Countries worldwide are starting to offer remote workers the opportunity to live and work abroad via a digital nomad visa (DNV). As Travel Noire recently reported, Portugal was one such country to recently do so. And now, Spain is forecast to be the next nation to offer digital nomad visas.
The digital nomad life is one that appeals to many. This lifestyle choice has been on the rise in recent years, as the trend toward remote work surged in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to experts, this remote working uptick shows no intention of slowing down and it’s estimated that 35.7 million Americans, or 22% of the workforce, will be remote by 2025.
With those statistics, it’s no wonder so many countries want to take advantage of this trend in order to bring more interest and talent to their nation. Costa Rica, Indonesia, Portugal, Thailand, and Colombia are just some examples. And now Spain is on the horizon for offering DNVs to hopeful applicants.
While Spain’s DNVs have not officially been approved and finalized yet, talks of the visa started in January 2022 as part of Spain’s recent Startup Act.
Learn more about Spain’s digital nomad visas, including what it entails, who can apply, and more.
Why is Spain Offering Digital Nomad Visas?
Like many other countries, Spain is looking for ways to take advantage of the accelerated remote working options offered after the pandemic. Offering remote workers the opportunity to work and live in Spain, could bring more working talent to the country which in turn would prompt more financial backing in the country. More digital nomads working in Spain could also increase Spain’s spending power, job opportunities, and community investment.
But in addition to the benefits, it’s worth noting that attracting an influx of digital nomads to one city can have drawbacks. Namely, rising rent prices and overpopulation. To that point, anyone interested in Spain’s digital nomad opportunity should consider living in one of Spain’s smaller, rural provinces. Digital nomads could help rejuvenate these more depopulated areas.
What Are the Details?
The details are still being ironed out but this is what we know so far.
Spain’s digital nomad visa will allow non-EU/EEA/EFTA nationals to live and work in Spain. The visa is open to remote workers or freelancers who are working for non-Spanish companies; visa applicants will only be able to get a maximum of 20% of their income from Spanish firms.
According to Spanish officials, the digital nomad visa will initially be valid for 12 months. After that, eligible workers can extend their stay for up to five years. Close relatives, such as children and spouses, are eligible to join the applicant in Spain.
Additionally, there are tax break incentives when you obtain a digital nomad visa from Spain. Applicants can enjoy a lower cost of living since they will be taxed at 15%, rather than the standard 25% base rate. But this is only for the first four years.
Who Can Apply?
As of now the eligibility requirements for Spain’s digital nomad visa are as follows:
Be a non-EU/EEA/EFTA national
Work remotely for a non-Spanish company
Demonstrate that you have been working remotely for at least a year and have a contract of employment or, if freelancing, show proof that a non-Spanish company regularly employs you.
Have an income of less than 20% earned from Spanish companies
How to apply for a Spanish Digital Nomad Visa
The application process has not yet been confirmed but it’s likely that applicants will need to visit a Spanish embassy or local consulate to apply. Online applications may also be valid.
You’ll most likely be asked to provide some or all of the following documents:
A valid passport
A contract of employment
Proof of sufficient income
Proof of accommodation; typically a rental contract
Proof of health insurance
Other Visas Offered By Spain
Check out some of these other common visa options offered by Spain. Choose the one that best suits your situation and immediate needs.
The Spain Schengen Visa — also known as a short-stay visa or short-term visa
The Spain Golden Visa — a residence visa for those willing to invest in Spanish real estate
The Spain Non-Lucrative Visa — you can live in Spain as long as you can financially support yourself without working
The Spain Student Visa — for students studying abroad in Spain
The Spain Au Pair Visa — a work visa for young people living with a Spanish family, and helping with housework or childcare
The Spain Entrepreneur Visa — for those who want to start or invest in a Spanish business
The Spain Working Holiday Visa — for people who want to work in Spain during holidays
Each of these visas has its own specific requirements and application process. Before applying, make sure to do your research.