Following the footsteps of its neighbour Portugal, Spain is now giving finishing touches to the various terms and conditions for applying to its digital nomad visa that is slated for a launch next month. The visa was approved by the Spanish Parliament in November and the government in Madrid has been detailing the various rules to govern this visa.
The visa scheme is targetted at the immense increase in remote working prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic and it will enable non-nationals hailing from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who work for foreign employers to live in Spain without the need to procure a full work visa.
The new visa programme will have to be finally ratified by the Spanish Senate before it comes into force. The new visa programme is part of Spain’s new startup law which is aimed at growing the country’s budding tech industry, under the broader framework of the Spain Entrepreneurial Nation strategy.
While the various details of the new programme are still being finalised, Spain’s digital nomad visa is set to be initially valid for 12 months, with the option to be renewed annually for up to five years.
To qualify, applicants must work for a non-Spanish company operating outside the country, or can be self-employed with a maximum of 20 pc of their income derived from Spanish clientele.
According to news reports, under terms of the new Startup Act, digital nomad visa recipients earning under Eur 600,000 a year will benefit from a reduced income tax structure, paying a special non-resident rate of 15 pc for up to four years, as against the normal tax rate of 24 pc.
The minimum income requirements for the non-European Economic Area nationals who will come as remote workers have not yet been finalised, but report say that the figure will be twice as much as the national minimum wage amount of Eur 1,050 per month. That would mean digital nomads will need to bring in at least Eur 2,100 monthly to qualify.
Other prerequisites, including proof of planned accommodation, private health insurance, and higher education or three years of related work experience, are also almost certain to apply, say media reports. Visa holders will also be given the option of bringing along partners and children, and possibly other close family members.