Spain recently indicated its plans to implement a digital nomad visa that would allow non-EU nationals to live and work in the country for up to five years.
The scheme, which was recently approved by parliament, is expected to be implemented by the end of January 2023. If it is implemented, the country will join a number of other European countries that have implemented some form of digital nomad scheme in recent years, including Italy, Greece, Croatia, and Portugal.
When plans were first announced back in January 2022, the country was hoping to “attract and retain international and national talents by helping remote workers and digital nomads set up in Spain,” according to Economic Affairs Minister Nadia Calviño. Authorities estimated that it would help the country to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.
The Digital Nomad visa is also part of a law recently passed by the Spanish Parliament called the Startup Act targeted to attract entrepreneurship and improve the country’s tech scene.
Who can apply?
Although details are still being worked out, it is anticipated that the program will be available to those who work remotely for non-Spanish businesses.
Any applicant for a digital nomad visa will only be permitted to receive up to 20% of their revenue from Spanish companies.
The applicants must be citizens of countries outside of the European Economic Area.
Additionally, they must be able to show that they have been working remotely for at least a year, have an employment contract, or, if freelancing, have been consistently employed by an organization outside of Spain.
Applicants will need to prove that they earn enough money to take care of themselves, which is likely to be around €2,000 a month.
Applicants also need an address in the country and will need to submit documentation like a rental contract as proof.
Details of the visa
The visas for digital nomads would initially be available for 12 months, according to official sources.
After 12 months, remote employees can seek permanent residency after having their visa renewed for a maximum of five years.
The visa holder’s close relatives, such as children and spouses, will also be permitted to travel with them.
Tax breaks may also be given for digital nomads working and living in the country under the visa scheme.
Spain is a country in Europe with a relatively low cost of living and warm weather. The country also has one of the best internet speeds in the EU which will benefit digital nomads or remote workers who have to rely on the internet.
According to CNBC, the coastal city of Valencia was voted the best city for ex-pats in the world for 2022, with Madrid also in the top 10.