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A Comprehensive Guide to Applying for a Digital Nomad Visa in Spain: the application process

Imagine the opportunity to explore Spain’s diverse cultural landscape, indulging in its sumptuous cuisine, lively festivals, and sun-drenched beaches, not as a mere tourist, but as a resident. The good news is, this dream can materialize into reality, thanks to Spain’s digital nomad visa. Whether you’re a self-employed remote worker or a start-up based anywhere in the world, you can now legally stay in the country to live and work remotely for prescribed duration.

The digital nomad visa for Spain offers a unique platform to experience the remarkable Spanish way of life. But as this shift towards a remote work culture is quite recent, it’s natural to have a few questions about this novel concept. And that’s what this article is meant for. We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions to provide you with the details you might be seeking.

Whether you're a digital nomad already or aspiring to become one, read on for an exhaustive understanding of the digital nomad visa for Spain. It's time to simplify the process and get you started on your Spanish remote work adventure!

What is the timeline for the processing of a digital nomad visa for Spain?

Securing a digital nomad visa for Spain might seem challenging due to the involved official procedures. However, you can take comfort in the fact that the Spanish Government usually takes around 20 days to process these visas. That being said, this timeline isn’t set in stone and can fluctuate depending on various elements including the accuracy of your submitted documents and the availability of staff at the consulate.

Is there a maximum age limit to apply for a digital nomad visa in Spain?

No, there’s no age limit set to apply for a digital nomad visa in Spain. This type of visa welcomes individuals from all age groups provided you meet the necessary criteria. Age isn’t a limiting factor in the application process – Spain recognizes that digital nomads can range from young graduates to experienced professionals and retirees who want to work remotely from stunning Spain. What matters more is your capacity to support yourself economically, your health insurance coverage, and the nature of your work.

What is the step-by-step process to apply for a digital nomad visa in Spain?

APPLYING FOR YOUR VISA IN-PERSON

Step 1: Procure, complete and sign your national visa application form, identifying why you aim to travel. If your family is accompanying you, don’t forget to get, fill and sign a national visa application form for each family member and proceed to apply for the visas collectively. 

Step 2: Schedule an appointment with the Spanish embassy or consulate in your resident country. Applying for this visa requires personal presence. In rare conditions and with substantial backing, the consulate may allow an authorized representative to submit the application. 

Step 3: Pay the requisite fee for the remote worker visa. You can check out the fee rate below.

Step 4: Present the necessary documents directly to the Spanish embassy or consulate in your country.

Step 5: After verification of the documents, payment of the fee and meeting all the above requirements, the decision about your remote worker visa will be handed out.

The Spanish Embassy or Consulate will notify you through email concerning your visa application status. Depending on the country you reside in, the visa may be delivered at home or you may have to retrieve it in person from the Spanish embassy or consulate.

If the visa gets rejected, you will be informed accordingly.

ONLINE VISA APPLICATION

First Step: Complete the application form

  • You ought to download and fill the MI-T form. This document must be attached after applying. Remember, the official form is only accessible in the Spanish Language.
  • If your family is with you, you must also download, complete and sign the relevant relative application form MI-F for each member. This also applies to a joint application for the permit. Keep in mind that the official form is available only in Spanish.
  • Before beginning the application process, check and prepare all the requisite documentation.

Step 2: Pay the application fee

  • Before proceeding with the application, pay the stipulated fee.
  • To pay the Fee (Fee 038 linked with form 790), fill the form by specifying the payment method, and then download it.
  • The Form 790 for fee 038 provides the option of making the payment in cash at a bank’s Public Treasury account or through a current account, whose full details will be required.
  • For this, authenticate yourself via the FNMT-RCM digital certificate, or the Cl@ve PIN (PIN code) or Cl@ve Permanente (Permanent code) system.

Step 3: Submit the application, attach the requisite documents and provide your signature.

