Spain is making it easier for remote workers to move to the country with the introduction of a digital nomad visa.
In the works for more than a year, the Startup Law was passed this month by the Spanish Parliament with the aim of attracting international workers to the country and boosting local economies.
The visa will be available to foreigners who are remote workers, self-employed or work for a company operating outside of Spain. Workers must also have an income of at least twice the minimum wage in Spain, or about $2,200 per month.
“Spain has long been a destination of choice for non-EU remote workers, and we look forward to seeing the rollout of the Digital Nomad Visa program there,” said Patricia Casaburi, Managing Director of Global Citizen Solutions, in a press release.
The Startup Law is part of the National Strategy of the Entrepreneurial Nation, designed to encourage the creation and development of startups in Spain.
“It aims to strengthen innovative entrepreneurship and foster the scalability of emerging companies in Spain, while promoting the ecosystem of Spanish startups internationally and attracting investment and talent,” said officials detailing the legislation.
Officials estimate the value of the Spanish startup ecosystem at nearly $50 billion.
Spain’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calvino, called the adoption of the law on startups “one of the most pleasant moments I have experienced in Parliament”, according to Business Intern.
“It is a law that will allow Spain to be at the forefront of pushing and promoting talent in this rapidly growing digital economy,” she said.
The law has several purposes, including:
- Encourage the launch or relocation of startups to Spain
- Attracting talent to companies through more favorable tax considerations
- Support business development in outlying towns and rural areas
- Closing the Gender Gap in Startups
Details of the application process are still being worked out, but those who qualify and receive a digital nomad visa will have free access to travel to all 26 EU member states, among other benefits.
The visa should give holders the possibility to stay in Spain for up to 5 years.
Several other countries have already adopted similar digital nomad visa programs, including Portugal, Greece, Norway, Malta and Georgia.
Honor in Valencia
The legislation follows Valencia, Spain, named by InterNations as the world’s number one city for expats to live and work abroad.
Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, earned the accolade for a number of reasons, including its reasonable price, InterNations founder Malte Zeeck told CNBC.
Valencia is “a safe place with an excellent climate, vibrant nightlife and culture, a pleasant urban environment and great travel opportunities,” Zeeck said.
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