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Your guide to the digital nomad visa Spain 2024

How can you work remotely in Malaga legally and enjoy tax breaks while you do it? The digital nomad visa in Spain offers this combination to those who fulfil the conditions. To find out its requirements and whether you meet them, read our fully up-to-date guide to the digital nomad visa in Spain 2024.

Background to the digital nomad visa in Spain

Before the pandemic, remote workers who travelled abroad and spent lengthy periods in certain countries were an emerging breed. Since 2020 and the advent of working from home, digital nomads have grown exponentially. As a result, travelling and living abroad while fulfilling your professional obligations is more popular than ever.

Legal requirements vary from country to country, but some have introduced a specific digital nomad visa. Spain is one of them, and has had this visa in place since December 2022.

It has opened doors to many expats looking to reside in Spain but work remotely. This visa has also opened doors to interesting tax breaks and benefits for your family members.

man relaxing on the beach as part of his day as self-employed in Malaga

The Spanish digital nomad visa in a nutshell

This visa allows non-EEA citizens to live in Spain and work remotely for at least one year. Your family dependents may also live in Spain with you.

But like all visas, this one is also dependent on caveats. Let’s look at those now by answering some popular FAQs

Who is eligible for a digital nomad visa in Spain?

You must be a non-EEA citizen, which since Brexit includes UK nationals. If you are from an EEA country (EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), you are not eligible.

What are the base requirements for the digital nomad visa?

To qualify for this visa in Spain, you must fulfil all three of the following conditions:

Type of work – it must use only computer telematics and telecommunications systems.

Type of employment – if you work under a contract (i.e. as an employee), the company must be located outside Spain. Or, if you are self-employed, a maximum of 20% of your work may be for a company located within Spain. At least 80% must be for companies outside Spain.

Type of qualifications/experience – you must have a degree from a recognised university, college or business school OR have a minimum of three years’ experience in your professional field.

Before you start your application

If you meet the above requirements, you’re good to take the first steps. But before you rush to fill in the Spanish digital nomad visa form, do the following:

At this stage, don’t make any firm plans, such as booking flights or accommodation. It is, however, worth doing a bit of research on what’s available.

(Note that rental accommodation in Malaga is in extremely short supply, so be prepared to live in a holiday rental while you search for somewhere more permanent to live.)

What about the paperwork requirements for the digital nomad visa in Spain in 2024?

As you’d expect, this visa comes with its fair share of documents that must accompany your application.

  • Completed application form – visit the Spanish Consulate website in your home country and download yours. This link takes you to the form to fill in if you’re a UK resident and applying from the Spanish Consulate in London.
  • Your passport – original and photocopy. The passport must be valid for at least 12 months and have at least two blank pages.
  • Passport photo – in colour, showing the full oval of your face and with no dark or reflective glasses.
  • Valid residence permit in your current country of residence – for example, if you’re a US national living in the UK, you must provide proof of residence in the UK.
  • Proof of residence in the consular district – the consulate you choose to make your application depends on where you live, so check your residence is in the right area. For example, the Spanish Consulate in London covers most of the south of England.
  • Criminal record certificate – you need a clean criminal record for the last five years. It must be an official certificate for the last two years and a responsible declaration signed by you for the last five. The certificate must have been issued within six months of your application.
  • Proof of health insurance – with a company authorised to operate in Spain and valid for the length of your residency (i.e. a year in the first instance). Get a no-obligation quote here.

How do I prove I work for a company or am self-employed?

If you are an employee, your company must provide a certificate stating:

  • Your start date (note that this must be at least three months before your application).
  • The length of your contract.
  • The company’s consent to you working remotely in Spain.
  • Your salary.

If you’re self-employed, the companies you work for must provide a certificate stating:

  • The length of your contract.
  • The terms and conditions for you to work in Spain.

Both employees and self-employed need to provide a certificate from the Companies Register in your country (e.g. Companies House in the UK) stating the date of the company’s creation and its business.

Who else can come on my digital nomad visa in Spain?

Spanish legislation allows the following relatives to form part of your visa:

  • Your spouse or legal partner.
  • Your dependent children (note that if they’re over 18, you must prove they’re financially dependent on you).
  • Your parents if they live with you.

What paperwork do my dependents need?

The same as yours except for proof of employment and income. They also need to prove their relationship with you, for example, a birth or marriage certificate or registration as your legal partner. If your parents are joining you on the visa, you need to provide proof they are in your care.

Do I need to prove my income?

Yes, you do. You must show proof of earning the following amounts:

  • To support yourself – 200% of the Spanish minimum wage (2 x €1,134 = €2,268 in 2024).
  • To support the first family member – 75% of the Spanish minimum wage (0.75 x €1,134 = €850.50 in 2024).
  • To support other family members – 25% of the Spanish minimum wage (0.25 x €1,134 = €283.50 in 2024).

So, for example, if you were applying for the Spanish digital nomad visa in 2024 for yourself, your partner and one child, you would need to show proof of earning at least €3,402 a month.

What about paying tax in Spain?

Spanish digital nomad visa holders are eligible for significant income tax breaks. Under the terms of the visa, you are officially non-resident in Spain (even if you spend more than 183 days a year in the country) and as such, pay 24% on earnings up to €600,000. If you earn more, you pay 48% income tax on the excess. This is considerably lower than usual Spanish income tax rates (for example, 47% on earnings over €300,000.

Are there any catches to this?

Not really, but you must fulfil the following conditions:

  • You cannot have lived legally in Spain during the previous five years.
  • Your reason for moving to Spain must be for employment reasons (also part of the digital nomad visa requirements).
  • You cannot benefit from this reduced tax rate for over five years.
  • You must apply for this tax regime within six months of getting your digital nomad visa in Spain.

What is the official website for the Spain digital nomad visa?

The Spanish Foreign Ministry provides up-to-date and official information in English about the digital nomad visa here. Bear in mind that requirements change from time to time, so check back often to ensure you still meet them.

How much does a digital nomad visa cost?

The application fee depends on the consulate you apply to. For example, the Spanish Consulate in London charged £68.65 in spring 2024. Budget for the equivalent of around €80.

Note that visa fees are subject to currency fluctuations, so double-check to ensure you pay the correct amount when you apply.

Can you apply for a digital nomad visa in Spain?

Yes, you can if you are already legally in Spain as a tourist. The process is slightly different, although the required paperwork is the same. You also fill in a different application form and submit your application online. You can read about the process and download the form here.

Relocation experts we’ve spoken to say the process is quicker in Spain. However, you must be in Spain legally when you submit your application.

malaga cathedral facade

Why choose Malaga to work remotely?

Malaga is increasingly popular with digital nomads from all around the world, drawn to the city’s many attractions, year-round warm climate and great transport connections.

If you’d like to join them, why not buy a copy of Your Guide to Moving to Malaga and the Costa del Sol? This comprehensive ebook contains all you need to know about living in Malaga. Get 25% off the list price (currently €9.95) by using the code WEB at the checkout.

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