Spain Digital Nomad Visa: How To Apply

spain digital nomad visa

Ever dreamed of working remotely in Spain? The food, the markets, the architecture — who hasn't? Luckily, Spain initiated a new Digital Nomad Visa in January 2023. It caters to non-residents who want to live and work in Spain. The launch is part of Spain's Startup Act, which encourages foreign investment and entrepreneurship. 

This new remote work visa allows digital nomads not from the EU/EEA to live and work in Spain for up to 12 months, with the possibility of renewing for up to five years. Additionally, upon receipt of the visa, applicants can freely travel around the EU and eventually apply for a Spanish residency permit. Interested? Here's how to apply for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa.

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Related: The 6 Best Digital Nomad Destinations of 2024 (And Everything You Need to Know to Move There)

Aerial view of Barcelona, SpainUnsplash

Types of Spain Digital Nomad Visas

The new Spain Digital Nomad Visa is the best for digital nomads, but other visa options exist as well. Below, we'll walk you through all three: the Spain Digital Nomad Visa, the Non-Lucrative Visa, and the Golden Visa.

Spain Digital Nomad Visa

The income requirement for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa is lower than that of other European countries. Applicants must make US$2,327 (€2,160) per month. The visa lasts up to 12 months but can be renewed, and after living in Spain for five years, applicants may be eligible for permanent residence. Additionally, digital nomads have the added benefit of becoming eligible for citizenship after ten years.

Non-Lucrative Visa

Aimed at non-EU citizens who aren't working but plan to spend extended time in Spain, the Non-Lucrative Visa is known as a retirement visa. It's aimed at non-EU citizens and requires a passive income of at least US$29,219 (€27,115.20) per year and an additional US$7,304 (€6,778) per year for additional family members. This visa can be renewed every year for up to five years.

Golden Visa

The Golden Visa requires a steep commitment — an investment of $538,810 (€500,000) per year.

How to Obtain Eligibility for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa

All non-EU/EEA citizens can apply for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa. To be eligible, all applicants must be able to prove the following:

  • Remote worker proof: While it doesn't matter what line of work applicants are in, the work must be stable and able to be completed in Spain via the Internet. Applicants must also demonstrate expertise in their field via degree, certificate, or at least three years of work experience. Applicants must show proof of a stable contract detailing employers' permission to work in Spain, and the company they work for must have been in business for at least one year.
  • Proof of financial sufficiency: As mentioned above, applicants must prove they are financially stable by making at least $2,327 (€2,160) per month. More money is required if traveling to Spain with dependents. Applicants can provide bank stubs, pay slips, and/or employment contracts to demonstrate financial self-sufficiency. Twenty percent of the applicant's income may come from Spanish clients.
  • Proof of health insurance: All applicants and their families must have full health insurance for the duration of their anticipated stay in Spain.
  • Clean criminal record: A clean criminal record from the last five years pertaining to any and all countries lived in is required. Documents proving a clean criminal record must be translated into Spanish and be officialized for international use with an Apostille.

Applicants should not have lived in Spain for the last five years. However, after receiving the initial visa and entering the country, a renewal requires a stay in Spain of at least six months within twelve months.

Related: 8 European Countries With Digital Nomad Visas

Plaza de Espana, SevillaUnsplash

How to Apply for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa

Digital nomads hoping to live and work in Spain can apply for a Spain Digital Nomad Visa at a Spanish Embassy in their home country or enter Spain as a visa-free tourist and apply before the 90-day visitation time limit expires. Follow these steps to apply for a digital nomad visa to live and work in Spain.

Step One: Gather All Necessary Documents

There are several documents required to obtain the digital nomad visa to live and work in Spain, some of which have to be officialized with an Apostille. This stamp legalizes foreign documents. Some consulates accept documents in English, but others might require translation to Spanish. If translation is needed, make sure to use an officially recognized translation service.

First things first, obtain and complete the National Visa Application Form. Accompanying documents include the following:

  • Passport. The passport must be valid for one year and have two blank pages.
  • Passport photos (2).
  • Document proving employment. This can be an official work contract or a letter from the employer stating that the applicant is allowed to work remotely.
  • Document proving that the employer has been in business for at least one year.
  • Document proving income, like a pay slip or a bank statement.
  • Document proving qualifications to perform work, like a degree, certificate, or evidence of at least three years of experience.
  • Document proving health insurance that operates in Spain.
  • Document proving clean criminal record over the last five years.