  • Post completion and payment of the form, access “Submission of applications for residence permits for international mobility regulated by Law 14/2013″ from the Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit (UGE-CE).
  • Opt for “Alta de solicitud” to initiate and register your application process.
  • To do this, authenticate via a digital certificate, or through the Cl@ve PIN (PIN code) or Cl@ve Permanente (Permanent code) system. Accept the execution of the signature applet in order to proceed with the application.
  • Post validation, you access the page where you need to choose the application type. Fill in the personal details on the top of the page.
  • Focus on the required documents that need to be attached, provided at the bottom of the page. This is also the area where you may attach any additional documentation deemed necessary.
  • Once everything is in order, check the consent box indicating agreement for computer processing of data and click “Sign”.
  • After the application has been submitted, a submission number will be generated and a file with a signed copy of the application and acknowledgement of receipt can be downloaded. Store this number carefully to track the application status in future.

Step 4: Await the decision

  • In the stipulated period, a decision regarding your residence permit will be made.
  • The decision will be sent to the email address provided during application submission.

Who can make applications?

In the case of a visa, the applicant. Only exceptionally, and for justified reasons, may the diplomatic mission or consular office of your country allow the application to be submitted by a duly accredited representative.

permit application may be submitted by the foreign national or a duly accredited representative.

Do I have to be physically located in Spain when making my digital nomad visa application?

You can apply for the digital nomad visa for Spain in one of two ways.
The option one is for those currently residing outside of Spain. You should visit the nearest Spanish diplomatic mission or consular office in your home country in person to complete the visa application. Always confirm the specific details and procedures with the respective diplomatic mission or consulate before starting your application process.

The second option is for individuals who are already residing legally in Spain. These individuals have the advantage of being able to carry out the application procedure online, via the e-office of the Large Company and Strategic Groups Unit (UGE-CE). This route is particularly ideal for those who have initially entered Spain on another type of visa and wish to switch to the digital nomad visa while still within the country. It’s crucial to note, though, that your current stay in Spain must be legal to apply online.

Can my family join me in Spain during my stay under a digital nomad visa?

Typically, the digital nomad visa application process enables the main applicant – that’s you – to include immediate family members in your application. This could be your spouse or your kids under 18 years old. The validity of their residency permits is tied to the duration of your own digital nomad visa. But remember, each family member would need to put forward their individual applications and submit the required documents.

What level of income do I need to show to qualify for a digital nomad visa in Spain?

In order to be eligible for a digital nomad visa in Spain, you are obliged to fulfill certain financial requirements. To be precise, you are necessitated to prove a monthly incoming income that is 200% or double the Spanish Minimum Inter-Professional Wage, often referred to as SMI. Noteworthy is the fact that the SMI, which is calculated on the basis of 14 payments per year, has recently been raised to €1,134. Thereby, if we compute this in terms of 12 payslips per annum, it means you must provide evidence of a consistent monthly income that equals a minimum of €2,646.

Moreover, if you are including your family in the application, additional financial criteria need to be met. A monthly income equal to 75% of the SMI, or €850,50, needs to be demonstrated for the first additional family member, and for each successive family member, it is 25% of the SMI or €283,50.

Is it possible for me to take up employment with a Spanish company while I'm on a digital nomad visa?

Fascinatingly, a decisive no is the answer here. The blueprint of the Spanish digital nomad visa is primarily aimed at individuals who draw their salary from abroad or who own and run their own businesses. This insinuates that while you are stationed in Spain, your earnings must originate from outside the country’s borders. It’s pivotal to keep in mind that working with a Spanish company or being on the payroll of a Spanish employer is not permissible under the terms of this visa.

For self-employed individuals or freelancers, there’s a slight variations in the rules. Remarkably, they are able to maintain up to 20% of their client base in Spain. This means you can have Spanish clients and earn from them, but they must not constitute more than 20% of your total client base. The majority, around 80%, of your income should be sourced from outside Spain. It’s a handy provision for maintaining some business relationships within the country while complying with visa regulations.

