You Can't Just Move Here. You Need A Plan

I've probably been spending too much time on Facebook recently answering people's queries in groups about moving to Spain and this has led me to the following conclusion... I really need to write about moving to Spain... especially for Brits (But also non EU in general). Why has this happened? Well, Brits still seem to be under the impression that they can just up sticks and move to Spain. You used to be able to do this of course then a certain little thing called Brexit happened and things got complicated, to use Facebook's own relationship status update.

If you want to move here you need a plan and today we are going to talk about what that plan could be and how you can possibly come to live in Spain as a Brit. We have written plenty of times about Visas in the past, you can search the site to see the articles, but today we are going to concentrate on what you actually need to do to be able to confidently apply for one of those visas. We'll call it "The Digital Nomad Visa plan for those who don't mind waiting a bit and doing a bit of work". Catchy title I know.


First though we need to clear something up. To come to Spain for a longer time period than normal, a holiday, you need a visa. There are many visas that you can get so today we have set out below some of the more popular ones before getting onto the "Digital Nomad Visa plan for those who don't mind waiting a bit and doing a bit of work". Don't worry it'll catch on.


Non-Lucrative Visa

The easiest visa to get as long as you can show income but remember, you are not allowed to work (In theory). You will need to show that you can support yourself, that you won't be a burden on the State and that any family members are supported too. You can do all of this by applying for a non-lucrative visa with the following paperwork.

What does it get you? You get to apply for residency, initially for one year, and very probably you will do it just like any other nationality, in other words you will need:

  • A valid passport with at least one year left on it.
  • Proof of residency status in the UK (This is a maybe)
  • You should have a minimum income for getting the Spanish non lucrative visa of of over 2300 Euros per month plus an extra 600 Euros per dependent per month if applying as a family. This income must be there WITHOUT having to engage in economic activity in Spain. Usually you will need to open a bank account in Spain and deposit a year's worth of money to prove this. (Opening the bank account may prove difficult if your source of income is non traditional, eg. self-employed or freelance. Expect to be asked by the bank for tax information from the last couple of years)
  • Have a private health insurance policy without any copayment. (As we have mentioned before on these pages this becomes more expensive as you get older)
  • Fill in the Non-Lucrative Visa application form, EX-01. (You can find it here)
  • A completed visa application form. You can download it here.
  • A completed application form Modelo 790, Código 052, with payment made.
  • A Medical Certificate from your home country
  • A police check certificate from any countries that you have lived in for the last five years.
  • You may be asked for other papers to accompany these above.

The processing time for the application is around three months and you will need to do it in your own country although there are moves now to allow processing in Spain and rumours that some people have done this successfully but until I see proof here in Valencia...

Remember, your first renewal will be for two years so you need to have two years' money in your account to show that you can support yourself. Remember that and don't leave yourself short.


Self-Employed Visa

Not many of our clients have gone down the route of the self employed visa, especially since the Digital Nomad Visa came into force as it's easier to come here when you can prove already that you can work from anywhere, but if you are interested then you can see the requirements here. I'll just point out a few problems with going down this route.

Firstly, you will have to convince a civil servant who knows nothing about business that your particular business plan can be valid even if you have been doing it successfully in your own country already. You will need to do this by providing a detailed business plan outlining how the business activity is to be promoted and carried out and provide financial projections for the expected return and the anticipated level of investment. Documents must be translated into Spanish by an official translator. You will also need a certificate from Spain’s Self-Employed Workers Association stating that the project is viable. The civil servants are the stumbling block here as they are notoriously unaware of most businesses and how they work.

If you are looking to go down this route then it makes sense to use a professional company to help you with the application. You can find your own online but look for a strong track record and proveable skills. This company has a good guide as to the process of getting the visa.


Digital Nomad Visa

Now up and running successfully and available for applications from both inside and outside Spain, the Digital Nomad or Remote Worker Visa is aimed at those looking to work in Spain remotely for an employer in another country or freelancers who can work from anywhere. It's much easier to get than the self employed visa. Obviously we have written about the DNV before so take a look at the articles on our blog but start here. We have also done a podcast about the Digital Nomad Visa which you can listen to below.

The big advantage of this visa over the others mentioned above is that if you are working as a freelancer for example then you are able to become a tax resident paying your social security here and your tax rate may be fixed at 24% up to 600k per year for a maximum period of up to five years. You have to make sure to register with the tax authorities (Hacienda) in the first six months of your stay to be eligible for this advantage which is based on the law known as the Beckham Law. Don't overlook this because if you do then you go into the general taxpayer category which if you are a higher earner may be up to 48% on very large income amounts. Remember though taxation is progressive in Spain. Even if you are in the higher brackets it's not that higher amount on all income just on the part above the level.. Also remember that it's difficult to convince the tax authorities that you can be a beneficiary of the Beckham Law, expect to be taxed under the rules for everyone else.

