As the world quickly moves towards mass digitalization, more and more people are becoming remote workers. Since the pandemic, it has become clearer to more individuals that it is not always necessary to stay in the office from 9 to 5, five days a week – or even at all. In cases where workers don’t need to be in the office at all, many opt to travel to a different country and work remotely. This is what we call a digital nomad.

And for all of them, Spain and everything it offers becomes one of the best countries to be that type digital worker.

In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about moving to Spain as a remote worker. You’ll learn about the exact visa to apply for, the process you need to take, and the things you need to consider.

Let’s work together to make your work (and travel) goals a reality.


Is it possible to work remotely from Spain?


Yes, it is absolutely possible to work remotely from Spain, as the immigration law offers several alternatives and residencies.

If you are an EU citizen the registration certificate will be more than enough, but things are still possible for non-EU foreigners.

For them, working remotely from Spain is possible with the digital nomad visa.

At the end of 2022, this visa was implemented, making it possible to legally reside in Spain while working for companies or clients outside of the country.

Before that, different routes were taken to do this (for example, with the non-lucrative visa), but thankfully, now, there is a straightforward path to take.

Spain is a great place to become a digital nomad, so it’s no surprise that people are flocking here to do so.

But, how does the process work exactly both from a legal and a practical standpoint?

Continue reading to learn about the exact steps you will have to follow.


Working remotely in Spain for a UK company


At the office, we get asked what happens with UK citizens who wish to work remotely from Spain while working for a UK company.

Is it also possible? What are the options?

UK citizens are now non-EU citizens, and as we mentioned above, they have a legal option specifically designed for this type of online work (the digital nomad visa).

Hence, as a UK national you will have to apply for this residency (both in the UK or directly in Spain as a tourist), and carry out your tasks for your UK employer, but in Spain, without any type of legal problem.


Why is Spain the perfect country for remote workers?

It is not a coincidence that many individuals who want to start working online and abroad choose Spain as their new residence.

The country has everything you need in order to become a digital nomad or a remote worker. But, why exactly? What makes Spain the perfect place for remote workers? Let us give you 5 reasons so you will be convinced forever.


1. Ideal economic atmosphere


As we have mentioned, many expats who want to start working remotely choose Spain as their destination. And this can only mean one thing: more people like you. Spain enjoys an economic ecosystem full of entrepreneurs and digital nomads.

Tons and tons of events are held every single week for people within different industries: online marketing, graphic design, investment… You will find your sector covered for sure. Just go on, type your industry, and see how many results pop up.

Furthermore, tons of networking events are also organized. The result? You won’t have any trouble in meeting other people in the same situation as you with whom you can create strong ties and positive synergies when it comes to working.


2. A good work/life balance


The Spanish rhythm is much more different from any other country in the world. Do people work? Yes, for sure they do. But they always find the time to enjoy life too, like meeting up with friends and relaxing.

This means that you will be able to work hard for 8 hours a day (or more), but then you will also have many opportunities to disconnect and recharge your battery for the following working day. What else would you need?


3. Fantastic weather


Fantastic weather all year round. Summers that invite you to enjoy the Mediterranean sea, and winters that are not too cold. Plus, there is no denying that enjoying these weather conditions will positively impact your mood.

There is a big difference between waking up on a dark rainy day and waking up on a sunny morning that invites you to work in the terrace of a cafeteria in the middle of the street.

The quality of your working hours will drastically improve in Spain!


4. Affordable cost of living


Many digital nomads choose Spain because they can enjoy a decent life with around €1,000 per month in many Spanish cities. Yes, for sure it is not the cheapest country in Europe, but everything, from food to rental prices (if you do your research), is more than affordable.

Just to mention a few statistics, Barcelona and Madrid, the biggest and most important cities in the country, are still a lot cheaper than London, Paris or Amsterdam; just to mention a few.


5. Food and culture


And, finally, what most enjoy – Spanish gastronomy and culture. No matter where you go in the country, North, South, East, or West, there is one thing that is certain: you will be delighted with the country’s cuisine. Paella, Spanish omelet (tortilla de patatas), tapas… If you are keen on eating, you will be in paradise.

Additionally, the practice of gathering around the table is supported by a culture that puts an emphasis on the collective group. Eating is a really important facet of Spanish life because it is a meaningful way to connect with family and friends.


