Do you dream of working remotely in another country? Maybe you've always wanted to live in a certain country or you want to travel the world.
If you want to become a digital nomad, there is arguably no better place to do so than sunny Spain. From delicious tapas to beautiful beaches, this popular holiday destination has it all.
Spain is also a great option for remote workers. Their cities have everything you need to get online, from coworking facilities to high-speed internet. If you're looking for a lower cost of living, there are also plenty of smaller cities to choose from.
But before you embark on your Spanish adventure, you'll need to get your paperwork in order. In this guide, we will show you how to get a digital nomad visa for Spain. This will give you legal permission to live, travel and work remotely.
We'll also show you a great way to receive payments in nearly a dozen currencies and spend in your local currency around the world - usingwise multicurrency account.
What is a digital nomad?
For those unfamiliar with the concept, a digital nomad is someone who travels freely while working remotely. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection.
Although, of course, this depends on the work you do, as not every type of work lends itself to the digital nomad lifestyle.
Digital nomads usually work in coffee shops, coworking spaces or even public libraries. Some people stay in one place for a while, while others travel.
The beauty of this lifestyle is that you can work whenever you want. All this while exploring a new country and absorbing the local culture. And of course, earn money to pay for travel and basic expenses.
Telecommuting versus earning in Spain
For tax and visa purposes, there is a difference between working remotely as a digital nomad and actually working in Spain.
The first thing to know is the tax residence. Here, you are considered a tax resident of a country if you live there a certain number of days a year.
Under Spanish tax laws, you are considered a tax resident if you stay for 183 days or more in a given calendar year.¹
If this applies to you and your circumstances, you will have to pay income tax. However, there are some advantages. The first is that the UK and Spain have a double taxation treaty.² This means you won't pay tax twice on the same income.
The second is that with a digital nomad visa, remote workers will benefit from lower tax rates than standard resident rates. You'll pay just 15% to 24% in tax on your income, compared to a rate of 48% for top earners.³
However, to get this favorable rate, you must apply to the Spanish tax authorities within 6 months of your arrival in Spain.³
Types of visas for digital nomads in Spain
Spain is one of several European countries that have introduced the new digital nomad visa.
After being announced in 2022, it was launched in January 2023. According to Economy Minister Nadia Calviñoas, the country intended"attract and retain international and national talent, helping remote workers and digital nomads establish themselves in Spain."⁴
Previously, anyone who wanted to visit Spain as a digital nomad had to get a tourist visa or something called a non-profit visa (NLV).
Neither option was ideal for remote workers, as they did not allow you to legally work or earn money in Spain. In fact, the NLV was intended for retirees who were no longer generating an active income.
But now that Spain has introduced its own digital nomad visa, that's all changed. The country is now much more welcoming to remote workers from around the world, including the UK.
Digital nomad visa in Spain
So what is a digital nomad visa in Spain? In short, it is a visa that gives you permission to live and work in Spain for up to 12 months. After this period, you will have the option to extend it for up to 3 years.⁵
This is ideal for anyone looking to work in Spain and then move on. But there is also an option for those who want to settle in Spain, because after 5 years of living in Spain with this visa you can apply for permanent residence.
Moreover, as a holder of this visa you will also benefit from lower tax rates, as we have seen above.
However, there are some limitations. You can do any type of work, but you must have specific knowledge in your field. Also, most of your work will have to be for clients or employers in another country. You can work for Spanish clients, but they cannot represent more than 20% of your total income.⁵
Eligibility requirements for a digital nomad visa in Spain
There are a number of requirements that you must meet and documents that you will need to provide in order to apply for a digital nomad visa in Spain.
Let's start with eligibility. You must fulfill the following:⁴
- Be a citizen outside the EU outside the EEA
- Do not live illegally in Spain at the time of application
- You must not have lived in Spain for 5 years before enrollment
- Work remotely for mostly non-Spanish companies
- Earn at least €2334 per month
- Qualified or experienced in their field.
What documents do you need?
