Spain Digital Nomad Visa – What Is It and Do You Need It?

Are you looking to travel and work in Spain as a digital nomad?

If so, you’ll be super happy to hear that the country has implemented its Spain Digital Nomad Visa, which is designed to meet the unique needs of Digital Nomads!

Launched in 2023, this exciting special visa provides digital nomads with the flexibility and freedom to live a fulfilling nomadic lifestyle while working remotely in this vibrant country.

Aerial image of a huge cathedral known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, Seville, Spain

Henrique Ferreira | Unsplash

What Is The Spain Digital Nomad Visa?

The Spain Digital Nomad Visa is an incredible opportunity for digital nomads to work and travel in Spain with ease.

The visa allows individuals from Non-European Economic Area (EEA) countries to live legally in Spain while they conduct their business activities remotely.

Applicants must work remotely using digital technologies for a company based outside of Spain, or be self-employed with clientele primarily outside of Spain. They must have been employed or in business for at least three months and must continue to fulfill their role remotely.

If you already have an EU passport or are coming from a Schengen country, then you’re lucky enough to be able to work remotely in Spain for up to 6 months without the need for a special Visa.

With the Spain Digital Nomad Visa, digital nomads will have a legal right to stay within Spanish territory for up to 12 months at a time; plenty of time to explore all that Europe has to offer without worrying about visas!

Plus, once you have the Visa, you’ll be able to renew for a further 2 years, as long as you continue to meet the visa requirements. And if you love Spain and get approved for a renewable residency permit, your Visa will be valid for up to 5 years. After five years, applicants may apply for long-term residency.

To qualify financially, the visa requires a minimum income from remote work. Generally, this income should be at least 200% of the Spanish minimum wage for the main applicant, which translates to approximately €2,000 per month, with an additional 75% for a spouse and 25% for each child.

However, total costs might be higher depending on accommodation choices since some cities like Madrid and Barcelona tend to have higher living prices compared to other areas like Malaga and Alicante, etc.

You’ll also need to comply with any specific job requirements needed for the relevant permit depending on your profession, for example, freelance professions require special documentation to show your skillset and scope of services offered to clients, etc.

white structure with statue on the entrance and middle in Madrid

Nextvoyage | Pexels

Benefits of the Spain Digital Nomad Visa

The Spain Digital Nomad Visa is a component of Spain’s Startup Law aimed at fostering innovation and attracting entrepreneurs and tech talent to boost the local economy.

The visa program encourages cultural integration, which means participants are encouraged to learn Spanish and engage with the local community, enriching their experience and potentially opening more local opportunities.

Here are the key benefits offered by the visa;

  • Favorable Tax Regime: One of the most appealing aspects of the Spanish Digital Nomad Visa is the reduced tax rate for new residents. Digital nomads can benefit from a tax rate of 24% on income up to €600,000 during their first four years in Spain. This is significantly lower than regular rates and is designed to make relocation financially attractive.
  • Access to a High-Quality Lifestyle: Spain is known for its warm climate, diverse culture, and high quality of life. Visa holders can enjoy access to excellent healthcare, affordable living costs, and a robust transport network—all while soaking in the rich historical heritage and vibrant social scene that Spain offers.
  • Family Inclusion: The visa allows for family reunification, meaning that immediate family members (spouse and children) can also live in Spain. They enjoy the same rights regarding work and education, making it a practical option for digital nomads looking to move with their families.
  • Long-Term Residency Opportunity: Initially valid for one year, the visa can be renewed for additional two-year periods. After five years of legal residency, it is possible to apply for long-term residency in Spain, which can lead to permanent residency and citizenship, subject to fulfillment of the respective conditions.
  • Rich Networking Opportunities: Spain hosts a thriving international community and numerous coworking spaces, ideal for networking and collaboration. Cities like Barcelona, Madrid, and Valencia are teeming with startups and tech hubs, providing ample professional opportunities for digital nomads.
  • Remote Work Hubs: Spain is rapidly becoming one of Europe’s leading destinations for digital nomads, with cities like Barcelona, Madrid, and the Canary Islands already established as popular hubs for remote workers due to their infrastructure and lifestyle.
  • Supportive Local Laws: Local regulations in Spain are adapting to support the digital nomad lifestyle, with regions like the Canary Islands implementing additional measures to attract and cater to remote workers, such as improving internet connectivity and offering specific services.

