Spain has just announced that it plans to introduce a special digital nomad visa and fiscal regime for startups via a new law to come into effect in 2022. The proposed legislation aims to open Spain up to new talent in all walks of the economy.
The business community in Spain and abroad has welcomed the news, which has been particularly well-received among remote workers. Under the new law, these so-called digital nomads would find it much easier to live and work in Spain.
In this article, we summarise the main points of the new digital nomad visa and its benefits.
What is the background to the new law?
Spain is keen to attract international talent and skills in the digital and technological sectors. To this end, the government has approved a new draft law with several purposes. They include:
- Facilitating paperwork for startups.
- Reducing the tax burden on companies and entrepreneurs.
- Streamlining the process to set up a business.
- Introducing a digital nomad visa.
When will the new law come into effect?
Sometime in 2022. The draft law must now go to parliament, where it needs a majority to be passed. At Costaluz Lawyers, we anticipate negotiations between parties will take several weeks, meaning that it could be in the spring before we see a digital nomad visa in Spain.
What is the proposed Spanish digital nomad visa?
This visa is designed for non-resident individuals who wish to work remotely from Spain. It will facilitate the visa and residence permit applications and allow a stay of up to 5 years.
Which nationality is Spain’s digital nomad visa for?
Any, but it’s mainly aimed at non-EEA nationals (British included) and Spaniards who have been out of Spain for at least five years.
Does the digital nomad visa have tax benefits?
Yes, this is one of the main attractions of the new visa. Holders would be eligible for a reduced rate of non-resident income tax. Instead of paying the usual rate of 25%, Spanish digital nomad visa holders would pay just 15% for up to four years.
Will the digital nomad visa include family members?
Yes, foreigners who get this new type of visa in Spain will be able to include close family members such as spouses and children in the visa provisions.
Will the new visa be a better option than those available currently?
At Costaluz Lawyers, we firmly believe that will be the case. Digital nomads in Spain currently have few viable visa options (see below), and those that do exist have onerous paperwork procedures. We welcome this new law as we know it will facilitate life in Spain for many talented individuals.
In addition, it will make things much easier for British nationals who wish to work remotely or as a freelancer in Spain.
What are the current requirements for the digital nomad visa in Spain?
Foreigners from third-party countries (including the UK) may apply for this type of visa if they work for companies based outside Spain. Their work for Spanish companies may not exceed 20% of the total.
They must prove the following:
- That they have worked remotely for at least a year.
- That the work can be carried out remotely.
- If they are under contract to a company, that they have had a professional relationship with the company for at least three months and that the company permits remote working.
- If they are freelance, that they work with at least one company outside Spain and provide the terms and conditions of the remote work.
What next for the digital nomad visa in Spain?
As we mentioned earlier, the new visa now faces negotiations in parliament, a process that could take some time. We will be keeping a close eye on proceedings, and the minute the digital nomad visa is passed, we will include it in our visa services.
Meanwhile, get in touch with our expert team, who will be more than happy to answer further questions on the new visa.