A new ‘digital nomad’ visa for Spain is in the works: Is it the answer to your visa woes, and what are the tax implications?

Could the new digital nomad visa in Spain be the answer for UK and other non-EEA professionals who wish to live and work in Spain? If so, what would be the tax consequences of this new nomadism? We look at the visa’s rules and assess its conditions.

The Spanish parliament is discussing new legislation loosely known as the ‘Start-up Law”. It aims to make life easier for entrepreneurs, investors and the so-called digital nomads in Spain.

Should the law go through parliament – and at Del Canto Chambers, we’re confident it has a high chance of success – it will open the doors for non-EEA nationals, including Brits, who currently struggle to get a visa to work in Spain.

“British nationals face huge obstacles to live and work in Spain after Brexit,” said León Fernando del Canto, Head of Chambers at Del Canto Chambers. “We’ve welcomed this proposed legislation wholeheartedly as we believe it will facilitate paperwork considerably and most of all, allow British professionals to work in Spain again.”

Basic requirements for the new digital nomad visa in Spain

To qualify for the new type of visa, a digital nomad would have to meet three requirements and prove that:

  • They have a working relationship (employed or contract) with a foreign company and that the company has authorised remote working.
  • They have the appropriate qualifications for the post.
  • They have at least three years experience in the post, including one with the company they currently work for.

Residence benefits of the new digital nomad visa

The first significant advantage lies in the visa itself. Professionals from the UK and other non-EEA countries currently have few practical visa options in Spain. The non-lucrative visa doesn’t allow you to work and in any case, is rarely approved for anyone of working age. And the so-called Spanish Golden Visa entails an investment of at least €500,000.

Then, there are the benefits of the proposed work and residence work. It would initially be valid for one year with the possibility of renewal during four subsequent years. In addition, the new visa includes provisional for family reunification so that visa holders could take their close family members, e.g. spouse and children, to Spain.

Potential tax benefits

As well as allowing non-EEA nationals to work remotely from Spain, the proposed legislation also comes with an enticing tax proposal. While this aspect is still subject to intense discussion, we think it’s one of the most attractive features of the new digital nomad visa.

On the table is the proposition for holders of the digital nomad visa to benefit from the Non-residents Special Tax Regime. In a nutshell, this translates to much lower income tax payments for a maximum of four years.

In many ways, it mirrors the so-called Beckham Rule, which allows foreigners moving to Spain to work to pay tax as non-residents.

Timeline for the new digital visa in Spain

The proposed legislation is at parliamentary stage, with the bill open to suggestions and amendments by working parties. Earlier this month, First Vice-President, Nadia Calviño, told a start-up conference that the government is doing its best to speed up the process and promised to have the law passed by the end of September.

Working from home in Barcelona or Madrid

The new visa will greatly facilitate life if you currently work and wish to do so in Spain’s two largest cities. Both Madrid and Barcelona regularly rank at the top of the desirable expat relocation spots, and we believe the new legislation will only boost their popularity.

At Del Canto Chambers, we’re on hand for the latest information on the digital nomad visa in Spain – get in touch for the most recent updates. And, of course, we’re happy to help with tax and legal matters involved in your move.

* This article has been written by a third party not owned or controlled by Spanish Property Insight (SPI).
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