Spain's New Digital Nomad Visa – Startup Law Guide (2023)
If you're a freelancer or remote worker looking for a change of scenery, the new Spanish startup visa may be just what you're looking for. The Startup Law (or Startup Act), which was approved by the Spanish Congress on the 3rd of November 2022, makes it easier than ever for digital nomads to live and work in Spain – among many other things. In this article, we'll take a look at the details of the new startup visa and show you how to apply. So if you're ready to make the move to sunny Spain, keep reading!
Does Spain have a Digital Nomad Visa? 🇪🇸
In short, (now) yes.
Spain has been a popular destination for digital nomads since the pandemic, thanks to its convenient location, pleasant weather, and vibrant culture. However, some potential expats were concerned about whether or not Spain had a digital nomad visa. Despite location-independent workers having used different schemes to work and live in Spain (like the Golden Visa or Beckham's Law), the truth is that it wasn't until recently that Spain created an actual digital nomad visa under the new Startup Law approved in 2022.
Who is eligible to apply for the Spanish digital nomad visa – and how will the new visa work?
To be eligible for the visa, you'll need to be a non-EU citizen, as if you already hold a passport in Europe, you won't need a visa to stay in Spain – even though you'll need to go through steps to become a legal resident and get the special tax benefits, similar to what's required when moving to Portugal.
As of the visa requirements, applicants must prove that they have a confirmed job or business activity that can be conducted remotely (meaning that just up to 20% of their professional activities are performed in Spain). The good news is that now employees are eligible too and don't need to get a relocation request from their employer, as it happened with Beckham's Law.
While the new law does not currently have any specific requirements relating to where digital nomads must work from, or if there will be a minimum income requirement, it is hoped that the new visa will help to boost Spain's economy by encouraging more people to work remotely from the country.
How long will digital nomads be allowed to stay in Spain? 🛬
This law is specifically designed to attract foreign entrepreneurs and startup companies, and it offers many benefits for digital nomads. As of 2023, Spain's startup law will ease the process of getting a temporary residence permit for remote workers to work in the country for up to one year. After that, they will be able to apply for a permanent residence permit for up to 3 years, the same extended term given to foreigners who come to invest in national companies, develop a business activity, or work as highly qualified professionals. This residence permit will be renewable for up to 2 more years. After those 5 years, you can start the process of getting a passport. This new scheme will also allow family reunification for close relatives to come along.
As a result, the startup law provides a great opportunity for digital nomads who want to experience all that Spain has to offer.
Can I work remotely from Spain with a Digital Nomad visa?
Working as a digital nomad in Spain just got easier with the introduction of this new visa option for digital nomads. The country now offers a new work visa category and residence permit that allow you to perform remote work while still being able to stay within its borders! You'll be able to work as a self-employed freelancer or be employed by a company anywhere in the world (doesn't have to be a Spanish company anymore, as with previous regulations).
Do Digital Nomads pay tax in Spain? These are the taxes for remote workers in Spain 💸
However, if you decide to work from Spain you will likely become a tax resident in the country. However, your tax liabilities will be very different from those of locals. If you have recently been a non-Spanish resident, you will be able to adhere to the special tax regime. This requirement just went up to 10 years previous to the application from the former 5, which is pretty standard when compared to other European countries like Portugal, Greece, or Croatia.
Digital Nomads Will Pay Non-Resident Tax For 5 Years
Basically, the special tax regime will provide the possibility of paying the IRNR (Non-Resident Income Tax) for 5 years, capped at a lower tax rate of 26% up to 600,000 euros of income, and 47% thereafter.
This special tax regime is also available for children under 25 years old (or any age if they have a disability) of the beneficiaries.
When Will The Spain Digital Nomad Visa Be Available?
The Spanish government recently announced that the much-anticipated Digital Nomad Visa for the country will be available starting in 2023. This visa is specially designed for remote workers, freelancers, and digital entrepreneurs who are looking to expand their horizons outside of their home countries. This visa would allow them to work from anywhere in Spain for up to a year without needing any additional permits or endorsements. 2023 promises to bring an extra wave of digital nomads eager to relocate to sunny destinations in Spain!
How can I apply for the New Digital Nomad Visa in Spain?
Applying for the new Digital Nomad visa in Spain is still undisclosed. Applicants will likely need to submit the application form at their local Spanish Embassy, with all travel documents such as visa confirmation numbers, travel itinerary, and proof of health insurance being required for visa application. Accepted visa holders will be granted access to Spain.
Meanwhile, you can start by getting your Spanish tax ID number (NIE). You'll need it to perform economic activities in Spain, similar to the Portuguese NIF.
Frequently Asked Questions 💬
- Can I work remotely in Spain without a visa?
Spain has been actively working on making it easier for individuals to work remotely in the country with an easy-to-get visa since 2023. With each passing year, new regulations and laws are being enacted to simplify the process. As of now, there are several ways to gain access to Spain depending on your immigration status, duration of stay as well as how long you will be working in the country. It is important to understand all the legalities beforehand so that your remote stay can be smooth and problem-free.
- What is the Cost of Living in Spain?
Spain is becoming an increasingly popular destination for travelers and residents alike, as its diverse culture and stunning scenery make it an attractive destination. The cost of living in Spain can vary depending on your destination within the country, but it is generally known to be affordable compared to other European countries. Those looking to reside or spend a notable amount of time in the country will find that renting apartments tends to cost around one thousand euros per month, while food shops sell most items at prices that are comparable to those found throughout other parts of Europe. With activities such as going out to restaurants and touring the world-famous historical sites, prices depend heavily on the goal or destination - but with a little budgeting, it is quite easy to have a great time while visiting or residing in Spain.
- What are the Best Digital Nomad Destinations in Spain?
The coastal towns of Barcelona and Valencia, as well as the culture-rich islands of Ibiza and Mallorca, and obviously Madrid, are all expected to be popular destinations among this group of remote workers. 2023 promises to bring an extra wave of digital nomads eager to relocate to sunny destinations in Spain!
- What other Countries provide Digital Nomad Visas?
Portugal has been making moves to expand access for digital nomads. With their digital nomad visa, remote workers can easily move and stay there to work from around the world. Estonia also offers a one-year digital nomad visa, giving expats access to a range of benefits including free public transportation and business e-residency. Additionally, Finland has announced plans to launch an unrestricted Visa which would allow digital nomads access to basic health insurance during their time in the country. Other European countries such as Germany, Greece, and Italy offer visas specifically designed for freelancers who are looking to operate within the parameters of the Schengen Zone. Moving further away from Europe, Costa Rica has launched their Remote Worker Plan which is similar in scope but with slightly different benefits than what is available in the European Union. All of these options provide digital nomads with experiences they would not be able to find elsewhere!
- What is the Easiest Digital Nomad Visa?
Portugal is one of the most attractive countries for digital nomads to reside in due to its easy-to-obtain digital nomad visa. The Portugal Digital Nomad Visa allows those from certain countries to legally remain in the country while they work remotely. The application process is simple and straightforward, making it possible for anyone interested in portugal to make their dream of working as a digital nomad a reality. If you don't want to wait for Spanish Digital Nomad, just get started today with Portugal on Baseflow!