Quick Visa Facts
Spain Digital Nomad Visa Overview
Only self-employed individuals with a company that is older than 12 months which has clients that also have established entities (not individuals as clients) are eligible for the Digital Nomad Visa. Note that the established entities must also be older than 12 months. This information is updated as of as of August 4th. The regulatory environment is constantly changing in Spain week to week, so stay tuned for further updates.
In January 2023, Spain launched their Digital Nomad Visa as part of the new Startup Act, a group of measures designed to encourage entrepreneurship and foreign investment. New Spain remote work visa allows non-EU/EEA remote workers and freelancers to live and work in Spain for up to 12 months in the first instance, renewable for up to five years.
Applicants must prove that they have a minimum income of €2,160 per month to apply, with higher income brackets if you will be accompanied by a partner or children.
Remote workers must also show that they have a stable contract, that they have permission from their company to work in Spain, and that their company has been in business for at least one year. Unlike many other Digital Nomad Visas, up to 20% of a freelancer’s income can come from Spanish clients.
Successful applicants will also be eligible to apply for a Spanish residency permit, which will enable them to travel around the European Union. Most visa holders will become tax residents and are eligible to pay a special reduced tax rate of 24% on income up to €600,000 per year. Spain has double taxation agreements with 90 other countries.
Who Can Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Spain?
Applications for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa are open to non-EU/EEA citizens. Citizens of the European Union and European Economic Area do not need a DNV to work remotely in Spain.
United States citizens and Green Card holders, as well as citizens from Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, are all eligible to apply. You can apply at a Spanish embassy in your country or enter Spain as a visa-free tourist and apply well before your 90-day visitation period has expired.
Spain has double taxation agreements with the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and all European Union countries, so you will not need to pay tax on your international income twice if you become a Spanish tax resident.
Types Of Spain Digital Nomad Visas
The new Spanish Digital Nomad Visa is the country’s first significant visa for remote workers and freelancers. Prior to this, non-EU/EEA citizens wishing to travel to Spain as a digital nomad were forced to enter Spain on a tourist visa, which only allows you to stay in the country for up to 90 days in any six-month period, and does not grant access to a residence permit.
Spain also has a Non-Lucrative Visa (NLV), also known as a retirement visa, aimed at non-EU citizens who are no longer working and wish to spend their time in Spain. To be eligible for this visa, you must show that you have a passive income from a retirement fund or similar source, or at least €27,115.20 per year for an individual, with an additional €6,778 per year for any accompanying family member. The visa is granted annually for up to five years, at which point you can apply for permanent residence.
Spain has had a Golden Visa program for a number of years, but this requires an investment of at least €500,000, and often more.
The new Spanish Digital Nomad Visa offers extremely favorable terms. The income requirement is low compared to other European countries and is set at just double the current minimum wage. This makes it just €2,160 per month for a single adult; you do need to demonstrate a higher income threshold if you will be accompanied by a partner or dependents.
The visa is for up to 12 months in the first instance and renewable for up to three years. After five years of living in Spain continuously, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residence. You may be eligible for citizenship after ten years of residence.
Spain Digital Nomad Visa Requirements
Below is a detailed list of the eligibility requirements for the Spanish Digital Nomad Visa, which is open to all remote workers, Freelancers, and self-employed individuals who are not EU/EEA citizens.
Proof of Remote Worker Status
First, you must prove that you are a remote worker that can complete your job from Spain via an internet connection. While there are no specific restrictions when it comes to the type of work that you are engaged in, you must prove that you have specific expertise in your field. This can be demonstrated with a university degree, professional certificate, or proof of three years of work experience.
In addition to demonstrating expertise, you must show that your work is stable and well-established. This means that you must have been employed in the job for at least three months, and remote workers should show that they have a contract for the duration of their proposed stay in Spain. Freelancers can show long-term contracts as evidence of their stability.
Remote workers must also demonstrate that the company that they work for has been in business for at least one year.
Unlike many other DNVs, which require that all of your income comes from sources outside of the country, the Spanish DNV allows freelancers and self-employed individuals to work for Spanish clients as long as it does not make up more than 20% of their overall income.