How to Work Remotely from Spain as a Digital Nomad


We hope that these 5 reasons have convinced you that Spain is the perfect place for continuing your career.

Now we face another important issue. How does the whole process work? How do I become a remote worker in Spain?

What’s next is a step-by-step guide on how to start your digital nomad journey in the country.


First of all, find a job


That is the first step, finding a stable source of income.

One of the biggest requirements for Spain’s remote worker’s visa (the immigration path you must pursue in order to work remotely in the country) is having an annual salary of €31,752, which is €2,646 monthly.

Whether you are an employee or freelance worker with many clients, this is the amount you need to be making in a year.

When applying for this visa, you will also need to prove that your company or clients allow for remote work.

If you are just about to start your job hunt, don’t worry. Many companies nowadays hire remote workers, and many others accept that their employees start working abroad.

Furthermore, there are tons of online websites in which you will be able to rump up your freelance career doing multiple jobs for different companies. The most important ones are Freelancer, Fiverr or Upwork. These are perfect options if you would like to get hired for your freelance services online. You just need to publish your offering or search for someone looking for the services you can provide, and match!

What are the most in-demand jobs nowadays? Everything related to online marketing (SEO, SEM, email marketing, social media management,…), graphic design, web development, and programming. If you publish your offers for these, work will come in for sure.

However, if you do not have a job yet, you need to know that you can only apply for the remote worker’s visa if you have had a working relationship with your company or clients for at least 3 months before your application.

If you are not thinking of working remotely, and would rather become an entrepreneur or businessman in Spain, here are some great business investment opportunities to start in Spain with nearly no budget. Furthermore, here you will also find some useful tips to find a job in Spain


Choose the city that will be your new base


So you’ve found a job or you are planning to offer your services as a freelance online. You’ve decided that Spain will be your new country of residence. Now it’s time to make another important decision: where exactly are you going to live?

Our advice is simple. Choose one of the bigger cities or its metropolitan area. That is, Barcelona or Madrid.

The reason for this is simple, if you start working remotely, you need to be well-connected. Not only in terms of resources, internet connection or infrastructures, but also in terms of people.

Madrid and Barcelona, as the major cities in the country, harbor the biggest expat communities. This means that you won’t find any problem in meeting like-minded people there. 

But, something that may be even more important, they are business hubs. Barcelona and Madrid are regarded as one of the major startup capitals in Europe. This means that those two cities are the perfect spot for making new connections that can dramatically accelerate your career, and Barcelona is perhaps the best place to build your startup.

Yes, it is certain that the cost of living is more expensive there. But you don’t need to live in Barcelona or Madrid itself to enjoy their benefits. They are really well-connected; so you can reside in the much cheaper cities and towns that surround them without losing the possibility to be in the capital center in 30 minutes or so.

If you need more information, here you can access a complete guide on the best cities in Spain for digital nomads


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Apply for the right visa: the digital nomad visa


Before, many foreigners who became digital nomads in Spain applied for the the non-lucrative visa.

But is that really possible?

As we explain through this article, legally speaking it is not possible to work remotely with the non-lucrative residency.

Even though many non-EU citizens have managed to do so in the past, currently the vast majority of consulates will reject your application for that same reason (as we have seen from 2020 onwards, and especially after the pandemic).

So, what is the solution?

The visa for digital nomads! The newly created residency allows you to work for a company (or several ones) outside of Spain, as well as enjoy many tax benefits (as you would just pay a flat fee of 24% on your income tax).

It is important to emphasize here that you must be working for a company or clients outside of Spain, as this is the remote worker’s visa. Your income must mainly be from outside the country. Though you are allowed to earn about from within Spain, it cannot make up more than 20% of your total income.

This 3-year residence permit (that can be renewed for 2 extra years), offers a fast-track application in just 20 days, and also allows you to include your relatives in your application.

The great thing is that you can apply for this visa from Spain or from your country of origin. If you apply from your country, you will first receive a visa that allows you to travel to Spain. Once you are in the country, you can apply for your actual residency card.

You can learn more about this new residency to work remotely here.


Do you have any doubts so far? Ask our lawyers anything or keep reading for more information:

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Can I work remotely in Spain on a tourist visa?


