‘Digital Nomad visa’ and tax breaks: What we know about Spain’s plans to attract remote workers

remote working digital nomad, laptopPhoto: By Unsplash/Unsplash
Photo: By Unsplash/Unsplash

THE Spanish government gave the green light to introduce new measures to attract digital nomads to make their base in Spain but the law hasn’t yet come into force.

The measures, which were approved by the cabinet in December, are designed to tempt the sort of workers who can do their job from anywhere in the world – as long they have good wifi.

The move is part of a drive by Spain to attract and retain talent in order to boost the tech start-up scene and transform the nation into a global business hub.

It includes a special visa issued to people moving to Spain to work remotely for foreign companies that will mean they can live here without needing to apply for a full work visa.

It will also allow digital nomads settling in Spain to use a non-resident tax status with lower rates for five years.

It will apply to foreign employees from Non-European Economic Area (EEA) countries as people with EU passports or arriving from Schengen countries can already work remotely in the country for under 6 months of the year without needing to register officially.

Since Brexit, UK nationals now fall into the non-EEA category so the new measures will be particularly welcome to them.

The legislation is designed to ‘attract and retain international and national talents’ by helping ‘remote workers and ‘digital nomads’ set up in Spain,’ said a post on the Economy Ministry twitter account.

The tax break will also apply to Spanish expatriates who return home to Spain after a period of at least five years living abroad.

The measure will come under a new ‘startup law’ and forms part of a package of reforms that Madrid has agreed with the European Commission in exchange for the release of pandemic recovery funds.

It aims to streamline the process of starting a business, something which is notoriously complicated in Spain.

Registration fees will be scrapped and the requirements for creating a new company will be streamlined, explained Economy Minister Nadia Calvino.

“Startups are the foundation of the new digital economy, they generate highly skilled jobs and have high growth potential,” she said after the weekly cabinet meeting.

The draft bill will now be sent to parliament for approval where it will need a majority to pass. It could take until spring for the legislation to come into force.

We’ll keep you posted.


Fiona Govan

Fiona Govan joined The Olive Press in March 2021. She moved to Spain in 2006 to be The Daily Telegraph’s Madrid correspondent and then worked for six years as Editor of The Local Spain. She lives in Madrid’s Malasaña district with her dog Rufus.

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