Proof of Financial Self-Sufficiency
You must be able to demonstrate that your work provides you with sufficient income to support yourself while living in Spain. The minimum rate has currently been set at 200% of the Spanish minimum wage (€1,080). Be aware that Spain is currently revising their minimum wage, so current figures may change.
An individual applying for the Spain DNV visa must show earnings of at least:
- €2,160 per month
- €25,920 per year
There are different minimum wage brackets if you will be accompanied by a partner or children. The income bracket goes up 75% for the first person accompanying you (whether a spouse or child), and an additional 25% for each individual after that.
- Family of 2 – €2,970 per month
- Family of 3 – €3,240 per month
- Family of 4 – €3,510 per month
You should provide bank statements, payslips, and employment contracts as proof of your income.
Full Health Insurance
While there is a suggestion that digital nomads living in Spain long term may be able to pay into the Spanish public health insurance service, there are currently no guidelines for how that might work. For the time being, applicants must obtain full health insurance for themselves and any family members that accompany them for the full duration of their proposed stay in Spain.
You can find our recommendations for the best travel insurance and health insurance plans for digital nomads here.
Clean Criminal Record
Applicants for the Spanish DNV must be able to show that they have a clean criminal record from all the countries that they have lived in for the last five years. The form of proof that can be provided depends on the type of documentation used in the relevant country.
Remember that your document should be translated into Spanish by an approved body and officialized for international use with an Apostille.
Minimum Stay Requirement
To be eligible for the Spanish Digital Nomad Visa you should not have lived in Spain for the last five years. You also cannot apply from Spain if you are currently there illegally.
There is no minimum period for your initial visa application or stay in Spain. However, if you tend to renew your DNV, you must have stayed in Spain for at least six months within a 12-month period.
How to Apply for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa – Step-By-Step Instructions
Step 1 – Acquire All The Necessary Documents
The first step in putting together your Spanish Digital Nomad Visa application is to gather all the relevant documentation. Some documents must be officialized with an Apostille to be used internationally.
Below is a list of the required documents:
- Completed copy of the National Visa Application Form (one for each person)
- Valid passport with one-year validity and two blank pages
- Two passport photos
- Proof of suitable employment (work contract, letter from employer confirming that you can work remotely)
- Proof that your employer/company has been active for at least one year
- Proof of income (payslips, work contract, bank statements)
- Proof of qualifications (university degree, professional certificate, or evidence of at least three years of experience)
- Proof of health insurance authorized to operate in Spain
- Criminal record check certificates for the last five years (with Apostille and copy)
- Proof of familial relationship to other applicants (marriage certificate, birth certificate)
Requirements for Spanish translations of documents may vary depending on where you make your application. Some consulates will accept documents in the local language (e.g. English in the United States), but others require Spanish translations. Translations should be made by an officially recognized translation service. Your local embassy or consulate can provide you with a list of approved providers.
Step 2 – Book an Appointment & Pay the Visa Fee
Applications for the Spanish Digital Nomad Visa must be made in person at your local Spanish Embassy or Consulate. How to book an appointment depends on your local embassy, and you should visit their website for specific details.
In most cases, you will probably be asked to make an appointment via email. You will be instructed to include the following information and documents in your email:
- Your full name
- A photo of you holding your passpor
- Passport details
- Email address
- Telephone number
- Current contact address (local)
- The type of visa that you are applying for
- Information about any associated applicants
Once you have provided this information, you can expect to receive a link to select your appointment day and time, and information for paying your visa fee. You can expect to get an appointment date roughly two weeks after you get in contact with the embassy.
They will also provide you with information to pay the visa fee, which will probably take the form of a bank deposit. The fee varies between different countries but is usually around €80.
Step 3 – Attend Your Appointment
Attend your appointment at the Spanish embassy or consulate with your full documentation and be prepared to answer any initial questions that the interviewer might have based on a preliminary review of your documents.
You will be required to leave your passport at the embassy or consulate while they are assessing your application. Copies of your documents will likely be taken or confirmed during your appointment so that you can take your original documentation with you.
