Spain now offers a Digital Nomad Visa, making it possible for non-EU/EEA nationals to legally live and work there. This guide provides an in-depth look at the eligibility criteria, application process, tax implications, and benefits associated with this exciting opportunity.
- Does Spain offer a Digital Nomad Visa? Yes, since the beginning of 2023.
- Validity of the Visa: Maximum 1 year (can be extended for up to 5 years).
- Who can apply? Non-EU and non-EEA citizens.
- Minimum Income Requirement: €2,160/month (USD $2,290) for a single adult.
- Visa processing time: 30-60 days.
Who Is Eligible for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa
Spain Digital Nomad Visa is available to non-EU and non-European Economic Area (EEA) citizens.
- Foreigners planning to live in Spain and work remotely for companies outside Spain.
- Self-employed applicants are eligible but should ensure no more than 20% of their activities are within Spain.
- Either possess an undergraduate degree or have 3 years of work experience.
- Family members, including spouses, children, and dependent relatives, can also apply.
Establishing Your Status as a Digital Nomad in Spain
To secure your place as a digital nomad in Spain, you need to validate that you can proficiently execute your job remotely online. Though there aren’t stringent conditions about the nature of your occupation, it’s essential to demonstrate your specialized proficiency in your domain. Valid evidence of this can include academic qualifications, professional accreditations, or a documented history of three years of relevant work experience.
Stability in your profession is equally important. You must have been in your current role for a minimum of three months. Digital nomads are encouraged to provide a work contract that spans their intended duration of stay in Spain.
Moreover, it’s mandatory to confirm that the organization you’re associated with has a business history of at least a year.
A notable distinction of the Spanish Digital Nomad Visa is its flexibility regarding income sources. Unlike many digital nomad visas which mandate earnings exclusively from foreign origins, Spain’s policy regarding foreign income is more accommodating. Freelancers and entrepreneurs can engage with local Spanish clientele, provided this local engagement doesn’t constitute more than 20% of their total revenue.
Tax Implications for Digital Nomads in Spain
Residency and Tax Status: Understanding the tax landscape is crucial for digital nomads considering Spain as their locale of choice. Residency in Spain exceeding 183 days within a calendar year categorizes an individual as a tax resident, subjecting global income to Spanish taxation. It is essential to note that the number of days does not need to be consecutive; intermittent stays throughout the year can cumulatively determine tax residency status.
Double Taxation Agreements: Spain has established Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) with 90 countries, encompassing the United States, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and EU member states, thereby facilitating significant tax relief. These agreements aim to prevent double taxation on income earned both domestically and in Spain. For example, American citizens, taxed on their income in the U.S., can leverage the Spain-U.S. DTA to avoid dual taxation on the same income in both jurisdictions.
Non-resident Income Tax (NRIT): For those working remotely and not residing in Spain, the non-resident income tax (NRIT) system presents some intriguing aspects. The general tax rate stands at 24%. However, there’s a concession: residents of other EU or EEA countries with tax information exchange agreements with Spain get a reduced rate of 19%.
Additionally, certain incomes, like capital gains from asset transfers, interest, and dividends, are also taxed at 19%. Interestingly, EU residents enjoy tax exemption on interest. Income related to services, technical assistance, and activities in Spain without a permanent establishment (PE) also has unique tax considerations.
Freelancers or ‘Autónomos’ in Spain: Choosing to register as freelancers or ‘autónomos’ unveils a different tax framework in Spain. The initial years might qualify freelancers for reduced tax rates, depending on their earnings. Additionally, providing digital services to Spanish consumers could attract Value Added Tax (VAT). If a significant segment of a foreign firm’s customers is Spanish, ensuring VAT compliance becomes critical.
While Spain doesn’t have provisions specifically for digital nomads, the NRIT structure can be beneficial for those earning in Spain but not as tax residents. However, because of the intricacies of tax laws, consulting a tax professional to understand Spain’s tax dynamics in relation to individual circumstances is highly recommended.
(Source: Spain-Taxes on Personal Income, PwC)
How to Apply for a Spain Digital Nomad Visa:
Step 1. Applicants must apply for a Foreigner Identity Number (NIE) prior to the visa application. You can visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spain for more information
Step 2. Complete the National visa application form.
Step 3. Gather the necessary documents for a Spain Digital Nomad Visa:
- Photo – A recent, passport-sized photo
- Valid Passport – Original and a photocopy of the page. The passport must be valid for at least 1 year and must have at least two blank pages.
- Clean Criminal Record – Individuals of legal age applying for a visa must provide both the original and a duplicate of the criminal record certificate(s) from their country or countries of residence over the past two years. The provided certificate should be no more than six months old unless otherwise indicated on the certificate itself.
