Digital Nomad Visa Spain: In-depth Guide

Table of Contents

1. Who is eligible to apply for the Digital Nomad Visa?

The Spanish Digital Nomad Visa can be applied for by both employees and self-employed persons working remotely for a non-Spanish company. Of course, this is a very simplified definition, but throughout this article we will go deeper into all the requirements that you should take into account. However, if you plan to live in Spain and you meet the following requirements, you should continue reading this article:

  • You’re a non-EU citizen.
  • You work remotely.
  • You provide your services to a non-Spanish company. It is very important to emphasize that labor or professional relationships with individuals will not be accepted, at least until the date of publication of this article. It must necessarily be a company.

2. What are the requirements for the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain?

We have already advanced the two most emblematic requirements of the Spanish Digital Nomad Visa in the previous section, but they are by far not the only ones. Below we are going to detail in a very schematic way all the requirements. First we will talk about the requirements that apply to both employees and self-employed workers. In the following paragraphs we will mention those requirements that are specific to the category in which you are applying.

2.1. General Requirements

Main Applicant + 1 family member + 2 family members + 3 family members + 4 familiy members
€30,240
€41,580
€45,360
€49,140
€52,920

*For each additional family member from this point onwards, an additional €3,780 must be added. Updated August 2023.

2.2. Work related requirements

3. Documents required to apply for the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain.

This is perhaps the most interesting part for Digital Nomads who want to apply for the Spanish permit. By means of the documents we must demonstrate that we comply with all the requirements mentioned above. For this purpose, the so-called “Large Companies and Strategic Collectives Unit” (UGE) has established its own guidelines and it is important to know them. Let’s see what documents are requested:

3.1. Documents that all applicants must provide

Required Document Translation required Apostilled/Legalized Notes
No
No
Complete Passport
No
No
With entry stamp (if you apply in Spain)
Private Medical Insurance
Simple
No
Required if there is no Social Security registration
Criminal Background Certificate
Sworn
Yes
Must be recent (no more than 3 months old)
Responsable Declaration Criminal Background
Simple
No
We have a template for clients
Resume (CV)
Simple
No
Updated version
University Degree
Sworn
Yes
Must be related to the activity
Proof of Professional Experiencie (3 years)
Simple
No
Required if you do not have a university degree
Proof of Payment of Admin. Fee
No
No
We can pay for it on your behalf
Contract with Foreign Company
Sworn
No
We have a template for clients
Authorization Letter from the Foreign Company
Simple
No
We have a template for clients
Proof of Business Activity for 1 Year (of the company you work for)
Sworn
No
Certificate of Good Standing/Incorporation
Proof of Financial Means
Simple
No
Income from professional activity will also be taken into account

3.2. If you apply as an employee you must also provide...

Required Document Translation required Apostilled/Legalized Notes
Certificate of Coverage
No
No
Not all countries issue it
Responsible declaration to register the digital nomad with the Spanish Social Security
Simple
No
The company must be registered with Spanish Social Security

3.3. If you apply as a freelancer you must also provide...

Required Document Translation required Apostilled/Legalized Notes
Responsible declaration of registration with the Spanish Social Security as a self-employed person.
No
No
We have a template for clients

3.4. Documents to be provided by family members traveling with the Digital Nomad

Required Document Translation required Apostilled/Legalized Notes
No
No
Complete Passport
No
No
With entry stamp (if you apply in Spain)
Private Medical Insurance
Simple
No
Required if there is no Social Security registration
Criminal Background Certificate (of legal age)
Sworn
Yes
Must be recent (no more than 3 months old)
Responsable Declaration Criminal Background (of legal age)
Simple
No
We have a template for clients
Documentation proving the family relationship
Sworn
Yes
Certificate of Birth/Marriage
Proof of Payment of Admin. Fee
No
No
We can pay for it on your behalf

3.5. What is the Certificate of Coverage and why is it a barrier for many Digital Nomads in Spain?

Among the list of required documents we would like to mention one that in practice is often the subject of much discussion: the Certificate of Coverage. This enigmatic document is the source of numerous problems for those Digital Nomads who want to apply for the Spanish permit as employees. However, what is the purpose of this document?