Step 4 – Wait and Collect Your Visa
You can expect it to take between 15 and 45 days for your visa application to be processed. You may be given a link to track the progress of your application, and you may be asked to submit additional documentation if required.
You will receive a notification via email when your application has been approved.
If your application is approved, you have one month to collect your visa from the embassy or consulate. There is usually a daily time slot when you can “drop-in” to the embassy and collect your passport.
If your visa is refused, you will be notified in writing and receive information about why the application was rejected. You have one month to file an appeal with additional documentation following a refusal. The visa fee is non-refundable.
Step 5 – Apply for your NIE and NIF
While in Spain, you will require an NIE, a national identity number, and a NIF, a tax number required to open a bank account and to make significant purchases. You can either apply for these at your local embassy before heading to Spain or after your arrival. It is generally easier to apply once you are in Spain.
In Spain, you can apply for your NIE at the Foreigner’s Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or Police Station, for which you should make an online appointment. You will need:
- Your valid passport with visa
- Three passport photos
- A completed application form with three copies (in Spanish)
- Proof of address in Spain
- Receipt for payment of the administration fee (usually €10-20)
It can take up to three months for your NIE number and residency card to be issued after your appointment, and you will be advised when you can return to collect your card.
Your NIF can be obtained by visiting the Spanish Tax Agency; there is no need to make an appointment, and there is no fee. When visiting the agency, you should bring:
- Form 030 completed (in Spanish)
- Your passport
- Your tax identification number from your country of residence
- Proof of local residency
You should receive your NIF within five working days of visiting the Spanish Tax Agency. While you will receive a card with your number on it, this is not an official document. However, you will be required to include your NIF on many official documents such as rental agreements, electricity and Wi-Fi contracts, and so on.
Timeline for Applying for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa
The complete process of applying for a Spanish Digital Nomad Visa and obtaining your residency permit in Spain can be time-consuming, mostly due to the time required to gather documents and secure Apostilles and translations where necessary.
As an example, in the United States, obtaining your own criminal background check from the FBI takes three to five working days after the receipt of a fingerprint card sent by post. You can request an Apostille with your background check or send a separate request once you have received the document, but it can take 10-12 weeks for this to be processed.
In the United Kingdom, you can apply for an ACRO Police Certificate online or by post. The process usually takes 12 working days, but you can pay more for an expedited process. You must apply for an Apostille for the document separately, which usually takes about five working days.
Once you have gathered your documentation, the time required is much more predictable. You can expect it to take around 4-12 weeks to obtain your visa. It usually takes 2-4 weeks to schedule an appointment and 2-6 weeks for your visa to be issued.
Once you arrive in Spain, it may take you around a month to secure your appointment for an NIE and another three months for your official document to be issued.
How Much Does It Cost to Apply for a Digital Nomad Visa In Spain?
The most expensive part of making your Spanish Visa Application is again procuring the required documents, the cost of which varies depending on what country you are in.
For example, your FBI Criminal Background Check currently costs $18, and the Apostille will cost between $25-$75, depending on whether you choose to pay for expedited service. It will cost around another $70 if you need it translated into Spanish.
In the United Kingdom, you can expect to pay £55 for a standard 12 working-day service to receive your ACRO. You can expect to pay at least another £60 for the Apostille. You may be able to get an official translation for as little as £20.
The non-refundable fee for making your visa application is around €80, with slight variation depending on the country you are applying from.
You can expect to pay around €20 for your NIE and residence permit card once you have arrived in Spain.
Taxes for Spain Digital Nomad Visa
If you choose to stay in Spain for more than 183 days in a year on your Spanish Digital Nomad Visa, you will become a resident for tax purposes. However, even if you spend less time in the country, Spain could still consider you as a tax resident. This can be the case if you have your center of activities there or if your family lives there.
Nevertheless, on this particular visa, you are eligible for a special reduced tax rate of 24% on Spanish income up to €600,000 per year for the first four years of your stay in Spain. Any income above this threshold is subject to a 48% rate. Still better than the standard tax rate of 50%.
In order to benefit from this tax regime, you will need to file an application with the Spanish tax authorities within 6 months of obtaining your digital nomad visa.