Step Two: Book an Appointment and Pay Fee

Appointments for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa must be in person. Contact the local embassy to book. In most cases, appointments can be booked via email. When the appointment is scheduled, most applicants will receive information regarding how to pay the application fee. The fee is usually paid via bank transfer. This fee is non-refundable, even if the application is deferred.

Step Three: Attend Appointment

Bring all required documentation to the appointment and be prepared to answer questions regarding said material. Note that applicants must leave their passports at the embassy while applications are processed. Often, copies of all documents are made so originals can go home with applicants.

Step Four: Waiting Period Before Collecting the Visa

The waiting period for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa is anywhere between 15 and 45 days. Luckily, applicants receive a link so they can track their application. Once approved, applicants have one month to collect their visa. If the application is denied, applicants will receive written notice, including the reason for denial. An appeal is possible. If that is the route chosen, applicants have one month to appeal.

Step Five: Apply for the NIE and NIF

Applicants can complete the next step, applying for the NIE and NIF, at the local embassy, but many choose to wait and apply once in Spain. An NIE (national identity number) and an NIF (tax number) are required to open a bank account. For digital nomads that choose to apply in Spain, it's pretty straightforward.

The NIE can take up to three months to receive. To apply for the NIE, make an appointment at the Foreigners' Office or a Police Station and bring the following:

  • Application form, plus three copies
  • Passport with visa
  • Passport photos (3)
  • Proof of address in Spain
  • Receipt for payment of administration fee

The NIF can be received in as little as five days. To apply, head to the Spanish Tax Agency. There's no need to make an appointment or pay a fee. Simply bring the following documents:

  • Form 030
  • Passport
  • Tax ID number, which is also the NIE, issued by the Ministry of Interior
  • Proof of local residency

Gran Via, Madrid, SpainUnsplash

How Much Does It Cost to Apply for the Spain Digital Nomad Visa?

The Spain Digital Nomad Visa application fee is approximately US$86 (€80). However, additional costs vary greatly depending on where the applicant resides.

The documents required for the visa can be costly. For example, consider background checks. Applicants must obtain a background check, have the document made official, and then have it translated into Spanish by an officially recognized translation service. The fee for this can cost around US$160.

Furthermore, applicants can expect to pay US$21 (€20) for the NIE and residence permit card.

Taxes for Digital Nomads in Spain

Another essential fact to keep in mind is that digital nomads with the Spain Digital Nomad Visa need to plan for taxes. Non-Spanish residents are subject to a 24% tax rate. This applies to amounts up to $646,572 (€600,000) per year for the first four years in Spain. Anything above this amount is taxed at 48%.

Good news, though — Spain has a double taxation agreement with 90 countries. The taxation agreement means that earners who are already taxed on foreign income in their home country will be exempt from being taxed again on the same income in Spain.

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How Digital Nomads Can Stay Connected Using an eSIM

Communication is vital for any digital nomad. It's necessary to stay in touch with family and friends at home, and essential to connect with people and organizations in home countries. 

An eSIM simplifies communication. It's the easiest and most affordable way to stay connected while you travel the world as a digital nomad. Here are a few ways using an eSIM can benefit you:

  • No roaming fees. eSIM plans are prepaid, so you don't need to worry about accidental roaming charges while you travel. 
  • Tether your eSIM data. No Wi-Fi connection? No problem. You can tether your eSIM data to another device, like a tablet or laptop.
  • 100% digital. There's no need to keep track of a physical SIM card for every destination — you can save up to eight digital eSIM profiles on most smartphones.
  • Top up your data. Many Airalo eSIM packages have a top-up function, which allows you to top up your data, calls, or messages on the go. 
  • Share your adventures. Use your eSIM data to send emails, connect with your loved ones, and post on social media in real-time.
  • Stay connected. You don't need to rely on a Wi-Fi connection to get online — instead, you can use an eSIM to access data wherever you travel.

Airalo's eSIMs make life easier for digital nomads. Visit the Airalo store to find eSIMs for 200+ countries and regions worldwide. 

Ready to try eSIMs and change the way you stay connected?

Download the Airalo app to purchase, manage, and top up your eSIMs anytime, anywhere!

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