Working in the Spanish sun and at the same time living cheaper than at home. With this beautiful image, Spain wants to attract foreign teleworkers from non-EU countries. They can also count on a favorable tax regime.
Spain is working on a special visa for ‘digital nomads’, people who can do their work online and are not tied to a fixed work location. They often travel and thus lead a nomadic existence. Spain now wants to lure that group with attractive working conditions, linked to a new visa. That would actually amount to a residence permit, which is initially valid for one year, but can be extended to a maximum of five years. Family members of the applicant are also welcome in Spain.
But not everyone just qualifies. This only concerns citizens from non-EU countries, such as Great Britain. Interested parties must also be able to prove that they have been telecommuting for at least a year, they must work for foreign companies, and a maximum of 20 percent of their income may come from Spanish companies. They must also have sufficient income to be able to provide for their own livelihood and have a permanent address in Spain.
Applicants who meet all the conditions and can obtain a digital nomad visa will have to pay only 15 percent in taxes instead of 25 percent for the first four years.
If the proposal for such a visa goes through, Spain will join 15 other European countries that already have a similar visa. Each country has its own conditions. For example, the minimum amount you have to earn differs from country to country. In Croatia that is 2,300 euros per month, in Estonia and Greece 3,500 euros, and in Iceland no less than 7,100 euros. Spain wants to set the bar at 2,000 euros, while for neighboring Portugal an income of 700 euros per month is sufficient.
The Spanish cities of Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona are already very popular with European ‘digital nomads’. For example, Barcelona is very popular with start-ups. The city is also keen to become a technology hub and less dependent on tourism. The disadvantage of the ‘digital nomads’ for the other inhabitants of cities such as Barcelona and Madrid is that the expats drive up rents because they are more wealthy. The average monthly salary in Spain is 1,751 euros, about 20 percent lower than the European average.
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