Spain’s new visa for digital nomads: The key facts
Spain is planning to launch a brand-new visa for digital nomads to take advantage of the explosion of remote working options accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the recently introduced Startup Act in the Spanish Parliament, people working remotely for foreign companies will be permitted to live in the country without needing a full work visa. The hope is this will boost talent and investment in Spain and improve the country’s credentials as a global business hub.
This article explains the key information that potential applicants must know before applying for a new visa. It details who can apply, how long the visa lasts, and other essential facts about the soon-to-be-launched authorization.
Requirements for getting a Spain digital nomad visa
At present, the proposed new visa is still yet to be fully developed within the country’s legal framework. However, one of the known main requirements of the digital nomad visa is that it is open to foreign workers, employed by non-Spanish companies.
The new authorization for remote workers will join the collection of Spanish visas already offered by the country. It also comes only shortly before the launch of the new EU-wide ETIAS visa waiver for tourists in 2022.
Who can get a digital nomad visa for Spain?
The new Spanish visa for remote workers has been created for foreign employees from Non-European Economic Area (EEA) countries. People with EU passports or arriving from Schengen countries can already work remotely in the country for under 6 months of the year without needing to register officially.
For those arriving from non-EU countries the new digital nomad visa will allow applicants to apply who are either:
- Employed by non-Spanish companies
- Have an income with less than 20% earned from Spanish companies
The new visa will also ease the process of applying for residency on arrival. As it stands, it is necessary to register for a permit with local municipalities within 30 days of settling in Spain.
The digital nomad visa will be a perfect option for people working remotely as freelancers or entrepreneurs with multiple clients. It will also benefit people employed full time with foreign companies, with the ability to work from home or abroad.
How to apply for the Spanish digital nomad visa
It is not yet entirely clear how the visa for digital nomads will be acquired as the legislation is still under consideration by the Spanish parliament.
However, as the proposed authorization is a national visa for Spain, it is likely that applicants will have to attend a local consulate or Spanish embassy to register and obtain permission to work from the country.
How long does a digital nomad visa for Spain last?
The new Spanish digital nomad visa is expected to last for 1 year after approval. Additionally, under the current proposals, residents holding the visa will be able to renew it for a further 2 years if they continue to meet the necessary requirements.
Can I use a Spanish tourist visa to work remotely?
Most countries, including Spain, don’t allow foreigners to work within their borders using a tourist visa. This is why the new visa for digital nomads is being introduced. Before the digital nomad visa launches, it has been possible to get a non-lucrative visa to live in Spain. However, this limits the economic activity of workers and does not permit holders to find jobs in the country.
It is, of course, essential to only travel to Spain with the right visa for specific circumstances. Otherwise, the authorities could refuse to process any permits or authorizations to travel there in the future.
The proposed digital nomad visa for Spain creates an exciting new opportunity for remote workers and entrepreneurs to experience life in the country whilst earning a steady income. It also greatly simplifies many of the formalities needed to live and work in Spain for a few months, or up to a year.