Spain is making it easier for remote workers looking to relocate 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 Spanish Parliament with the goal of bringing international workers into the nation 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 to non-EU remote workers, and we are looking forward to seeing the unfolding of the digital nomad visa program there,” Patricia Casaburi, managing director at Global Citizen Solutions, said in a release.
The Startup Law is part of the nation’s Entrepreneurial Nation Strategy, designed to encourage the creation and development of startups in Spain.
“It aims at enhancing innovative entrepreneurship and fostering scalability of emerging companies in Spain, while internationally promoting the Spanish startup ecosystem and attracting investment and talent,” officials said detailing the legislation.
Officials estimate the value of the Spanish startup ecosystem at close to $50 billion.
Spain’s economic affairs minister, Nadia Calvino, called passage of the Startup Act “one of the most enjoyable moments I’ve experienced in the Parliament,” according to Business Insider.
“It’s a law that will allow Spain to be at the forefront in the push and promotion of talent in this rapidly growing digital economy,” she said.
The law has a number of objectives, including:
- Encouraging the launch or relocation of startups in Spain
- Attracting talent to companies through more favorable tax considerations
- Supporting the development of companies in peripheral cities and rural areas
- Bridging the gender gap in startups
Details on the application process are still being worked out, but those who qualify and receive a digital nomad visa will have free travel access across the 26 EU member states, among other benefits.
The visa is expected to give holders the ability to stay in Spain for up to 5 years.
Several other countries have already passed similar digital nomad visa programs, including Portugal, Greece, Norway, Malta, and Georgia.
Honor For Valencia
The legislation comes on the heels of Valencia, Spain, being named by InterNations as the top city in the world for expats to live and work abroad.
Valencia, the third-largest city in Spain, earned the distinction for a number of reasons, including being fairly affordable, InterNations founder Malte Zeeck told CNBC.
Valencia is “a safe place with an excellent climate, a vibrant nightlife and culture, a pleasant urban environment, and great travel opportunities,” Zeeck said.
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