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