spain has a fairly impressive average internet speed of 88.73Mbps. And even though it’s not as fast as that of Singapore (181.47Mbps) and Hong Kong (145.65Mbps), it’s more than enough to cater to digital nomads who rely on stable internet to work remotely.
Also, Spain has Wi-Fi scattered around the country, making it easy to work from anywhere, whether at airports, train stations, public squares, or even some beaches.
6. Loads of Entertainment.
In addition to having the digital and physical infrastructure that allows remote workers to thrive, Spain offers something more exciting: loads of entertainment.
In Spain, boredom is difficult as there is always something exciting to do regardless of your interests. So whether you are a nightlife enthusiast, a sports lover, or a music aficionado, Spain has you covered.
7. Many residence permit options.
Spain is a European country with one of the most attractive immigration laws. Its law offers options to non-EU citizens looking to move to Spain to live and work. Unlike some European countries, getting a visa in Spain is easy.
For instance, by investing €500,000 in Spain’s real estate, you can get the Golden visa, a residence permit. There is also the non-lucrative visa, designed for those who lack sufficient funds to cater to themselves during their stay. Spain also has a digital nomad visa for remote workers and a job search visa for Spanish student visa holders.
8. Lots of expat communities.
It’s easy to feel lonely and disconnected after leaving your native country for a foreign country. Spain’s expat communities help prevent this through platforms like Meetup or Eventbrite, which makes it easy for foreigners to make new friends and settle in easily. Regardless of your location, there’ll always be a Facebook group with expats from that area ready to meet up and connect.
9. Eye-popping beaches.
Spain has many picturesque beaches, enough to woo international talent to its shores and even make them consider permanent relocation.
But that’s not all.
Unlike some countries, Spain doesn’t have stringent laws regarding attire and nudity at their beaches. So you can soak up the sun while gazing at the tides in any beachwear, whether bikini or swim trunks. However, some areas have certain cultural norms that must be respected. Ensure you do your research so you don’t violate them.
Spain welcomes digital nomads and their pets with open arms. Don’t have a pet? No problem. You can get one locally. Spain also allows you to take your furry friends to public places like bars, restaurants, and sometimes, businesses.
11. Beckham’s Law.
Spain offers foreigners tax benefits for the first six years. With this benefit or tax regime, commonly known as Beckham’s law, you aren’t required to pay taxes on your worldwide income.
However, as a Spanish tax resident (having stayed in Spain for more than 183 days in a year), you must pay a non-resident income tax of 24% on your Spanish income. With Beckham’s law, digital nomads can save a lot of money as it prevents you from paying 45% tax on your worldwide income.
12. Access to the European Union.
Accessing many European Union countries with your Spanish digital nomad visa becomes easy and affordable. You can either go by air or speed train.
Things to Consider Before Applying for a Spain Digital Nomad Visa
So, you’ve decided to apply for a Spanish digital nomad visa. However, before you do so, some important things must be considered.
Will you pay taxes?
Yes, you will.
If you stay in Spain for over 183 days in a year as a digital nomad visa holder, you become a Spanish resident for tax purposes. All your income will be taxed, including those earned from non-Spanish companies or foreign clients.
However, Spanish digital nomad visa owners enjoy a tax benefit ( under the startup act or startup law) that allows them to pay a non-resident income tax of 24% on Spanish income up to €600,000 per annum for the first four years of their stay in the country. If your income surpasses the threshold, you’ll pay a regular income tax of 48% on your salary.
To benefit from the Spain tax incentive, digital nomads must apply with the Spanish tax agency within 6 months of getting their visa. Finally, note that foreigners who own assets in Spain, like real estate or investments, may have to pay wealth tax on their Spanish assets.
PS: Are you paying tax for foreign income in your country? If yes, you won’t have to pay tax again in Spain thanks to Spain’s double taxation treaties.
Are you eligible?
You must determine your eligibility before applying for Spain’s digital nomad visa. To be eligible for this visa, you must:
- Be a non-EU national
- Meet the minimum income requirement
- Have no criminal record
- Show proof of valid health insurance
- Work for a non-Spanish company
- Be a self-employed freelancer or a remote worker employed by a foreign company.
- Be from outside the European Economic area
- Not be an illegal immigrant in Spain when applying
- Have proof of accommodation in Spain
- Not have lived in Spain within the five years before applying
- Prove that you are qualified or experienced in your field
- Have been working remotely for a year and a minimum of three months with your current company
As for the minimum income requirements, you must earn at least 25,920€ per year (or 2,160€ per month). The income requirement increases by 75% for the first individuals following you (be it a spouse or child) and an extra 25% for each individual.
Lastly, you must show that you are qualified or experienced in your field. A minimum of 3 years is needed instead of qualifications like a university degree or professional certificate.
Can you bring your family members along?
Under the digital nomad visa scheme, you can bring your family members, such as your spouse, partner, or children, who must be below 18.
If you intend to bring your child above 18 to Spain, you must prove that you’ll cater to their financial needs. And if you bring your parents, you must prove they are your dependent. Remember, for the first family member you bring, you must provide additional financial means of at least 75% of the Spanish minimum wage.
Spain digital nomad visas come with 12 months duration. However, the duration could be shortened if the applicant is on a short-term contract. Like some countries’ digital nomad visas, Spain’s digital nomad visa is renewable. Applicants can increase their stay to five years if they meet the requirements. After the 5 years period, holders can apply for permanent residency.
How to Apply for a Spain Digital Nomad Visa
You can apply for a Spanish digital nomad visa through a Spanish consulate or embassy in your country of origin. Alternatively, you can apply for a Spanish digital nomad visa by visiting Spain on a tourist visa and submitting your visa application within the first three months. Here is a summary of the visa application process:
Step 1: Submit the visa application for a Spanish digital nomad visa at the nearest Spanish Embassy or Consulate in your home country.
