Spain Digital Nomad Visa 2022

Spain Digital Nomad Visa 2022: A Perfect Solution For Remote Workers

Living in Spain is a dream for many. The history, the culture, the food, and the weather combine to offer a highly compelling package.

But relocating to Spain has been challenging for remote workers from outside the EU – due to Spain’s restrictive visa pathways.

Fortunately, that’s about to change.

Spain Digital Nomad Visa – Background

The Spanish government has recently announced the brand new Spain Digital Nomad Visa.

Designed for those who work remotely with income from outside Spain, this visa will enable non-EU/EEA and non-Swiss citizens to live in Spain for up to five years.

At the time of writing (October 4, 2022) we’re still waiting for the Spanish authorities to officially launch the Spain Digital Nomad Visa. We will update this page immediately once full details are released.

But for now, here’s what we know so far.

First of all, what did remote workers do previously if they wanted to move to Spain?

Well, it was complicated.

At the moment, the closest thing Spain has to a digital nomad visa is the Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa. But there’s a huge problem with this one, as the name might suggest.

Technically, the non-lucrative visa is designed for those who can support themselves with passive income from outside Spain. And when the Spanish authorities say ‘passive,’ they really mean it.

Unlike Portugal’s D7 Visa, which (usually) allows remote work as long as it’s from a company outside Portugal, Spain’s non-lucrative visa only permits income from purely passive sources. That means pensions, investments, interest from savings, royalties, or dividends.

You can’t apply for the non-lucrative visa with income from a remote job, even if that job is located outside Spain. Many people have been rejected because of this.

It means the non-lucrative visa is a poor fit for digital nomads, many of whom rely on salary from a company located abroad.

That’s why the Spain digital nomad visa will give a massive shakeup to Spain’s immigration options.

What We Know So Far About Spain’s Digital Nomad Visa

Let’s examine the details we have so far about Spain’s digital nomad visa. The information in the section is subject to change as the Spanish government makes the official announcement. We’ll update it as soon as we know more.

Who will be eligible?

Spain’s digital nomad visa will target non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals with the majority of their income originating from outside Spain. Up to 20% of their total income can originate from within Spain, e.g. from a Spanish company.

As with most EU residency visas, applicants will need to be over 18 and have a clean criminal record – although the latter detail is still to be confirmed.

What are the requirements?

According to a report in the Guardian, applicants will need to prove they’ve been working remotely for at least one year.

Suitable evidence of this is either an employment contract specifying remote work, or regular invoices from clients if the applicant is a freelancer.

You’ll also need proof of having secured suitable accommodation in Spain, such as an official rental contract.

The Spanish government still hasn’t announced the minimum income requirements for the visa, but the Guardian report suggests it will be around €2,000 per month.

This would bring Spain broadly in line with other digital nomad visas in Europe. But the income requirement would still be over twice as much as in neighboring Portugal – where applicants need proof of just €705 per month to apply for the D7 visa.

Will Spain offer tax breaks for digital nomads?

Yes, digital nomads and remote workers living in Spain on this visa will benefit from a reduced rate of 15% tax on their worldwide income for the first four years. This is a significant saving on the usual rate of 25%.

Will Spain’s digital nomad visa be a pathway to Spanish citizenship?

Acquiring second citizenship, especially in the EU, has become an important goal for many remote workers. But it’s not clear yet whether Spain’s digital nomad visa will be a viable pathway to Spanish citizenship.

The Spanish passport is one of the most powerful passports in the world, offering access to 187 countries without needing a visa in advance.

Not only that, but Spanish citizenship automatically makes you an EU citizen, granting the rights to live, work, study, to business, and retire freely across 30 countries.

However, if the Spain digital nomad visa can only be renewed up to 5 years, then it might not be suited for this.

In general, Spain isn’t the best option for those seeking citizenship, .

At the moment, Spain doesn’t recognize dual citizenship. It also requires 10 years of residency before you can apply.

If EU citizenship is your primary goal, then Portugal is a much better option than Spain.

Not only does Portugal recognize dual and multiple citizenship, but it also has a number of flexible residency visa pathways, including at least three that would be suitable for digital nomads. Plus, Portugal’s citizenship timeline is half the length of Spain – a mere five years.

What’s more, residency in Portugal would put you very close to Spain, so you’d be well placed to spend plenty of time in Spain– if that’s what you want.

Is Spain a good place for digital nomads?

In terms of quality of life, Spain is an excellent place for digital nomads to base themselves.

Most of the country has excellent weather, there are many fantastic cities to choose from, and plenty of stunning coastline as well.

You can choose from the history and culture of Madrid or Barcelona, or living the island lifestyle in the Canaries – plus so many great options in between.

Spanish territory spans a wide area, so there’s plenty to keep everyone happy.

Conclusion

Spain’s digital nomad visa is a welcome announcement for remote workers keen to spend time in Europe.

The coming weeks of October/ November 2022 should see the new visa officially announced. Once that happens, we’ll update this article with all the latest information.

Keep in mind that if EU citizenship is your ultimate goal, the Spain digital nomad visa might not be the right fit for you.

If your goal is eventual EU citizenship, we recommend skipping Spain altogether and focusing on nearby Portugal instead. Portugal offers a far more appealing set of circumstances for non-EU citizens to gain residency and then citizenship.

But if you’re a true digital nomad who just wants to enjoy a few years of the Spanish lifestyle, then the Spain digital nomad visa could be exactly what you’re looking for.

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