How to get Spain residency for digital nomads

What is a Digital Nomad Visa and who can get it?

“Digital nomads” refer to specialists who can work online, travel often, and choose to reside in different countries, preferably with a higher level of safety and a comfortable climate.

The Digital Nomad Visa allows individuals to relocate and obtain a residence permit in a foreign country. The validity period of such a visa and residence permit ranges from several months to years.

In 2022, the Spanish government developed terms for issuing visas to digital nomads, enshrined in Law No. 28/2022 “On Startups.”

Digital nomads began applying for visas in April 2023 and received their first visas in June 2023.

The visa is suitable for foreigners who wish to move to Spain and work remotely for a foreign company.

The applicant can also work for a Spanish company, provided that the income from such activity does not exceed 20% of the total earnings.

A foreigner doesn’t necessarily have to be a programmer; it’s enough to work online with a laptop connected to the network. Marketing specialists, designers, and entrepreneurs can consider themselves digital nomads.

1. Spain is one of the best countries for remote workers. The nation has developed infrastructure and many spots with free Wi-Fi. Besides, you can relax by the sea, stroll along the streets of picturesque villages, and try gazpacho or the famous paella.

In 2023, Spain took first place in the Visa Guide website’s Digital Nomad Index. To compile the index, experts assessed visa conditions for digital nomads and the quality of life in 38 countries: prices, tax policy, leisure, and Internet speed.

2. Residency in the EU. The Digital Nomad Visa grants the whole family the right to obtain residence permits in Spain. One can include their spouse and children in the application. Parents, grandparents, and siblings may get residence permits along with the main applicant if they are financially dependent on them.

3. Travel without visas within the Schengen Area. With a Spanish residence permit, one can freely enter other Schengen countries and spend 90 days out of 180 there.

4. Access to European banks. Spanish residents use the services of local banks just like the country’s citizens: they can take out loans and mortgages and transfer money abroad. It is also easier for them to open accounts in other EU banks.

5. Free health services. Residents pay social contributions and receive free treatment in public hospitals in return. According to WHO data, Spain ranks 4th in the world in terms of the competence of doctors and the equipment of clinics.

With private health insurance, a prerequisite for obtaining a Digital Nomad Visa, one gains access to the services of private clinics, which constitute over half of Spain’s hospital facilities.

Spain is also famous for its sanatoriums and thermal springs.

6. European education. A digital nomad can enrol their children in a local school: primary and secondary education in government institutions is free. If they wish, they can choose one of the private or semi-private schools.

To learn Spanish, residents can enrol in language courses at universities, libraries, and other educational institutions.

7. Prospect of permanent residency and citizenship. After five years of living in Spain, a foreigner can obtain permanent residency and, after another five years, apply for citizenship.

The Spanish passport provides visa-free access to more than 170 countries and allows the holder to live and work in any EU state. The downside is that Spain does not recognise second citizenship, so the applicant needs to renounce their first passport.

New Spain Digital Nomad Visa

Digital Nomads can rent an apartment with three bedrooms for €1,000+ per month. The highest rental prices are in Barcelona and Madrid — €1,800 per month

Spain Digital Nomad Visa requirements

The Spanish Digital Nomad Visa can be obtained by remote workers who have signed an employment contract or a service agreement with a foreign company or customer. The visa applicant may be employed, self-employed, or an entrepreneur.

Requirements for applicants. Citizens of countries that are not members of the EU or the European Economic Union can apply for a digital nomad visa. Applicants must:

  • be over 18;

  • work remotely as a freelancer or be employed in a foreign company;

  • have no criminal record in Spain or any country of residence within five years before applying;

  • confirm qualifications with a diploma or a 3-year work experience;

  • confirm registration in Spain by renting or purchasing real estate;

  • apply for Spanish health insurance;

  • earn €2,646+ per month before taxes.

Income requirements. The applicant’s income depends on the minimum salary in Spain, which is called SMI. In 2024, SMI is considered to be €1,134. To qualify for a visa, a digital nomad must earn at least twice as much.

If you add relatives to the application, the amount of income increases by €993 for a spouse and by €331 for each additional family member.

Residence requirements. Digital nomads can choose any city in Spain to live in. When applying for a residence permit, they must provide a registration address by renting or purchasing real estate.

Who can move to Spain with a digital nomad

You are allowed to include the following relatives in your Digital Nomad Visa application:

  • a spouse;

  • a partner with whom the union is officially registered;

  • children under 18;

  • children over 18, unless they are married; they should study at a university and be financially dependent on the applicant.

