Spain is one of the most chosen countries by remote workers who decide to migrate from their country of origin. In this article, we will discuss all you need to know about the digital nomad visa in Spain.
Why do people choose this beautiful country to live in?
Covid-19 has made changes in the world of work, with telecommuting being one of the most resounding consequences. This paradigm shift when it comes to performing work tasks has led more and more people to seek the possibility of working from home or anywhere. In this sense, remote workers choose to work in a country full of beautiful landscapes, friendly people and delicious cuisine.
In addition, Spanish citizenship offers the benefit of permanent residency, the right to vote, free movement and work within the European Union (EU). Although there are many options to obtain citizenship, the most common are nationality by residence, nationality by marriage and nationality by option. However, in this case, we will talk about the modality known as Digital Nomad Visa.
Who are the digital nomads?
Digital nomads are individuals who use technology to work remotely from anywhere in the world. They typically rely on laptops, smartphones, and internet connectivity to perform their jobs, which can include anything from freelance writing and web development to social media management and graphic design.
Remote workers often travel frequently and may live in multiple locations throughout the year while maintaining their work responsibilities. This lifestyle allows them to experience different cultures and environments while maintaining a flexible work schedule.
What is the digital nomad visa in Spain?
In 2022, the Spanish Congress approved the Law for the Promotion of the Emerging Companies Ecosystem, also known as the “Startups Law“.
As reported by the Government in a statement, the objective of this legislation was to generate “an entrepreneurial ecosystem with an innovative vocation” which would encourage the “creation and relocation of startups” and attract talent and capital from other countries.
Within the framework of this law, the creation of a “special Digital Nomad visa for holders who work for themselves or for employers anywhere in the world, in national territory” was announced. This visa allows foreigners to settle in Spain and work remotely.
One of the advantages is that the years spent in Spain working with the digital nomad visa count towards the application for Spanish nationality by residence.
How to apply for the Digital Nomad Visa?
To apply for the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain, you need to follow these steps:
- Determine your eligibility criteria: Check if you meet the requirements to apply for the digital nomad visa. This includes having a job or being self-employed, having a reliable monthly income, and working remotely.
- Gather necessary documents: Collect all the required documents, such as a valid passport, proof of income, and valid health insurance.
- Fill out the application form online: Go to the electronic site of the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration and fill in the application form online.
- Submit your application: Once you have filled out the form and attached all the required documents for the digital nomad visa, submit your application.
- Wait for a response: After submitting your application, wait for a response from the Spanish authorities. They may ask for additional information or supporting documents.
- Get your visa: If your application is approved, you will receive your Digital Nomad Visa. You can then travel to Spain and start working remotely.
It’s important to note that the requirements and process for applying for the Digital Nomad Visa may vary depending on the country you’re applying from, i.e your home country, and the country you’re applying to. So, make sure to check the specific requirements and guidelines for your situation. Also, there might be a visa application fee you will need to pay to get your digital nomad visa.
What documentation must be submitted to access the Digital Nomad Visa?
As established by the Spanish Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, the following documents must be submitted:
- Printed application of the official model (EX-05) in duplicate, duly completed and signed by the hiring company.
- A complete copy of a valid passport or valid travel document.
- Copy of the training required for the exercise of the profession, when applicable, duly approved.
In addition, a digital nomad must present the required documents to identify the company that is requesting the authorization:
If it is an individual entrepreneur
Copy of the NIF or NIE, or consent to check identity data through the Identity and Residence Data Verification System.
If it is a legal entity (S.A., S.L., Cooperative, etc.)
- Copy of the NIF of the company and copy of the deed of incorporation duly registered in the corresponding Registry.
- Copy of the public document accrediting that the signatory of the authorization request is the legal representative of the company.
- Copy of the NIF or NIE or consent to check the identity data through the Identity and Residence Data Verification System of the signatory of the application.
- Signed work contract. Original and copy must be submitted. The copy will be stamped by the Immigration Office and returned for subsequent presentation by the foreigner together with the application for a residence and work visa.
- Documentation accrediting that the national employment situation is not taken into account (See information sheet with the assumptions and the necessary documentation).
- Accreditation that the company guarantees the necessary solvency, through the declaration of the IRPF, the VAT, the Corporate Tax, or the report of the labor life of the company (VILE), referred to the last three years. A descriptive report of the occupation to be performed must also be provided.
What are the requirements to obtain the Digital Nomad Visa?
The requirements to apply for the digital nomad visa are the following:
- Not having a criminal record.
- Have graduated from prestigious universities, professional training and business schools or have at least three years of professional work experience.
- Work as an employee for a company registered abroad -or for more companies located outside Spain- or be self-employed. The latter cannot have more than 20% of their income coming from Spanish companies.
- Demonstrate the existence of real and continuous activity for at least one year of the company with which they maintain the labor or professional relationship.
- Demonstrate an employment or commercial relationship with the company for at least the last three months prior to the presentation of the application, as well as documentation that the company allows them as workers to perform the work activity remotely.
- To have medical insurance.
Tax advantages of the digital nomad visa
Apart from all the advantages offered by this residency seen so far, one of the main attractions of this new permit comes from the tax side.
