The visa of the digital nomad of Spain. How to get it in 2024?

The digital nomad visa has been valid in Spain for only a year, but in such a short time it managed to take first place in the ranking of similar programs from around the world; We understand what are the features of this type of residence permit, who can apply for it, and what is the algorithm of actions of a successful applicant.

Виза цифрового кочевника Испании. Как получить в 2024 году?

About 50 countries have already issued digital nomad visas, competing with each other for a young, enterprising, educated and well–earning stratum of foreigners – mainly IT workers, but not only. Working remotely for foreign companies, they do not create competition for the local population in the employment market, but at the same time they actively spend, supporting local businesses.

In the first few months of 2024 alone, 7 more countries, including Italy, announced the launch of the program for digital nomads. Let’s see if the Italian visa will be able to match the popularity of the Spanish one in the future.

Spain’s Digital Nomad Visa is incredibly in demand! There are a lot of foreigners who want to settle in Barcelona, Malaga, Valencia or other cities for several years, including Russians, Belarusians, and Kazakhstanis. There are fewer Ukrainians among the applicants, as they have a special status and choose other ways of legalization.   

Виза цифрового кочевника Испании. Как получить в 2024 году?

What do I need to get a residence permit for a digital nomad of Spain?

  • An employment contract with an employer outside Spain, if you are an employee. At the same time, the company must exist for more than a year. It is also mandatory that your contract with her lasts at least three months.
  • Service agreements with foreign contractors, if you are self-employed. In this case, it is acceptable to sum up several contracts. Receipts from Spanish customers can amount to no more than 20% of the total volume, all the rest is from foreign ones.
  • Income per main applicant is required in the amount of at least two minimum wages in Spain. In 2024, two minimum wages are equal to 2,646 euros per month. If the receipts come in unequal parts, then the average is taken into account. If family members are moving with you, then add 992 euros per spouse and 330 euros for each child to the specified amount.
  • Specialized education or work experience in the specialty for at least 3 years. You need to present yourself well!
  • A certificate of no criminal record in the last 5 years from the main applicant.
  • Medical insurance for the entire period of stay.

I must say that the requirements for applicants in Spain are loyal. This applies primarily to income. For comparison, in Greece, the nomad needs to earn 3,500 euros for the main applicant, in Portugal – 3,040 euros, in Romania – 3,700. The anti-record in this sense belongs to Iceland, which waits only for people with an income of 7,000 euros per month. Italy, which has just launched its program, is not “brutal” yet and accepts remote workers with a salary of 2,350 euros per month before taxes.

Pleasant conditions for other aspects of the Spanish program. For example, you do not need to show a rental contract, as for a Portuguese nomad visa. This is convenient if you apply through a D visa, because renting an apartment remotely is not so easy. In addition, you can first get a residence permit, and only then look for a place to settle in more detail.  

Виза цифрового кочевника Испании. Как получить в 2024 году?

What does the visa of a digital nomad of Spain give?

  1. The opportunity to live in Spain or another EU country, travel freely, open bank accounts.
  2. The opportunity to move with your family. The spouse of a digital nomad receives a residence permit with the right to work in Spain. This is a valuable privilege!
  3. Access to public health care and schooling for children.
  4. Preferential tax treatment for certain categories of nomads.  
  5. Living under this type of residence permit, in the future you can get permanent residence and citizenship. A residence permit for a digital nomad is provided for 3 years (when applying from Spain). It can be extended for another 2 years and, thus, after a total of 5 years, you can request permanent residence and then citizenship.

Features of the procedure

There are two ways to apply for a nomadic visa:

  1. Apply to the Spanish consulate in your country of citizenship or residence and first obtain a D visa, usually a one-year one. Then come to Spain using it and exchange it for a residence permit card with a validity period of 3 years.
  2. Come to Spain with a Schengen visa and apply for a residence permit on the spot. After 20 working days, you will receive a card with a validity period of 3 years.

The presence of the second method distinguishes the Spanish program favorably from, say, the Portuguese one, which is also popular. It is impossible to apply for a visa for a digital nomad of Portugal, having arrived in the country with a package of documents, you need to act only through the consulate. Besides, the difference is in the timing. The Spanish Consulate considers the application for a D visa for 10 working days, and the Portuguese one for 60 days. You will receive the residence permit card in Spain in 20 working days, and in Portugal the guys wait for six months or more. However, there are advantages to a Portuguese visa. One of them is the opportunity to obtain a country’s passport after 5 years as a resident (you need to live in Spain for 10 years).

Виза цифрового кочевника Испании. Как получить в 2024 году?

Tax regime for digital nomads

Foreigners who have not previously lived in Spain have the right, according to the “Beckham law”, to request preferential tax treatment and pay 24% of their active income without declaring passive income. For comparison, local residents pay tax on a progressive scale, and the rate reaches 50%.  

Roughly, you can focus on the following figures: if the income is up to 5,000 euros per month, the tax will be approximately 21-23%, depending on the region and the deductions that can be applied. If over 5,000 euros, you will have to pay from 24% and above.

Another item of expenditure is a contribution to the social insurance fund (the amount depends on income).

The cost of obtaining a residence permit

Applying for a digital nomad visa will require some expenses from the applicant. In addition to consular fees, it is necessary to budget the services of sworn translators. They will have to translate the documents prepared by you at home into Spanish. The total cost per applicant and his family members will amount to approximately 500-700 euros.

Are there any changes coming to the program?

About every three to four months, certain bureaucratic amendments are made to the program. However, this process happens quite smoothly. If there is any new requirement, then a requery is received for previously submitted but not yet approved applications – in no case a refusal. Spaniards always meet halfway in such situations. For example, at some point they stopped accepting the certificate of registration of an employer company without an apostille. Those people whose applications were just being considered received a requery.

From April 1 to June 30, taxes for the previous year are filed in Spain. Accordingly, now is the period when digital nomads file declarations for the first time, since the program is valid for only a year, from April 1, 2023. Perhaps, after the tax service receives and processes all the data, some changes in the conditions will follow.

It should also be borne in mind that the amount of minimum income for participation in the program increases annually. This happens in February, after the new minimum wage is set.      

We thank Olga Popova, head of the LUXBARCELONA Real Estate and Immigration agency, for her help in preparing the material.

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