Spain has double taxation with 90 foreign countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and all EU countries. This means that if you are paying tax on your foreign income in your home country, you won’t be taxed on it again in Spain, therefore avoiding double taxation.
If you register yourself as a freelancer in Spain, you will be liable to Spanish income taxes. The amount of taxes will depend on your personal situation and the region you will settle in. If you want a more precise idea of the tax consequences, you can book a call with our tax advisor to get personalized advice.
Spain Digital Nomad Visa Denial
If your Spanish Digital Nomad Visa application is denied by your local embassy, you will receive a notification in writing, and it will explain why the visa was rejected. You are within your rights to appeal the denial, but you must do this within one month of the day that the refusal letter was issued. You should contact the person who wrote the refusal letter or use any specific contact details for your local embassy provided within that letter.
The visa application fee that you paid when submitting your application is non-refundable, even if your visa is still denied following the appeal.
Living in Spain as a Digital Nomad
Spain is a sprawling and exciting country with Mediterranean beaches on one side, Atlantic Ocean coasts in the north, and a vast interior known for bustling cities, cultural diversity, and Spanish cowboys.
Spain is a relatively affordable country, but with all the advantages of being a major part of Western Europe and a partner in the European Union. It is known for its excellent food (paella anyone), fine wines (the home of Rioja), famous artists (Picasso, Goya, and Dali), and passionate and welcoming culture.
Don’t forget the famous Spanish islands such as Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Majorca, Lanzarote, and Ibiza.
Spain is a diverse country, and you can experience a lot of different lifestyles traveling across its 17 autonomous regions. Head to the capital Madrid or sunny Barcelona for the best of art and culture and the most active digital nomad communities.
For the best mainland beaches head to the Andalusian south coast, which is known for its old Moorish cities, including Seville, Granada, and Cordoba, which has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other city in the world. As you head from Andalucia to Madrid, you will pass through Castilla-La Mancha, the home of Don Quixote’s windmills, Gothic architecture, and fine cheese.
Want skiing in the winter? Head north to the Aragon region near the French border for the Pyrenees mountains. Just south of this, you will find Basque country, which has its own unique language and is known for its pintxos bars and Michelin-star restaurants. Also nearby is La Rioja, known for its excellent wines and stunning hiking trails.
For the quintessential Mediterranean party vibe go to the Balearic Islands, which include Majora, Menorca, and Ibiza. Here you will find both traditional villages and some of the most glamorous hotels and famous nightspots. The Canary Islands, including Tenerife, are located off the northwest coast of Africa.
Attractions and best places to visit
Digital Nomad Hotspots
If your time in Spain is limited or you want to choose a few special places to get to know in-depth, these five cities should be on your bucket list.
Benefits Of Working In Spain as a Digital Nomad
The new Spanish Digital Nomad Visa makes it a very attractive destination for digital nomads since the visa is relatively easy to get with a low income threshold and little additional red tape. It is also renewable for up to five years for anyone who decides to extend their exploration of the country. And why not when you consider the benefits of working in Spain as a digital nomad.
Despite being located in the heart of Western Europe, Spain still offers an affordable cost of living. The cost of living in Spain is about 25% lower than in neighboring France.
Spain enjoys sunny days most of the year, and while it gets cold in the northern reaches, you can find beach weather in the south year-round.
Spain has always been a melting pot for culture with Celtic and Iberian roots, Roman influence, and significant period of Moorish dominance, and western European cultural exchange. The result is a country that is home to a diverse and exciting range of art and architecture.
While Spain may only be about 75% the size of Texas, every corner of the country feels diverse with different natural landscapes, architecture, food, and even languages in some regions.
Your Spanish residency permit will also allow you to travel around Europe, which is affordable with cheap flights and fast trains available internally.
Digital nomads working in Spain only need pay 24% tax on income up to €600,000, and are exempt from double taxation.
Cost of Living
Despite western Europe being one of the most expensive regions of the world, Spain is relatively affordable, especially when it comes to the cost of housing. The average cost of living in Spain is considered 46% cheaper than in the United States, and even her most expensive cities, such as Barcelona, can be affordable for digital nomads.
