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Spanish Digital Nomad Visa: The Ultimate Guide

Mar 6th, 2023

If you’re one of the many people who wants to try out the digital nomad lifestyle of traveling and working from anywhere in the world, you may be interested to know that Spain introduced a new visa scheme specifically tailored for digital nomads in 2023. 

With some of the fastest internet speeds in the EU, low cost of living, access to both cities and beaches, and a mild climate year-round, Spain is a great place to live and work remotely.

Spain introduced this new visa scheme starting in January 2023 as part of the StartUp Act, informally known as the startup law, which was recently finalized in the Spanish Parliament. This new legislation comes as the Spanish government wants more international workers to immigrate to the country to make up for debts and high unemployment rates following COVID. 

Who will be able to apply for the visa? 

This new Spanish digital nomad visa will be open to people who work remotely for companies based outside of the EU and EEA. British citizens working for non-EU based companies can also apply. Expats who apply for this visa can earn a maximum of 20% of their income from Spanish firms. 

To qualify, you will need to be a local resident outside of the EEA, including countries in the Schengen area and the EU.

What are the requirements for a digital nomad visa in Spain?

Expats will need to prove that they have been working remotely for at least one year, as well as provide an employment contract for a permanent or freelancing job that proves regular employment by a company outside of Spain. 

Foreigners need to meet the minimum monthly income requirement of 2,000 euros per month to qualify for this visa. Right now, the national minimum wage in Spain is 1,751 euros per month, which is 20% less than the EU average of 2,194 euros per month. 

So, you will need to make a slightly higher average monthly income than the national minimum wage to qualify as a digital nomad in Spain.   

Once you apply, you will also need to prove that you have an address in the country by providing your proof of accommodation as a digital nomad in Spain.  

Digital nomads will need to pass a criminal background check in their home country as a part of the background check.

How long will the digital nomad visa be good for? 

The Spanish digital nomad visa will be good for up to 12 months. After the first year, you will have the option to extend your stay for up to five years, depending on the circumstances of your remote employment and purposes for staying within the country. After five years, you’ll be able to apply for a permanent residence visa to stay in Spain.

Close relatives, children, and spouses will have the ability to join the digital nomad visa holder with their own application process and approval. 

Tax breaks 

One of the major advantages of applying for a digital nomad visa under this new Spanish visa scheme is that the Spanish government is planning to give tax breaks for nomads in Spain. 

Non-residents in Spain normally pay a 24% income tax, as this is the average income tax rate for residents of the country. As a digital nomad in Spain, you’ll receive a tax break, paying just 15% of your income for the first four years of your residency in the country. 

Will the digital nomad visa cause internal problems? 

An issue that many residents of Spain are concerned about following the passage of this new legislation is the potential rise of the cost of living. 

In Mexico, which has already introduced visas that allow digital nomads to live and work in the country, the cost of living has increased 20%, according to Vallarta Daily. Many local residents have seen a pretty drastic increase in cost of living and gentrification, largely because of remote workers leaving places like the US to live the digital nomad lifestyle. 

It makes sense that residents of cities like Madrid and Barcelona are concerned that their rent and lifestyle costs will increase. A lot of remote workers outside of the EU and the United States make higher salaries and have the ability to afford more expensive apartments and lifestyles. 

So, while the digital nomad visa is a great way for remote workers outside of Spain to escape the high cost of living in the United States and other countries, it may come at a steep price to local residents. Only time will tell what impact the Spanish digital nomad visas has across the nation.

Why companies choose Via

For some, the digital nomad visa isn’t the right path. 

Many businesses want to hire and attract international talent, but are unsure of how to build a hub or local HQ in a new country. Via makes hiring international talent seamless. With our-easy-to-use platform, Via manages the local HR processes for global employment such as work visas and permits, benefits, payroll, background checks, and more. Our team of local labor lawyers and on-the-ground experts ensure that your company remains compliant while expanding abroad. As your employer-of-record/entity, Via assumes responsibility for employment liability, so that you can focus on what matters: recruiting and managing your team. 

With Via’s transparent pricing, you can pay full-time employees or contractors across borders with no hidden set-up fees, no foreign exchange or transaction fees, and no minimums–start with 1 employee and scale up at your own pace. You can get started in 1-2 business days. That’s why a lot of businesses partner with an EOR service like Via. We expedite the process of hiring and recruiting, setting up HR, and adhering to all employment laws in other countries. 

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Janelle Watson
Janelle Watson
My name is Janelle Watson and I'm a Colorado native. I have a BA in English from University of Colorado Colorado Springs and an MA in English from University of Colorado Denver. Before moving to blog and copywriting, I was an English teacher for 3 years at the University of Colorado in Denver. Prior to writing for Via, I wrote reviews and content for a local concert and promotion company in Denver.

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Frequently asked questions

  • Does Spain offer a digital nomad visa?

  • Can I move to Spain with a remote job?

  • Can I work remotely in Spain without a visa? 

  • How do I get a remote work visa in Spain?