UPDATE: There are bureaucratic problems with the DNV for remote workers for foreign companies (As opposed to freelancers) Take a look at this post from the Local. We always said there would be problems to iron out and this is a major one. As a result most Americans are now applying as Freelancers as this is a major sticking point. Brits are managing to come as employees at times.


Entrepreneur Visa

This is only for businesses that are 100% technology focussed and have the potential to create lots of jobs in Spain. You can read more about it here. I've yet to meet someone who has done that visa successfully here in Valencia though I'm sure they exist.


Schengen Visa

The standard tourist visa for three months. You are not allowed to work officially on the Schengen Visa but many people take their work with them of course on a laptop or by working at cybercafes which still exist believe it or not. If you are coming to Valencia for three months for example to scope out the city for eventual long term living then you might want to use our sister company Stepping Stone Rentals to book your stay.


Student Visa

The student visa is useful for those coming to Spain to study at an accredited institution on courses with at least 20 hours per week teaching. You can see all of the details here. You are allowed to work for up to 30 hours per week while studying as long as the work is compatible with the study, i.e, doesn't interfere with the course, and you must bear in mind that if you apply for the extension of a student visa into a second year then the income from the work done is not considered as part of the requirements for the student visa. In other words you have still to be able to prove that you have independent means to live without the job you are doing. Amounts are similar to those for the NLV given above.

The application for you to work has to be done by the employer or if you are self-employed then it needs to be accompanied by a business plan (This is a difficult way of doing it but for those of you thinking of getting extra income and beer money through bar work, teaching English in an academy or anything similar then you will generally have an employer who can make the application. Make sure to let them know that you are here on a student visa). At the end of your student visa period you can change to a different visa and there is even one lasting a year called the Work Search visa which also lasts a year to extend your stay.

The truth is we don't get many people buying a property in Valencia using the student visa as their method to stay here but if this is you then there is no problem as long as you have your NIE number which you should get either before coming over or once you get here as it is useful for so many things. The most important part is that the course you sign up for has to be accredited by the Spanish government. Many Spanish courses are so that's a good place to start looking at what coming to Spain as a student might look like in your case.


What Should Your Plan Be?

As an individual or family looking to come and live in Spain you'll need to have a plan, as we mentioned you cannot just turn up and hope. You can't come in on a Schengen Visa then decide to stay without having prepared everything beforehand as it's more than likely you'll run out of time within that 90 days. You need to get a lot of ducks in a row to do that and we are going to give you the plan we would suggest for anyone with the means to do it right now.

Our plan is an application for the Digital Nomad Visa made in Spain after arriving here with all of your paperwork and ducks in a row.

And to do this you should set up a business.

Now.

How to do it? See below.


Timescales

You will need to set up this business a year before you come over because your digital nomad visa requires you to have a link to a company that has existed for a year or more. You only need to have been getting income from this company for three months prior to your application but the company must have existed for a year at least (It's better if the payments are for a longer time period by the way as there will be fewer questions).

If you have a company already then good, you need to start paying yourself a decent income as soon as possible but definitely over three months before your application and this will allow you to bring forward this stage a bit. If you don't have a company then set one up as soon as possible even if you are not doing anything yet. It's relatively inexpensive to set up a company in the UK using Companies Made Simple for example. I'd suggest their comprehensive package (Currently priced at 99 pounds plus VAT) which includes privacy as you don't want everyone knowing who the owner of the company you are billing is ;)


Money

As an individual we would suggest that you will need to show over 3000 Euros income per month from your "work". As a family then it depends on how many members but budget for 4000-6000. You should be billing this money using invoices directed to the company and the money needs to be sent to your bank account clearly showing its provenance (It might be an idea to have your own self employed bank account) This gives you a provable link from the invoice to the income which can be extremely useful when supplying details to the person checking out your application.


Activity

The activity you are billing the company for needs to be clear but make sure it is not something that requires a professional qualification unless you have one. For example if you are a qualified accountant then it's Ok to say your activity is accountancy and the bills are for accountancy. This is because you will be asked to supply details of your qualification. Qualified teachers can say teaching on the invoices. However, if you put something like content creator, PR, games developer, sales, or something not requiring a professional qualification then it's easier as you cannot be asked for the certificates.

You will however need to show experience of at least three years though so this new business and structure should be something you do or have previous experience in. If you have been in online sales for ten years then show a CV with your link to a company in the past. Teachers for example can bill for online teaching services to the company they have set up. If you really want to go the whole hog then set up a website for your company, you never know you might actually get more work from it ;).

Make sure your "company" has a written contract with you for the supply of services because you will be asked for it. Standard freelance employment contracts can be found online and adapted to your circumstances.


