Malaga, Tenerife, and Barcelona are Spain's top three choices for digital nomads
Malaga, Tenerife, and Barcelona are Spain's top three choices for digital nomads

Digital Nomad Visa in Spain: what you need to know

You can rent or buy property as a digital nomad in Spain. Understanding the average costs in popular areas for digital nomads can help you estimate the monthly expenses both options offer. Continue reading to explore the requirements for a Digital Nomad Visa in Spain, the application process, and other useful information.

Delia Mihuț
Written by: Delia Mihuț
Published at 2024-04-26
Last updated on 2024-05-15
Readtime 7 minutes

Trading in your office cubicle and the fast life of a metropolis for a beach-side workstation in Europe seemed like a dream for many US citizens. That was until recently when the digital nomad lifestyle became the norm. Freelancers, self-employed individuals, and other remote workers choose to relocate to other parts of the world thanks to the digital nomad programs many countries offer. 

One of these countries is Spain. Attracting with its blend of sunny weather, cultural diversity, modern amenities, and growing tech scene, it has become a prime destination for those looking to work remotely. The living costs in Spain are also lower than in many US cities, allowing remote workers to enjoy a great work-life balance without sacrificing comfort, finances, or life experiences. 

This article will cover everything you need to know about getting a Digital Nomad Visa in Spain. Stick with us as we go through the requirements, application, and other useful information.  

Does Spain have a Digital Nomad Visa?

As of June 2023, freelancers, remote workers, and self-employed individuals outside the EU/EEA can obtain a Digital Nomad Visa in Spain. 

This visa is valid for one year, with the possibility of renewing it for up to five years.  

Spain Digital Nomad Visa requirements

Proof of employment

One of the first requirements for applying for a Digital Nomad Visa in Spain is to be steadily employed by a foreign company.

  • If you’re self-employed, you’ll need proof that your current contract generated at least 2,268€ per month in the last three months. The contract should also include the terms and conditions under which you can work remotely in Spain. You can also work for a company in Spain, but only if it doesn’t exceed 20% of your professional activity.
  • If you’re an employee, you’ll need an employment contract lasting at least three months before applying. The contract should also include explicit consent for you to work in Spain.

Proof of income

The next thing you need is a steady income source to live comfortably in Spain. The current required income is 200% of the minimum wage in Spain, which is 1,134€, so you need a minimum monthly income of 2,268€, or 27,216€ annually.

If you’re applying for multiple people, the second individual should demonstrate an income of 75% of the minimum wage in Spain and every next individual, 25%. To give you an idea of how much this would be:

  • A family of 2 would need an income of 3,119€ per month
  • A family of 3 would need an income of 3,403€ per month 
  • A family of 4 would need an income of 3,686€ per month 

You can show proof of income through your work contracts, bank statements, tax return statements, pay slips, or similar documents showing your current financial position.  

Proof of qualifications

To prove that you’re qualified to conduct work in your industry, you can provide the following: 

  • A bachelor's or master's degree from a legitimate university, college, or business school  
  • relevant work experience in your current professional field for at least three years

Full health insurance  

Digital nomads aren’t eligible for public health insurance in Spain, so you will need to obtain full health insurance for yourself and any other individuals who will accompany you.

Background check

When applying for a Digital Nomad Visa, you must show a clean criminal record from all the countries you've resided in for the past five years. This usually includes obtaining a criminal record certificate and scanning your fingerprint. 

Your documents should:

  • be no older than three months 
  • translated into Spanish by an authorized entity 
  • officially validated for international use with an Apostille

Minimum stay

To be eligible to apply for the Spanish Digital Nomad Visa, you shouldn’t have lived in Spain in the past five years. You cannot apply if you reside in Spain without legal documentation. 

There is no minimum stay requirement for your initial visa application, but if you want to renew your Digital Nomad Visa, you must have stayed in Spain for at least six of the last 12 months. 

How to get your Digital Nomad Visa in Spain: step-by-step

Step 1: Collect the necessary documents

Ensure your documentation is complete, current, and valid. Compile them with:

  • A filled visa application form 
  • A passport with two blank pages
  • Two passport photos
  • documents to provide your relationship to the other applicants (marriage certificate, birth certificate) 

Remember that some must be translated into Spanish and officialized with an Apostille.

Step 2: Book an appointment

Once you have all the documents, apply in person at your local Spanish Embassy or Consulate. The appointment process depends on where you’re applying, but it’s usually via email. 

You will receive a link to schedule your appointment and details on paying the non-refundable visa fee, which is usually around 80€. 

Step 3: Attend your DNV appointment

On your appointment day, bring your full visa application documentation to the place and time you chose through the email link from the previous step. 

The interviewer will review your documents and may ask additional questions or missing documentation for your DNV application. 

While the embassy or consulate reviews your application, you must leave your passport with them. 

Step 4: Track your application

After filing your application, you will receive a link to track the application progress. 

How long does it take to get a Digital Nomad Visa in Spain?

The whole process, from application to approval, lasts between 15 and 45 days. 

