The Spanish Digital Nomad Visa is Finally Here! What is it, and How to Apply

Moving to Spain and living in the country on a full-time basis has become increasingly difficult for Britons in the post-Brexit world. But the Spanish digital nomad visa is finally here, and this is set to make living and working in Spain much easier. So what is the digital nomad visa? Why is this such an exciting option for Britons hoping to live in Spain? And how can you secure one? Here’s everything you need to know:

What is the Digital Nomad Visa?

The digital nomad visa is a brand-new visa type aimed as making it easier for remote workers and online workers (commonly referred to as digital nomads) to live and work in Spain. This new visa type has been included within Spain’s more recent start up laws, and will allow third party nationals from countries such as Britain and the USA to live and work in Spain without time consuming and expensive visa applications. With the digital nomad visa, you will be given access to a one-year Spanish residence permit. You can then apply for two more two-year extensions, meaning that you can remain in Spain for up to five years with this visa type. The digital nomad visa doesn’t only apply to the remote worker (the main applicant) but also their family: this includes their spouse, dependent children, and any dependent parents.

It’s also important to note that if you enter Spain under the digital nomad visa, that doesn’t mean that you will necessarily have to leave the country when your five year maximum term for this visa type is completed. Once five years have passed, both the applicant and family may apply for a long-term residence permit to live and work in Spain.

If you're thinking about moving to Spain from the US, then you're going to want to check out our extensive guide and checklist for moving to Spain from the USA.

Who is Eligible for a Digital Nomad Visa?

The digital nomad visa is incredibly appealing, particularly to third party nationals who might not otherwise be able to live and work in Spain. But to be eligible for a digital nomad visa, you must be an existing remote worker that fulfills the following very specific requirements:

  • A minimum of 80% of the work you complete remotely must be for clients that are based outside of Spain. This is because the Spanish government is hoping to generate a tax income from digital work completed internationally.
  • You must have an established relationship as a digital nomad, and proven contracts with companies outside of Spain. These contracts must have been established for at least three months before you complete your visa application.
  • When establishing contracts with clients outside of Spain, those contracts must clearly stipulate that they can be completed remotely, with visual remote working terms and conditions within.
  • The company or companies you work for remotely must have been trading for at least one full year before you move to Spain.
  • Finally, you must prove that your remote working income is sufficient to support your move to Spain. This figure has been set to equal 200 percent of the SMI or Minimum Interprofessional Salary. In real terms, this means that you will need to demonstrate an income of at least €2,520 per month or €30,240 per year. You will also need to secure private health insurance in the country.

How do I Apply for a Digital Nomad Visa?

There are two routes to applying for the digital nomad visa: you can either do this before you arrive in Spain by visiting the embassy in your home country, or you can enter Spain on a tourist visa and the complete your application within three months of arriving in the country. You can find the general application form you need to apply through the UGE-CE (La Unidad de Grandes Empresas y Colectivos Estratégicos) here. As well as submitting this form, you will also need to submit all of the following documentation:

  • A photocopy of your passport
  • Proof that the above form has been submitted and the administrative fee has been paid
  • Proof that the company you work for has been in operation for longer than 12 months
  • A letter from the company or companies you work for detailing your job role and income
  • If your job role requires degree-level qualifications then you will need to demonstrate these
  • A clean criminal record check and a sworn statement that you don’t have a criminal record from anywhere within the last 5 years.
  • Public or private health insurance.
  • Proof of income or funds

What Are the Tax Implications of the Digital Nomad Visa?

If you secure a digital nomad visa, then you will need to register for and pay income tax in Spain for the duration of the time that you are living in the country. At present, income tax for digital nomads is applied at a fixed rate of 24% on annual earnings up to €600,000 a year. Any income that you earn that exceeds this higher figure will be taxed at a rate of  47%. However, there is a valuable tax perk to consider if you do become a digital nomad in Spain:
 Expats enjoy a status similar to the non-dom in the UK, whereby all their worldwide income and assets are excluded from Spanish tax obligations for six years. This makes the digital nomad visa an attractive proposition for many.

Are you thinking of living and working in Spain? Does the idea of a nomadic lifestyle appeal to you? Whether you dream is to buy or rent a property in Spain, our local property experts are perfectly placed to help you find the home of your dreams. Get in touch today to find out more about how we can help you.