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Spain is launching a digital nomad visa for remote workers

If you can work from anywhere, you’ll soon be able to move to Spain for up to a year

Ed Cunningham
James Manning
Written by
Ed Cunningham
James Manning

Fancy packing up your laptop, filling a few suitcases and heading over to sunny Spain to do exactly the same job you’re doing now, but in a far nicer setting? Well, if you’ve got the kind of job where you can actually do that, you’re in luck. The Spanish government has just announced plans for a ‘digital nomad’ visa which would let foreign remote workers live and work in the country for up to a year.

Spain’s new scheme is specifically targeted at freelancers, people who are fully employed but work remotely, and those who make at least 80 percent of their income from companies outside of Spain.

Perhaps the best part of the new visa scheme is that it applies to the entirety of Spain. Which means that while some people might be tempted to move to bustling, cultural-packed metropolises like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia or Bilbao, you could also head to beachy Ibiza or even the all-round sun trap that is the Canary Islands.

Spain is also generally a cheaper place to live than many other western European countries, so you should end up with enough spare cash for copious tapas.

The draft law states that foreign nationals will be able to work remotely for non-Spanish companies while living in Spain without a full work visa for between six and 12 months. It could then be extended up to two times.

The new Spanish law is part of the country’s recent Startup Act. It’s been on the cards since the start of 2022, but was finally approved in November and looks set to finally become law sometime in January 2023. Here is all you need to know.

What are the requirements for Spain’s digital nomad visa?

Most digital nomad visas come with minimum income requirements, and Spain is no different. The level hasn’t been confirmed yet, but it’s likely to be at least €2,000 (£1,767 or $2,174) per month. You will also need a clean criminal record, as well as health insurance and proof that you have somewhere to live in Spain. 

In terms of employment requirements, you’ll need to be self-employed or work for a non-Spanish company that operates outside of Spain. You’ll likely also need to have proof that you’ve worked remotely for at least one year and that you have worked with your current company for at least three months. 

How much tax do you need to pay? 

Digital nomads in Spain will pay a reduced income tax rate of 15 percent. 

How can I apply for Spain’s digital nomad visa?

You can apply at a Spanish embassy or consulate in a foreign country, or you can apply with local authorities once you get to Spain. 

How long can you stay in Spain with the visa?

According to Global Citizen Solutions, Spain’s digital nomad visa will initially be valid for up to a year. You could then extend your stay by applying for a temporary residency permit, which can be renewed up to five years. At that point, you can apply for permanent residency.

Of course, if you’re already a citizen of an EU member state, none of this is important. You can already live and work in Spain as much as you please. For British people and other non-EU nationalities however, it’s a big move. You can guarantee that a lot of Brits are ready to take up the Spanish government’s invitation once the scheme launches. And if you’re one of them, a dream life in Spain could be on the cards very, very soon!

In case you missed it: we found out what’s it actually like to become a digital nomad.

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