The law allows the inclusion of other relatives in the application: parents, grandparents, and siblings. The main condition is that family members are financially dependent on the main applicant. But in practice, approval for these relatives is rarely obtained.

Cost of the Spain Digital Nomad Visa

Expenses for obtaining a visa include:

  • a consular fee of €80;

  • services of a translator and notary;

  • lawyer services, if applicable;

  • a fee for issuing a residence permit card of €20.

The cost of health insurance depends on the insurance company, but it will be approximately €300 annually per person.

Individual cost calculation for a Spain Digital Nomad Visa

Individual cost calculation for a Spain Digital Nomad Visa

Timeline for applying for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa

The Nomad Visa for Spain can be obtained in two ways:

  1. Outside Spain, at the embassy in the country of origin. The foreigner receives a national visa D, which is valid for one year. Immediately after moving to Spain, they can apply for a three-year residence permit.

  2. In Spain, at the migration service as a tourist or with any other valid visa. A nomad receives a residence permit for three years, bypassing the stage of obtaining a national D visa. The application is reviewed within 20 days.

Documents required to get a Digital Nomad Visa to Spain

Applying outside Spain. An application for a Digital Nomad Visa must be submitted to the Spanish Consulate in the country of residence. All documents must be translated into Spanish. Sworn translations are required for work contracts.

The standard package of documents needed to apply for a Spain Digital Nomad Visa includes the following:

  • original and copies of all pages of an international passport valid for the entire period of an intended stay in Spain;

  • a paid visa fee;

  • a completed visa application form MI-T;

  • a CV;

  • a coloured photograph in full face on a light background;

  • confirmation that the foreign company has the status of a legal entity and was registered at least a year ago: an extract with an apostille from the official register of the employer’s country;

  • a letter from a foreign company with permission to work in Spain;

  • proof of income — a bank statement for the last three months, an employment contract, a letter, a certificate or other agreement with the employer;

  • a contract for remote work with a foreign company, which was concluded at least three months before applying for a residence permit, unlimited or valid for at least three years;

  • a document that confirms remote work, for example, certificates of completed work for legal entities;

  • a certificate of no criminal record for the last five years;

  • health insurance with coverage starting from €30,000 per person, issued in Spain;

  • marriage and birth certificates;

  • social insurance or a statement with an obligation to pay social contributions;

  • a copy of a diploma or other documents that confirm a 3-year work experience or specialised education;

  • proof of residence in the consular district, for example, a copy of the civil passport page with the registration address or a rental agreement.

The Digital Nomad visa is valid for one year and gives the right to enter Spain and then obtain a residence permit.

Applying from Spain. In this case, applicants immediately submit documents for a residence permit to the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration. The applicant needs to confirm the legality of their stay in Spain, for example, by presenting a valid Schengen visa.

The application is reviewed within 20 days. The residence permit card is issued for three years.

Application process for the Digital Nomad Visa to Spain

The entire procedure takes up to 6 months. The Spanish Consulate typically processes visa documents in 30 days. After a digital nomad receives a visa, they come to Spain and apply for a residence permit.

1

15—30 days

Obtaining a certificate of no criminal record

The digital nomad provides a certificate of no criminal record from the country of residence for the last five years.

2

7 days

Collecting documents from work

An employment or service contract must be concluded at least three months before applying for a visa. The contract duration should be at least three years.

3

3+ weeks

Getting a NIE

The Foreigner Identity Number, or NIE, is obtained from the Spanish General Commissariat for Immigration and Borders. You can request a number through the Spanish Consulate of your country or in person at the commissariat.

4

4+ weeks

Applying for a visa

While the commissioner reviews the NIE application, the digital nomad prepares the necessary visa documents. These must be translated into Spanish and then submitted to the Spanish Consulate. The state fee for applying is €80.

5

30 days

Obtaining a Digital Nomad Visa

It takes the Сonsulate about a month to process your visa application, which is then attached to the passport’s page. about a month to process your visa application, which is then attached to the passport’s page.

6

1+ days

Submitting documents for a residence permit

The Digital Nomad Visa is valid for a year. During this time, the digital nomad enters Spain and applies for a residence permit.

7

20 days

Obtaining a residence permit in Spain

Documents for a residence permit are submitted online and uploaded to the migration service’s official website. The application is reviewed within 20 days. After its approval, you need to make an appointment with the police to take biometrics.

