The long-awaited visa for digital nomads in Spain is now available for those who meet the requirements.

Citizens from outside the European Union (EU) have the opportunity to reside and work in Spain for up to five years if they have what is called a remote work visa.

It was passed by the legislature in November 2022 and is a component of the new Startups Act, enacted for the purpose of encouraging entrepreneurship and improving the nation's technology environment.

Italy, Greece, Croatia and Portugal are some of the other European countries that are also trying to take advantage of the boom in online work in recent years, instituting various types of programs aimed at digital nomads.

What does it mean to you?

A digital nomad visa can be obtained by non-EU citizens working virtually for a company that is not located in Spain. And if they are self-employed professionals or business owners, the maximum percentage of the applicant's annual income that can come from Spanish companies is twenty percent.

Self-employed individuals who are self-employed and have several clients, as well as remote employees working for a single company located outside Spain, are eligible for the visa.

On the other hand, applicants are required to come from a country that is not part of the European Economic Area. They cannot have resided in Spain in the 5 years prior to submitting the application, nor can they be residing in Spain irregularly at the time of submitting the application.

Before submitting the application, they must prove that they have worked with their clients or company for a period of more than three months, and the company in which they work must be at least one year old. They must be able to prove that they have an employment contract or, if they work remotely, that they have been hired on a regular basis by a company located outside Spain, and that their work can be done virtually.

They are also required to demonstrate that they are knowledgeable or certified in the relevant discipline. In addition to achievements such as a university degree or a professional certificate, the applicant can also demonstrate that they have at least three years of relevant work experience in substitution of such qualifications.

In this article, for more information, we address everything you need to know about Spain's digital nomad visa.

However, despite the first positive impact that the approval of this law created at international level, the Spanish administration is interpreting that those who work for a company as employees, unless there is a Social Security agreement between the country where the company is located and Spain, the foreign company must open a contribution account in Spain and subsequently register the worker in the company that is created in Spain, so that he/she can move to Spain.

This interpretation, given by the Spanish Administration to the Digital Nomads Law, makes the figure of the digital nomad disappear when it is a worker whose foreign company comes from a country without a Social Security agreement with Spain, or if there is such an agreement, the "remote" employment relationship is not admitted within the coverage of the existing Social Security agreement.

We believe that the administration understands that what it is giving is a residence and work authorization and that is why it wants to include these workers in the Spanish social security system, when in fact what it intends to grant, as explained in the preamble of the law, is a residence authorization for digital nomads. If the worker is registered with the Social Security in Spain, in a company that is the headquarters of another company outside Spain, there is an intra-company transfer and it is not necessary to go through the digital nomad route.

This is a confusion that the administration will have to resolve, so that the law does not appear, in the eyes of the people, as a "trick".


In addition to meeting the professional prerequisites described above, individuals interested in joining the digital nomad program will need to demonstrate that they earn sufficient income to support themselves financially.

The income benchmark is set at 200% of the country's minimum monthly salary, and proof of income can consist of bank statements, contracts or receipts. Currently, this equates to €2,334 per month or €28,000 per year; however, as Spain is currently re-evaluating its minimum wage, it is likely to increase slightly in the near future.

Applicants must prove that they have no criminal record in Spain or any other country in which they have resided during the two years prior to the time of application. It is also necessary to sign a written statement that they have no criminal record in the previous five years.

You can find answers to the most frequently asked questions about the new Spanish Digital Nomads Law.

Spain is fast becoming a popular place for teleworkers due to its relatively low cost of living, abundance of mild weather, rich culture and some of the fastest Internet connections in the European Union.

Valencia, a coastal city in Spain, for example, was recently named the best city in the world for expatriates, and Madrid also ranked among the top 10 cities in this category.

The law of digital nomads, without a doubt, could favor the self-employed or entrepreneurs, but only if these people understand and accept that they will have to register with the Social Security in Spain, with the consequent monthly fee to be paid. Here it must be taken into account that this fee, since the last regulatory modification, will have an amount that will depend on the entrepreneur's income.

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