Spain launches ‘digital nomad’ visa to allow Brits to live there for up to 5 years - how to apply & tax info

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Brits looking to soak up the sun and move to Spain post-Brexit can now do so thanks to a new visa

Spain has launched a new visa which will allow Brits to live in the sun-soaked country for up to five years without having to gain full residency. The new ‘digital nomad’ visa will allow people who work remotely for a non-Spanish firm to reside in the country as long as they earn a certain amount each month and can carry out their job by just using their laptops.

The new visa is part of the new Startup Act, which aims to attract entrepreneurship and improve the country's tech scene. It comes after Brexit rules meant Brits could only leave the EU, including Spain for three months out of six until now.

The ‘digital nomad’ visa was teased back in January 2022, when Economic Affairs Minister Nadia Calviño said the country was hoping to “attract and retain international and national talents by helping remote workers and digital nomads set up in Spain.” Other countries inside the EU, such as Portugal, Croatia and Malta have also launched similar schemes to help recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Everything you need to know about Spain’s digital nomad visa

Who can apply for it

Spain's digital nomad visa is open to non-EU nationals who work remotely for non-Spanish firms. However, self-employed freelancers with multiple clients and remote workers employed by a single company outside of Spain are eligible for the visa as long as no more than 20 per cent of their income is from Spanish firms.

Spain launches ‘digital nomad’ visa to allow Brits to live there for up to 5 years - how to applySpain launches ‘digital nomad’ visa to allow Brits to live there for up to 5 years - how to apply
Spain launches ‘digital nomad’ visa to allow Brits to live there for up to 5 years - how to apply | Getty Images

Visa Requirements - work experience

Brits looking to move over to Spain on the digital nomad visa need to prove they have worked with their clients or company for more than three months before applying. The company they work for must have also been operational for at least one year.

Workers need to be able to demonstrate that they have a contract of employment or, if freelancing, have been regularly employed by a company outside of Spain. They must also be able to prove their job can be done remotely.

Workers must also prove they are qualified in their field with either three years of work experience or a university degree. Spain also requires workers to earn at least £2,098.80 per month.

Digital Nomad - legalities

Brits must also prove they have no criminal record in Spain or in the country where they have resided for the five years before the application. And proof of a two-year clear criminal record is required along with a sworn statement that you don't have a criminal record within the last five years.

They must also show they have Spanish health insurance set up for the duration of their stay, alongside an address they will reside in.

How long are digital nomads allowed to stay in Spain?

Digital nomad visas in Spain are initially valid for 12 months or the duration of the employment period if it is shorter than 12 months. They can be renewed for up to five years.

To maintain the visa, you must not be absent from the country for more than six months per year. Remote workers can also apply for a residency card, which grants the ability to travel throughout the EU while living in Spain.

Close relatives, like children and spouses, are allowed to join the visa holder in the country with proof of sufficient funds. Family units of two people, including the visa holder, must have an additional 75 per cent of the country's monthly minimum wage (€875/month); 25 per cent (€292) is added for each family member after that.

Spain launches ‘digital nomad’ visa to allow Brits to live there for up to 5 years - how to applySpain launches ‘digital nomad’ visa to allow Brits to live there for up to 5 years - how to apply
Spain launches ‘digital nomad’ visa to allow Brits to live there for up to 5 years - how to apply | AFP via Getty Images

How to apply for a Digital Nomad visa in Spain

Brits can apply for Spain's digital nomad visa through a consulate or embassy in the UK. Alternatively, you can enter Spain on a tourist visa and apply within the first three months.

Required documentation includes the application form, proof of payment for the admin fee, a copy of your passport, proof of qualifications or work experience, proof of employment and income, proof the company has existed for more than a year, a letter of authorisation from your company to work in Spain, proof of a clear criminal record and proof of health insurance.

Digital Nomads in Spain - tax info

Anyone who stays in Spain longer than 183 days is considered a tax resident, even if they work for a foreign company. However, Brits will receive tax benefits by applying under the digital nomad visa. Remote workers will pay a reduced tax rate of 15 per cent during the first four years of their stay, provided they earn below €600,000 a year. This is instead of the usual 24 per cent rate.

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