Resident cards take an average of 40 days to produce; then, they are sent to the foreigner’s registered address.

Reasons for the possible refusal of a Digital Nomad Visa

A digital nomad residency in Spain can be refused for various reasons, for example, if the applicant:

  • provided incorrect information;

  • did not confirm the purpose of the visit;

  • violated the conditions for staying in the Schengen Area.

If denied, a foreigner can file an appeal within 30 days to the Visa Department in the Spanish Consulate or to the High Court of Justice of Madrid within 2 months after the notification of the first visa refusal or the Consulate’s dismissal of the reconsideration appeal.

Digital Nomad Visa extension and renewal

The first residence permit card is issued for three years. Then, it can be extended two more times for two years. To do this, you need to live in Spain for at least 183 days a year.

After five years of residing in the country, a foreigner has the right to obtain permanent resident status for life.

Moving with the family: cities in Spain for living with children

Madrid is the most popular destination for digital nomads. Families with children choose quieter regions with a good selection of kindergartens and schools.

Malaga is appreciated for its quality of life and is regularly voted one of the most convenient cities in Spain. The city has developed public transport, and the cost of renting and purchasing real estate is 3—4 times lower than in the central regions of Spain.

Alicante is an authentic city with a wonderful climate, kilometres of sandy beaches and a large selection of bars and restaurants. The old quarter has narrow streets and Moorish architecture.

There are many international schools located in Alicante and the Costa Blanca region. The people of Alicante are very expat-friendly. Foreigners make up approximately 20% of the city’s population, and English is widely spoken.

Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, with stable air temperatures that rarely drop below +20℃ even in winter.

Tenerife offers excellent opportunities for the whole family to study, shop, and relax in water parks, restaurants, and golf courses.

How to get digital nomad visa Spain

Malaga is on the coast of the Alboran Sea. The sun shines here about 300 days a year, and winters are the mildest in Europe

Taxes for digital nomads in Spain

A digital nomad becomes a tax resident in Spain if they spend more than 183 days in the country. For tax residents, the income tax ranges between 19 and 47%.

A digital nomad only pays taxes in Spain if the country in which their company is registered has signed a double tax treaty (DTT) with Spain.

Spain has entered into a DTT with 90 countries, including the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and all EU countries.

If you pay taxes in the country of your source of income and it is on the list of countries that have signed the DTT, you do not need to pay income tax again in Spain. However, if the income tax rate in Spain is higher, you may have to pay the difference.

Digital nomads earning an income in Spain are eligible to take advantage of the Beckham Law benefits program. It is available to those who have spent more than 183 days a year in Spain and have not been a Spanish tax resident for the last 5 years.

For the first six years, the foreigner pays income tax at the non-resident rate or IRNR: 24% on income less than €600,000 per year. An income above this amount is taxed at 45%.

How digital nomads can obtain permanent residency and Spanish citizenship

The Digital Nomad Visa is an immigration visa: its holder receives a residence permit in the country.

After five years of living with a residence permit in Spain, the resident can obtain permanent residency. It differs from citizenship in that it does not allow one to get a government job or become a politician.

Before applying for permanent residency, you must have lived in the country for at least six consecutive months within the last year. Applicants confirm that they pay taxes, have never broken the law, have a good reputation, and have integrated into local social life.

After 10 years of residence in Spain, a resident can apply for citizenship. All members of the applicant’s family can obtain Spanish passports.

Digital Nomad Visa Spain citizenship

Spain does not recognise second citizenship with most countries. But citizens of France, Portugal, Andorra, and the Philippines can keep their first passport

Differences between a Digital Nomad Visa and other types of residence permits in Spain

In the case of a Golden Visa, the applicant invests €500,000 or more in the country’s economy:

  • buys real estate;

  • opens a deposit in a Spanish bank;

  • invests money in shares of Spanish companies, shares of investment funds or government bonds.

Financially independent people can also obtain residence permits in Spain — a Non-Lucrative Visa. They must have a lower annual income than digital nomads, but they cannot work in Spain.

Unlike digital nomads and financially independent persons, investors do not have to live permanently in Spain to maintain their status. They only need to visit the country to renew their status.

