The new Spanish Digital Nomad visa is now approved!

Four days ago, on December 22nd, 2022, the long-awaited Startups Law (Aka the Law that permits the Spanish Digital Nomad visa) has been published in the BOE (Official publication for new laws in Spain) through which it is possible to start the process to obtain a new visa for international remote workers who would like to work from within Spanish territory. For many of us, this has been a very sweet Christmas present!

This law introduces a new visa for those foreigners who want to live in Spain and continue working, both as employees or as self-employed for companies that are outside our country. This new visa and authorization is regulated within the Law of Entrepreneurs or Ley de Emprendedores.

For international teleworkers or remote workers

International remote workers may from now on access this authorization and visa. We are including those who carry out remote work or a professional activity for companies located outside of Spain, through the exclusive use of computer, telematic and telecommunication means and systems. .

In addition, for those self-employed teleworkers, they may also work for a company located in Spain as long as the percentage does not exceed 20% of their total professional activity.

Requirements to apply for this visa or teleworking authorization:

  • Being graduates or postgraduates from universities, professional training or business schools
  • Or, if the above is not complied, those who have professional experience of at least 3 years,

Everything has been regulated within Law 74.bis of the Law of Entrepreneurs or Ley de Emprendedores. Here’s the full text in Spanish (in English right afterwards):

1. Se halla en situación de residencia por teletrabajo de carácter internacional el nacional de un tercer Estado, autorizado a permanecer en España para ejercer una actividad laboral o profesional a distancia para empresas radicadas fuera del territorio nacional, mediante el uso exclusivo de medios y sistemas informáticos, telemáticos y de telecomunicación. En el caso de ejercicio de una actividad laboral, el titular de la autorización por teletrabajo de carácter internacional solo podrá trabajar para empresas radicadas fuera del territorio nacional. En el supuesto de ejercicio de una actividad profesional, se permitirá al titular de la autorización por teletrabajo de carácter internacional trabajar para una empresa ubicada en España, siempre y cuando el porcentaje de dicho trabajo no sea superior al 20 % del total de su actividad profesional.

2. Podrán solicitar el visado o la autorización de teletrabajo los profesionales cualificados que acrediten ser graduados o postgraduados de universidades de reconocido prestigio, formación profesional y escuelas de negocios de reconocido prestigio o bien con una experiencia profesional mínima de tres años.

In English:

1. The national of a third State, authorized to remain in Spain to carry out work or professional activity, is in a situation of residence by international teleworking remotely for companies located outside the national territory, through the exclusive use of computer, telematic and telecommunication mediums and systems. In the case of carrying out a work activity, the holder of the authorization for international teleworking may only work for companies located outside the national territory. In the event of exercising a professional activity, the holder of the authorization for international teleworking will be allowed to work for a company located in Spain, as long as the percentage of said work does not exceed 20% of the total of their professional activity. .

2. Qualified professionals who can prove they are graduates or postgraduates from universities of recognized prestige, professional training and business schools of recognized prestige or with a minimum of three years’ professional experience may apply for a visa or teleworking authorization.

Visa requirements for remote working from Spain

The requirements that have been established in this Law for this new visa and authorization in Spain are the following:

  • The existence of a real and continuous activity for at least one year of the company or group of companies with that the worker maintains a labor or professional relationship.
  • Documentation proving that the employment or professional relationship can be carried out remotely.
  • In the event of the existence of an employment relationship, the employment relationship between the worker and the company not located in Spain with whom they maintain said relationship must be proven, for at least the last three months, as well as documentation proving that said company allows the worker to carry out the work activity remotely.
  • Lack of criminal records in Spain and in the countries where they have resided during the last two years. Additionally, a responsible statement (affidavit) of the absence of criminal records of the last five years. (Article 62. General requirements for the stay or residence.).

Visa to telework in Spain

Maximum visa validity period: Non-resident foreigners in Spain who intend to enter Spanish territory in order to telework or work remotely for a company not located in Spain, will apply for an international telework visa that will be valid for a maximum of one year unless requested for a shorter period of work.

The international teleworking visa will constitute sufficient title or right to reside and work remotely in Spain during its validity.

Once the validity of the visa has expired, teleworkers who are interested in residing in Spain for a longer period may request the residence permit for an international remote worker, as long as the conditions that generated the right are maintained.

In addition, workers who are already in Spain legally may request this authorization in order to telework remotely for a company located outside of Spain.

The validity of the authorization will be valid for three years unless it is requested for a shorter time.

Visa application and renewal periods

Those who want to reside in Spain for a period of less than one year, may apply for a telework visa at the Consular offices of Spain in their residence country without the need for any other immigration procedure. In case of requesting a duration greater than that time, they will have to acquire a residence authorization for a maximum validity of 3 years, renewable for 2 more years.
This application must be initiated at the Immigration Office (UGE) and subsequently request a visa, if applicable, and residence card (TIE). Direct family members may request and obtain both a visa and residence with the holder or worker and will have work authorization.
In other words there are two different options:

  • Apply for residence as a digital nomad directly from Spain, during the first 90 days holding a tourist visa. In this case a residence card will be obtained for 3 years (unless it is requested for a shorter work period), which can be renewed every 2 years (being able to request long-term residence at 5, and at 10 the nationality).
  • Start the application at the Spanish consulate located in the country of origin. In this case, a 1-year visa would first be obtained that could be later modified to a 3-year residence card.

Make sure to read Spainguru’s Spanish Digital Nomad Visa most asked questions and answers

Here you can download the full text that has been published in the BOE: BOE-A-2022-21739

This article is based in internet research and no legal advice. If you seek experienced immigration professionals you can request a consulation with Spainguru’s recommended immigration lawyers here.