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Spain’s new digital nomad visa: what you need to know

Dec 21, 2021 | Category

The term “digital nomad” is big news.

Once commonly associated with gap year students or Bohemian youngsters, in the post pandemic world, more of us than ever before have the opportunity to work completely online. Naturally, Spain, with its temperate climate, globally recognized quality of life, https://english.elpais.com/elpais/2019/07/05/inenglish/1562319466_962542.html and prime position for exploring the rest of Europe, is high on the list of dream locations for many remote workers. Hence, why the news that Spain will introduce a visa with special conditions for digital nomads has sparked great interest.

In this post, we will break down who can apply, the features of the new visa, and when it will
be available.

Who can apply for the new digital nomad visa in Spain?

While there were already special visa and residence permit conditions for various groups such as EU citizens or foreign citizens employed by Spanish companies with this new visa the government is seeking to close the gap for the following specific group not covered within existing laws:

  • Non-EU / EEA residents. Note that this refers to country of residence for a minimum
    of 5 years. Therefore even if you are a citizen of an EU country (including Spain itself),
    but have had permanent residency status in a country outside the EU for 5 years or
    more, you will be able to apply.
  • Remote workers or freelancers with a yearly income up to 600 000€
  • Applicants must be employed by a non-Spanish company, or with a maximum of 20%
    of earnings coming from Spanish companies

What are the benefits of the digital nomad visa?

The government hopes to encourage talented professionals to choose Spain as their base,
through a series of advantages:

  • Agile visa and residency process Essentially this will give the applicant similar conditions and steps as an EU citizen, cutting a large amount of paper work and legal burocracy that was previously required.
  • Tax reductions The new law will mean that the visa holder will have the rights of a resident but will be treated as a non-resident for taxation purposes, with a reduced income tax.
  • Further, benefits for start ups The digital nomad visa regulations fall under the Start Up Act. which give even greater incentives for new companies to set up their base in Spain and invest in the local economy. Digital nomads who are just starting out in business but see themselves scaling to a larger business in future, may see this as an extra bonus.
  • Discover hidden gems Part of the motivation behind the new law is to attract foreign workers not only to bustling cities like Madrid or Barcelona, but also to underpopulated rural areas of Spain which provide the perfect environment for the digital nomad who wants to truly immerse themselves in authentic Spanish culture, far from the tourist hotspots. A new organization of ‘Welcoming Villages’ are offering help with finding accommodation, connectivity and community building schemes.

When will the digital nomad visa be available?

The original law proposal was drawn up in July 2021 and approved in December 2021. Based on experience with the Spanish legal system, we estimate that the process will be brought into force around Summer 2022.
Given the buzz that the announcement has generated both in Spain and abroad, the details will be eagerly anticipated by many. From the digital nomads dreaming of a Mediterranean lifestyle, to the local economies who look to benefit from an influx of new talent, so far it seems like a win-win arrangement.

At Carbray, we will be keeping a keen eye on the situation and will continue to provide blog
updates on the breaking news.

Do you need visa help?
If you do not meet the criteria listed for the new digital nomad visa, OR you do but you want to
know what options are available for you to live in Spain before the new law comes into force,
our expert team will give you an honest assessment of your situation free of charge. Contact us.