Until recently, non-EU/EEA citizens wanting to work remotely in Spain were forced to enter the country on tourist visas. This allowed them to stay for only 183 days in any six months, and didn’t grant access to a residence permit. Now, thanks to a new law called the “startup law,” remote workers can obtain Spain telework visa in a much easier manner.
This new visa allows digital nomads to apply for a residency permit that is valid for one year and is renewable for three more years. The requirement for income is also fairly low compared to other European countries; in order to qualify, applicants must show that they earn at least double the Spanish minimum wage, which currently stands at about EUR2,160 per month for single adults. In addition, the visa is transferable to spouses and children, making it a great option for families looking to relocate to the country.
In addition to a visa, successful applicants will also need a national identity card (NIE) and a non-resident tax number (NIF), which are required for opening bank accounts and making significant purchases. These can be obtained at a local embassy or consulate, or by visiting the Spanish National Police website.
The Spanish telework visa is a huge boon to digital nomads and is intended to encourage international talent to relocate to Spain, boost the country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, and promote economic growth. The new visa is particularly attractive to digital nomads because it offers flexible working conditions and relatively low income requirements. As a result, it can be a gateway to permanent residency and eventually citizenship, which could also allow people to legally work in Spain for much longer periods than they would otherwise be allowed to under other types of residency permits.
As with any type of visa, there are a few restrictions to keep in mind. Those looking to apply for the telework visa must have a job offer from a company outside of Spain and be self-employed or employed by a remote company with headquarters abroad. In addition, a responsible declaration that they do not have any criminal record from the countries in which they have lived for the past two years must be provided.
While the telework visa is a major step forward for digital nomads looking to move to Spain, it’s important to consider all of the other options available for long-term residency in the country before making any decisions. Those who are looking to establish roots in the country may want to consider applying for a permanent residency visa or becoming a citizen after five years of living in the country.