Comparison of different types of residence permits in Spain

Feature

Digital Nomad

Non-Lucrative Visa

Golden Visa

Income or investment requirement

€31,752+ — annual income

€28,800+ — annual income

€500 000 — investments

RP validity

3+2 years

1+2 years

3+5 years

Obligatory residing

183+ days a year

183+ days a year

Not required

Right to work in Spain

Yes, if it brings in up to 20% of income

No

With additional permission

Digital Nomad Visas to other countries

In 2024, about 50 countries are issuing long-term visas and residence permits for digital nomads. You can get a Digital Nomad visa in many European countries. The most popular are in:

In the Caribbean, digital nomad visas are issued in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Curacao, the Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands.

Key points about how to move to Spain with a Digital Nomad visa

  1. To get a Spain Digital Nomad Visa, foreigners must work remotely for a company abroad and earn a minimum of €2,646 per month.

  2. Documents for a visa are submitted to the Spanish Consulate of the country of residence. The application is reviewed in about 30 days.

  3. Visa costs include consular fees and payment for the services of a translator, notary, and lawyer.

  4. The visa allows you to obtain a residence permit in Spain: the first card is issued for three years, and then it can be extended for two more years.

  5. Digital nomads who have lived in Spain for more than five years can apply for permanent residence and, after another five years, citizenship.

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Will you obtain Spain Digital Nomad Visa?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain Spain Digital Nomad Visa?

Frequently asked questions

  • What is a Digital Nomad Visa?

    These visas are issued for people who travel the world and work remotely. They give tourists the right to stay in the country longer than they are allowed to.

    Some countries have started launching Digital Nomad visas to attract talented foreigners to the country and boost the local economy. Spain is one of the best destinations for digital nomads.

  • Does Spain offer a Digital Nomad Visa?

    Yes, the Spanish government has developed conditions for issuing visas to digital nomads in 2022. They are enshrined in Law No. 28/2022 “On Startups.”

    Digital nomads began applying in April 2023 and received their first visas in June 2023.

  • What is the minimum income for a Digital Nomad Visa in Spain?

    The applicant’s income is linked to the minimum salary in Spain, or SMI: in 2024, it is €1,134. To qualify for a visa, a digital nomad must earn twice as much.

    If you add relatives to the application, the amount of income required increases by €993 for a spouse and by €331 for each additional family member.

  • How long is the wait for the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain?

    On average, the waiting time is about 30 days. After an applicant receives a Digital Nomad Visa, he comes to Spain and applies for a residence permit.

  • Is it possible to get a D visa while in Spain?

    No, a national D visa can only be obtained in the country of residence.

    The Digital Nomad visa also falls into category D. However, digital nomads who are already in Spain can immediately apply for a three-year residence permit.

  • How to get a NIE in Spain?

    A Foreigner Identity Number, or NIE, can be requested in Spain or from the Spanish Consulate in the country of residence. The request is submitted in person or through a representative by proxy.

  • Do digital nomads pay tax in Spain?

    The Digital Nomad visa holder pays income tax if their place of work is specified in their employment contract as Spain. A digital nomad is also allowed to work for Spanish companies, but the income from such activities must not exceed 20% of the total earnings.

    If a digital nomad opts for preferential treatment, they are subject to reduced tax rates. Income under €600,000 incurs a tax rate of 24%, while incomes exceeding €600,000 are taxed at 45%.

    To compare, for other Spanish tax residents, the IRPF rate is calculated on a progressive scale, depending on income level and marital status. For example, income of €60,000—300,000 is taxed at 45%. Anything higher is taxed at a rate of 47%.

    Residents of Spain also make social contributions, whether independently or through an employer.

  • What other countries issue visas to digital nomads?

    In 2024, about 50 countries are issuing long-term visas and residence permits for digital nomads.

    You can get a Digital Nomad visa in many European countries. The most popular are in:

    In the Caribbean, digital nomad visas are issued in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Curacao and the Bahamas and Cayman Islands.

  • How to get a residence permit in Spain without the right to work?

    A residence permit without the right to work in Spain is available to foreigners who can demonstrate a sufficient annual income of €28,800 to live in the country. They provide a declaration for the last 3 years, a certificate of employment or a bank statement.

  • How to get a Spain Golden Visa?

    You can invest from €500,000 in real estate, open a deposit, or buy shares in Spanish banks, shares in investment and venture funds, or government bonds for €1,000,000. A Spain Golden Visa is also issued for investing in Spanish business projects.

  • Which cities in Spain are the most popular for digital nomads to move to?

    Spain consistently ranks among the top choices for digital nomads and is one of the top 10 relocation destinations worldwide.

    Digital nomads choose different regions of Spain depending on their marital status and financial wealth. The most popular places to live with children are Malaga, Alicante, and the Canary Islands.