Spain introduces special visa for digital nomads

by Lorraine Williamson
digital nomads visa

MADRID – With new measures, Spain wants to make it more attractive for digital nomads and foreign startups to settle in the country. The visa for digital nomads is an example of this. 

Consequently, with this visa, digital nomads outside the EU can settle in Spain for up to six months without registering. Furthermore, the government has passed the law and it now needs to be approved by parliament. 

The Ministry of Economic Affairs explains the purpose of the Startup Act in a statement on its website: ‘The bill includes important tax measures, removes bureaucratic obstacles and makes the procedures for setting up and investing in start-ups more flexible. It also includes important measures to attract international talent and reclaim domestic talent.  And also to encourage the establishment of homeworkers and digital nomads in Spain.” 

See also: Digital Nomads, reasons to work in Spain 

Therefore, the aim is to eliminate registration fees and streamline the process of setting up a new company. Minister Nadia Calvino stated in the Spanish press: “Startups are the foundation of the new digital economy. They generate jobs for the highly skilled and have great growth potential”. 

Through the digital nomad visa, many talented people from other countries would be eligible to live and work remotely in Spain. Thus contributing to Spain’s economic sector, reports. 

Up to 6 months in Spain without registration requirement 

The Digital Nomad Visa allows people from non-European Economic Area (EEA) countries, as well as those in possession of EU passports or people coming from the Schengen zone, to work remotely in Spain for less than six months a year without having to need to register officially. This is also good news for Brits because they have been non-EEA since Brexit. 

See also: Digital nomads could rescue Spain’s dying villages 

In addition, digital nomads can live and work in Spain for five years and are only subject to non-resident income tax, which is levied at a reduced rate. 

On Twitter, the ministry announced the bill by highlighting a number of measures: 

  • 15% discount on the applicable corporate and non-resident income tax rate 
  • Tax deferral without guarantees and without interest 
  • €100,000 per year increase in tax deductions for investors and entrepreneurs. 
  • Tax benefits for companies: exemption of up to 50,000 euros per year on stock options 
  • Elimination of double social security contributions for people with double jobs (moonlighting workers) 
  • A single entry point with startup certification by ENISA (Empresa Nacional de inovación), ONE (Spanish Entrepreneurship office for utilities) 
  • Less bureaucracy: setting up companies digitally in 6 hours, without a notary and without registration costs. 

Digital Nomads 

Fast route for visa process and favourable tax rates for 5 years for entrepreneurs, business managers, non-residential Spaniards and digital nomads will be available. Moreover, this makes it more attractive for Spaniards who have lived outside Spain for more than five years to return. 

One of the milestones of Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan 

For the government, the Startup Act is one of the milestones of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan. The bill allows Spain to join the most attractive countries in Europe for attracting investment, entrepreneurship and talent. Furthermore, it complies with the EU Startups Nations Standard, supported by Spain: a set of practices designed to foster the entrepreneurial spirit within the European Union and foster the creation of innovative new businesses by creating conditions that facilitate their scalability. 

See also: Expats rate Spain highly as place to live  

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