In order to prove that you meet the requirements above, you will need to submit the following documents as part of your application:³
- Your passport (original and copies)
- If you are employed, a copy of your work contact. If you are self-employed, proof of previous contracts with clients showing wages for at least 3 months. For both, you'll need to prove you meet a minimum income threshold.
- Evidence of current or future contracts of several months to one year, in the case of self-employed workers.
- Proof that the company you work for has been established for at least one year, if you are an employee.
- Approval from your employer that you can work remotely in Spain.
- Proof that you have at least 3 years of work experience or a relevant professional qualification
- Proof that your work can be done remotely
- Proof of sufficient health insurance.
How to Apply for a Digital Nomad Visa in Spain (Step by Step)
Have you got your papers in order? You are now ready to apply for a digital nomad visa in Spain. There are several ways to apply, from abroad or from Spain.
Apply from abroad³
If you haven't started your journey yet, you can apply for a Spanish Digital Nomad visa in the UK. You will need to visit the nearest Spanish consulate or embassy with your documents, to initiate the application and pay the fees.
If you succeed, you will receive a one-year visa. If you want, you can change it later to get a temporary residence permit that is valid for three years.
Subscribe to Spain³
It is possible to apply for a digital nomad visa after arriving in Spain with a tourist visa. This is the cheapest option, with a lower fee than applying abroad (we'll look at application fees below).
You will need to bring all your documents with you and apply to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If your application is successful, the next step is to go to the nearest police station to register your fingerprints and get your physical residence card.
How long does it take to get a digital nomad visa in Spain?
You will be pleased that the application process for this visa is quite fast, provided of course that you have all the paperwork in order.
Although it varies, the average processing time is around 20 days. There may also be an additional background check, which may take several weeks.³
How much does a digital nomad visa cost in Spain?
Finally, you'll want to know how much it costs to apply for a Spanish digital nomad visa.
The good news is that the fee is quite low, around €75. However, it is possible to pay additional consular fees, in addition to €15 for the residence card when you arrive in Spain.⁶
Using Wise for foreign visa and currency payment
Has your Spanish visa been taken care of? The next step is to book your flights, but it's also worth thinking about how you'll manage your money while you're in Spain.
Payment will be one of the main priorities when working abroad. Instead of opening a Spanish bank account, you might want to check out Wise.
It's quick and easyopen a Wise multi-currency account online. With Wise you can manage your money in 50 currencies at the same time, including EUR and GBP.
It's easy to quickly and securely receive payments in your customer's local currency and convert your earnings to your chosen currency withmid market rate.
If you need to send money abroad, you can do it in just a few clicks - and all with low, transparent fees.
There is even asmart debit cardfor cheap consumption in 174 countries, including Spain and the rest of Europe.
With a Wise account, you will be able to spend like a native - wherever you are in the world.
Sources last checked: May 5, 2023
This publication is for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover all aspects of the topics covered. It is not intended to constitute advice on which you should rely. You should obtain professional or expert advice before taking or refraining from any action based on the contents of this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice for Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries. Past results do not guarantee a similar result. We make no guarantees, express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up-to-date.
How to get a digital nomad visa in Spain? ›
As the current minimum monthly wage is €1,050, digital nomads must prove that they earn at least €2,100 – if not €3,000 – per month to be considered for the visa. Other requirements will be precise once the program is ratified in January 2023.How do I get a digital nomad visa for Spain? ›
- You are a non-EU/EEA citizen.
- Your company allows you to work remotely.
- You are self-employed with many clients worldwide or receive income from different sources from online activities outside Spain (if applicable).
- Bank Statements. Most countries request applicants to prove their income for a digital nomad visa through bank statements. ...
- Pay Slips. ...
- Investment Reports. ...
- Employment Contracts. ...
- Tax Returns.
