The new Spanish digital nomad visa will permit people working remotely for foreign companies or for … [+]
Come January, Spain will officially enter the list of European countries offering Digital Nomad Visa programs to attract international talent to their economies.
The new visa — an elemet of the Starup Act law — was ratified last week by the plenary session of Spain’s congress of deputies and will permit people working remotely for foreign companies or for their own businesses to live in the country without needing a full work visa.
The point of the new visa for digital nomads, according to Spainvisa, is “to take advantage of the explosion of remote working options accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The hope is that this will boost talent and investment in Spain and improve the country’s credentials as a global business hub.”
The Starup Act measures are part of the ‘Spain Entrepreneurial Nation strategy’ and are “designed to regulate and simplify administrative procedures for the creation of start-ups providing a favorable tax regime, including tax and social security incentives,” the government’s Espanadigital explains. “It also includes measures to develop venture capital, private equity funds and business angels in Spain.”
The lifting of bureaucratic obstacles and the addition of tax incentives are expected to encourage investments in emerging-technology-based companies.
The Congress’s ratified law will now go to the President of Government to be sanctioned and promulgated by the king, before being published in the Official State Gazette.
The hope is that the new digital nomad visa will boost talent and investment in Spain.
Digital nomads welcomed
“Spanish Congress Gives Green Light to Launch of Digital Nomad Visa,” Schengenvisainfo reports.
Visas for digital nomads allow remote workers to spend short or extended periods of time working independently abroad. The general definition of a digital nomad is a professional able to ‘carry’ his or her job anywhere they go. In the most basic terms, it’s a kind of ‘have laptop, will travel,’ enabling them to fully work with just a computer and an internet connection.
Digital Nomad visas “are similar to a full employment visa,” globalcitizensolutions explains. “They grant temporary residency rights to foreigners anywhere from six months to two years, provided they are employed and can meet the respective country’s minimum monthly income requirement. They are specifically aimed at individuals who work remotely in the digital sphere, and whose employing companies and clients are outside of the country in question.”
The new Spanish visa has been created for foreign employees from Non-European Economic Area (EEA) countries and allows people to live and work in Spain for one year, with the possibility of renewal for a further two years.
People with E.U. passports or arriving from Schengen countries already can work remotely in the country for up to six months of the year without needing to register officially.
“The long-awaited legislation allows those who are self-employed or whose companies allow them to work remotely, to be employed in one country but reside in another,” the daily Noticias explains.
“The new rules are specifically aimed at attracting those whose jobs allow them to work remotely and who can change their country of residence on a regular basis.”
Who can apply?
- Those from most countries who can prove that they work for one or more companies outside of Spain, are qualified professionals with a degree or a postgraduate degree, a minimum of three years of related professional work experience and a way to guarantee that their work will continue for at least one year.
- Those with a clean criminal record and have never been prohibited entry to Spain, have private health insurance coverage valid nationally and show proof of accommodation during the stay in Spain.
- Those who are self-employed and provide their services independently will be allowed to dedicate 20% of their professional business activities to a company registered in Spain.
The government’s minimum income requirement to qualify for the Nomad Visa will most likely be twice the national minimum wage in Spain, currently €1,050 monthly.
The village of Genalguacil in Andalucia is among the many small towns around the country welcoming … [+]
National network of welcoming villages
“Holders of the new Digital Nomad Visa will also have a more straightforward process when applying for residency on arrival in Spain, as the Spanish government requires them to register for a residence permit with local municipalities within 30 days of settling in the nation,” globalcitizenssolutions explains.
The lack of job opportunities in rural Spain “has left many small towns and villages with dwindling populations and more than ready to welcome remote workers,” Euronews reports.
Seeking to attract people working from home, around 30 towns and villages across Spain have joined the Red Nacional de Pueblos Acogedores para el Teletrabajo (or National Network of Welcoming Villages for Remote workers) to encourage digital nomads. They all have under 5,000 residents and seek new residents to revitalize their communities.
The program offers remote workers a host who can welcome them to the town or village and connect them with life in the community. The site includes an interactive map of the locations.