Once approved, you have one month to collect your visa from the embassy or consulate where you applied.

If your visa application has been denied, you will be notified of the reason for the rejection. In this case, you have one month to file an appeal. 

Taxes for digital nomads in Spain

Digital nomads are subject to income tax like any other resident. Your income is taxed at a 24% rate, which applies to income up to €600,000 per year for the initial four years of your stay in Spain. 

Any earnings surpassing this threshold are taxed at a rate of 47%.

Digital nomad destinations in Spain

Many cities in Spain attract digital nomads, but three dynamic urban centers have separated themselves as remote working havens. 

Here’s why Malaga, Tenerife, and Barcelona are Spain's top three choices for digital nomads. 

Malaga

Malaga has been one of the most popular destinations for digital nomads in Spain. 

Aside from the ever-popular Mediterranean climate, Malaga offers a great quality of life at a lower cost than many other European hot spots. It has many coworking spaces that cater to varying digital nomad needs and work styles with a reliable internet connection that facilitates remote work. 

Additionally, it’s centrally located in Andalusia, which allows easy travel throughout other parts of Spain. 

Tenerife

As the largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife offers an unmatched combination of lifestyle, costs, and convenience. 

It has a well-developed infrastructurereliable internet connectivity that allows uninterrupted work, and many local coworking cafes that blend work and nature. 

There are also varying accommodation options, from modern apartments to traditional Canarian houses, all located near transportation hubs leading to Europe, Africa, and the Americas.

Barcelona

Renowned for its beach lifestyle and entrepreneurial spirit, Barcelona is a magnet for digital nomads. 

The city is home to many coworking spaces and innovation hubs, all offering ideal conditions for networking and collaboration, from quiet work boxes to networking cafes and events. 

Digital nomads can also find varying accommodation options and prices while enjoying a major European tech hub's networking and professional development opportunities.  

How expensive are housing and accommodation in Spain?

You can rent or buy a property as a digital nomad in Spain. Understanding the average costs you can expect to find in the popular areas for digital nomads can help you estimate the monthly and total costs both options offer. 

We’ve prepared a table outlining the costs associated with renting vs buying a property in Spain:

City
Rental cost per m²
Sale cost per m²
City
Barcelona
Rental cost per m²
19€ - 26€
Sale cost per m²
2,380€ - 5,400€
City
Malaga
Rental cost per m²
11€ - 16€
Sale cost per m²
1,800€ - 3,600€
City
Tenerife
Rental cost per m²
9€ - 14€
Sale cost per m²
1,450€ - 2,600€

Malaga’s average rent per m² is 14.08€, marking an increase of 18.42% compared to March 2023. For a 100m² property, the monthly rent would be 1,408€. 

The average mortgage has a 3.27% interest rate over 25 years, with loans averaging 143,400€. The estimated monthly payment is approximately 700,33€. 

If we refer to Barcelona and consider the average rent of 23.72€ per m², the monthly rent you’ll pay for an 80m² apartment would be €1,897.60, which is still higher than a possible monthly loan payment. 

The mortgage application process can be daunting if you don't yet live in Spain. You leverage the bank's money to finance your property purchase by taking out a mortgage. Continue reading a guide to understand the pros and cons of renting vs buying a property in Spain.

Is buying a property in Spain a good investment?

While the estimated monthly mortgage payment may appear lower than the estimated monthly rent, buying a property in Spain involves significant upfront costs that you may not be prepared for yet. 

You may prefer renting if you want more flexibility and minimal financial commitment. Renting allows you to easily relocate or explore different areas without being tied down to a specific property. 

If you plan on extending your visa for five years, purchasing a property can be more advantageous. You'll build equity and potentially benefit from property appreciation. Renting it out will also generate passive income, minimizing the total costs over time. 

Homevest helps you access a mortgage in Spain

If you decide to obtain a mortgage in Spain to buy a property there, you'll find solutions that can help you achieve this sooner than you might think. Homevest is a digital platform that connects you with top Spanish lenders that match your profile.

You’ll have someone on your side to navigate the necessary paperwork and understand local regulations.

With Homevest you can access:

  • a dedicated broker who structures your application to secure the best offers and negotiate with the banks
  • better interest rates and faster service
  • all-in-one platform where you can upload your paperwork 

Conclusion

Spain's Digital Nomad Visa is an enticing opportunity for remote workers to experience the country without taking a break from work. 

As long as you meet the requirements, the process only involves collecting the documents to show that you meet them and applying. Before you know it, you will be enjoying the beaches of Spain with a laptop in your hand. 

 

Sources used and checked in April 2024:

  1. Digital Nomad Visa in Spain
  2. Requirements for Digital Nomad Visa in Spain
  3. Spain’s digital nomad visa one year on
  4. Rent prices in Barcelona
  5. Rent and property prices in Spain
  6. Taxes for Digital Nomads in Spain
 

We recommend obtaining professional or specialist advice before taking or refraining from any action based on the content in this article. The information in this article does not constitute legal, tax, or other professional advice from Homevest Limited. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties, or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in this article is accurate, complete, or up to date.

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