Requirements For Applying For The Spain Digital Nomad Visa

To qualify for the Spain Digital Nomad visa, you must meet certain requirements outlined by the Spanish government.

​​The main requirements for non-EU citizens include;

  • Proof you are employed by a company not based in Spain, or evidence of having clients outside the country. Employment contracts should be presented along with applications.
  • If under contractual agreement with a foreign company you must show proof that you have worked for your employer for at least three months prior to applying, and present written consent from the company affirming remote work.
  • Must generate income from sources all around the globe with no more than 20% originating from Spanish companies.
  • Must prove minimum monthly income of around €2,000/month.
  • Must have remote work experience for a minimum of one year.
  • Must not have been granted residency status in Spain for the past five years.
  • Must have a clean criminal record and never been previously denied admission.
  • Must retain a valid private health insurance policy for the full duration of your stay in Spain.
  • Must provide evidence of accommodation in Spain.

It’s important to note that if you’re a non-EU national, you may be required to apply for a Schengen visa as part of the application process. This will require providing proof of travel insurance, a valid passport, and other relevant documents.

Also, while the Spain Digital Nomad Visa gives you the chance to reap the benefits of working remotely in Spain, it’s imperative to keep in mind the costs of applying for and maintaining the visa before making any plans.

When putting together a budget for the visa application, be sure to include the application fee, police report fee, health insurance, long-term costs of living, and potentially a Schengen visa as well.

aerial view of tall buildings in Edificio Metropoli, Gran vía - Madrid, Spain

Jorge Fernández Salas | Unsplash

How To Apply For The Spain Digital Nomad Visa

Applying for the Spanish Digital Nomad Visa involves several steps to ensure you meet the criteria and submit all the required documents.

You’ll need evidence of your employment or work contracts, proof of income, insurance documents, passport details, and so on. Here’s a detailed summary of the application process, which varies slightly by country;

Step 1: Check Eligibility

Before you start, ensure you meet the basic eligibility criteria:

  • Work remotely for non-Spanish companies or have clients outside Spain. Must show proof of contract or company documentation proving you work remotely for your clients.
  • Have a stable income. Typically, you should earn at least 200% of the Spanish minimum wage (about €2,000 per month), with additional income for dependents if applicable.
  • Possess comprehensive health insurance.
  • Have a clean criminal record.

Step 2: Gather Required Documents

Prepare the necessary documentation, which usually includes:

  • Passport valid for the duration of your stay.
  • Proof of employment or business ownership outside Spain.
  • Proof of stable and sufficient income.
  • Comprehensive health insurance documentation.
  • Criminal record certificates from countries lived in over the last five years.
  • Proof of accommodation in Spain.
  • Application form filled out.

Step 3: Visa Application Submission

The application process for the digital nomad visa cannot be completed entirely online. You’ll need to:

  • Locate the nearest Spanish consulate or embassy.
  • Schedule an appointment, if required.
  • Submit the application form along with all the gathered documents in person. Some consulates might allow initial steps to be done online or via mail, but this varies.

Step 4: Pay the Visa Fees

Visa fees are typically paid at the time of application submission at the consulate or embassy. The fee varies between different countries but usually starts around €80 and is non-refundable, even if your application is declined. It’s essential to confirm the current amount with the consulate where you’re applying. Keep the receipt as proof of payment.

Step 5: Attend the Interview (If Required)

Some applicants may be required to attend an interview at the consulate or embassy. This is an opportunity to provide further details about your application and plans in Spain.

Step 6: Visa Processing

After submission, the processing time can vary, often taking a few weeks to a couple of months. Use this time to plan your move, considering aspects like housing, co-working spaces, and networking opportunities in Spain.

Step 7: Collect Your Visa

Once approved, you’ll be notified to collect your visa. This typically involves going back to the consulate or embassy.

Step 8: Arrive in Spain and Apply for the TIE (Foreigner Identity Card)

Upon arrival in Spain, you’ll need to apply for the TIE, which is your residency card. This process involves:

  • Booking an appointment with the local police station or foreigner’s office.
  • Submitting the necessary documentation, including your visa and proof of address in Spain.

Step 9: Register with the Local Town Hall

Registering at the town hall (empadronamiento) is essential for various administrative processes in Spain.

