Healthplan Spain


Becoming A Digital Nomad In Spain: Requirements For The Visa And How to Apply Expat Tips

Working remotely in Spain as a foreigner just got a whole lot easier with the introduction of the Digital Nomad Visa which was approved by the Spanish Parliament at the end of 2022.

So, if you're eager to kickstart your working life abroad in a country that offers fantastic work-life balance and without the restrictions of other residency visas, this particular visa could be the one for you.

Below we provide you with a comprehensive guide that outlines all the necessary requirements for Digital Nomad Visa, the tax benefits that come with it, and the essential legal information that you must be aware of before submitting your application.

In this article we will discuss:-

  • What the digital nomad visa is
  • What the benefits are of obtaining one
  • Who is eligible for the visa
  • What the requirements are
  • How and where to apply
  • And lots more...

Let’s dive in.

What is the new Digital Nomad Visa?

Spain passed the Startups Law at the end of 2022, with the aim of attracting remote workers, digital nomads, and new startups.

The digital nomad visa, which is part of this law, is one of the most anticipated and talked-about features. It will allow non-EU freelancers and remote workers to have entry and residency rights in Spain, along with certain tax benefits. The visa is known in Spain as the "Visado para teletrabajadores de carácter internacional" or the visa for remote workers.

Another incentive of the visa is that it allows non-EU citizens the opportunity to live in Spain and work remotely here for up to 5 years. This is not the case with other residency permits such as the non-lucrative visa which is another popular visa for those from outside of the EU to settle in Spain.

However, it is important to note that 80% of your business income must be generated from outside of Spain. You may provide a service to Spanish customers or businesses but this must equate to a maximum 20% of your total income.

This is because the visa is primarily for those who want to work remotely from Spain serving their existing clients or employer.

You can see the official publication of the legislation in the Official State Gazette (BOE) here.

How long is the visa valid for?

This will depend on whether you apply for it while you are in Spain or from your home country.

If you are in Spain as a tourist (less than 90 days) you may apply for the visa while here. If successful, the visa will be valid for an initial three years.

Alternatively, you can apply from a Spanish consulate in your home country. If this is the route you take, the validity of the visa will be one year.

Note that the visa, regardless of which route you took to obtain it, can be extended for up to five years. If initially applying from Spain, you will have one renewal period of two years taking you to the five years. If applying from outside of Spain, you will have two renewal periods of two years taking you up to the five years required for permanent residency.

Furthermore, these years count towards permanent residency and Spanish citizenship if you wish to apply. After 5 years of residency, you can apply to become a permanent resident in Spain.

How long does it take to get a digital nomad visa?

One of the standout features of the Digital Nomad Visa application process is its expedited resolution system, which promises a turnaround time of only 20 days.

Additionally, it utilises a legal system referred to as the "positive administrative silence". This means that if the administration fails to respond within 20 days of submitting the application, it will be considered approved!

What are the benefits of getting one?

There are numerous benefits to the digital nomad visa. These include:-

  • Free movement throughout the EU - Remote workers and their family members will enjoy free movement within the EU.
  • Tax incentives - Digital nomads will pay a lower non-resident income tax of 24% on incomes up to €600,000 and 47% for incomes above this threshold. After five years, you will move to the general tax regime.
  • No requirement to complete modelo 720 - There will be no requirement to complete modelo 720 for wealth tax declaration. Another saving!
  • Bring your family with you - Family members may reside in Spain with you during your residency.
  • You may leave Spain for longer than six months - You can leave Spain for longer than six months and still retain your residency rights.

See here for the pros and cons of the digital nomad visa and find out if it is right for you.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Here is the list of requirements that you must understand before proceeding.

Note that there are two profiles of foreigners who can obtain this permit, each with slightly different requirements:-

  • Employed workers who are allowed to work remotely from another country while in Spain.
  • Self-employed workers with clients or sources of income outside of Spain.

If you want to apply for the digital nomad visa, you will need to meet the following requirements:-

  • Work for a company located outside of Spain or have a freelance relationship with a non-Spanish company.
  • Incomes received from Spanish companies cannot exceed 20% of the total.
  • Have at least 3 months of work experience with the company or clients before applying.
  • Have a contract with the same company for at least 1 year.
  • Show evidence of either 3 years of work experience or a degree from a reputable university, vocational training, or business school.
  • Provide a criminal records certificate with a minimum validity of 90 days, legalised and apostilled.
  • You must not have been living in Spain within the past 5 years previous to your application.
  • Submit a declaration of no criminal record for the last 5 years.
  • Fill out the application form and pay the administrative fee. Code 790 038.
  • Obtain health insurance for digital nomad visas with full coverage throughout Spain.
  • Show proof of possession of at least €30,240 for the main applicant and €11,340 for each additional family member, either through a bank certificate or salary/job contract.

Income requirements

To support your relocation to Spain, you must demonstrate adequate financial resources. This equates to 200% of the Minimum Interprofessional Salary (SMI).

As of January 31, 2023, the Spanish government increased the monthly minimum wage to a gross payment of €1,260 (€1,080 over 14 payments).

Therefore, you must have a minimum income of €2,520 per month or €30,240 per year, which can be verified with job contracts, invoices, or bank statements.

For the first dependent (including your spouse or partner) the amount is 75% of the SMI. This equates to €11,340 per annum.

For each subsequent dependent, i.e. children, the amount is 25% of the SMI which equates to €3,780 per annum.

How do I apply for the digital nomad visa?

As mentioned previously, there are two options to apply for the digital nomad visa. Let’s take a look.

  • In Spain - If you are currently in Spain on holiday or for less than 90 days, you may apply for a visa. 
  • Outside of Spain - If you are not in Spain, you can apply for the visa at your nearest Spanish consulate. This is generally done by sending an email detailing the visa you require. You will then need to make an appointment to visit the consulate and submit all the required documentation.

Due to the fast turnaround time, you will know within 20 days as to the outcome of your application. If you do not hear back within 20 days, you can presume that your application has been successful as the process uses a legal system referred to as the "positive administrative silence".

If you are thinking of becoming a digital nomad in Spain, you will need to find suitable accommodation. Coliving in Spain is a popular option and more affordable than many forms of accommodation. Find out more about coliving for digital nomads.