The Government of Spain is developing a new visa for digital nomads. A permit that will authorize people to work remotely for foreign companies and reside in the country without the need for a regular work visa. The new law is expected to be finalized within the next few months
This new telework visa in Spain will be framed in the “Startups Law”, whose preliminary draft is being debated in Parliament. This is a specific law to “encourage entrepreneurship and support startups”. The authorities expect Spain’s digital nomad visa to be officially approved prior to the launch of the ETIAS authorization, i.e. before the end of 2022.
Startups are the foundation of the new digital economy; they generate highly skilled jobs and have high growth potential.Nadia Calviño, Minister of Economy
The Independent reports that according to the Minister of Economy, Nadia Calviño, “the digital nomad visa will attract and retain international and national talents by helping remote workers and digital nomads set up in Spain.
The digital nomad visa or telework visa is designed for 3 profiles of foreigners who want to reside in Spain:
- Digital nomads.
- Foreigners working remotely from Spain for a company outside the Spanish territory.
- It is also contemplated the inclusion of a visa for foreigners working in a foreign company in Spain, including the audiovisual sector.
In the specific case of digital nomads, the proposed law defines them as “people whose jobs allow them to work remotely and change their residence on a regular basis”. This profile has the possibility of combining “highly qualified work with immersive tourism” in Spain.
According to Chapter V bis of the draft bill, foreign workers who want to qualify for the digital nomad visa for Spain must meet the following requirements:
- Prove that they exercise an employment or professional activity at a distance for companies based outside Spain.
- Be a highly qualified professional (university graduate or postgraduate, with professional training and/or certificates from a business school).
- Have at least 3 years of professional experience.
The document prepared by Spanish lawmakers also indicates that, at the time of applying for the remote work visa in Spain, applicants must demonstrate that:
- There is a real and continuous work activity for at least 1 year with the foreign company or companies.
- International employers authorize remote work.
Once this visa is obtained, such document will be sufficient to guarantee residency and permission to work remotely from Spain. “The visa for telecommuting of international character allows to enter and reside in Spain for a maximum of one year”, according to the draft bill for emerging companies, promoted by the Spanish Government.
However, there is the possibility of renewing it for 2 more years (and so on) as long as the requirements are met. The document also states that citizens may work “for themselves or for employers anywhere in the world”.
Norway, Croatia, and Georgia already have digital nomad-friendly visas, the Matador Network reports. Other countries like Costa Rica are expected to implement similar strategies.