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Digital Nomad Visa in Spain – requirements published

The Spanish Immigration Office on International Mobility has published the long awaited detailed list of documents that digital nomads applicants need to provide.

Rather than clarifying the situation, the list still raises more questions that are yet to be answered.

Apart from the obvious documents, such as:

  • Passport
  • Application forms
  • Background check – police certificate – novelty – only from the countries where the applicant lived during the last 2 years (earlier – 5 years)
  • Proof of remote employment or professional activity

the list requires to provide:

  • Certificate of coverage of the Social Security of the country of origin of the applicant, OR registration of the “foreign company” in the Spanish Social Security Office
  • Official degree related to the occupied job position, OR proof of relevant professional experience
  • Private or public health insurance – not required in cases of registration in the Social Security

Questions that these requirements raise:

  1. Does the Immigration Office want to see “certificate of coverage” of both, remote employees and self-employed nomads?
  2. Does the “foreign company” term apply only for remote employees, or also to self-employed nomads?

It obviously slows down the application process, and would limit the number of digital nomads with the possibility of relocating.

Why does the Immigration Office actually needs to see the degree of the digital nomad, or be proven of his/her professional experience? It seems overreaching, as the degree/professional experience does not appear in the list of requirements set by Article 74 TER of the 14/2013 Act… Would it be logical to conclude that the digital nomad is qualified for his work under his/her national law IF he/she has proven his/her continued work for the current remote employment, or being able to work as self-employed in the country of origin…

Regarding the health insurance certificate, will providing a health insurance exempt from Social Security registration?

The list also requires to provide (effectively set by Article 74 TER of the 14/2013 Act):

  • Proof of real and continued activity of the employer or collaborating partner or “group of companies” of the remote worker, for at least one year before initiating the digital nomad visa application.

Questions that this requirement raise:

  1. How can a digital nomad prove the “continued activity” of his/her collaborating partners?
  2. Does the Immigration Office want to see last filed tax returns of the collaborating partners of the digital nomad?
  3. Will those collaborating partners be willing to provide those tax returns to the digital nomad?
  4. Will a Certificate of Good Standing be sufficient in case of companies?

It obviously complicates significantly the application process and requires further clarifications from Spain…

It seems we still need to wait to receive further instructions from the Spanish International Mobility Office, or see how the first applications be processed and what level of flexibility be applied to digital nomads.

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Anna Klevtsova

Anna holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law, and is a Certified Lawyer with the Bar Association of Barcelona. With more than 20 years of legal practice in International Law, Anna specialises in business set-up, investment transactions, and immigration strategies.

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