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With growing numbers of professionals now choosing to work remotely, the digital nomad movement – working remotely whilst travelling – is also growing. As a consequence, numerous countries around the world are now offering new visas aimed at these workers. More than 40 countries worldwide now issue digital nomad visas, allowing you to stay in the country for a longer period whilst working remotely for an employer or clients based outside of the country.
Spain is one country that has recently launched its own digital nomad visa (variously translated as the Spain remote work or teleworking visa) and it’s an attractive prospect for many digital nomads. If the idea of working in Spain appeals to you, keep reading to learn more about the Spain digital nomad visa and how you can apply for one.
The Spain digital nomad visa was approved by the Spanish parliament in November 2022. This visa allows remote workers to stay in the country for an initial period of 12 months whilst they work, but it can be renewed for up to five years.
Both in Spain and in other countries that offer it, a visa for digital nomads is different to a work or business visa: Business visas allow you to enter a country for a short period of time to conduct business activities. A business visa does not permit you to start a new job with an employer in the country; a Spain work visa allows the holder to remain in the country for a longer period, often years, and take up employment in the country, but for a Spanish employer.
The difference with the Spanish digital nomad visa is that it does not permit you to find employment with a Spanish company, and is specifically designed for employees working for a company based abroad. This requirement is similar in other countries with digital nomad visas including Croatia, Estonia and Costa Rica.
It’s important to be aware that it’s not always necessary to apply for a visa to stay in Spain for an extended period. As a member of the European Union (EU), nationals of other EU member states can relocate to Spain without the need for a visa or residence permit.
To be eligible for a digital nomad visa in Spain, the applicant will need to demonstrate:
Applying for the digital nomad visa is generally straightforward. You can make your application before arriving in Spain or in the 30 days after you’ve entered the country with a tourist visa. It’s possible to apply for this visa online without the need to visit an embassy or consulate but you are able to apply at an embassy if you’d prefer to. Applying once you’ve arrived in Spain will give you a permit lasting for three years, which you can later extend for a further two years.
To apply for the visa:
Once you’re in Spain you’ll also need to visit a local police station to have your fingerprints taken and obtain a physical residency card.
When you’re applying for the Spain digital nomad visa there are a number of different documents that you’re required to submit. It’s essential to be aware of what is required because an application with missing documents may be delayed or declined. If your application is rejected it might affect your ability to reapply for a Spanish visa in the future.
On March 30 2023 the Spanish Government confirmed the official documentation requirements for the visa as follows:
Note that every document that is not in Spanish must be translated by an official Spanish translator. from the Government’s list.
If you’re a remote worker who is interested in working in Spain and experiencing Spanish culture, the new digital nomad visa might be the right choice for you. This is especially true if you’d like to stay in Spain for a longer period instead of just briefly visiting the country as part of your ongoing travels. Thorough research into the Spanish digital nomad visa and how to apply for it is important —this ensures that you can make an application smoothly, and ensures that this type of visa is the right fit for you.
If you would like support in applying for visas in Spain, including work and digital nomad visas, it is worth considering the services of a global mobility company — professional firms that support individuals with immigration, visa and relocation issues internationally.
A digital nomad visa for Spain costs around €75 or approximately $79. It’s essential to pay the correct application fee and provide proof of this when you submit your application. As well as needing to pay this fee, you’ll also need to provide evidence that you meet certain income requirements.
More than 50 countries around the world now offer specific digital nomad visas (read more in our global guide to digital nomad visas). With the trend continuing to grow, it’s likely that we’ll see more countries offering this type of visa in the future. Some of the countries that already offer this option include Estonia, Costa Rica, Croatia and Colombia.
As it is a relatively new process, it may take up to 90 days or longer for applicants to get their visa, though some have reported receiving them within 2-4 weeks.