- Proof of Income – You need to show that you generate enough income to sustain your living expenses in Spain. Currently, the required income is 200% of the Spanish minimum wage, which is €1,080/month. This means that you will need to provide earnings of at least €2,160/month or €25,920/year.
- Health Insurance – Applicants must obtain full health insurance from an accredited public or private health insurance contracted with an insurance entity authorized to operate in Spain. We recommend considering insurance providers like Safety Wing, which cater specifically to the needs of digital nomads.
- Education or Work Experience – Copy of the University degree or professional certificate confirming that the applicant has at least 3 years of experience.
Step 4. Present the application along with the relevant documents to your nearest Spanish embassy or consulate. You can pay the application fee upon submission of the application.
Timeline for the Visa Application
- Scheduling an appointment with a Spanish embassy or consulate, usually around 1-2 weeks and 4-6 weeks for your visa to be issued. Wait times might differ based on location and season.
- Applicants can expect a review period of 30 to 60 days post-submission.
- Refrain from making travel arrangements that could interfere with your visa process during this waiting period.
- Once approved, a subsequent visit might be needed to collect your residence permit, which authorizes you to live and work remotely in Spain.
Cost of Spain Digital Nomad Visa Application
Applying for Spain’s Digital Nomad Visa comes with a certain expense. Roughly €80 (USD $85) is the standard fee for this specific visa application. The fees can differ based on your country so make sure to check with the nearest embassy or consulate in your country.
If you are based in the UK, you can submit your visa application fee through an accredited service provider BLS Spain Visa Application Centre. You can check the relevant fees here.
The fee paid is non-refundable regardless of whether you succeed in getting the Spain digital nomad visa or not. If unfortunately, your application gets declined by the Spanish Consulate, don’t lose heart yet! You have an appeal right and a 30-day window to exercise it post-denial.
Photo by Alex Azabache
Other Types of Visas Available
Unlike the Spanish Digital Nomad Visa Scheme, the Tourist Visa is geared towards individuals whose primary purpose is tourism, and not employment.
- Duration: The visa is valid for a limited period of 90 days within a 180-day timeframe, catering to short-term visitors.
- Eligibility: Applicants are required to provide proof of accommodation, a return ticket, and adequate financial means to support their stay in Spain.
- Conditions: Holders of a Tourist Visa are prohibited from engaging in any form of employment in Spain, ensuring their stay is strictly for leisure or other non-work related activities.
This visa type is well-suited for individuals looking to experience Spain’s offerings on a short-term basis without engaging in employment.
Non-lucrative Visa (NLV)
Often referred to as the retirement visa, is tailored for individuals who wish to reside in Spain without the intention of working. An ideal choice for retirees or those with sufficient savings or passive income.
- Duration: Initially granted for one year, it can be renewed for two-year periods, allowing individuals to reside in Spain long-term.
- Eligibility: Unlike the Spanish Digital Nomad Visa, the Non-Lucrative Visa does not demand any work experience or academic qualifications from applicants. The emphasis is on demonstrating adequate financial means to sustain a living in Spain without engaging in work.
- Conditions: The visa stipulates a clear prohibition against engaging in any paid work, whether for a Spanish or foreign employer, ensuring the holder’s income remains independent of employment.
- Family Inclusion: Family members can be included in the Non-Lucrative Visa application, making it a family-friendly option for those looking to move to Spain with their loved ones.
The Non-Lucrative Visa is an ideal option for individuals seeking a relaxed lifestyle and permanent residence in Spain, either after retirement or for those with the financial independence to reside there without working.
Living in Spain as a Digital Nomad
Spain boasts a captivating blend of historic charm, urban energy, and affordable living costs, making it a top-tier destination for digital nomads. Every corner of the country offers a unique experience, ensuring that remote workers not only have a seamless work environment but also a rich cultural tapestry to immerse themselves in.
Attractions and Popular Digital Nomad Hotspots
Spain offers a vibrant mix of attractions that keep digital nomads entertained and inspired. From the stunning architecture in Barcelona to the magnificent beaches in San Sebastian, each city presents unique charms awaiting exploration.
Digital nomad hotspots like Madrid provide a buzzing cosmopolitan atmosphere coupled with ancient history reflected in its museums and landmarks. The islands such as Ibiza and Mallorca offer crystal-clear seas for water sport enthusiasts while wine lovers can explore the vast vineyards of the La Rioja region.
Remote workers enjoy an array of natural hiking trails across Spanish mountains as they take breaks from their screens. Spain’s climate is another drawcard with warm summers, and mild winters, making it ideal for outdoor living year-round.
