The Digital nomad visa finally arrives

The Digital nomad visa finally arrives

The digital nomad visa, known in Spanish as the “Visado de Teletrabajadores de carácter internacional´´ has finally landed, transforming the way non-EU passport holding remote workers move to Spain forever. 

The new “Start-Up Law” – (Ley de Start-Ups in Spanish) was finally signed off into the statute books on 21st December 2022, and was published as a BOE (Boletin Oficial de Estado)

The part of the law that relates to “Teletrabajadores de carácter internacional” – international remote workers – has been talked about for a while, with many non EU passport holders who work online, seeing it as an opportunity to move themselves and their families to Spain. 

So what exactly is a remote worker/digital nomad?

This is the official definition, straight from the law itself:

Third country nationals authorised to live in Spain in order to carry out remote work or professional activity for companies outside Spain, using exclusively information technology means and/or systems that are telematic/telecommunication only. 

Where salaried work is involved, the holder of the remote worker authorisation will only be able to carry out paid activity for companies located outside the Spanish national territory. 

Where professional activity is involved, the holder of the remote worker authorisation will be able to work for a Spanish company, but only if the professional activity comprises no more than 20% of their total activity.

Who can apply for this new remote worker visa?

Again, directly from the Law itself:

A remote worker authorisation can be requested by professionals who can demonstrate graduate or postgraduate qualifications from well-known universities, professional training qualifications from recognised business schools or a minimum of three years professional experience in their field.

As well as demonstrating the above accreditations, to qualify to apply for this visa the initial requirements look like this:

  1. Demonstrate a genuine and continuous working relationship of at least 1 year with companies/groups that the applicant has a work or professional relationship with
  2. Documentation proving that the working/professional relationship can be carried out remotely.
  3. Working relationship (salaried employee) – Documentary proof that this working relationship has existed for at least 3 months prior to the application, and that the employer permits remote working
  4. Professional relationship (freelancer) – documentary proof that the worker has a commercial relationship with one or more companies (located outside Spain) for a minimum of 3 months prior to the application. This proof must comprise terms and conditions of the working relationship and include permission to work remotely.

The great news is that the Visa can be requested from your local Spanish consulate or in Spain as long as you find yourself legally in the country. Aside from proving you qualify for the visa, the usual criminal record background checks, application forms, fees, healthcare requirements and certification will need to be in place. 

What’s the catch? You’ll need to wait just a little longer …

Before you grab your laptop, Bermudas and send a message to your boss asking for proof you’re a digital nomad, you’ll need to hold on until the authorities have caught up.

The law may be published, but getting that precious visa involves more than just the application to the Unidades de Grandes Empresas (authority who can authorise the visa). The tax framework, income requirements and application process and online forms aren’t anywhere near ready yet, and the law has given the various component authorities until the 31st March 2023 to get themselves up to speed for what is bound to be an avalanche of digital nomads looking for a new life in the sun. 

Upsticks are in the process of putting a service product together to help remote workers and digital nomads, and will be releasing updates as and when they come in, so watch this space. If you would like to register your interest in our digital nomad visa product, send an email to [email protected] with your full name, telephone contact and email address, and we’ll be happy to add you to our wait list.

Share this page on social media