Step 2: Book an appointment and pay the visa fee. Check out the details regarding the appointment on Spain’s embassy website.
Step 3: Attend the appointment. Come along with all required documents, including the application form.
Step 4: Wait for your application to be reviewed. If successful, visit your nearest police station to register your fingerprints and collect your physical residency card.
Applying in Spain
To apply in Spain, you must visit on a tourist visa. After you enter Spain, you need to:
1. Apply for a foreigner’s identity number (NIE) via the local Foreigner’s office or the Police.
You’ll need the following documents:
- Your passport and the visa
- Three clear passport photos
- A filled application form
- Proof of accommodation in Spain
- Evidence that you paid the admin fee
2. Apply for a Tax Identification Number (NIF).
You’ll need these documents to apply:
- A filled application form
- Your passport
- Proof of your residency
- Your tax no from your home country.
3. Register at your Local Municipal Registry.
To do this, you’ll need the following documents:
- Your personal info
- Your residency identification card
- Your NIE
- Your qualifications
- You need both an NIE and an NIF to open a bank account.
Also, submit your application for a Spain digital nomad visa in your home country. You will get a digital nomad visa valid for just one year (which you can modify to obtain a temporary residence permit). But, if you apply directly from Spain, as a tourist, you’ll get a digital nomad visa valid for 3 years (renewable for 2, making the digital nomad visa valid for up to five years, after which you can apply for permanent residence).
PS: If the application process is confusing, ensure you leverage the services of an immigration lawyer.
Spain Digital Nomad Visa Requirements
Before applying for a Spain digital nomad visa, you need to be familiar with the requirements. Here are all the documents you need to apply for the Spanish digital nomad visa.
- A valid passport (must be valid for at least 3 months)
- A filled visa application form
- Valid private health insurance in Spain.
- Criminal record certificate
- Two 35mm x 45mm passport photos
- Proof that you are employed (a work contract)
- Proof that the company you work for has been in operation for at least a year
- Proof that you’ve paid the visa application fees
- A letter from your employer stating that you can work remotely in Spain.
- Proof using bank statements, pay slips, or work contracts that you have a monthly income of €2,160 (or €25,920 per year).
- Proof of qualification (i.e., University degree, professional certificate) showing your work experience over the past 3 years.
If you are applying with your family, you’ll need to produce the following documents:
- Valid passport of the family member
- Proof of the family relationship
- Evidence that you can cater to the family member’s needs in Spain
- Proof of health insurance
How Much Does the Spain Digital Nomad Visa Cost?
The Spanish digital nomad visa application fee costs €80. Aside from the visa fee, you’ll also need to pay for the translation, apostille, and certificate for a clear criminal record, usually obtained from the local Police in your home country.
Lastly, when you enter Spain, you’ll have to pay for the Foreigner Identity Number (NIE) and residence permit card, which costs around €20.
As a remote worker looking to embrace the digital nomad lifestyle, Spain has all you need to enjoy work and have fun. And if you are a digital nomad looking for the next country to explore while working remotely, Spain is where you should be.
Its charming cities, stunning natural landscapes, modern amenities, and networking opportunities are enough to attract digital nomads. Use this comprehensive guide to determine if it’s the ideal next destination for you, and if yes, use it as your roadmap to navigating the digital nomad visa application process.
FAQs about the Spain Digital Nomad Visa and Living In Spain
Does Spain have a digital nomad visa?
Yes, it does.
In June 2023, Spain launched its new digital nomad visa, designed for self-employed non-EU citizens who work remotely. The new visa is valid for a year and can be renewed for up to five years, provided the applicant meets the minimum income requirement of €2,160 per month per individual or about two times the national minimum wage in Spain.
How long does it take for a Spain digital nomad visa to be processed?
Spain digital nomad Visa applications are submitted at the closest Spanish consulate or embassy, which will take 15 to 45 days to be processed.
Does a Spanish digital nomad visa lead to permanent residency?
Yes, only if you meet the requirements.
After staying up to a year on your Spain digital nomad visa, you can apply for a three-year residence permit, which can be renewed for an extra two years. After spending 5 years in Spain, you can apply for permanent residence.
What happens if your digital nomad visa is refused?
If your visa is turned down, you will receive a written explanation regarding why your visa application was refused. This shouldn’t discourage you, as some Spain remote work visa applications get rejected. However, you can file an appeal. You have a month to do that with extra documentation. Remember, the Spanish visa fee is non-refundable.
What is the difference between a Spanish digital nomad visa and a tourist visa?
Spain digital nomad visa is valid for a year, with a renewal for up to 5 years (provided you continue to meet the criteria). On the other hand, the standard Spanish tourist visa is valid for just 90 days during any six-month period. Plus, unlike the digital nomad visa, designed for self-employed remote workers, this visa doesn’t allow you to travel to other Schengen countries.
Can I work In Spain with the new digital nomad visa?
Yes, but there is a limit.
Spain’s new visa is designed for remote workers who work for clients or businesses outside Spain. If you wish to work for a Spanish company or client, you must ensure that your money doesn’t account for over 20% of your overall income.
Can family members work in Spain with a digital nomad visa?
Yes, they can. Spain’s new digital nomad visa allows family members to work as self-employed individuals and even as employees.
Can you use the visa to travel within the European Union?
Yes, you can. A Spanish digital nomad visa allows you to apply for a residence card. With this card, you can travel within the EU while staying in Spain. However, note that the card doesn’t entitle you to work or live in other EU countries. You are only allowed to visit on a short-term basis.
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