In response to the increasing popularity of telecommuting due to the global pandemic, many countries, including Spain, have introduced special visas for digital nomads. These visas allow remote workers to live and work in a foreign country while enjoying the benefits of a nomadic lifestyle. If you’re considering Spain as your next digital nomad destination, this comprehensive guide will walk you through all the essential information you need to know about the Spain Digital Nomad Visa.
Introduction to the Spain Digital Nomad Visa
The Spain Digital Nomad Visa was introduced in January 2023 as part of the Startup Act, which aims to promote entrepreneurship and attract foreign investment. This visa is designed to attract talented individuals, innovators, and startups to Spain, ultimately boosting the country’s digital nomad community.
Eligibility Criteria for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa
Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, are eligible to apply for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa. To be eligible, you must satisfy the following requirements:
- Your current job enables you to work remotely while residing in another country.
- You are engaged in self-employment, catering to clients worldwide or generating income through online activities outside of Spain.
Essential Requirements for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa
To apply for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa, you must fulfill several requirements. These requirements include:
- Remote Work Experience: You must have a minimum of one year of remote work experience.
- Employment Outside Spain: You must work for a company or companies located outside of Spain.
- Entry Permissions: You must have the necessary permissions to enter Spain, with no record of previous entry denials.
- Health Insurance: You must possess health insurance that provides full coverage in Spain.
- Work Experience and Technical Knowledge: You must provide proof of your work experience and technical skills.
- Non-Residence: You must not have been a resident of Spain in the past five years.
- Company Employment (For Freelancers): If you are a freelancer, you must be able to prove that you have worked for at least one company outside of Spain.
- Income Requirements: You must demonstrate a minimum monthly income of €2,334 or an annual income of €28,000. It is important to note that you can work with Spanish clients, as long as they do not account for more than 20% of your income.
Required Documents for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa
When applying for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa, you will need to gather and submit the following documents:
- Valid Passport: Ensure that your passport is valid for at least three months.
- Completed Application Form: Fill out the application form provided by the Spanish embassy or consulate.
- Passport Photos: Provide two passport-sized photos with a plain gray background.
- Proof of Employment: Submit a work contract or letter from your employer stating that you are allowed to work remotely.
- Proof of Company Activity: Show evidence that your company has been actively operating for at least one year.
- Income Proof: Provide payslips, work contracts, or bank statements to demonstrate your monthly income of €2,334.
- Qualification Proof: Submit your university degree, professional certificates, or any documentation that verifies your work experience over the past three years.
- Health Insurance Proof: Show proof of health insurance coverage that is authorized to operate in Spain.
- Clear Criminal Record: Provide certificates and apostilles for the latest five years, proving your clear criminal record.
Note: Depending on where you apply, you may need to have your documents translated into Spanish. Some consulates accept documents in their local language, but others require translations.
Application Process for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa
To apply for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa, follow these steps:
- Gather Required Documents: Collect all the necessary documents before proceeding with the application process.
- Schedule an Appointment: Book an appointment with the nearest Spanish embassy or consulate.
- Pay the Application Fee: After scheduling your appointment, you may be required to pay an application fee of approximately €80.
- Attend the Visa Appointment: Arrive at the Spanish embassy or consulate with all your documentation and be prepared to answer any initial questions.
- Wait for Processing: The processing time for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa typically ranges from 15 to 45 days.
Arriving in Spain: NIE and NIF Application
Once your visa application is approved, you can travel to Spain. Upon arrival, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Apply for NIE: Visit the local Foreigner’s Office or police station to apply for a Foreigner’s Identity Number (NIE).
- Apply for NIF: Obtain a Tax Identification Number (NIF) at any Spanish Tax Agency location without an appointment or fee.
- Register at Padron Municipal: Register at your local municipal registry, Padron Municipal, by providing personal information, residency or ID card, NIE, and qualifications.
Duration of the Spain Digital Nomad Visa
The Spain Digital Nomad Visa is initially valid for one year from the date of entry. However, you can extend your stay for up to five years by applying for a residence permit for three years. After spending five years in Spain, you may apply for permanent residency.
Processing Time and Cost of the Spain Digital Nomad Visa
The processing time for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa ranges from 15 to 45 days. The application fee is approximately €80. Additionally, you may need to budget for expenses related to translated documents, apostilles, certificates for a clear criminal record, and the NIE fee, which is around €20.
Tax Considerations for Digital Nomads in Spain
As a digital nomad in Spain, you may be subject to specific tax regulations. If you stay in Spain for more than 183 days, you are considered a tax resident. However, there are tax advantages for digital nomads, such as a reduced tax rate of 15% for the first four years of residence, provided your annual income does not exceed €600,000. Spain also has double taxation treaties with 90 countries, preventing you from being taxed again on foreign income already taxed in your home country.
Bringing Family Members to Spain
Under the Spain Digital Nomad Visa scheme, you can bring your dependents to Spain. Your dependents consist of your spouse or partner and children who are under the age of 18. If you wish to bring children over 18, you must prove their financial dependence and lack of an independent family. If your parents accompany you, you must demonstrate that they are under your care.
Benefits of Working as a Digital Nomad in Spain
Working as a digital nomad in Spain comes with several benefits:
- Tax Advantages: Enjoy a reduced tax rate of 15% for the first four years of residency.
- Visa Duration: The Spain Digital Nomad Visa can be extended for up to five years, and you can apply for permanent residency.
- Fast Application Process: Receive a quick response to your visa application, with processing typically taking between 15 and 45 days.
- Opportunity to Work for Spanish Companies: Unlike other digital nomad visas, you can work for Spanish companies, as long as they do not account for more than 20% of your income.
- Streamlined Business Establishment: The Startup Act facilitates the process of establishing a business in Spain, making it faster and more convenient.
- Travel Opportunities: With the Spain Digital Nomad Visa, you can travel visa-free to other Schengen countries.
- Family Accompaniment: Your spouse or partner and children under 18 can join you in Spain.
- Affordable Living Costs: Spain offers relatively affordable living costs, especially when it comes to housing expenses.
In conclusion, the Spain Digital Nomad Visa provides an excellent opportunity for remote workers to experience the vibrant culture, beautiful landscapes, and entrepreneurial atmosphere of Spain while maintaining their nomadic lifestyle. By meeting the eligibility criteria, gathering the required documents, and following the application process, you can embark on an exciting journey as a digital nomad in Spain.