Photo by Attila Marosi
Cost of Living in Spain
(Comparison: Spain vs. United States)
|Consumer Prices||36.1% lower|
|Rent Prices||58.4% lower|
|Restaurant Prices||38% lower|
|Groceries Prices||43.4% lower|
(Source: Cost of Living Comparison, Numbeo)
Living in Spain offers affordability without compromising on quality of life. You will find lower monthly expenses compared to the US or many other European cities, with an average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center ranging between €500 – €900 per month.
Utility bills such as electricity, water, and internet add another €100-€200 while groceries might tally up to about €300 per month. Dining out at local Spanish restaurants is relatively inexpensive too.
A three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost around €30-€35 for two people. Public transportation is efficient and affordable across all Spanish cities making commuting easy on the pocketbook.
A digital nomad aiming to maintain a comfortable lifestyle could look at spending anywhere from €1200 to €1800 per month.
Safety and Lifestyle in Spain
(Crime Index: Spain)
|Safety Scale||6.4/ 10 (Moderate–High)|
|Safety walking alone during daylight||7.9/ 10 (High)|
|Safety walking alone during the night||5.9/ 10 (Moderate)|
|Level of Crime||3.5/ 10 (Low)|
Spain ranks highly among all European countries in safety. Commonly known as one of the safest destinations for tourists and expats alike, thanks to the low crime rate. However, just like anywhere else in the world, it’s essential to stay vigilant about personal belongings while enjoying your time exploring or working from various locations across this beautiful nation.
Spain offers an enriching lifestyle with a perfect mix of modern and traditional elements, making it a fantastic destination for digital nomads. You can expect vibrant cities like Madrid and Barcelona buzzing with cultural activities, numerous historic sites, stunning beaches on the Costa del Sol, and breathtaking mountain landscapes in the Sierra Nevada.
The country is famous for its warm climate, world-class cuisine including paella and tapas dishes, flamenco music, and dance traditions that you’ll fall in love with.
Photo by Chait Goli
Benefits of Working in Spain as a Digital Nomad
Moving to Spain as a digital nomad offers unparalleled advantages. Immersed in an environment that fosters innovation and growth, the Spanish lifestyle is not just pleasing but also inspiring. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes, Spain serves as an inspiration for many remote workers.
The Digital Nomad Visa grants foreigners the privilege to live and work remotely in Spain with resident status. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of local residency, including access to healthcare, tax advantages, and ease of travel within the European Union. Additionally, family dependents, such as spouses or children, can also obtain this visa.
Imagine making iconic cities like Barcelona or Madrid your workspace!
Furthermore, Spain offers an ideal work-life balance, a factor highly cherished by digital nomads worldwide. Its pleasant climate, relaxed lifestyle, and affordable cost of living set it apart from other Western European countries.
Whether you’re drawn to beaches for relaxation or mountains for weekend adventures, Spain caters to every preference. And let’s not forget the delectable Spanish cuisine waiting to tantalize your taste buds!
Obtaining a Spanish digital nomad visa opens a world of opportunities for remote working enthusiasts. This visa allows you to explore Spain’s rich culture, indulge in its vibrant lifestyle, and broaden your global connections while building your career.
Cover Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric
Disclosure: This post may have affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase through them.
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1. What is a Spain Digital Nomad Visa?
A Spain digital nomad visa is a type of residency permit that allows non-EU & non-EEA citizens to live and work remotely in Spain.
2. How do I apply for a Spain digital nomad visa?
To apply, you’ll need to obtain your Foreigner Identity Number (NIE) and submit a National visa application form, along with the appropriate visa fee to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
3. Are there requirements for the Spanish digital nomad residency permit?
Yes, among various requirements under Spanish immigration laws; having private health insurance, meeting certain income thresholds, and adhering to a special tax regime under the Spanish Tax Agency are critical.
4. Can my family accompany me if I get a Spain digital nomad visa?
Absolutely! If you have dependents like your spouse or children they can come along with you on this changing journey across beautiful autonomous regions and islands in Spain
5. Should I consult a legal professional when applying for a Spain digital nomad visa??
Yes! Consulting with immigration lawyers or experts familiar with Spanish visa regulations can greatly assist in navigating the application process. They can ensure that you meet all requirements and provide guidance on any complexities you might encounter.
6. What benefits does holding a “Spain’s digital nomad visa” fetch?
Holders of Spain’s digital nomad visa can immerse themselves in Spain’s rich culture, explore its architecture, and savor its cuisine. Additionally, the visa allows for free movement within the EU, expanding travel and business opportunities.
7. How long does Spain’s digital nomad visa processing take?
Spain digital nomad visa processing time can vary depending on the location you are applying from but typically takes 30-60 days upon submission of your Spanish nomad visa application.
8. How much is the Spain digital nomad visa?
Spain digital nomad visa costs roughly €80 (USD $85). The fees can differ based on your country so make sure to check with the nearest embassy or consulate in your home country.