The additional argument created to make this permit an even better option is the special tax regime that will allow digital nomad visa holders to save taxes. Basically, you will be taxed through a tax regime under the income tax as an optimized non-resident.
After understanding how taxes in Spain really work for foreigners, we can easily understand that paying non-resident income tax instead of the general income tax that residents must pay allows you to pay much less on the income it generates.
How it works
In case you have not been in Spain for the last 5 years (instead of 10, as the general rule establishes); you will be allowed to pay a flat tax rate of only 24% on your income. Instead, you would pay a progressive rate that can go up to 48%.
In order to be considered a non-resident for tax purposes, you will have to initiate a separate application process from the residency process. You will do so with the Spanish Tax Agency within 6 months of obtaining your residency authorization. This is a process comparable to the Beckham Law.
This, in addition to allowing you to pay only 24% on income derived from work up to €600,000, will also save you the need to pay wealth tax or have to make the informative declaration known as model 720.
Finally, digital nomad visa holders will be able to request the deferral of the IRNR in the first and second years with a positive taxable base (without interest).
This advantageous tax regime will be extended for 5 years as long as you maintain your residence as a digital nomad, subsequently moving to the general regime.
Special visa conditions for digital nomads
According to the Official State Gazette (BOE) published on December 21, 2022, the visa for teleworking, of an international character and oriented to digital nomads, authorizes its holders to reside in Spain for up to one year.
Once that time has elapsed, the option to apply for residency is enabled, whereby the holder could stay three more years in the country. Permanent residence can be applied for after five years of residence “as long as the conditions that generated the right are maintained”.
One of the conditions of the digital nomad visa is that the person must be a university graduate, have professional training in schools of “recognized prestige”, or have more than three years of work experience.
The visa will be considered when the interested party seeks to reside in Spain “for teleworking of an international character”. This means to exercise a professional or labor activity at a distance for firms established outside the country, “by means of the exclusive use of a computer, telematic and telecommunication means and systems”. The law also states that the holder may perform work for a company registered in Spain, as long as the percentage of such work does not exceed 20% of the total professional activity.
The Law for the Promotion of the Emerging Companies Ecosystem allows digital nomads to be taxed under the Non-Resident Income Tax instead of the Personal Income Tax (IRPF). They will also have access to the special tax regime, which applies to workers who relocate “with the aim of attracting foreign talent”.
Benefits of the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain
There are many benefits to getting a digital nomad visa in Spain. Some of these benefits include:
- The ability to live and work in Spain for up to a year
- Easy access to other European countries
- High quality of life
- Great weather
- Beautiful beaches and scenery
- Vibrant culture and nightlife
- Low cost of living compared to other European countries
Best Places for Digital Nomads in Spain
Spain is an excellent destination for digital nomad visa holders seeking adventure, good weather, great food, and a relaxed lifestyle. With its vibrant cities, beautiful beaches, and rich culture, Spain is an ideal place for remote work. Here’s our list of the best places for a digital nomad in Spain.
Barcelona: Experience a Vibrant City Life
Barcelona is a vibrant city with a rich history, stunning architecture, and a thriving culture. As a digital nomad, you can enjoy working in a coworking space, exploring the city’s many coffee shops, and taking advantage of its bustling nightlife. Barcelona is home to several startup hubs and co-working spaces, including Betahaus, a popular spot for entrepreneurs and freelancers.
Valencia: Enjoy the Best of Both Worlds
Valencia is a beautiful coastal city located on the eastern coast of Spain. It offers a perfect blend of modern and traditional lifestyles, making it an ideal destination for digital nomads. The city boasts an impressive startup ecosystem, with several co-working spaces and startup accelerators. The city also has a rich cultural heritage, including the famous Las Fallas festival. This makes it an exciting place to live and work.
Madrid: The Heart of Spain
Madrid is the capital of Spain and the country’s largest city. As the hub of business and culture, it attracts many digital nomads from all over the world. The city is home to several co-working spaces, including Impact Hub Madrid and La Guarida Creativa, where you can network and collaborate with other freelancers and entrepreneurs.
Malaga: A Sunny Coastal Town
Malaga is a charming coastal town with great beaches, a relaxed lifestyle, and a low cost of living. It is an excellent destination for digital nomads who want to enjoy the Spanish way of life without breaking the bank. The city has several co-working spaces, including Coworkidea and La Colmena, where you can work and network with other remote workers.
Granada: Experience a Rich Culture
Granada is a historic city located in the south of Spain. It is famous for its stunning architecture, beautiful old town, and rich cultural heritage. The city has several co-working spaces, including La Expositiva and Cowork Granada, where digital nomads can work in a collaborative environment while enjoying the city’s charming atmosphere.
A word from SpainDesk
If you’re a remote worker looking to live and work in European countries, Spain is a great option. With the new digital nomad visa, it’s easier than ever to stay in the country for up to a year. With its beautiful weather, beaches, and culture, Spain has a lot to offer digital nomads. So, start planning your trip today and discover all that Spain has for you.
Disclaimer: Information on this page may be incomplete or outdated. Under no circumstances should the information listed be considered professional legal or financial advice. We highly recommend seeking guidance from a legal or financial expert if you lack extensive knowledge or experience dealing with any of the procedures outlined in these articles.