Spain is Launching a Visa for Digital Nomads from Non-EU Countries
To take full advantage of the explosion of remote jobs accelerated by the pandemic phenomenon, Spain wants to launch a special visa for digital nomads. The aim is to attract talented people from around the world, increase investments and become an important global business centre.
Therefore, under the new “Startup Law”, recently debated in the Spanish Parliament, people working remotely for foreign companies will be able to live in the country without needing a full work visa. At the same time, it’s expected that the new authorization for teleworkers will be officially adopted shortly before the launch of the European ETIAS tourist visa in 2022.
Who can obtain a digital nomad visa in Spain?
The new Spanish authorization for remote workers targets in particular foreign citizens from countries that are not part of the European Economic Area (EEA). On the other hand, people with EU passports or arriving from Schengen countries can work remotely in Spain for a maximum of six months a year without the need for an official registration.
Thus, for those arriving from non-EU countries, the new Spanish digital nomad visa will allow candidates to apply if:
- they are employees of a foreign company
- they have an income paid by Spanish organizations, which is 20% lower than the average.
Another benefit is that the new digital visa in Spain will also facilitate the process of applying for residence on arrival in the country. Currently, for this procedure, it’s necessary to register with local Government units within 30 days of settling in Spain.
The digital nomad visa in Spain will be the perfect choice for those working remotely whether they are self-employed, entrepreneurs or even full-time employees.
What is the application procedure?
As the above-mentioned normative act is still under consideration by the Spanish Parliament, the procedure for obtaining such a visa is not yet clear. However, as the proposed authorization is part of the “Spanish national visa” category, it is very likely that you will have to attend a local consulate or Spanish embassy for registration and then obtain permission to work in the country.
How long does a digital nomad visa last?
The new digital nomad visa in Spain announced by the local authorities will last 1 year. In addition, according to the current proposals, those who are residents will be able to renew it for another 2 years if they continue to meet the necessary requirements.
Can we use a tourist visa to work remotely in Spain?
Most countries, including Spain, do not allow foreigners to work within their borders using a tourist visa. This is also one of the reasons why a special visa was created exclusively for digital nomads. Indeed, before the launch of this project, it was possible to obtain a non-lucrative visa to live in Spain. However, it was concluded that such practices limit the economic activity of workers and do not allow them to find jobs in the country.
Moreover, in conformity with the “Startup Law”, newly set up companies can receive various tax benefits in order to encourage young entrepreneurs to relocate to places outside the cities. The main reason: rural development. The lack of employment opportunities in Spanish villages has left many of these places completely depopulated. Currently, these areas are ready to welcome digital nomads who come to Spain to enjoy the benefits of remote work.
According to the Spanish authorities, the idea of launching the “Startup Law” was also based on the consequences of the 2008 financial crisis. In Spain, there were massive job losses that mainly affected young people, the unemployment rate being over 55% during that period. The recovery also took longer than in most EU countries. Thus, the production basis of the country needed to be changed.
Digital nomad or not, if I aroused your interest, find out that the “home of tapas and sangria” has quickly become one of the most popular destinations for digital nomads in Western Europe for several years now.
Being a perfect mix between excellent food, year-round sun, and a surprisingly low cost of living, it’s no wonder that a lot of people choose to visit the country located in the Iberian Peninsula. Thus, among the places in Spain where you are most welcome as a digital nomad are Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, Malaga, Tenerife, and last but not least, Granada.
The new digital nomad visa launched by the Spanish government will create a new attractive opportunity for remote workers who will be able to experience the national culture while earning a steady income. The new authorization will also simplify the number of formalities required to live and work there.
Those who will need a flexible space to work remotely will be able to use the services of Pluria Spain, having the chance to choose the right office for them from the network’s wide range of workspaces.
Pluria Spain was launched in September 2021 at the largest conference dedicated to human resources professionals, the HR Innovation Summit.