Remote work in the digital age
Remote work has grown in popularity in recent years, and the COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated this trend. Technology has transformed the way people perform their work, allowing them to collaborate and contribute from anywhere through the Internet.
Remote work has thus become a viable and attractive option for many people as companies have adopted more flexible approaches regarding location of their employees, which has enabled them to work from home or from anywhere in the world. This has provided the opportunity for professionals in different fields to take advantage of the flexibility and freedom offered by remote work.
However, in many countries, international mobility of teleworkers has been limited by visa and residency regulations. While short stays are easy to arrange, it is a fact that living and working abroad for longer periods presents a challenge for those who do not qualify for conventional work visas.
This trend has led the Government of Spain to implement a new type of visa: an international teleworker visa, designed to continue attracting talent and to enable stays in Spain for a period of up to 3 years for all those who work remotely.
Visa for Teleworkers: An Innovative Solution
The visa for international teleworkers is a response to the growing demand of remote workers who want to live and work in Spain in a legal and simple way. This type of visa allows teleworkers to live and work anywhere in Spain without having to look for a local employer.
This type of visa provides a more flexible alternative for those who wish to live in Spain and work in an international environment without compromising their current employment.
An international teleworking visa allows people to enter and live in Spain for a maximum of three years while its holders work independently or for employers anywhere in the world.
Visa processing can be carried out in the country of origin of each teleworker or in Spain if the applicant is in the country as a tourist. In this case, the application must be filed within 90 days of arrival in Spain.
Visa Requirements for Teleworkers
- Valid entry and stay in Spanish territory.
- Absence of criminal record in Spain and in the countries where the applicant has resided during the last two years in respect of offences provided for under the Spanish legal system.
- Not to be listed as refusable in the territory of countries with which Spain has signed an agreement in this regard.
- To have public or private health insurance with an insurance provider authorized to operate in Spain.
- To have sufficient financial resources for the applicant, which means an approximate monthly income of 2,300 € (or proof of a bank account balance in excess of 25,000 €)
- To have a university degree or work experience of (a minimum of) 3 years in the position held.
In relation to the work activity
- The company or group of companies with which the worker has an employment or professional relationship must prove that it has existed for at least 1 year.
- Documentation proving that the employment or professional relationship can be carried out remotely.
- The last three payment receipts.
- Once the remote work visa or digital nomad visa is granted, the time of residence in Spain counts towards the application for Spanish nationality. In the case of Latin Americans, application for Spanish nationality can be filed after two years of residence.
- Family members can be reunited simultaneously, and they may also reside in Spain.
- Tax benefits: applicants can have access to a very favourable tax regime for all and which offers greater flexibility to pay and access non-resident income tax (the type of tax they must pay since their economic centre of interest is not in Spain). This would mean a reduction in taxes that these foreign teleworkers would pay as up to 600,000 € they would pay 24% on their income derived from work. This special tax regime can be requested up to 6 months after obtaining the residence permit as a digital nomad, and can be enjoyed for 5 years (after this period they would be transferred to the general regime).