Contacts

Well before coming over you will need to contact everyone you will need to help you with your potential move; the agency, the lawyers, any relocation company or anyone helping you with applying for the visa. Here at Valencia Property we can help you with all of those contacts. You might want to do all of this yourself and believe me, you can, good luck with that. However it's also possible to climb Everest yourself in flip flops after trekking there through the Himalayas but you'd probably be best advised to have some professional help and proper gear.


Property

You can buy property without a visa, for that all you need is the money and a NIE number. Therefore you can buy your place to live before you set up your move and with prices rising and supply dropping then this might be the best idea curently, it also gives you a place to settle in at when you get here. This is also the area where we at Valencia Property come in to help you. Fill in the form below to tell us what you are looking for and when you are coming to visit and we will put you in the diary and set up a consultation call with you.

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Conclusion

Unlike a certain Rishi Sunak we have provided you here with a clear plan that actually exists to make sure you can get your Digital Nomad Visa. Your plan may not be so complicated, you may just want a Non-Lucrative Visa because you have enough funds and don't want to work, but in our hyper connected World where you can essentially work from anywhere in so many jobs, Spain, and more particularly in our case, Valencia, are great options for your home base.

A Digital Nomad Visa properly prepared for is probably the best option to allow you to come here permanently.

Just turning up isn't an option.

Just turning up and hoping someone will give you a job is 100% not going to happen as a Brit.

Forget it.

Turning up after implementing your plan can and will work. If you want to talk to us about how to plan your own personal move here using your skills and ideas then feel free to set up a consultation call with us using the link and we will talk you through your options.


Property of the Week

And description of the week is this excellent large apartment with a pool on a complex in Naquera.

There are a lot of hills that people choose to die on when you are looking through the internet; Chemtrails, MAGA, Birds don't exist and even that "The 14 years of clown car government from the Conservatives in the UK wasn't so bad" (the countdown to the end of that disaster is on now thankfully)

However, one hill that we are prepared to die on at Valencia Property is the fact that Naquera is a great place to live and unlike all of the above this isn't the result of a fever dream, mental instability or having burrowed down a rabbit hole on YouTube so deep that we have come out on the other side of reason staring at our own perineum.

The Naquera Hills development is often confused with Beverley Hills but only by those who can't get past the word "Hills" being the same. At first glance you could confuse it with Beverley Hills though; Paco from number 23 looks a bit like George Clooney, the kid at number 4 has a Spiderman outfit on, I'm sure that's Penelope Cruz I saw by the pool while there last week but be careful of Ernesto at number 125* because he wears a dressing gown like Harvey Weinstein and things just keep popping out.

Easily confused.

Anyway, onto what you get in Naquera Hills for your money because it's a whole lot more than in Beverley Hills but without the sex pests deciding who gets in. A huge feeling 96m2 with an enormous terrace overlooking the community pool and gardens, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen and living room with a garage place included and all for under 170k.

Set in the centre of the town this early 2000s development has a good community feel and plenty to like about it. Just 25 minutes from the city of Valencia itself and 15-20 minutes from the coast and nearest beaches it's an excellent choice for those of you wanting a lot of bang for your bucks.

(NB There isn't a number 125, an Ernesto or a dressing gown. That was just for effect)


Villa of the Week

And also our second more than decent description this week, Pool, Garden, House in that order.

Famously Gareth Bale didn't think much of playing for Real Madrid. Wales, Golf, Madrid "In THAT order" he is quoted as saying but apparently he never said it, he was just seen celebrating with a flag saying those words and only the vast majority of his actions whilst in the Spanish Capital may have suggested he believed it.

Well, this house can take inspiration from Bale but it may speak Spanish a little better. Pool, Garden, House in THAT order.

The pool is long, 12m long actually with room for not having an excuse not to go swimming, not cooling down but actual swimming. Your kids could be the next Johnny Weismuller, Michael Phelps or even Eric "the Eel" Moussambani.

The plot is good too, 1145m2 to luxuriate in and change to your requirements. You get a pool house outside which is crying out to be converted into your friends and family guest suite. The plot of course surrounds the house which unfortunately is "Madrid" in this analogy because despite having potential it too is a bit like Eric the Eel, needing a bit of work on technique, style and result.

161m2 all on one floor with four bedrooms, one of which has a dressing room too, just one bathroom (I know), a large living area and kitchen with space for a table and chairs in which the fridge seems to be making a break for it, the house is crying out for a modernisation (And some cracks to be looked at) or as Eric would put it, a lifeguard.

Set just a few hundred metres from the centre of L'Eliana this is an extremely comfortable package at a good price and should be on your list of places to look at and seriously consider before your destiny of being a competitive dad to your young children's future Olympic hopes kicks in.


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