What is the Certificate of Coverage?

Perhaps a simplified way of explaining its function would be as follows: it is the certificate requested by a company located in a country that has a Social Security agreement with Spain, by virtue of which it certifies that an employee of said company can move to Spain and continue paying contributions in the country of origin. As a consequence of the above, it will be necessary for the digital nomad to take out private health insurance, since he/she will not be registered with the Spanish Social Security.

And why is it causing problems?

The vast majority of countries that have a social security agreement with Spain consider that this document is designed for intra-company transfers. In other words: they only issue this document if the foreign company would like to post the worker in question from an office in the country of origin to an office of the same group of companies in Spain. Unfortunately this is most often not the case. However, there are two countries that do issue this certificate without requiring the company to have an office in Spain:

UK

Digital Nomad Visa Spain_UK issues Certificates of Coverage

Russia

Digital Nomad Visa Spain_Russia issues the Certificate of Coverage

So, what can you do if you are an employee of a company located in a country that only issues the certificate of coverage for intra-company transfers? In this case it will be necessary for the company in question to register with the Spanish Social Security and to provide a responsible declaration by virtue of which the company undertakes to register the worker as soon as the Digital Nomad Visa is approved.

Do you still have questions about the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain?

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4. How to apply for a Digital Nomad Visa in Spain?

Once all the documentation is ready, how should you proceed? Well, this will depend on whether you want to apply for the permit from your home country or directly in Spain while you are in the country on a regular basis (such as during a tourist stay).

4.1. Digital Nomad Visa application from abroad

In this case, the permit must be requested at the competent Spanish Consulate. Normally an appointment will be required and it is advisable to request one for each family member applying. The Consulate will have a term of 10 working days to issue the corresponding resolution, although this term may be suspended in case the applicant is required to submit additional documentation. In case the Consulate considers that the fulfillment of all the requirements has been accredited, it will grant the applicant the corresponding visa for a duration of 1 year. The digital nomads who are interested in continuing to reside in Spain must apply, within 60 days prior to the expiration of the visa, the corresponding authorization for international teleworkers.

Advantage: This path is less risky. In case of having to provide any additional documents or correct any other documents already provided, it is relatively easy to do so, since the applicant is still in the country of origin and many of the documents have to be obtained there. 

Disadvantage: The visa is granted only for 1 year. Therefore, it could be argued that there is more paperwork under this path. Another key point is that to date not all Consulates in Spain process the Spanish Digital Nomad Visa and consequently the only option is to apply from Spain.

4.2. Digital Nomad Visa application from Spain

It is also possible to apply for the Digital Nomad authorization from Spain. In this case, it would not formally be a visa since we already applied for it when we are in Spanish territory. The request must be addressed to the so-called “Unidad de Grandes Empresas y Colectivos Estratégicos” (UGE), which will have a deadline of 20 working days to resolve it. If the Digital Nomad Visa is applied for from Spain, the permit will be granted for a period of up to 3 years. Remember: You must have either the entry stamp to Spain in your passport or, if this for some reason is not possible, an entry declaration which will be requested within 72 hours of making entry at a police station. 

The application for the digital nomad authorization entitles you to stay in Spain until the corresponding resolution is issued, even if this means exceeding the 90-day period for tourists in the Schengen zone.

Please note: To pay the administrative fee it is important to have a digital identification tool, such as a digital certificate or a CL@VE Pin. It is also possible for us to pay it on your behalf.

Advantage: In this case the permit will be granted for up to 3 years. This means less paperwork.

Disadvantage: In case there is a problem with certain documents, it may be difficult to correct the error.

5. Post-approval procedures: What to do when you are approved for the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain?

