Sunny weather, a reasonable cost of living, delicious food, stunning landscapes — Spain has it all. And with some of the best internet speeds in Europe, the Mediterranean nation has become a popular destination for expats and remote workers.
The newly-launched digital nomad visa has made the country an even more appealing option. The scheme has been in force since January, as part of the recently approved Startup Law, which aims to make the nation a frontrunner in attracting investment, innovative entrepreneurship, and talent.
While other EU countries such as Greece, Portugal, and Croatia have already introduced similar schemes, Spain’s digital nomad visa introduces another competitive offering.
Who is eligible?
The visa is open to non-EU/EAA nationals who are working remotely, either as self-employed freelancers or employees. They are required to be working primarily for non-Spanish companies, with Spanish firms only accountable for a maximum of 20% of their total income.
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Prospective digital nomads must not have lived in the country within the five years before applying, and must not be residing illegally in Spain during the application process.
What are the requirements?
Applicants need to demonstrate that they have been working for their clients or company for at least three months before applying — and the company they work for must have been in operation for at least a year. They’re also required to prove that they can do their job remotely.
In terms of background, prospective visa holders must show they have either a minimum of three years of work experience or be graduates/postgraduates from renowned universities, vocational training courses or prestigious business schools.
Equally important is proof of financial self-sufficiency. To show that they can support themselves in Spain, individuals applying for the visa need to earn 200% of the country’s monthly minimum wage. Currently, this translates to €2,334 per month or €28,000 per year.
Spouses and children can also join the visa holders in Spain, in which case an extra 25% for each family member is added to the threshold income.
Finally, applicants are required to have a clean criminal record in the last five years, while, for the time being, they need to obtain full, private health insurance.
Visa duration and application process
Spain’s digital nomad visa is originally valid for 12 months, or for the duration of the employment period if that’s shorter than a year. It can be renewed for up to five years, at which point it’s possible to apply for permanent residency.
Interested digital nomads can either apply through a consulate or embassy in their home country or enter Spain on a tourist visa and apply within the first three months.
Applicants need to provide the following documents:
- Completed copy of the National Visa Application Form.
- Valid passport and two passport photos.
- Proof of suitable employment (work contract and/or letter from employer confirming the remote professional activity).
- Proof that the employer/company has been active for at least one year
- Proof of income (payslips, work contract, bank statements).
- Proof of qualifications (university degree, professional certificate, or evidence of at least three years of experience).
- Proof of health insurance authorised to operate in Spain.
- Criminal record check certificates for the last five years.
- Proof of familial relationship to other applicants (marriage certificate, birth certificate).
The application fee is around €80, although the exact figure can vary slightly depending on the country you apply from.
It can take between 15 to 45 days for the visa to be processed.