If you are traveling around Spain on a tourist visa, of course, you would be able to do some work remotely.

If your company lets you travel for vacation, while working remotely on some days, no one is going to stop you from doing so.

However, to be legally sound, you cannot work remotely in Spain on a tourist visa in a way that grants you residency to legally live and work in the country.

The tourist visa only lasts for three months, so once these three months near an end, you will either have to apply for a digital nomad visa or prepare to leave the Schengen Zone and return to your country.


How long can I work remotely in Spain without paying tax?


Generally speaking, you can work remotely from Spain for a maximum of 183 days per year due to your tax residency status, but the answer may differ.

Tax residents pay taxes in Spain for their worldwide income (that is, income generated both in Spain and in any other country).

3 main reasons can turn you into a tax resident.

First, you become a tax resident in Spain if you spend more than 183 days a year in the country. In order to renew your digital nomad visa, you must have stayed in the country for more than 183 days a year, thus that will automatically make you a tax-resident.

But there are also two other reasons you may become one, even though you spend less than those 6 months. For example, if your center of economic activity is in the Spanish territory, or if your spouse and children live here.

When it comes to taxes, digital nomad visa, nevertheless has its own tax benefits.

For example, if you are working remotely as an employee of a company (meaning, you are not self-employed), you can apply for the Beckham Law.

Through this law, you can be taxed as a non-resident for your first 6 years in Spain.


Take note of the Spanish schedule


Let’s now focus on the day-to-day operations. There is one thing you will need to keep in mind: the Spanish daily schedule is completely different from other European countries.

Just so you can understand, here is a brief summary of how a normal day goes:

The working day starts at 9:00 am. At around 11:30 people tend to take a break to have a snack. From 14:00 to 15:00 it’s lunchtime. At around 17:00, another snack. The working day usually ends at 19:00, and dinner happens at 21:00.

If there’s time for it, you can take a siesta! This is a quick nap usually taken after lunch to get more energy for the rest of the day. It is worth a try.

But, apart from the usual schedule, there is one more thing every remote worker must understand. The timezone differences are something that will have an impact on your meetings and emails.

Spain shares the same time with nearly all of Europe. But, if you happen to do business with Asia, for example, then bear in mind that you will share just a tiny amount of the working day, and you will need to plan in advance. When it comes to America, the time differences are around 6 hours, something more manageable.


Planning your day: choosing your work desk


One of the positive things about being a remote worker is that you can work from wherever you want to. It does not matter if you work one day from home and the other one in an office. That is completely up to you.

Nevertheless, having routines is good. Having places where you feel comfortable to work also helps a lot.

That is why clearly defining the different options you have as work areas will be important. In that sense, you can:


Work from home


If you have a good internet connection and you are one of those that want to get up from bed and jump into work straightaway, this option is perfect. You just need to make sure to have a good internet connection, and you are set to go.

Nevertheless, you must bear in mind that, in the long-run, the lack of contact with anyone else can be detrimental for your performance. We are social beings, and working isolated from home may not work for everyone. For those who need to see more people, working in a café or library will help.

If you have chosen Madrid or Barcelona, you will find these all around. Cafes are the perfect spot to enjoy a good cup of coffee while you go through your working hours. Just make sure to choose one with a charming environment and with a good Wifi connection. Here you will find a list of recommendations for the best cafes to work in Barcelona.


Enroll in a coworking space


This is a good option for those who want to network and meet new people to create positive business synergies with. Every year more and more coworking spaces are being created. Their success its something completely understandable: they create the perfect atmosphere for those remote workers who need to be in touch with other individuals. You will pay a really small fee for having your table and internet connection. You will also be surrounded by other digital nomads you can meet and hang out with.


Do you need help becoming a remote worker?


Now you know everything you need to know about becoming a digital nomad in Spain and working remotely.

But maybe you don’t want to handle the legal part, or you need help starting your new life in Spain. Well, we are here to help you with that. We have already assisted hundreds and hundreds of expats worldwide with their immigration, tax and business concerns in Spain. Now, we want to help you out.

It is simple: reach out and we’ll guide you through it all. Your exciting life in Spain as a remote worker is waiting for you!


Book a consultation with one of our lawyers and solve all your doubts:


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