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, and prime position for exploring the rest of Europe, has topped 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.
What are the Digital Nomad Spain Requirements
While there were already special visa and residence permit conditions for various groups such as EU citizens or foreign citizens employed in Spain, a big gap for remote workers existed. Remote workers couldn’t apply for the Non-lucrative visa and the tax regime wasn’t attractive enough.
With the new Spain Digital Nomad Visa, non-EU / EEA individuals that work remotely, will be allowed to spend short or extended periods of time in Spain. The following group of people are covered by the Digital Nomad Regime and these are the requirements:
- Individuals that work remotely and are employed by a non-Spanish company are eligible.
- Employed remote workers must demonstrate a continuous contractual relationship of at least one year with their employer.
- Digital nomads who can sustain themselves economically through their online income. From said income, no more than 20% can come from Spanish companies.
- Remote workers or freelancers with a specific yearly income. More to come on this point.
What are the benefits of the new Spanish 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 paperwork and legal bureaucracy that was previously required.
- The right to reside in Spain for five years. The residency offered will have a 5-year duration with an option for renewal.
- Digital Nomad Spain Tax Regime. The tax proposal inside this residency scheme is very ambitious, as the holders of this residency will benefit from a tax reduction, by only having to pay non-resident income tax rates (IRNR) instead of resident income tax rates (IRPF) – which represents a lowered rate of 15%. To know more about taxes in Spain, get in touch with our tax lawyers.
- Further benefits for startups. The digital nomad visa regulations fall under the Startups Act which gives 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.
Let’s talk dates: When will the Digital Nomad Visa be available?
The original law proposal was drawn up in July 2021, and on December 1, 2022, the Startup Law was ratified by the Senate and Parliament, meaning that there are no more obstacles for the legislation to go fully through.
The official entry into force of this Law is expected to come sometime on January 2023. Once it is published in the BOE, the application process and the rest of the requirements will be known.
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. Contact us.