Spain uses the Euro, which means that it remains quite stable even in the face of serious local economic issues, such as an unemployment rate of nearly 15%. The current minimum wage in Spain is just €1,080 per month, while the average income is only around €1,700.
The current exchange rate between the Euro and US dollar is €1=$1.08.
|Amenity||Cost (Av. for Spain)||Cost in Barcelona|
|Rent (1 bedroom in city center)||€750 per month||€1,050 per month|
|Rent (3 bedrooms outside city center)||€950 per month||€1,300 per month|
|Basic Utilities||€130 per month||€160 per month|
|Wi-Fi||€35 per month||€35 per month|
|Public Transport||€1.45 one way||€2.40 one way|
|Lunchtime Meal||€12 per person||€14 per person|
|Evening Meal||€25 per person||€30 per person|
|Groceries (2 people)||€200-€300 per month||€350-€350 per month|
Heading to Spain as a Digital Nomad
Spain has long been a popular destination for European digital nomads thanks to the excellent weather, interesting culture, and affordable cost of living.
The introduction of the new Spanish digital nomad visa is sure to see an influx of remote workers and digital entrepreneurs from around the world.
We anticipate that this will result in a major “upgrade” in facilities for digital nomads, including coworking and coliving spaces. Spain will surely be one of the most exciting places in the world for digital nomads in the coming years.
FAQs About Spain Digital Nomad Visa
Does Spain have a digital nomad visa?
As of June 2023, Spain has a digital nomad visa scheme that allows remote workers and freelancers to live and work in Spain for a year (renewable for up to five years) as long as they meet the minimum income requirement, currently set at just €2,160 per month for an individual.
What is the difference between a Spain digital nomad visa and a tourist visa?
The standard Spanish tourist visa allows visitors to stay for up to 90 days during any six-month period and does not offer access to a residency permit to enable travel around the rest of the Schengen area. The digital nomad visa can be renewed for up to five years if the applicant continues to meet the criteria.
What is the length of the Spain digital nomad visa?
The Spanish digital nomad visa will be granted for up to one year in the first instance, although it could be granted for a shorter period if the applicant is on a short-term contract. The visa is renewable for up to five years if the applicant continues to meet the criteria. After five years of continuous residence, you can apply for permanent residency.
Is it possible to extend the Spain digital nomad visa?
Yes, it is possible to extend the Spanish digital nomad visa for up to five years as long as you continue to meet the remote worker and income requirements. You must spend at least six months of the year in Spain to be eligible to renew for another year. After five years on the visa, you are eligible to apply for permanent residency.
How long does it take to complete the entire application process?
Once you have obtained the relevant documentation to make your application, which can be time-consuming, it can take anywhere from 4-12 weeks to make your appointment at your closest consulate or embassy and receive your processed visa.
Can you apply for the Spain digital nomad visa while abroad?
You can apply for the Spain digital nomad visa in your home country or abroad by applying at the closest embassy or consulate. Be aware that you will need to source and provide documents from your home country and any country that you have lived in during the last five years, as well as current proof of address.
In what currency should you pay for the Spain digital nomad visa?
You will pay for your Spanish digital nomad visa in the local currency of the country in which you are applying. The consulate or embassy will provide you with details of where to make a bank deposit to cover the visa fee. You should expect the fee to be around the equivalent of €80.
How can you pay the visa fee?
Most embassies and consulates only accept payment for visa fees via direct bank deposit at their bank of choice. You will be provided with the relevant information to make the deposit by the embassy, and you should provide them with your deposit receipt.
Can you pay the visa fee online?
You cannot currently apply for the Spain digital nomad visa online. However, some agencies will act as an intermediary for you when applying for your visa, and they may accept online payment. You can find this type of service through Citizen Remote.
Will you get a refund if your visa application is denied?
The visa processing fee is non-refundable, so you will not receive your money back if your visa application is denied. If your visa is denied, you have 30 days to appeal the decision directly with the embassy or consulate where you made the application.
Are there any tax breaks for digital nomads in Spain?
