Spain has been one of the most popular tourist destinations for decades. With pleasant weather, gorgeous beaches, and plenty of cultures to enjoy on your travels, it’s easy to see why around 83.7 million tourists flock to the country every year.
Not only is Spain a popular place for holidaymakers to enjoy some sun and sea, but more people are starting to look at Spain as the place that they can call home. Around 15% of Spain’s total population was born in a foreign country, totaling around 7.2 million people.
What is the digital nomad visa?
The number of digital nomads around the world is steadily increasing. This is closely related to the rise of new jobs, which are particularly in the field of information technologies. Thousands of online platforms and software are being developed each year amid the high demand for online services, gaming, betting, and gambling offers. One example is poker online which attracts more and more players and creates more and more jobs for developers. After the Covid lockdowns, when remote working became widely acceptable, IT specialists are among those whose job allows them to work from everywhere.
The digital nomad visa is a type of visa that a handful of countries are starting to introduce. Spain is joining the likes of 50+ countries that have already introduced this Visa including Portugal, Italy, and Germany. A digital nomad visa will grant non-EU nationals the chance to live in a country for a defined period – usually around 12 months, with the option to extend their stay. During their time in the country, they will be working remotely for their current employer or be self-employed.
Since the pandemic, these types of visas have started to burst onto the scene due to the rise in remote and hybrid working. After the two-year-long lockdown, many people realized that they don’t need to be tied down to their office cubicles and would rather travel the world while they work remotely.
These visas are also beneficial to the country, encouraging more tourists to visit for extended periods – especially in non-peak seasons – and contributing to the economy. In return, some visas offer digital nomads other benefits, like tax exemptions.
To be granted a digital nomad visa, you will have to adhere to the requirements of the individual country you’re applying for. This will normally focus on proving that you have sufficient income to support yourself throughout your visa.
How does the Spanish digital nomad visa work?
Spain started to introduce the digital nomad visa in early 2023, open for any applicant who has worked remotely for more than a year and that hasn’t been a Spanish resident for the last 5 years. This digital nomad visa is specifically targeted toward non-EU nationals and those who work for non-Spanish companies. The application requirements specify that digital nomads are only allowed to get up to 20% of their income from Spanish companies.
Both freelancers and employed digital nomads are invited to apply to the new Spanish scheme, they will just need to prove that they have worked with their clients or company for at least three months before their application and that their job can be carried out remotely.
During the application, digital nomads will also be asked to provide evidence that they have experience and are knowledgable in their career – this can be proved by showing relevant qualifications, or by having at least three years of work experience.
Quick facts about the Spanish digital nomad visa:
- Cost of visa: $265
- Income Requirement: over $2,215 per month
- Duration of visa: one year, with the potential to extend for up to four years
How will this affect people living in Spain?
For people that already live in Spain, this new visa will not make a big difference to your day-to-day life. You may start to notice an influx of tech-savvy workers coming to your town and taking up the space in your local coffee shop, but it will not impact your visa or experience living in Spain.
According to surveys, Valencia has recently been voted the best city in the world for ex-pats thanks to its beautiful culture and range of fun attractions that can be enjoyed outside. Other Spanish cities that are popular with digital nomads include Madrid, Barcelona, and the Balearic islands.
Spain is introducing the digital nomad visa as it is encouraging wealthy remote workers to come to the country, spend in local shops, and generally contribute to the country’s growing economy. Encouraging digital nomads to visit for a year means that tourism is spread outside of the usual summer months, creating more consistent revenue for the country.
Ultimately, the digital nomad visa is a positive scheme that many more countries around the world will start to introduce as more workers switch to remote jobs that allow them the freedom to work from anywhere in the world.