Back to all articles

1 February 2024 - 6 minutes

Understanding the Digital Nomad Visa: Spain

Here’s everything you need to know about working remotely from Spain. 

Ironhack - Changing The Future of Tech Education

All Courses

Remote work is here and it’s no longer limited to just your home office or your living room sofa: the world is embracing digital nomads and if you’ve been dreaming of a life in Spain with the freedom and benefits of remote work, the digital nomad visa is for you. 

Released recently, the digital nomad visa is a revolutionary option for those looking to move abroad while keeping their current job; it provides workers with the possibility of working remotely from Spain legally. If you’ve looked into working in Spain before, you know that landing a work visa can be a challenge and even if it is granted, you’ll face lots of limitations and constraints; the digital nomad visa is a visa designed for the traveler. 

In this article, we’ll explore what a digital nomad is, why this visa is so innovative and rapidly gaining popularity and, of course, how to apply for one yourself. Let’s dive in! 

What is a Digital Nomad?

First things first–it’s important to note that digital nomads are not relocating permanently to a certain location; the word nomad itself means constantly moving around and finding new places to live. Therefore, digital nomads are workers who spend a bit of time in different cities or countries, working remotely during their travels. 

Digital nomads are becoming quite popular and here’s why:

  • You can explore various destinations: not only can you see new places, but you can bounce around from country to country or city to city, exploring as much of the world as you can. And the best part? You get to choose where you head next. 

  • You can meet new people: digital nomad communities are usually incredibly welcoming and your travels can be a great time to grow your network. 

  • You can learn about new cultures: this one is a given–to actually immerse yourself in a culture gives you more chances to try new things and learn about different ideas. 

  • You can save money: travel is usually associated with spending money and that’s fair: it can be quite expensive. But if you choose your location carefully and end up in a place with a lower cost of living than where you currently live, you could use your digital nomad trips to save up a bit. 

Moving to Spain as a Digital Nomad

Following in the steps of Malta and Portugal, the Spanish government introduced the digital nomad visa to encourage foreigners to visit and spend time in the country in a legal way. In Spain, the basic requirements to receive this visa are: 

  • You work in the digital sphere and don’t have in-person requirements for your role. 

  • Your company and clients are located outside of Spain and any Spanish territories. 

  • You do not hold Spanish/EU citizenship or residency.

  • If you are a freelancer, no more than 20% of your clients can be inside Spain. 

  • You must make around 2,100-3000 euros a month. 

If you meet these basic requirements, congrats! You’re one step closer to living out your goal of becoming a digital nomad and living in Spain. And just in case you’re unsure about moving to Spain, here are some of our favorite things about this sunny Iberian country:

  • The quality of life is incredible: Spain and southern European countries in general are known for their high quality of life, with a healthy work/life balance and flexible work arrangements that benefit the employee. Tasty and varied food options don’t hurt, either! 

  • The culture is varied (and so is the language!): Spain’s diversity is widespread and city to city, you can encounter a completely new language and culture. Each autonomous community has something unique to offer and digital nomads will be able to travel around and explore. 

  • The weather is mild and manageable: Spain has a wide range of climates as well; you’ll be able to ski in the mountains of Madrid or head to the islands for some sandy beaches and sunshine. 

  • The public transportation systems are well-designed: with local bus and metro systems to help you get around each city and high-speed rail across the country, your traveling will be simple and efficient. 

  • The cost of living is lower than many other countries: this will depend on where you’re coming from, of course, but Spain’s cost of living is lower than other European or North American countries, especially if you choose to live in smaller towns. 

Spain seems like a great choice, right? We certainly think so and we’re sure that you’ll come to love it as much as we do. So if you’re ready to prepare your application for Spain’s digital nomad visa, you’ll need to prepare the following: 

  • Your valid, non-expired passport from a non-EU country

  • Your employment contract that proves you’re employed by a non-Spanish company and have clients outside of Spain and that expressly states you have permission to work remotely from Spain

  • Proof of your undergraduate or graduate degree or three years of work experience in your field

  • Proof of income with less than 20% coming from Spanish companies 

  • Proof that you haven’t held residency status in Spain during the last five years 

  • Proof that you’ve been working remotely for at least one year prior to applying

  • Your clean criminal record from the countries you’ve held residency in

  • Your private health insurance that’s valid within Spain

  • Proof of where you’re going to live for your time in Spain 

Now that you know if you meet these rules, you’re ready to take the next step and actually apply for your visa. This is a relatively new visa from the Spanish government and its requirements have been changed a few times, but here’s answers to your most burning questions regarding the Spanish digital nomad visa:

How can I apply for the Spain digital nomad visa?

Unlike many different kinds of visas in Spain, there are two options for applying: at your consulate in your home country/country of residence or from Spain. If you choose to apply from your consulate, you’ll have to collect the required documents (check your consulate’s website for an updated list of the needed documents) and your visa will have to be granted before you leave for Spain. Applying from outside Spain will give you a one year initial permit, to be extended after that year expires. 

For those already in Spain on a tourist visa or other valid permit, you are eligible for a three year visa right away, unless your employment contract is for less time. After it expires, you will be eligible to renew it for two year periods. 

Can family members be brought to Spain on the digital nomad visa? 

The quick answer to this is yes, family reunification is included in the scope of the digital nomad visa if they fall under one of the following categories: spouses or civil partners (of more than two years duration), minor children or stepchildren, children who require the support of their parents, and parents or in-laws over the age of 65 who require support.

There are additional financial requirements for each dependent; take the time to review the guidelines to ensure you can provide proof of sufficient funds. 

Can the digital nomad visa lead to citizenship? 

The digital nomad visa doesn’t directly lead to citizenship, but Spanish law states that those who legally live in Spain for 10 years are able to apply for citizenship. In some cases, such as direct relatives of Spaniards or refugees, this 10 year requirement might be reduced. 

Keep in mind that 10 years of legal residence in Spain isn’t the only thing to cross off if you’re trying to obtain citizenship and you should make sure you meet other requirements, such as minimum time spent in the country or language level. 

Is the digital nomad visa a work visa that can be used with Spanish companies? 

No! Be careful here: the digital nomad visa allows you to work within the constraints we laid out above; it is not and should not be used as a way to land a job in Spain once you’re there. You will have complete authority to live and work for your company, but your permissions to work do not extend beyond that.

Can the digital nomad travel across Europe? 

Yes! Just like with any visa granted within Spain, the open borders policy of the Schengen Area allows you to travel freely into other countries under the agreement and enjoy new cultures, opportunities for travel, and the chance to find your next digital nomad country. 

Digital Nomads & Tech

The tech sector is known for its flexibility and openness towards remote work, especially abroad, and that’s why the introduction of the digital nomad visa has been so well-received in the tech industry. The life of a digital nomad is exciting and thrilling and with your dream tech job, you’ll be able to enjoy everything your adopted home has to offer. 

If you’re considering a career in tech and are interested in a life where you have the freedom to do what you want and explore the world, you’re in the right place: Ironhack’s bootcamps prepare students to master what they need to know about the tech industry to land a job in tech shortly after graduation. 

Ready to kickstart your life as a digital nomad? Cross the first thing off your list and master the necessary tech skills. 

Related Articles

Ready to join?

More than 10,000 career changers and entrepreneurs launched their careers in the tech industry with Ironhack's bootcamps. Start your new career journey, and join the tech revolution!