If you're in Spain for over 183 days, you're a tax resident, even if you're working for a foreign company. But, if you're a digital nomad under the visa scheme, you may qualify for tax benefits. Remote workers can get a reduced tax rate of 24% for the first four years, as long as they earn less than €600,000 annually. This is lower than the usual 48% tax rate.
What draws digital nomads to Spain?
Spain is a favorite among digital nomads, thanks to its excellent internet speeds, affordable living costs, and warm climate. In fact, Valencia was recently voted the world's top city for expats, with Madrid also making the top 10 list. Three Spanish villages were even ranked as the best in the world for tourism by UNWTO. Additionally, UNESCO named a Spanish town as home to the most beautiful street in Europe.
Is it safe in Spain?
Spain is considered among the safest countries in Europe and among the top 10% of safest countries in the world. Risks linked with serious crime and terror are considered very low, but pickpocketing and tourist scams are quite common, especially in the main tourist areas.
Is it expensive to live and work in Spain?
Spain is a highly affordable destination for digital nomads, especially considering its location in Western Europe. The cost of living in Spain is estimated to be around 25% less than neighboring France and 46% less than the United States. However, local incomes are significantly lower than in the rest of Western Europe.
How much money do you need to make per month to qualify for the Spain digital nomad visa?
An individual must earn twice the local minimum wage in Spain to qualify for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa. This means that the current income requirement for the visa is €2,160 per month / €25,920 per year for an individual. If you are accompanied by another person (partner or dependent), the income requirement is raised by 75%. The income requirement raises by another 25% for any additional dependents accompanying you.
Can U.S. citizens travel to Spain without a visa?
U.S. citizens can travel to Spain without a visa for tourism or business for a period of 90 days, and they cannot spend more than 90 days in the country during any six-month period.
Is there a digital nomad community in Spain?
There is currently a fairly large European digital nomad community in Spain, and also a large ex-pat community taking advantage of the Spain Non-Lucrative Visa aimed at retirees. Long-term digital nomads are mostly concentrated in Barcelona, though there are thriving communities around the country. Numbers are expected to increase significantly in the coming years with the new digital nomad visa.
Are people in Spain friendly?
Spaniards are generally considered to be both extroverted and friendly, and they are very likely to welcome you into their home and community. They also prize personal modesty, genuineness, and integrity, which engenders trust. In general, the Spanish community is considered open-minded and accepting of different lifestyles; same-sex marriage has been legal since 2005.
What is the best time of year to visit Spain?
Spain is a beautiful country year-round, with perfect beaches in summer and your choice of excellent ski slopes or moderate temperatures in winter. The Spring and Autumn seasons (March to May and September to November) are often recommended as the best times of year to visit as the country can feel a little overrun with tourists in the summer.
Which of Spain’s neighboring countries issue visas for digital nomads?
Several European countries are now issuing digital nomad visas, including neighboring Portugal and nearby Germany, Italy, and Greece. The other EU countries issuing digital nomad visas are Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Iceland, Malta, Romania, and Norway.
Do you need a COVID-19 test/medical certificate to enter Spain?
Spain has ended all COVID-related travel restrictions with the exception of passengers arriving from China, who must carry an EU digital COVID certificate or equivalent, or a negative COVID test certificate. Read the official guidelines here.
What are Spain's COVID-19 local guidelines & protocols?
Spain has lifted the majority of their COVID protocols, but it is still required to wear masks on public transport and in hospitals and pharmacies. The risk level is currently considered medium, with a national case level of 110 per 100,000 people. More than 85% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Is There a Spanish Freelancer Visa?
Yes, there is a Spanish freelancer visa for non-EU nationals who want to work as self-employed or freelance professionals in Spain. It is also known as “Visa de Residencia Temporal y Trabajo por cuenta propia.” To be eligible, applicants need a viable business plan, enough financial resources to support themselves, professional qualifications, and a clean criminal record. You can learn more about all the necessary information on the Spain freelance visa in our article about this visa option for digital nomads.
Can I Get Help Applying for a Spain Digital Nomad Visa?
If you need help applying for a digital nomad visa, you can talk to Citizen Remote. Get specific advice from one of our experts, or outsource the entire application to our team.
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