Key Details for Digital Nomads:

  • Internet and Workspace: Research internet speeds throughout key areas in Spain and check out the various co-working spaces in your chosen area to ensure that the facilities and capabilities meet your needs and preferences. Getting a local SIM card for around €10-€20 ($11-$22 USD) can reduce costs on mobile data and calls significantly compared to international rates.
  • Networking: Look into local expat and digital nomad communities.
  • Local Bank Account: Consider opening a local bank account for easier transactions.
  • Language: Knowing basic Spanish can significantly enhance your experience.

With this visa, you will be eligible to travel across the EU Schengen area visa-free! This is fantastic news as you’ll have easy access to 27+ member states for as long as your Visa is valid.

red and yellow stairs in Old Town Calp Spain

Sam Williams | Unsplash

Benefits Of Living In Spain As A Digital Nomad

Living in Spain as a digital nomad offers a host of benefits, from the warm weather to the welcoming culture.

It’s an ideal place for remote professionals looking to immerse themselves in their work and travel without sacrificing a connection to home comforts.

Spain’s infrastructure makes living there as a digital nomad very attractive, with well-developed public transportation systems, excellent internet connectivity throughout most cities and towns, world-class hospitals with modern medical facilities, and plenty of amenities such as coworking spaces or cafes.

If you love art and history, Spain can offer some incredible options when deciding where to live permanently or temporarily for your digital nomadic lifestyle.

From the Alhambra Palace Granada – one of the most famous monuments of Islamic Architecture, La Seu de Barcelona (The Cathedral of Barcelona) from Gothic times, the Prado National Museum Madrid which houses masterpieces by Velázquez, Goya and Rembrandt, to castle ruins dating back over 1000 years old; the list of attractions is endless!

Add in beautiful landscapes, friendly people, a Mediterranean climate, a low cost of living, affordable accommodation, and world-class healthcare and you have yourself a pretty fantastic place to live and work.

With the Spain Digital Nomad Visa, you can enjoy all these benefits and more.

The Spain Digital Nomad Visa allows digital nomads to live and work in Spain for up to potentially five years, making it the perfect destination for digital nomads looking to experience the culture and beauty of Spain.

brown stone building surrounded with trees- Alhambra de Granada - SPAIN

Dimitry B | Unsplash

Cost of Living in Spain

Spain offers a relatively affordable cost of living compared to many Western European countries, making it an attractive destination for digital nomads. Here’s a breakdown of the typical monthly expenses you might encounter, tailored to the needs of a remote worker:

  • Accommodation: Depending on the city, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center costs about €700-€1,200 (approximately $760-$1,300 USD) per month. In smaller towns or suburbs, prices can drop to around €500-€900 ($540-$980 USD).
  • Utilities (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage): Monthly utility bills for a standard apartment are typically around €100-€150 ($110-$160 USD).
  • Internet: High-speed internet, essential for digital nomads, averages around €30-€50 ($33-$54 USD) per month.
  • Groceries: Basic groceries for one person can range from €150-€300 ($160-$325 USD) monthly, depending on dietary habits and local or imported food preferences.
  • Dining Out: A meal at an inexpensive restaurant may cost around €10-€15 ($11-$16 USD), while a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant might be about €30-€50 ($33-$54 USD) per person.
  • Public Transportation: A monthly public transport pass typically costs between €30-€60 ($33-$65 USD), vital for nomads exploring or commuting across the city.
  • Health Insurance: While often included in the visa requirements, additional health insurance costs around €40-€100 ($43-$108 USD) per month, depending on coverage and provider.
  • Leisure and Entertainment: Activities like cinema tickets, fitness club memberships, and cultural events can total around €50-€100 ($54-$108 USD) monthly.
  • Total Average Monthly Cost: Altogether, a digital nomad might expect to spend approximately €1,100-€2,100 ($1,190-$2,275 USD) per month, excluding rent, based on lifestyle choices and location within Spain.

Costs can vary significantly between cities like Madrid or Barcelona and smaller cities or coastal towns. Valencia, Malaga, and Seville offer a good balance of lifestyle and affordability.

To save on rent, consider sharing an apartment or co-living spaces, which are popular among the nomad community and offer the added benefit of built-in social networks.

Resources to Stay Up to Date with Visa Changes

Government of Spain- Consular Services Page

Atlys.com

iVisa.com

World Visa Guide

Best Places to Live in Spain

Barcelona

Known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant cultural scene, Barcelona is a hub for digital nomads, especially those in tech and biotech industries. Notable spots include Betahaus, a popular coworking space; the bustling La Rambla for leisurely strolls; and Barceloneta Beach for some sun and sand after a day’s work.

