As of January 2023, applications for the Digital Nomad Visa that allows remote working in Spain should have been possible. At the moment, applications are not being taken. and the application form has disappeared from the SEDE website.
By Nick Nutter | Updated 19 May 2023 | Andalucia | Living In Andalucia | Login to add to YOUR Favourites or Read LaterThis article has been visited 16,758 times
The short answer to that question is, yes, as from January 2023, you can be a digital nomad in Spain if you are an employed worker whose company, located outside Spain, allows you to travel and work remotely or you are self employed with several clients spread over the world or with an income derived from online activities outside of Spain.
The Ley de Startup, or Startup Laws, are a whole raft of legislation that aims to attract international investors, digital nomads and new companies to Spain with visa incentives, tax breaks, fewer bureaucratic hoops and other benefits.
The legislation was first proposed back in 2019 and has since been amended 217 times whilst passing through the Committee on Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, the Spanish Cabinet and the Spanish Parliament. The Law has now been ratified by the Senate to allow it to come into force in January 2023.
The law defines a digital nomad as “people whose jobs allow them to work remotely and change residence regularly”.
Spain is keen to encourage digital nomads, and not just for the tax those nomads will pay, nor the skills they will bring to the country. A major factor making the Startup Act acceptable to all the major political parties in Spain is the prospect of re-populating what is known as España Vaciada – or Emptied Spain, those villages that have seen their population move on over the years. There are dozens of villages in Spain in terminal decline.
- The company/s for which you are currently working (or have a working relationship as a freelancer with), must be located outside of Spain
- Incomes received from Spanish companies (or in Spain) can’t represent more than 20% of your total income
- You must demonstrate that you have been working for your company or having a freelance relationship with your clients for at least 3 months prior to your application and that your contract with that same company is for at least 1 year
- Either demonstrate 3 years of work-related experience prior to application, or be a graduate or post-graduate from a reputable university, or have completed a recognised course of vocational training at business schools of recognized standing
- You cannot have lived in Spain during any of the 5 years previous to your application
- You must not be living illegally in Spain at the time of your application
- You can’t have a criminal record, nor have entry to Spain prohibited. You must submit your legalized and apostilled criminal records certificate with a minimum validity of 90 days
- Submit a declaration of no criminal record for the last 5 years
- Have private health insurance, with full coverage throughout Spain
- You must be able to show that you will have an income of at least €2,400 per month or €28,800 per year. You can prove this amount either by showing your job contracts, invoices or bank statements.
Depending on whether you work for a company as an employee or are a freelancer
- If you have a contract with a foreign company (as an employee), it will be essential that this company has been operating for at least 1 year prior to your application
- The company must state that your position allows remote work, and that they specifically allow you to do so
- If you are a freelancer, you must be working for at least one company outside Spain and the permission to work remotely must be included in the terms and conditions of your contract.
Applications for a Digital Nomad Visa will be fast tracked and should be resolved within 20 days of application however, this is a new process so some lawyers are saying it could take up to 3 months.
- A photocopy of your passport
- Proof of having paid the administrative fee on the application form (modelo. 790 038 - see at bottom of list)
- Professional accreditation or proof of professional relationship of at least 3 months prior to the date of application
- Proof that the company you work for has existed for more than one year
- A letter from the foreign company you work for, authorising you to work from Spain and detailing your role, salary, terms and other conditions
- A copy of your degree or professional certificate of the job you will be carrying out or evidence of professional experience
- Proof of a clear criminal record from the country you have lived in for the past 2 years, plus a sworn statement saying that you don’t have a criminal record from anywhere within the last 5 years
- Public or private health insurance
- Proof of income or funds
The new Spanish digital nomad visa will last for 1 year after approval. Additionally, under the current proposals, residents holding the visa will be able to renew it for a further 2 years if they continue to the meet the necessary requirements, extendable to 5 years.
The Digital Nomad Visa application form allows you to include your spouse and children in the same application so there will be no delay in moving your family to Spain.
The new Spanish visa for remote workers has been created for foreign employees from Non-European Economic Area (EEA) countries. People with EU passports or arriving from Schengen countries can already work remotely in the country for up to 6 months of the year without needing to register officially.
For those arriving from non-EU countries the new digital nomad visa will allow applicants to apply who are either:
• Employed by non-Spanish companies
• Have an income with less than 20% earned from Spanish companies
• The new visa will also ease the process of applying for residency on arrival. As it stands, it is necessary to register for a permit with local municipalities within 30 days of settling in Spain.
The digital nomad visa will be a perfect option for people working remotely as freelancers or entrepreneurs with multiple clients. It will also benefit people employed full time with foreign companies, with the ability to work from home or abroad.
Holders of the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain will pay a Spanish non-resident tax rate (IRNR) of 24% for the first five years on income derived from work up to 600,000 Euros. They will have to demonstrate that at least 80 percent of their income comes from foreign companies for this IRNR tax to apply.
Digital Nomad Visa taxes will be substantially less than the normal rate of taxation in Spain that increases to 48% depending on earnings.
Holders of the Digital Nomad Visa will be able to apply to defer payment of tax in the first and second year without incurring any interest.
Applications for the Digital Nomad Visa will be made in the same way as existing visas, at Spanish Embassies and Consulates in countries outside the EU. Those visas will be valid for one year and will be renewable for up to five years after which you can apply for permanent residence.
For those people already in Spain, for example, with a tourist visa (also known as the Schengen visa), or citizens of America, Canada, Britain and Latin America who are in the country for up to 90 days within each period of 180 days, applications can be made within Spain. Those visas will be valid for 3 years and renewable for a further two years after which you can apply for permanent residence.
Having obtained your Digital Nomad Visa, within 30 days of arriving in Spain, you now must apply for your Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE) biometric card.
Around 34 towns and villages across Spain have decided to join the Red Nacional de Pueblos Acogedores para el Teletrabajo (or National Network of Welcoming Villages for Remote workers) to encourage digital nomads to visit. They all have under 5,000 residents and want to attract new residents to repopulate their streets.
In Andalucia, Genalguacil, Benarraba and Tolox, all in Malaga province and Santa Ana La Real in Huelva province are members of the Red Nacional de Pueblos Acogedores para el Teletrabajo.
Those municipalities all offer incentives to digital nomads including 4G connectivity, free WIFI areas, teleworking centres and in some cases, subsidised living and workspaces, all measures that help reduce the cost of living for the digital nomad to an estimated 131 Euros per week per person (in Genalguacil).
Instead of having to find their own way, the programme provides remote workers with a host who can welcome them to the town or village and connect them with community life.