Digital Nomad Visa in Spain: Taxes, Requirements, How To Apply

Summary: I’m sharing everything I was able to research about the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain, including information on taxes, requirements, documents needed, and how to apply.

Disclaimer: This is not intended to be legal advice. It’s simply meant to point you in the right direction.

For those of us working from home, have you ever found yourself day dreaming about working from some epic destination and then genuinely questioning why you aren’t already doing that? Well, you can!

Plenty of countries across the globe have Digital Nomad Visas for remote workers or self-employed people, including Spain! A typical tourist visa for visiting Spain as an American is just 90 days. However, with the Digital Nomad Visa, you could spend up to one year working remotely in Spain, or even longer if you renew!

Below, you’ll find just about everything you need to know about the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain including what the taxes look like, requirements for entering, and step-by-step instructions about how to apply. I also added links to each of the Consular Offices in the US where I got all my information at the bottom. Make sure to visit their official sites to read through all the details before you start the application process.

Spanish Digital Nomad Visa Requirements

The main requirements for the Spanish Digital Nomad Visa:

  • Either have a remote job with a company outside of Spain, or be self-employed.
  • Must have an undergraduate or postgraduate degree from a college, university, or business school “of prestige,” or have at least 3 years of professional work experience.
  • Must not have a criminal record for the past five years.
  • Must earn at least $2,300 monthly. If you want to bring a spouse, your combined income must be at least $3,110 monthly. For each additional applicant (likely children), an additional $270 monthly is required. For example, a family of four would require a monthly income of at least $3,650.
  • Must have health insurance that will cover you in Spain.

Can My Spouse or Partner Come With Me to Spain?

Yes! Your spouse or unmarried partner can also get the Digital Nomad Visa to go with you to Spain. Dependent children may also come with. The one caveat to this is you need to have a document proving the relationship between you and the people you’re bringing with you. This will most often be birth and marriage certificates, but it could also be a certificate of registration as an unmarried couple.

How To Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain

Step 1: Obtain a Foreign Identity Number (NIE)

The first step to applying is to obtain an NIE. This typically requires filling out an application and bringing it to the Consular Office in your region, or hiring a representative to go for you. In the United States, there are offices in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Washington DC. I’ll have links below to the specific web pages for each of these offices.

The fee for an NIE is $11. You’ll need to bring the application, the fee, your US passport, and proof that you live in that Consular District (a driver’s license or state ID). The process will typically take between 6-8 weeks.

Step 2: Gather the Required Documents

Your next step is to fill out the application and gather the required documents. There are a lot of them! Here’s a full list:

  1. Digital Nomad Visa application form which can be found here.
  2. A recent, passport-sized, color photograph. Specific requirements can be found here.
  3. A valid US passport with at least two blank pages. It’s important to know that while the application is being processed, you won’t be able to travel with your passport.
  4. Certificate of your assigned NIE (see step 1).
  5. Proof of residence in the Consular district via a driver’s license or state ID.
  6. For non-US citizens: proof of US immigration status.
  7. A certificate signed by your boss/employer stating you have their permission to work remotely in Spain and confirming your salary.
  8. Certificate of Mercantile Registry from your company (basically saying your company is legit).
  9. Documents proving your financial means (at least $2300 monthly for a single worker).
  10. A criminal record check done by the FBI going back at least 5 years and an absence of criminal activity for the last 5 years.
  11. Proof of public or private health insurance that can operate in Spain and cover 100% of the expenses.
  12. Declaration of your company saying they comply with Social Security standards.
  13. Copy of college degree or documentation proving 3 years of work experience.
  14. Payment of the visa fee. For US citizens, this is $190.
  15. Self-addressed and pre-paid Express Mail envelope to have your passport returned to you (must be USPS).

You must also provide documentation of the relationship between you and the family members that will be coming with you. This is most commonly birth and marriage certificates, but it can also include a certificate of registration as an unmarried couple.

You’ll also need some of the documents above for each family member. I’ll link to the full details in the Important Links section below.

