Spain plans ‘digital nomad’ visa scheme for remote workers - and Brits are eligible

Spain will join a host of other European countries with similar schemes in place

Eleanor Sly
Monday 26 September 2022 10:49 BST
Barcelona is already popular with digital nomads from across the EU
Barcelona is already popular with digital nomads from across the EU (Getty Images)

Spain has revealed it is planning to issue “digital nomadvisas, which would give Britons and others from non-EU countries an opportunity to move and work abroad.

The visas will allow remote workers to enjoy a lower cost of living and a tax break.

They will be available to people who work remotely for companies outside Spain, and for those who get a maximum of 20 per cent of their income from Spanish firms.

As yet, the law is yet to be passed, but it is thought that the visa - which will essentially be a residency permit - will be valid for one year initially. It is also expected to be renewable for up to five years, depending on the circumstances of the applicant.

Close relatives, such as children or a spouse, will also be eligible to join the applicant.

Anyone applying for the visa come from a country outside the European Economic Area and be able to demonstrate that they have been working remotely for a minimum of one year.

They must either have a contract of employment or, if they are freelance, show that they have had regular employment by a company outside Spain.

Applicants must also be able to show that they will earn enough to be self-sufficient and that they have an address in Spain.

It is not yet clear whether they will have to undergo a criminal record check.

For the first four years of living in Spain, workers would be taxed at 15 per cent, rather than at the standard 25 per cent base rate.

Spain is not the first European country to offer some version of a digital nomad visa. Croatia, Estonia and Iceland all have their own iterations, each with its own set of criteria.

For example, in Croatia, applicants must be earning at least €2,300 a month. Meanwhile, in Estonia they must earn €3,500, in Iceland €7,100 and in Portugal only €700.

Spain is expected to require a minimum monthly income of about €2,000.

Greece also introduced a digital nomad scheme in October 2021. It offers residency of one to three years but applicants must have a monthly income of €3,500.

In some countries, applicants must have a set amount of cash in the bank - at least €5,500 in the Czech Republic – as well as a regular minimum income. Some may also insist on applicants having private health insurance.

Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona are already popular destinations for digital nomads, with Barcelona proving a favourite destination for startups.

It’s not just countries in Europe which are offering digital nomad visas: Indonesia, including the island of Bali, is also planning to issue a visa that would allow remote workers to live there tax-free.

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