Spain launches ‘digital nomad’ visa for workers

Rootless, working remote and making relative bank? Relocating to this European nation just got a lot easier.

Sunny Spain has become the most recent country to entice un-anchored employees with a program streamlining the entry process. Following a year of hype, a new visa targeting foreign remote workers has been officially launched.

The Spanish parliament formally passed the program in November, Congress approved it at the end of December — and those who qualify can now apply at their local consulate or embassy, Insider reported.

To qualify, laborers must be a citizen of a non-European Union nation, have been at their over-1-year-old, non-Spanish company for at least three months, be able to prove on paper they can do their job remotely, have a college diploma (or have been in the workforce for at least three years), and have health insurance and no criminal record (at least not from the past five years). Lastly, Spain’s new digital nomad expats must make approximately 200% of Spain’s monthly minimum wage ($1,355), or around $32,000 annually, according to Insider. 

Those who qualify for the program will be granted the ability to live and work in the country for a maximum of five years, the idea being that they’ll stimulate the economy with their foreign cash while enjoying the many sites, bites and sounds of the Iberian Peninsula. 

spain digital nomad visa
The program lets remote workers live in the nation for up to five years.
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spain digital nomad visa
Visa recipients can also travel freely within the Schengen Area, which allows for stays of up to 90 days.
Getty Images

In contrast to its neighboring nation, Portugal — which launched a similar digital nomad visa in the fall — those applying for Spain’s program can make some $500 less and still qualify. Both visas allow beneficiaries to travel throughout the 26-country Schengen Area without any additional visas. 

Although alike in terms, Portugal is “much more developed” when it comes to enticing remote workers, the CEO and co-founder of housing platform Flatio, Radim Rezek, told Insider. “There is a little tension between them, so they kind of compete — but in a good way of course,” he added. 

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