I.- WHAT IS THE BACKGROUND OF THE NEW LAW?
The Spanish parliament has recently approved the NEW digital nomad visa and fiscal regime for startups via a new law to come into effect in January 2023, called Ley “Act” 28/2022. The new law has been particularly well-received among remote workers, (“so-called digital nomads”), for whom it should be much easier to live and work in Spain. In a nutshell, this new law modifies several articles of the “Golden VISA” law, (Ley 14/2013). Among them the one that specifies the people that can come to work and live in Spain to include International remote workers. Therefore, due to the increasing number of enquiries received over the past few weeks. In this post, we are glad to summarize the main aspects & requirements of the new digital nomad visa and its main benefits.
II.- WHAT ARE THE MAIN GOALS AND BENEFITS OF THE NEW LAW?
- Facilitating paperwork for startups.
- Reducing the tax burden on companies and entrepreneurs.
- Streamlining the process to set up a business in Spain.
- Introducing a digital nomad visa.
- Tax benefits. In fact, this is one of the main benefits of the new visa. Holders would be eligible for a reduced rate of non-resident income tax. Instead of paying the usual rate of 25%, Spanish digital nomad visa holders would pay just 15% for up to four years.
III.- WHAT ARE THE MAIN GENERAL REQUIREMENTS?
This visa is designed for non-resident individuals who wish to work remotely from Spain. It will facilitate the visa and residence permit applications and allow a stay of up to 5 years. In a nutshell, the requirements to apply for the Nomad VISA are very similar to the ones to apply as a Highly qualified employee.
In this sense, foreigners from third-party countries (including the U.K.) may apply for this type of visa if they work for companies based outside Spain. Their work for Spanish companies may not exceed 20% of the total. Obviously, on top of the general requirements for any standard visa application (i.e. no criminal records), The applicant must prove the following:
- That they have worked remotely for at least a year, and that work can be carried out remotely.
- If they are under contract with a company, that they have had a professional relationship with the company for at least three months.
- If they are freelance, they work with at least one company outside Spain and provide the terms and conditions of the remote work. The Company has to prove the work can be done remotely, and that they have been trading for at least a year.
- The applicant will need to prove a University degree studies or equivalent (from a well-known reputable University) that relate to the job that is going to be carried on or more than 3 years experience.
- The law does not tell exactly how much the applicant would need to earn, but it might be expected that it will be a minimum of 400% of IPREM, which is around 2.400€ per month.
IV.- OTHER USEFUL QUICK QUESTIONS AND USEFUL ANSWERS
1. WHICH NATIONALITY IS SPAIN’S DIGITAL NOMAD VISA FOR?
Any, but it’s mainly aimed at non-EEA nationals (British included) and Spaniards who have been out of Spain for at least five years.
2. WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS?
The Act says (in its “disposición adicional vigésima”), that proper instructions with regards to how, when, which exact documents, etc. Will need to be applied will be in place by the latest 31st March 2023.
3. WHAT IS ITS DURATION?
The NOMAD VISA will be valid for 1 year, or for the amount of time that the contract requires the professional to work for that Company. Within 60 days prior to the expiry date of the VISA the renewal can be requested, (if the applicant still complies with the requirements). Now, if the applicant is already living in Spain legally registered, it would be feasible to apply for it by changing from the current residency permit to Nomad VISA. In this case bear in mind that the duration of the VISA would be up to 3 years, renewable for another 2, prior to the application for permanent residency.
4. WHERE CAN THE DIGITAL NOMAD VISA BE APPLIED?
The application is dealt with by the “Unidad de Grandes Empresas” situated in Madrid, and it can be applied directly from Spain (advisable option), or from the country of origin, at the nearest Spanish consulate. For those applicants already living in Spain and residents under a different visa, it would be feasible provided that the applicant fulfils all the specific requirements for the digital nomad visa.
5. CAN THE DIGITAL NOMAD VISA INCLUDE FAMILY MEMBERS?
Affirmative. Foreigners who get this new type of visa in Spain will be able to include close family members such as spouses, partners and/or children (under 18) in the visa provisions. However, should the applicant intend to bring children over 18, the main applicant will need to prove they are financially dependent on you and do not have their own independent family.
At BZN LEX INTERNATIONAL Lawyers, we hold the opinion that overall, the new Digital nomad visa will be a better option for those people willing to work remotely in Spain than other standard visa options. However, in practice, it will all depend on the efficiency of the Spanish authorities in dealing with this new type of visa. Considering that applying for example for a simple NIE can be a real nightmare in Spain, I have my own private reservations with the practical implementations of the new visa.
VI.- HOW TO CONTACT US FOR FURTHER SPECIFIC ADVICE?
We hope you find this information useful. Remember that this is not intended to be specific legal advice, just a general overview. If you have doubts or would like for us to help you with your application please do not hesitate to contact us. As independent lawyers, we can help you by assisting you with all visa & residency issues as well as carrying out a comprehensive background legal analysis on your consultation or problem, if required.
Should you be interested in receiving more specific information or simply get an independent 2º opinion, (either about this particular subject or any other), you can contact our firm several ways:
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Finally, thank you very much for your attention, and in case you might have any questions or doubts at all, again please do not hesitate to contact us. We would like to stress the point that you will be in good hands, and you can be reassured that we will look after your interests in the most committed and professional way.
We look forward to helping you and the benefit of our “know-how”.
Mr Oscar Ricor
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practising Spanish Solicitor