Finally Spain's Digital Nomad or Remote Worker Visa is up and running and all of the details are finally out. So settle back with a drink and take in what you will need to escape the UK/US or wherever you are coming from and if you don't then start to get prepared NOW. The Remote Worker visa is called the "visado para teletrabajadores de carácter internacional " and we think there is only one disappointing thing about it... but more about that later. So let's go through the points of the Spanish Remote Worker Visa as they have been revealed this week.
Details of Spain's Remote Worker Visa
There are many aspects to the Digital Nomad visa of which we mentioned many in our previous post here. The final flecks of the visa have now been revealed and they are almost exactly what we expected when we wrote that previous post. We said that it was unlikely to undermine the Non-Lucrative visa in terms of how much money is required and we were right, it's almost exactly the same.
Who Is It For?
The Remote Worker visa is designed for people who can effectively work from any location in the World in their current employment. It requires those applying for it to satisfy the following requirements:
- You need to be a freelancer or a remote worker for an employer or employers.
- Less than 20% of your income should come from Spanish based companies (And it is important that it stays that way while you are here so keep pitching to companies outside Spain)
- You need to have been working for your current employer or for your clients for over three months.
- If you work for a company it must have been in existence for more than one year (Thus avoiding you setting up a shell company, paying yourself for three months then applying :-().
- You cannot have lived in Spain in the last five years before your application (Although you can apply for the visa from Spain during the 90 days you are allowed on a tourist visa or visit.
- You must have at least three years experience working at what you do or you must have a qualification that shows you can do the job you say you do from a recognised school or course (For example if you are an accountant you will need to show degree certificates or professional association memberships whereas a games developer is more likely to have to show experience)
- Obviously you must have a clean criminal record and not be living illegally in Spain when you apply. You will need to prove you haven't got a criminal record with a recent certificate from your home country.
It is important to note that you are not eligible for the Remote Worker Visa if you are a family member of an EU citizen, if spouses of EU citizens cannot apply in their own right as the EU citizen benefits from free movement and there is another easier route to follow.
What Do You Need For Your Application?
You will need to prove that you will have sufficient finances to support yourself when you move to Spain. This is measure at 200% of the IPREM which is the Spanish minimum wage. Currently this is around 2333 Euros per month coming in from your activity. However this is likely to rise a little in the next few months when there is a rise in the Spanish minimum wage. Dependents will also need to be considered if you are coming with a family. The first dependent will be 75% of the IPREM around 825 Euros and each successive dependent 25% around 275 euros each. This means that for a family of four you would need to prove around 3700 Euros per month or 44,400 Euros total. Dependents can be spouse, children under 18, children over 18 as long as you prove they are dependent and parents also with proof of being dependent on you. Proof of income will be required in the form of invoices, tax returns, bank statements or job contracts but expect to have to show a combination of all of them as it is Spain we are talking about here.
Secondly you will need to have private health insurance to begin with for yourself and all dependents. This must be enough to cover all contingencies and have no co-payment element meaning you will pay for your prescriptions. It is likely that at the end of your first year here you will become eleigible for the Convenio Especial where you can pay into the Spanish Health system (Logical as you will be paying tax here)
You can apply in one of two ways. Firstly, you can come into Spain on the 90 day visa and apply here or, secondly, you can apply through the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in your own country. If you decide to do it by coming to Valencia/Spain then we will have a hand-holding service available with local lawyers to get the process done as quickly as possible. The big advantage of applying for it in Spain directly is that you get an initial three years whereas applying through an embassy or consulate in your own country you will only get the first year and then have to reapply here next year.
The aim is for applications to be granted within a few weeks with a maximum of 90 days, but as we are in Spain expect delays, difficulties in getting appointments and teething problems galore as this is bound to be very very popular. However, and this is an "apparently". If you haven't heard back in 20 days, known as administrative silence, then your application is granted automatically (This is one of the measures in the Start Up Law from which the terms of the Remote Worker Visa are taken)
You can get a copy of the application form here. It is a simple one page form and should be accompanied by all of the other proofs required above which we list below here too:
- The Completed Application Form
- A copy of the payment made for the application (Modelo 790 038. Currently €89,96)
- A Passport Copy (And we expect this to be a notarised one with the Hague Seal but this is not yet confirmed)
- Professional Qualifications or Proof of Professional Relationship with Employer.
- A Clean Criminal Record Form from your current country of residence for the last two years and a sworn statement that you don't have a criminal record from any other country you may have lived in during the previous five years. These papers need to be legalised and notarised (with the Apostile of the Hague)
- Private Health Insurance Contract.
