·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

News & Politics

Learn About Spain’s Digital Nomad Visa

— December 11, 2023

Understanding these requirements will help you determine eligibility and guide you through the application process. 

Spain’s long-awaited digital nomad visa is now a reality, providing an excellent opportunity for those who wish to work remotely from the country, without the constraints of a tourist visa’s 3-month limit. 

The legal framework governing this remote work visa began with the 2013 Entrepreneur’s Law, designed to attract foreign talent and investment. However, recognizing evolving needs, the government recently enacted the Startup Law at the start of this year, emphasizing startups, talent, and innovation. 

It centers on the critical aspect of welcoming international talent — especially remote workers and digital nomads — through the newly introduced digital nomad visa.

What is the Digital Nomad Visa? 

The digital nomad visa is a residence permit that allows non-EU citizens to legally live and work remotely in Spain. 

This opens doors for those wishing to relocate to Spain while continuing to work for a foreign company or managing clients globally. Notably, it addresses the limitations of the non-lucrative visa by permitting active work. 

However, as this is the remote worker’s visa, the key words are “remote work.” This means that although you are allowed to perform economic activity in Spain, you are technically not allowed to make money from Spanish sources.

As you will see later on in the article, only 20% of your total income can be from within Spain. 

Now back to the benefits – applicants also have the flexibility to apply directly from Spain with a tourist visa, receiving a three-year card, or can opt for a one-year visa from their home country and later modify it to a three-year card. It is extendable up to five years. 

Additionally, all years under the digital nomad visa contribute towards the required duration for Spanish nationality or permanent residence. 

Advantages of this visa 

One of the main benefits of this permit is that it allows for joint applications, meaning the inclusion of spouses and children in the initial application. 

Thanks to its association with the Entrepreneurs Law, applicants also benefit from a rapid 20-day resolution and positive administrative silence, which means that if you do not hear from authorities after 20 business days, the resolution is positive. 

Moreover, the residence card facilitates free movement within the EU.

Bike parked by table at sidewalk cafe in Seville, Spain; image by Johan Mouchet, via
Bike parked by table at sidewalk cafe in Seville, Spain; image by Johan Mouchet, via

Although primarily catering to non-EU citizens (given EU residents’ six-month remote work allowance), the visa’s inclusive approach makes it a compelling option. The subsequent sections outline the specific requirements to help determine whether this digital nomad visa aligns with your needs.


It is important to note that there are two distinct profiles of foreigners eligible for this permit, each with slightly different requirements. 

The first profile is an employed worker working remotely. This means the company or companies you are currently working for are located outside of Spain. 

The company must have been in operation for at least 1 year before your application. Additionally, the company should confirm that your position allows remote work and explicitly permits you to do so.

The second profile is a freelancer with clients outside of spain. The possibility of remote work must be specified in the terms and conditions of your client contract. 

In the cases of both employed workers and freelancers, the following requirements are as listed:

  • Companies and clients must be outside Spain 
  • Incomes from Spanish companies (or within Spain) should not exceed 20% of the total
  • Demonstrate a minimum of 3 months of work or freelance relationship with your companies/clients prior to application
  • Maintain a yearly salary of €30,240 (equivalent to €2,520 per month)
  • Provide evidence of either 3 years of relevant work experience or hold a degree from a reputable university, vocational training, or recognized business school
  • No entry prohibition to Spain
  • No criminal records in all countries you have resided in, in the last 5 years
  • A criminal records certificate valid for a minimum of 90 days, legalized, and apostilled
  • Acquire private health insurance with full coverage throughout Spain
  • Completed application form
  • Paid corresponding administrative fee 

Understanding these requirements will help you determine eligibility and guide you through the application process. 

It will also help you understand tax benefits better. For example, if you have a digital nomad visa but are a remote employee as opposed to a freelancer, you can apply for the Beckham Law, and be taxed as a non-resident. 

Application Process

As this residence permit falls under the Entrepreneur’s Law, your application will be processed by Spain’s Unit for Large Companies and Strategic Groups (UGE-CE). 

The application can be done from your country of origin or directly from Spain while on a tourist visa.

If you apply from your country of origin, you will initially receive a 1-year visa, which can later be modified to the residency permit once you are in Spain.

If you apply directly from Spain, you will receive the 3-year residency permit that is renewable for an additional 2 years.

In both cases, you benefit from a fast-track application process, receiving a response within just 20 days. 

Following this, one of the final steps involves visiting the police office to register your fingerprints and obtain your physical foreigner’s residency card.

Overall, the application process is quite simple, however, to make sure you meet all requirements and have all your documents ready, the help of an immigration lawyer in Spain will come in handy. 

The Spanish bureaucracy is not particularly popular for working quickly, so to get your application right the first time will save you time, money, and effort. 

Join the conversation!