Spain Digital Nomad Authorization: Employee Challenges

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The Spain Digital Nomad Visa has gained great popularity since it was integrated into the repertoire of residence permits contemplated by the Spanish legal system. However, from its inception, we have also observed with great concern the disadvantaged position of those interested who provide their services to a non-Spanish company as employees.

These individuals, in the vast majority of cases, are forced to change their status from employee to contractor in order to access the residence permit in question. But why does this happen? Why is it often advisable to modify the contractual relationship between the interested party and the company for which they provide services? In this blog, we will try to answer this question.

The Certificate of Coverage and Alternative for Spain Digital Nomad Visa

The answer to the questions raised can be found in the requirements imposed on those applicants who wish to opt for this permit as employees. Essentially, they have two options: either they present the so-called certificate of coverage to prove that they have the authorization from the local Social Security authorities to continue contributing in their country of origin while working from Spain, or the foreign company must register with the Spanish Social Security and enroll the Digital Nomad as an employee.

In practice, both options encounter serious problems that are very difficult to overcome. In the case of the certificate of coverage, the vast majority of countries, even if they have agreements with Spain regarding the relocation of workers, usually only issue this document in the case of intra-company transfers. And regarding the registration of the foreign company with the Spanish Social Security, we can observe that most of them, for quite obvious reasons, do not want to get involved in the process to that extent.

Practical Implications

Given the information presented to date, you can imagine that on many occasions, we are forced to suggest to our clients that they change their employee status so that they can access the authorization for Digital Nomads. Of course, it is important to consider the tax and Social Security implications that a request as a self-employed worker may have. But that is a topic for another article.


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