When you reach this point, you have obtained a favorable resolution – congratulations! However, there are still steps to be taken – specifically two: the so-called “empadronamiento” (census registration) and the application for the residence card (TIE), in that specific order.

Post Approval

Empadronamiento in Spain

Empadronamiento, akin to census registration in Spain, holds significance for TIE card application. It’s essential, as the “certificado de empadronamiento” is required documentation.

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Post Approval

How to Apply for the Spanish TIE Card?

Upon receiving a favorable resolution for residence authorization in Spain, foreign citizens typically request the TIE card to finalize their immigration process. The TIE serves as their Spanish identity card.

learn more »

6. Spanish Income Tax: How is the income of Digital Nomads taxed in Spain?

The Spanish authorities will consider you a citizen for tax purposes when one of the following circumstances applies:

  • You stay more than 183 days during the calendar year in Spain.
  • The main core of your professional activities or economic interests is located in Spain.
  • The taxpayer is presumed to have his legal residence in Spanish territory if his spouse and minor children reside in Spain.

If one of the aforementioned circumstances occurs, the legal resident foreigner must declare, as a general rule, the income from his work or professional activity in Spain and pay the so-called “Impuesto sobre la Renta de las Personas Físiscas (IRPF)” (Personal Income Tax). Here we can distinguish two tax regimes: the general tax regime and the Beckham tax regime. The following table illustrates the different brackets of this tax. Later we will see an example for a better understanding.

6.1. Personal Income Tax Brackets

Income Bracket Tax rate
Up to 12.450 euros
19%
From 12.450 to 20.199 euros
24%
From 20.200 to 35.199 euros
30%
From 35.200 to 59.999 euros
37%
From 60.000 to 299.999 euros
45%
More than 300.000 euros
47%

Some people mistakenly believe that if they earn, for example, 18,000 euros that all that income will be taxed at 24%. Rather, you have to imagine the brackets as recipients. Once the first “container” is filled, the next one will be filled and this income will be taxed at a higher rate. Let’s assume for example that our income amounts to €25,000:

12,450 €

7,750 €

4,800 €

In this example we fill the first two brackets – those taxed at 19% and 24%. The third bracket (from €20,200 to €35,199) is not completely filled. Only €4,800 would be taxed at 30%.

6.2. Beckham Tax Regime

The “Beckham” tax regime is an option that is currently available only to those digital nomads who apply as employees. This may change in the future and if so, this section will be updated. The Beckham tax regime foresees a flat tax rate of 24% for the first €600,000 (above this amount, the tax rate becomes 45%) of income earned as a result of the employment activity. As a general rule, only income generated in Spain will be taxed for personal income tax purposes if the digital nomad applies this tax regime. Other assets held abroad will not be taxed in Spain.

Which digital nomads can benefit from this system?

Those digital nomads who have obtained the corresponding authorization as employees and have not resided in Spain in the 5 years prior to their application.

7. Spanish Social Security

Finally, we would like to briefly analyze the situation with respect to the Spanish Social Security system. Here we will distinguish between employees and freelancers.

7.1. Employees

Here, in turn, two situations may arise: 

  • That the country of origin of the digital nomad has a Social Security agreement with Spain.
  • The company employing the worker is registered with the Spanish Social Security so that he/she pays contributions in Spain.

Regarding the first situation: In this case you will have to request the corresponding certificate of coverage (Please note: as mentioned above, many countries do not issue it).

Regarding the second situation:  It would also be possible to register the foreign company in Spain and have the foreign worker contribute directly here. Most foreign companies, however, do not usually collaborate due to the high social security contributions in Spain.

7.2. Freelancers

In the case of self-employed workers it is easier. They will only have to provide a responsible declaration by virtue of which they undertake to register with the Spanish social security once the permit is granted. The first year they will pay a fixed fee of €80 per month, and thereafter the fee will be adjusted to the self-employed worker’s income (approximately between €230 and €500).

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