As someone who hasn’t actually gone through this process, I’ll add that this list looks daunting to me, so it probably does to you, too. You can always email the Consular office if you have questions, or you can choose to hire help from someone who has been through this process. A simple Google search for “Digital Nomad Visa Spain” should get you quite a few options.

Step 3: Drop Off or Mail All Documents to the Consular Office

If you live near one of the Consular offices, you can drop the documents off in person, but some offices will allow you to mail them in. If you choose to mail them in, the package must have a tracking number with it.

NOTE: Some Consular offices in the US will require an in-person appointment. The links to the Consular office webpages in the Important Links section below will have that information. If you’re able to mail in your application, it’ll also have the exact addresses to send them to.

Step 4: Wait For a Decision

When the Consular office receives your application, you’ll be provided with a proof of receipt and an application code which you can use to track the progress of the approval process online. The decision period is only 10 days, but if they need to request additional documents or an interview, that could be extended.

Once the decision has been made, the passport and any original documentation will be mailed back.

Visa refusals will always be sent in writing with a description as to why it was denied. If you do end up getting denied, you have one month to appeal the decision.

If your visa is accepted, it will be valid for 1 year, and for that year, you can live and work remotely in Spain!

Digital Nomad Visa in Spain: Taxes

In order to renew your Digital Nomad Visa in Spain, you’ll eventually have to pay taxes. Here’s why: You must spend at least 6 months of the year in Spain to renew the visa, and once you’re in Spain for 6 months, you must start paying taxes. See what they did there? If you want to renew your Digital Nomad Visa in Spain, you’ll eventually become a tax resident and pay taxes.

The tax rate for Digital Nomads in Spain is 24% for anything under 600,000 Euros and above that, you’ll be taxed close to 50%.

That said, Spain has a double taxation treaty with the United States, so it’s likely you won’t have to pay taxes in both the US and in Spain (i.e., being double taxed). Here are the IRS documents if you’d like to read through them. I would never claim to be an expert in this space, so I’d recommend consulting a tax professional who specializes in taxes for international digital nomads.

Sabalier Law is a company I’ve been following for a while and they offer tax services for US Americans working abroad along with free resources to help navigate taxes in these situations.

Working Remotely in Spain

Working remotely in Spain certainly has it’s appeal. With beautiful architecture, delicious food, and appreciation for a slower lifestyle, I can understand why we’d want to take full advantage of the Spanish Digital Nomad Visa.

I worked remotely in Madrid for a short period and since I worked US hours, that would usually be around 3-11pm each day. This worked out really well to fit into Spain’s way of life. When I ended work around 10 or 11pm each day, people were still out eating dinner and places were still open, so it was perfect for me.

There are also so many places to see in Spain, so spending a full year there (or even longer) is a great way to experience the country at a slower pace instead of trying to pack it all into a short vacation.

Important Links

Here are links to the specific Consular offices and their respective requirements and procedures. Make sure you choose the one in which you have a legal residence (and a driver’s license or state ID).

*Boston Consular Office

  • For those residing in: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine

Chicago Consular Office

  • For those residing in: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin

*Houston Consular Office

  • For those residing in: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee or Texas

*Los Angeles Consular Office

  • For those residing in: Southern California, Arizona, Colorado and Utah

Miami Consular Office

  • For those residing in: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina

New York Consular Office

  • For those residing in: New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware

San Fransisco Consular Office

  • For those residing in: North California, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii

Washington D.C. Consular Office

  • For those residing in: Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina

*These offices did not have a specific webpage for the Telework/Digital Nomad Visa. This is one of my biggest frustrations with this information: it’s not standardized. My assumption is that you can follow the guidelines from the other offices in terms of documents needed. I’d recommend calling your office to inquire about the process of submitting these documents. Some of them want you to come in person and some will allow you to mail them in.

Read More About Spain

I hope this article helped break down the requirements and point you in the right direction when it comes to applying for the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain. Now you know what you’ll have to pay for taxes, what the requirements are, and how to apply.

While you’re here, I have a few more blog posts that might help you start planning for what to do while you’re in Spain:

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