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Spain is the latest country to offer a ‘digital nomad’ visa for remote workers

Freelancers and other people who can work anywhere will be able to move there for six to 12 months

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

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 in the country without right of residence for up to a year.

Digital nomads are people who can work pretty much anywhere with an internet connection. 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 blustery Galicia, beachy Ibiza or the sun-glazed towns of Andalucía.

Spain is also generally a cheaper place to live than many other western European countries, so your earnings will almost certainly go further – if you don’t spend all your spare cash on sangria and tapas, that is.

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.

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 non-EU nationalities however, it’s a big move. Currently, Brits can only spend 90 days out of every six months visa-free in Spain. Bloody Brexit, eh?

The new Spanish law is part of the recent Startup Act, but so far it’s only been drafted. In other words, don’t pack up your bags for glorious España just yet – it could be at least a couple of months before it passes a parliamentary vote and becomes law.

Spain isn’t the only place trying to lure digital nomads. Did you see that Venice wants to repopulate its city centre with freelancers and other remote workers?

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