As working online becomes more popular the idea of being a digital nomad seems more attractive to professionals. But who exactly is a digital nomad? A digital nomad is an individual that lives a nomadic lifestyle and makes money while doing remote work.
A new legislation for digital nomads
Recently, the Ministry of Economy made an announcement and stated that a new law that will reshape the field of regulations concerning the online job market is on its way. Spain, which aims to be one of the best countries for digital nomads, recently prepared a legal outline regarding the country’s tax law to appeal to those who wish to relocate there. The new law will grant tax-wise advantages, such as lower amounts of tax, to solo professionals for up to five years.
Why does Spain want to attract remote workers?
Saying that there has been a boom in the number of countries that started offering digital nomad visas in 2021 is no exaggeration. It’s easy to predict that moving to a new place by taking such opportunities, starting a possibly exciting journey, and earning money while doing so crosses the minds of most of us who work freelance.
And for all the good reasons Spain conveys the impression that it is fastly becoming one of those countries. The motivation of the government in making such a decision is to promote the startup ecosystem of Spain by easing the tax burden of digital nomads, entrepreneurs, administrators, and non-resident Spaniards expecting that this, in return, will bring more members of the community into the country.
What are the details of the new regulation?
Having said all of this, let's get down to the core of the subject and talk about the specifics of this novel regulation. The proposed law encompasses a wide range of people. This includes entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and those who seek to get a digital nomad work visa.
Being a country with great weather, decent webs of transportation, good food, and relatively low costs of living, Spain has the potential to climb up the stairs in this new domain. Once in action, the new regulation will enable various tax opportunities for companies and investors. Additionally, it is likely that getting a digital nomad visa in Spain will become easier.
The new law does not desire to reform the tax-related issues only. It also proposes loosening some of the bureaucratic steps which are thought to take too much time and effort:
- Launching a startup will take as less as six hours
- It will not be necessary to go to any governmental office for the paperwork
- No fees will be charged for notary services or expenses of registration.
Tax cuts according to new regulations
The first pillar of the new regulation consists of advantages in relation to the amount of tax companies, entrepreneurs and investors need to pay:
Companies and investors
Both companies and non-resident investors will be subjected to a 15% cutback. This cutback will be of income tax during the initial four years. The government also mentioned that the postponement of taxes will require neither guarantees nor will an interest rate to be charged at the time of payment. Other utilities include:
- Being exempt up to 50k € per year for the stock options
- The omission of paying social security contributions for those who are both employees and self-employed as well as for employees who work at night.
Investors and entrepreneurs
Investors and entrepreneurs will also be able to have an increased rate of tax deduction up to 100k € per year. This means the initial 100,000 euros invested by investors and entrepreneurs will be free of tax. This new proposal is also said to keep the interest of venture capitalists in mind.
The new visa category for non-EU citizens
Moving to Spain may not present many technical problems for those who are EU citizens. But how about those who are not? Since the latest expansion of the digital labor market, the freelancer visas have come to the aid of both employers for finding suitable freelancers based in the same country as they are as well as the freelancers who are ready to take a huge step and relocate somewhere else while preserving their autonomy.
Do you need a visa to work remotely?
With the bill coming into force, a new category of visas will be created- this was something that did not exist before. This new regulation allows the applicants to go through a smoother process of obtaining a remote work visa.
Once accepted, the proposed law will:
- Consolidate the course of getting a visa for digital nomads.
- Once they get their visa issued, the digital nomads will be able to work for a startup in Spain
- Work without depending on a company or
- Work as solopreneurs.
Requirements for getting a Digital Nomad Visa for Spain
The second pillar of this innovative bill is mostly about the visa processes. This new type of remote worker visa in Spain will largely be devised for digital nomads and freelancers arriving in the country from outside of the European Union.
Citizens and habitants of the EEA (Non-European Economic Area) are expected to meet some requirements for getting a Spain digital nomad visa. For employees who aim to be the applicants of this Spain autonomo visa for digital nomads the requirements are not so complicated.
The requirements to be eligible for this visa are
- To be the employee of a company that isn’t Spanish and
- To make less than 20% of your earnings from a company in Spain.
How to apply for the Spanish Digital Nomad Visa
Talking about all the advantages and requirements of the digital nomad visa for Spain brings that one question: How do I apply for this type of remote work visa and relocate to Spain?’ At this point, we need to remind you that the new law is yet to complete its legal cycle before becoming official. So it is still unclear how digital nomads are going to obtain their remote work visas.
Nonetheless, it is safe to say that once the proposal is given the green light, this type of visa is going to fall under the category of national visas. Therefore it is possible that the freelancers will be required to compile the necessary documents and present themselves at the Spanish consulate or embassy to make a formal application. It was also discussed that the holders of this visa aren’t likely to face any issues while applying for a residency.
Why remote workers are flocking to Spain
It is a fairly new phenomenon that the number of remote workers in Spain is on the rise. But the novelty of the trend shouldn’t give the impression that the remote workers’ community in Spain is by any means small.
Already in 2014, 20% of digital nomads were non-Spaniards. Then why is it that the remote workers are flocking to Spain? If you ever wondered the reason then look no further, here is a list of reasons that the Rimuut Blog compiled for you.
The work-life balance and youthful population
We need to begin with an obvious fact: Spanish people are rightfully famous for having a slow, relaxed pace of life. This mindset (never mention the siesta culture!) is what places Spain at the very top of the list of digital nomads. Since digital nomads need to consider the balance between the time that they spend online and offline, Spain presents itself as a suitable option for its lively social life and bustling weekend scene.
Unlike some other destinations in Northern Europe, Spain is home to a massive population of young people. This means the chance of digital nomads to meet people of their age group and socialize with their Spanish and international peers is pretty high. Enjoying the free time with people who are willing to live the same lifestyle is a quality which is worth considering.
The climate and the scenery
Anyone who has ever visited Spain or talked to a friend who visited there knows what we are talking about. The climate is mild most of the time and the number of sunny days in one year is simply unbelievable. Adding the climate factor into the equation is a game-changer for many freelancers and digital nomads who simply want to benefit from all the perks of living in a place that has good weather. But if you think the climate is the only good thing about living there then what we are about to tell will surprise you.
Apart from the swarming tourist destinations such as Barcelona or the region of Andalusia this quite sizable Iberian country has many hidden gems waiting for people to discover. Whether you decide to move to a big city like Madrid or to the picturesque Basque Country, the Spanish countryside (or more precisely el campo as the Spaniards call it) will always have something unexpected to offer its visitors.
Could Spain become the best country in the EU for digital nomads?
The proposed law is planned to be put into action soon unless there are some setbacks in the course of its legal cycle. The Spanish Government announced that they were intending the legislation to be active by next summer. If the bill passes and the legislation is put into action properly there is no reason why Spain shouldn’t be a candidate to become one of the best countries for digital nomads.
After all, with its relatively low costs of living, friendly business environment, and fantastic weather, living in Spain is already the dream of many digital nomads desiring to relocate to a new place and start a new life. The only thing left is this innovative legislation to function properly and create a window of opportunity for those who are willing to take it.
Learn more about the digital nomad lifestyle
With the new reality of the post-Covid world kicking in, becoming a digital nomad and doing remote work seems to be one of the fastest-growing trends among professionals. In today’s world, being a digital nomad means keeping in touch with the online community of professionals, fostering an international network, and chasing novel opportunities.
The experiences that those who did it before us are willing to share and the vast pool of knowledge and information one can find online will surely be helpful to those of us who have an appetite to live the lifestyle of a digital nomad.
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