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Spain’s digital nomad visa is finally here (and other sunny options to try)

Spain's digital nomad visa

Digital Nomad Visas

Could 2023 be the year that you decamp to sunnier climes for a few months of remote working? A better work-life balance is the major reason that people are looking to become digital nomads, along with greater freedom and the desire to escape office politics. Add to this possible savings on energy bills and a lower cost of living and it’s even more tempting.

There are now an estimated 35 million digital nomads worldwide, and with hybrid working here to stay for many in the UK, there’s good news that the options for Britons taking your laptop overseas are increasing.  So where to head?

Spain

Spain

After slowly working its way through the Spanish legislative process, the Spanish remote working visa is finally here. Part of the ‘Start-up Law’ the visa for international teleworkers is for one year or less (if an employment contract is shorter).

What do we know about it? You will be able to apply for this visa if you work for a company based outside the EU/EEA. Only 20% of your professional activity must be carried out in Spain so the other 80% must be for a company located outside the EU/EEA.

Further, the visa applicant must have been employed by the company, or group of companies, for at least one year already, and must provide documentation from their employer that their job can be carried out remotely. There is also the indication that there must be a minimum education or experience level, not detailed yet, and the absence of a criminal record for the past five years, plus private healthcare. Applications will be made through the Spanish Consulate.

No minimum income level has been published, but it is expected it to be similar to the Non-Lucrative Visa (400% of IPREM) – which is €28,793.51 per annum - and spouses and dependent children can accompany the remote worker (and apply on the same visa).  The Spanish expats tax regime has been modified to include teleworkers – so that only Spanish sourced income will be taxed in Spain, with general income up to €600,000 taxed at 24%; above that 47%.

This visa does not cover freelance workers – it is believed this will be another visa option for non-employed remote workers.

Portugal

Portugal

Although you are permitted to work in Portugal on the D7 visa, Portugal introduced a new Digital Nomad Visa in September 2022. The minimum income requirement works in a similar way to the Spanish version – it is four times the Portuguese minimum wage which works out at around €2,820 per month.

If you are self-employed or run your own digital company you can get a temporary digital nomad visa for one year which is a great if you don’t wish to become a full-time resident but do want to stay more than 90 days in 180 in Portugal.

Or, if you wish to commit to longer, with a view to getting citizenship one day, there’s a residency visa with greater requirements. Along with the minimum income requirement you need proof of residence (rental/owned), a NIF number, and proof of employment contract from outside Portugal. Freelancers will need to show proof of regular activity. Applications are made through the Portuguese Consulates in the UK.

Find out more

Greece

Greece

Another year-long option, requiring proof of income of at least €3,500 per month, health insurance and proof that you work remotely for a company or clients situated outside of Greece. Self-employed people will need to provide information about business activity and their registered address (outside Greece).

Croatia

Croatia

A year-long digital nomad visa comes with tax exemptions. As per the above, you need a clean criminal record, proof of sufficient (remote) income, a rental contract in Croatia and health insurance. Applications are made online.

Malta

Malta

If you work for a company outside Malta, or are freelance, you can apply for this visa to spend a year living in Malta. You must show proof of vaccination against COVID-19, health insurance and a monthly income of €2,700 or more, from outside Malta.

Further European options

Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Norway and the Czech Republic also offer digital nomad visas in Europe (but less sunshine!).

The Caribbean & rest of the world

In Barbados, the digital nomad visa is called the Welcome Stamp and offers individuals and their families the opportunity to live and work in Barbados for up to 12 months if they earn at least USD50,000 per year. It’s been very popular with people from the US, the UK and Canada. Following its success, the Cayman Islands, Antigua, Bermuda and Anguilla have now followed suit.  Mexico and Costa Rica also have popular options; with Dubai and Mauritius newer alternatives.  

Liz Rowlinson

Author