As the current minimum monthly wage is €1,050, digital nomads must prove that they earn at least €2,100 – if not €3,000 – per month to be considered for the visa. Other requirements will be precise once the program is ratified in January 2023.Is it easy to get a digital nomad visa? ›
Applying for a digital nomad visa may seem like a long and complicated process. Some countries will have a longer processing time or require more documents, while others will issue visas quickly and easily. Generally, the application processes are very similar in each country.How to apply for digital nomad visa Spain 2023? ›
If you want to apply for the digital nomad visa to Spain, you have two options. Apply directly through a consulate or embassy in your home country, or you can enter Spain using a tourist visa and apply from inside Spain, but don't wait more than 3 months.Can I work remotely in Spain for a US company? ›
Spain's long-awaited digital nomad visa is finally available. The remote work visa gives non-EU nationals the chance to live and work in Spain for up to five years. Approved by parliament in November 2022, it is part of the new Startup Act, which aims to attract entrepreneurship and bolster the country's tech scene.How do I become a digital nomad and pay no taxes? ›
The FEIE lets expats and digital nomads exclude a certain amount of foreign-earned income from US taxation. The exact number changes from year to year, but for 2022, the exclusion was $112,000 and for 2023, the exclusion increased to $120,000. The FEIE applies only to earned income, including: Salary.What do I show for income verification? ›
Pay stubs, earnings statement or W- 2 form identifying employee and showing amount earned period of time covered by employment. Signed and dated form or letter from employer specifying amount to be earned per pay period and length of pay period.What should proof of income look like? ›
Proof of income is simply documentation that shows how much you earn over a certain period of time. Typically, you're being asked for proof of a steady source of income. These can include bank statements, pay stubs, tax returns, and other legal documents. Read on for more detail.
How do I prove my income to enter Spain? ›
Economic means may be accredited by presenting cash, traveller's cheques, a credit card accompanied by a bank account statement, an up-to-date bank book, or any other resource that accredits the amount available, such as a credit statement regarding the card or bank account.Do digital nomads pay tax in Spain? ›
Does the digital nomad visa in Spain have tax benefits? Yes, this is one of the main attractions of the new visa. Holders would be eligible for a reduced rate of non-resident income tax. The tax rate for employees holding the Digital Nomad visa will be 24% up to 600,000 euros.How much do I need to invest in Spain to get residency? ›
The minimum investment amount is €500,000. With this amount, you can buy residential or commercial property in Spain. You need to invest at least €1,000,000 in purchasing shares of Spanish companies or investment fund units. To get a Golden Visa for buying government bonds, you must invest twice as much — €2,000,000.Which is the easiest digital nomad visa in the EU? ›
Malta. Malta is easily the next digital nomad hotspot thanks to its ideal weather, efficient infrastructure, and easy digital nomad visa application process. Malta's digital nomad visa, officially known as the Nomad Residence Permit, allows digital nomads and their family members to live in Malta for up to three years.What is the easiest nomad visa in Europe? ›
Malta has been one of the pioneers of Digital Nomad Visas since they started the project in 2001. The island is an ideal destination for digital nomads, as it offers one of the most accessible visas in Europe in terms of monthly income requirements, set at €2,700.What is the downside digital nomad? ›
Work/life balance is hard to maintain
You'll also often lack a good quality workspace and have to adjust; during this time, your work can suffer. Many digital nomads burn out due to lack of work/life balance and end up working too much because of low productivity.
Spain has opened its doors to digital nomads with a new visa that lets non-EU citizens live in the country for up to five years. Who can apply for this visa and what industries might benefit from it?How do you qualify as a digital nomad? ›
- Identify your skill sets & strengthen them. ...
- Build a portfolio & start searching job boards. ...
- Use your skills to make money online. ...
- Start networking. ...
- Start simplifying your lifestyle. ...
- Build your savings. ...
- Determine your budget & decide on your locations. ...
- Get travelers insurance.
While Spain has a complex tax system for tax-residents, the primary tax benefit of working in Spain under the Digital Nomad Visa is that your income up to €600,000 will be taxed at a flat rate of 24% instead of the progressive rate up to 48%.What are the new rules for residency in Spain 2023? ›
You'll need a temporary visa or residency permit to stay in Spain, or any other Schengen country for longer than 90 days. If you're already a citizen or resident of an EU country, you only need to get the local registration certificate—no need to apply for any visa.