What's the consequence of remaining in Spain post the expiry of my digital nomad visa?

Should your digital nomad visa for Spain reach its expiry while you’re engrossed in the country’s vibrant lifestyle, it’s crucial to understand that this places you in violation of Spain’s immigration rules. Overstaying your visa’s term can have ramifications such as prohibiting re-entry for a certain duration.

Can I extend my stay in Spain beyond the validity of my digital nomad visa?

Undoubtedly, it is possible to prolong your residence in Spain even after your digital nomad visa has expired.

Is it mandatory to secure a job before I can submit an application for a digital nomad visa in Spain?

No, obtaining a job offer is not a pre-requisite for applying for a Spanish digital nomad visa. Instead, what’s crucial is demonstrating that you have a stable influx of income that is adequate to sustain your stay in Spain. Given that digital nomads typically work independently, having a secured position with a Spanish employer is not mandatory.

Emphasis should be placed on displaying financial stability. As such, be sure to provide evidence of your financial sufficiency, which could be coming from various sources like remote working projects, freelance endeavors, or your online business venture.
It’s essential to remember that the aim of the Spanish authorities is to ascertain you won’t strain their public coffers, hence the emphasis on your financial capabilities when assessing your digital nomad visa application.

Do I need to have health insurance to be eligible for a digital nomad visa in Spain?

Obtaining health insurance is a fundamental requirement when submitting your application for a digital nomad visa in Spain. Imagine this scenario: You’re deeply immersed in your digital nomadic journey, working from a quaint Spanish village when an unexpected health issue occurs. This could potentially disrupt your adventure. But, if you’re comprehensively covered by insurance, you have nothing to worry about. Ensuring the well-being of digital nomads, Spain’s immigration policies necessitate an active health insurance coverage.

Does having a digital nomad visa for Spain enable traveling to other European nations?

Absolutely! The benefits of the Spanish digital nomad visa are simply incredible. It allows for smooth cross-border travel within the Schengen Zone, which includes 26 European countries. That means no extra visas are needed. As a result, you’ll enjoy unparalleled versatility, with the freedom to work and wander across myriad European locations at your leisure.

Are there specific work limitations associated with a digital nomad visa in Spain?

In broad strokes, the Spanish digital nomad visa isn’t confined by strict work parameters. Rather than being defined by the visa, the form your work takes largely depends on your individual profession and the specific remote work you plan to perform. As a digital nomad, you’ll primarily be engaged with a foreign employer or serving clients who hail from outside of Spain. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that while the digital nomad visa allows you the freedom to work remotely, it doesn’t provide the statuses of residency or the right to work for Spanish employers. If your digital nomad journey leads you to employment opportunities with a local Spanish company, you would need to change your visa status to a work visa. Make sure to always check with immigration to understand the full scope of what your visa allows before accepting any new work.

What kind of medical coverage do I need for the digital nomad visa?

The Spanish authorities take healthcare seriously – this applies equally to digital nomads. You’ll need to provide proof of having quality international or European health insurance coverage. It is pertinent to ensure it covers all medical expenses for accidents or sudden illness. It’s always a wise move to get comprehensive coverage inclusive of repatriation in case of severe illness or accident.

How often can I renew my Spanish digital nomad visa?

Typically, the digital nomad visa issued by Spain is valid for a year. Post the initial year, you can opt for renewal, and in most cases, extensions are granted for up to five years. However, remember that renewals are not automatic and they require you to demonstrate continued adherence to the requirements of income and health insurance, among others.

Can I convert my digital nomad visa to a different type of residence permit?

Depending on your circumstances, it may be possible to change your digital nomad visa to another type of residence or work visa. This would generally need a compelling reason such as starting a business, continuing education or accepting a job offer from a Spanish employer. It might be a relatively complex process due to the different kinds of visas and their specific requirements. Hence, it is highly recommended to consult with a Spanish immigration lawyer or expert.

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