Madrid

As the capital city, Madrid offers a dynamic lifestyle with a blend of traditional Spanish culture and modern amenities. Key attractions for digital nomads are the large Telefónica flagship store, which doubles as a coworking space; Café Central, perfect for jazz lovers and informal meetings; and the expansive Retiro Park for peaceful escapes or casual work sessions outdoors.

Valencia

This city is known for its balance of historical sites, modern design, and beach life. Digital nomads often flock to Wayco, a well-equipped coworking space; the tranquil Turia Gardens, great for outdoor activities; and La Lonja de la Seda, a stunning piece of Gothic architecture that doubles as a spot for inspiration and relaxation.

Seville

Famous for its architectural beauty and lively atmosphere, Seville is another top choice for nomads. Workspaces like Sevilla Hub offer excellent facilities; while the historic Alameda de Hércules is perfect for networking in a casual setting; and for those looking to unwind, the Metropol Parasol provides stunning views and a unique backdrop for relaxation.

Malaga

This coastal city is not only about beautiful beaches but also offers a thriving tech scene. The Innovation Campus Malaga provides a robust environment for tech-savvy nomads; CAC Málaga, a contemporary art museum, is great for sparking creativity; and the picturesque Muelle Uno is ideal for evening strolls and dining by the sea.

brown concrete building known as the with water in the middle in Plaza de España, Sevilla Spain

Joan Oger | Unsplash

Spain Digital Nomad Visa – Summary

The Spain Digital Nomad Visa offers an excellent opportunity for digital nomads to work and live while enjoying all that Spain and Europe have to offer.

Not only will you generate a fantastic income, but you’ll also have access to world-class health care, and education, and be living in one of the cultural centers of the world.

As more and more Digital Nomad Visas become available across the globe, the opportunities for digital nomads like us to live in and explore these beautiful countries abound.

What a wonderful time to be a digital nomad.

Check out our other posts on digital nomad visas and destinations;

71 Countries With Digital Nomad Visas (or Similar) in 2024 

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Spain Digital Nomad – FAQ’s

With this visa, Spain opens itself up to a wealth of opportunities, from unique cultural experiences to access to some of the best innovation networks.

To help you understand the new visa, here are some popular FAQs:

What is the Spain Digital Nomad Visa?

The Spain Digital Nomad Visa is a new visa program designed to allow digital nomads, entrepreneurs, and self-employed professionals to live, work, and travel in Spain for up to one – five years.

Who can apply for the Digital Nomad Visa?

The Spain Digital Nomad Visa is open to citizens of countries outside the EU as well as non-EU nationals who have a valid residency permit in one of the EU countries. Foreigners with a valid residence permit in Spain can also apply.

What are the main requirements for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa?

The Spain Digital Nomad Visa requires applicants to submit proof that they have the necessary financial resources to stay in the country for the duration of the visa, as well as evidence that they have a stable employment contract or self-employment activity. Applicants must also have valid health insurance.

How long is the Digital Nomad Visa valid for?

The Visa is valid for one year initially and can be extended for another two years. If during that time you obtain a renewable residency permit, you can extend for a further two years, taking the entirety of your visa to five years.

The Spain Digital Nomad Visa itself does not directly grant legal permanent residency. However, it can serve as a pathway to long-term residency under certain conditions. Here’s how it generally works:

  • Initial Period: The Digital Nomad Visa is initially valid for one year. It’s primarily intended for individuals who work for non-Spanish companies remotely.
  • Renewals: After the first year, you can renew this visa for two-year increments, as long as you continue to meet the eligibility criteria (such as income requirements and maintaining your status as a remote worker for a non-Spanish company).
  • Transition to Long-Term Residency: After legally living in Spain for five uninterrupted years on the Digital Nomad Visa (or any combination of visas that allow for residency), you can apply for long-term residency. This status allows you to live and work in Spain indefinitely, and it offers similar rights to Spanish citizens.
  • Requirements for Long-Term Residency: To qualify for long-term residency, you need to demonstrate continuous residence in Spain, financial stability, and compliance with social security and tax obligations. You must also not have been absent from Spain for more than ten months within the five-year period or more than six months in a single year.
  • Further Path to Citizenship: After ten years of legal residence, you may be eligible to apply for Spanish citizenship, although this requires demonstrating a deeper integration into Spanish society, including language proficiency and cultural knowledge.
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