How to Apply for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa


Updated on Apr 21 • 5 minute read

The digital nomad visa is a new visa type that is currently being considered by the Spanish government to allow non-EU citizens to easily live and work remotely from Spain.

The Spanish government is considering launching this visa in 2022 as part of the Startup Act, a draft law meant to encourage investments, attract international talent, and generate tax revenue. If granted, it’ll be issued for a year and can be extended if the requirements are maintained.

Benefits of becoming a digital nomad in Spain

This digital nomad visa is best for those who can and want to work remotely, whether it’s as a freelancer or a full-time employee of a company that is not based in Spain.

Some of the benefits of applying for the digital nomad visa include:

Who can apply for a digital nomad visa

All non-European citizens working for companies that are based outside of Spain and allow remote work can apply for the digital nomad visa. The visa will also allow your family members to live with you in Spain.

The government hasn’t announced the official requirements for the digital nomad visa. But you can expect the following:

  1. You’ve to be a non-EU citizen
  2. Your job can be done remotely
  3. You’re not working for a Spanish company
  4. You’ve been working for the same non-Spanish company for at least 3 months before the application
  5. If you’re a freelancer, you need to have at least 1 client from outside of Spain, for at least the previous 3 months
  6. At least 80% of your income should come outside of Spain
  7. You meet the minimum income requirement

How is this visa different from other Spain work visas?

The biggest difference is that a regular work permit allows non-EU citizens to get a job in Spain. But it’s not possible to be employed by a Spanish company with a digital nomad visa.

Apart from this, regular work permit holders are subject to the same resident taxes as Spanish citizens (e.g. income tax or wealth tax). But digital nomad visa holders will pay non-resident taxes at a discounted rate.

How do I get the Digital Nomad visa in Spain

The Spanish government hasn’t approved the digital nomad visa…yet. So it’s not clear what documents they’ll require for the application. Once they announce that, we’ll update the list. Until then, based on our knowledge of Spanish visas and documents required by other countries for the digital nomad visa, we’ve come up with a list.

Expect to gather the following documents to apply for the digital nomad visa:

  1. Valid passport
  2. Filled in the application form
  3. Proof for remote-work
  4. Proof of income and bank statements
  5. Private health insurance
  6. Criminal record from countries where you’ve lived the last 5 years
  7. Proof of accommodation in Spain

You’ll need to translate these documents into Spanish by an official notary.

How long will the digital nomad visa be valid

According to the current proposal for the digital nomad visa, initially the duration of the visa will be 1 year. And holders can extend it for up to 4 more years if they continue to meet the requirements.

Do I have to pay tax as a digital nomad in Spain?

Yes, digital nomad visa holders will pay taxes in Spain. The draft version of the Startup Law states that digital nomad visa holders could pay the non-resident income tax at the reduced rate of 24% to 15% on the first €600,000 for the first few years.

What to know about Spain before moving here as a digital nomad

Spain has all the infrastructure you’ll need as a digital nomad: it’s international, affordable, well connected to other cities, has many coworking spaces and laid-back work culture.

Another prominent characteristic of being a digital nomad is how often you’ll need good internet and sometimes free internet connection. Luckily, Spain has high-speed internet coverage. In fact, currently, its fiber-optic coverage is higher than in Germany and UK. You can also find free Wi-Fi connections at most libraries, cafes and public transport hubs.

Since Spain has many cities that meet these features, choosing which beautiful Spanish city you want to settle in might be difficult. But fear not, we’ve made a list of the best places you can live in Spain as a digital nomad so you don’t have to.

Best places to live as a digital nomad in Spain

In no particular order…

  1. Madrid
  • Cost of living: Compared to other European capitals, the cost of living in Madrid is relatively affordable. Your living expenses will be €1,454 per month on average.

  • Coworking Spaces: Madrid has many coworking spaces like We Work and La Nave, where you can work in a comfortable environment. These spaces also offer free and paid amenities like snacks, coffee and food.

  1. Barcelona
  • Cost of living: Barcelona is the least affordable city in Spain. But the cost of living is still low. On average, expect to pay €1,800 per month for accommodation, food and transportation in Barcelona.

  • Coworking Spaces: In Barcelona, you can find La Vaca, betahaus Barcelona, OneCoWork and many more coworking spaces.

  1. Valencia
  • Cost of living: Compared to Barcelona and Madrid, Valencia is the most affordable one. You can pay your rent, go out and do groceries for €1,200 per month.

  • Coworking Spaces: Valencia's most popular coworking spaces are Llum, 1punto6 and Centro Coworking. These offices have a super-fast internet connection, a fully equipped kitchen, coffee machine and spacious work areas.

  1. Málaga
  • Cost of living: Málaga is the 5th most expensive city in Spain. But still, without rent, you can live comfortably for €600 in this city. Accommodation prices vary between €300 to €800 depending on whether you live in a room, studio, or apartment.

  • Coworking Spaces: La Aduana is located in Málaga’s center, making it easily reachable. If you want to work silently and without any distractions, try Next Coworking.

Aside from these big cities, there’re also many small Spanish villages with less than 5,000 residents such as Genalguacil, Sigüenza, and Tejeda where you can settle as a digital nomad. Living in one of them will cost you around €180 per week. So the cost of living in these villages is even lower than in the rest of Spain.

But although these villages are less costly and offer a great escape from hectic city life, they have less of an international crowd. So keep this in mind when you're deciding because living in a foreign country can be a lonely experience, especially if you don’t work or study there.

Now that you (hopefully) know where you’ll live, let’s look at the most important things you need to take care of after moving to Spain.

How to Open a bank account in Spain.

Even if you’re living in Spain for a short period of time, opening a Spanish bank account will make paying your rent, taxes, groceries and other expenses easier. You’ll also need your Spanish bank account if you want to sign a phone contract.

For opening a bank account, bring these documents to the bank with you:

  1. Your passport
  2. Proof of address
  3. NIE number
  4. Showing income source

Get a sim card in Spain?

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to buy a Spanish sim card as soon as possible. Spanish phone operators are very affordable and give access to free roaming within Europe.

For people staying a shorter period in Spain, the most convenient way to get a Spanish number is to buy a prepaid sim card with a 30-day package or pay-as-you-go option. You don’t have to deal with lots of paperwork or sign a contract. You can buy them from supermarkets, kiosks or websites.

Alternatively, you can sign a contract with big mobile carriers in Spain such as Movistar, Orange, and Vodafone. To sign a contract with a mobile phone operator, you’ll need:

  1. NIE number.
  2. Your digital nomad permit
  3. Proof of address.
  4. Bank account details.

Register your address at the city hall

Even if you’re on a digital nomad visa, you still have to register your address at city hall to get your empadronamiento certificate. You need to get this within 30 days of your arrival. To register the city hall, you’ll need the following documents:

  1. Filled application form
  2. Passport and its copies
  3. Rental contract

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