- Proof of income or funds.
- A copy of your degree certificate or professional qualifications or evidence of your experience in the job you bring with you.
- A letter from any company you work for authorising you to work from Spain and giving details of your job, salary and any other relevant details.
- Proof that any company you work for has existed for more than one year.
The taxes that you will pay on the digital nomad or remote worker visa are advantageous with a fixed rate on income up to 600k a year of 24% (Higher than the anticipated 15%, that's the slightly disappointing bit, but it's still more than reasonable) On amounts over 600k per year you will pay 47% (I should be so lucky, as should you) You will have to get in touch with the tax office once you are here and do their application process to be considered non-resident for tax purposes in order to benefit from the flat tax rate. You have six months after establishing residency to do this.
By doing the above and benefitting from being considered non-residents for tax purposes (Otherwise known as the Beckham Law), those on the remote worker visa will benefit for six years with zero tax on Worldwide income and assets similar to non-dom status in the UK and importantly you will not have to pay Spanish Wealth Tax for that period either. (However it is thought that the new two year solidarity wealth tax due to be collected in 2022 and 2023 only will not be exempted. We await clarification)
The remote worker visa is intially thought of as a five year project with an intial year and two separate two year extensions for those continuing to satisfy the requirements. However it is also a pathway to more permanent living in Spain. The Spanish government wants the remote workers coming here to put down roots and not disappear at the end of that period, we need more taxpayers for an aging population. Therefore they have designed a pathway to apply for a five year real residency at the end of the period of the remote worker visa followed by permanent residency after ten years of being here (At that point you will probably be able to apply for citizenship if you wish too)
Due to the nature of remote workers, generally younger and often single, many of them will start relationships while here and eventually be able to apply for residency based on their relationship with an EU citizen started while in Spain. Expect young professionals to be using dating apps and meet ups regularly once they get here and plenty of wedding bells down the line.
Also bear in mind that intially the rental market, already in crisis, may not be able to provide for so many people wanting to come and live in Spain and especially Valencia, named recently once again as the best place to live in the World for expats. Therefore if you are thinking of buying a property to rent out you are likely to have even more applicants for every rental property you offer and for those coming on the remote worker visa if you are in a position to buy it may be much easier than finding a long term rental contract.
Oh, and by the way, once you have your Spanish residency card under the Remote Worker visa you can enjoy free movement in the EU too!
What You Should Do Now.
If you satisfy the requirements for getting the Remote Worker/Digital Nomad visa then start collecting the paperwork together and start the process for the application at your local Spanish consulate or embassy or make plans to come to Valencia/Spain and make your application here. We believe that the application process in Spain via the 90 day Schengen visa will be easier and cheaper than doing it from your home country and it also has that advantage of being an initial three years rather than having to reapply next year.
Once you have your approval then you will need to make an appointment at the police station to take your fingerprints and get your actual residency card. Exciting isn't it!
Contact us to start the process of looking for your rental property or property you are looking to purchase and set up an orientation day with us. You will need to establish residency once you get here by buying a property or renting a property long term. Fill in the following form to let us know your requirements.
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You will also need to be paying tax in Spain on your income so you might want to speak to a Spanish tax advisor specialising in migrant workers in Spain when you get here so that you are prepared for how to present your taxes here and remember to do this within six months of getting here.
If you are a parent then you also may want to look into the options for international schools in Valencia here and consider what it could mean for the education of your children.
What If You Don't Satisfy The Requirements?
If you don't satisfy the requirements but do want to take advantage of the Remote Worker Visa further down the line then you should do one or more of the following.
If you are self employed then make sure that if you can then you start paying yourself at least the minimum amount required every month and do it for the next year. Equally you could set up a company and pay yourself through the company (Making it easier to get a letter from the company next year when you make your application ;-) after all you're the boss. Younger people might want to ask their parents to start a company which they run so the signature and letter is from somebody else). Start collecting all of the evidence and keep it together in one file for easy reference and for adding to.
If you work for an employer start talking to them about the possibilities of working remotely and, if they are receptive then maybe suggest that you may want to be moving to Spain eventually for family/educational reasons. If they are not receptive then it's time to start updating your CV and looking for companies to work for that will accept remote working or even start freelancing in your spare time.
Whatever you decide to do then good luck. We cannot wait to see all of you that have already intimated that you are interested in the Spanish remote worker visa and help you to make your way to Valencia and Spain.
Let the influx begin!
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