Freelancer Visa 2024 in Spain: Details of the residence card for remote workers

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Working with a view of the Costa del Sol or answering your emails from a café in Barcelona, no longer as a tourist but as a legal resident, this is what this new visa introduced in 2023 by the Spanish immigration system promises. The new visa Digital Nomad » allows self-employed workers and foreign entrepreneurs to live and work in Spain for several years, benefiting from a legal framework and numerous advantages. In this article, we will guide you step by step through the process of obtaining this coveted visa. Eligibility conditions to necessary documents, Passing by tips for making your request successful, you will know everything about this visa that could well change your life. Fasten your seat belts, we're taking off for Spain!

Spain: A global playground for global talent as the 2030 World Cup approaches

As Spain prepares to co-host the 2030 World Cup with the Morocco and the Portugal, it does not just open its stadiums – it opens its borders to talents from all over the world! This visa for remote workers is not just a whim, it is a real winning strategy. Here's why Spain is going on the offensive:

  • The teleworking revolution : Like a team that changes its formation, the world of work has transformed. The pandemic has proven that you can score goals from anywhere!
  • The era of free agents : More and more pros are choosing to play as independents, preferring the freedom of a Messi at the end of his career rather than the constraints of a long-term contract.
  • The global brain transfer market : It’s the intellectual arms race! Each country wants its “dream team” of talents to boost its economy.
  • The economic jackpot : These digital nomads are like having VIP supporters who come to fill the country's coffers while sharing their know-how. Digital nomads bring not only their skills, but also their purchasing power to host countries.

Spain, with its blazing sun, its prices that don't make you sweat (at least compared to other European countries), and its permanent party atmosphere, was already in the top destinations for expats. With this new visa, it wants to transform the experiment and become the world capital of remote work.

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This visa in summary (details in the following paragraphs)

Visit Spanish digital nomad visa offers several attractive features:

Duration : The initial visa is valid for one year and can be renewed for up to five years. After these five years, it is possible to request a permanent residence permit.

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Eligibility : The visa is open to freelancers, self-employed workers and remote employees working for non-Spanish companies.

Financial terms and conditions : Applicants must prove that they have stable and sufficient income to support themselves and their family, if they accompany them. The threshold is generally set around the Spanish minimum wage, increasing depending on the number of family members but also depending on the number of people who have applied for this visa in your country (the rule of supply and demand s applies everywhere ultimately). However, you should expect a minimum of more than 2,000 euros per month.

Source of income : At least 80% of the candidate's income must come from clients or employers located outside of Spain.

Qualifications : Applicants must demonstrate that they have the necessary qualifications to practice their profession. This may include a relevant university degree or significant work experience.

Health insurance : Private health insurance covering care in Spain is mandatory.

Application procedure : Applicants can submit their application from their country of origin or in Spain if they are already legally staying there.

Comparison with Other Countries

Spain is not the only country to introduce a visa for digital nomads. It is interesting to compare its offer with that of other popular destinations:

Portugal : THE “D7 Visa” from Portugal is similar, but with slightly lower income requirements.

Estonia : The Estonian visa for digital nomads was one of the first of its kind in Europe, but it is limited to one year.

Croatia : The Croatian visa offers a similar length of stay to Spain, but with lower income requirements.

Thailand : The Thai “Smart Visa” targets qualified professionals, but with stricter criteria.

Dubai : The Dubai digital nomad visa offers a very advantageous tax framework, but in a very different cultural and climatic environment.

Eligibility conditions: Your entry ticket for the Remote Work League!

Exclusive remote work:

The applicant must work only remotely, using IT and telecommunications means, for a company or employer located outside of Spain.

Professional status :

If he is an employee, the applicant must work for a company based outside Spain.
If he is self-employed, he can also work for a Spanish company, but this activity must not represent more than 20% of his total professional activity.

Qualifications and experience:

The applicant must have at least a university or post-graduate degree from a reputable institution.
As an alternative, he must have at least 3 years of professional experience in his current field of activity.

Financial ressources:

  • The applicant must prove that he has sufficient financial resources.
  • The minimum amount required is 200% of the monthly Spanish interprofessional minimum wage.
  • For each additional family member, additional resources are required: 75% of the minimum wage for the first member and 25% for each additional member.
  • These resources can be proven by any means, such as an employment contract, bank statements or pay slips.

These conditions are put in place to ensure that the beneficiaries of this visa are highly qualified workers, likely to bring added value to the Spanish economy. The aim is to attract the best talents from around the world to Spain.

Other basic conditions must also be taken into consideration:

  • Being a national of a third country: The visa is not available to citizens of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA).
  • Have medical coverage: You must take out private health insurance to cover your medical costs in Spain.
  • Not having a criminal record: You must present a clean criminal record certificate from your country of origin. Comply with the entry conditions into Spain: You must be in possession of a valid passport and comply with other entry requirements in Spain.

Prove your resources: Your financial passport to Spain

Ready to show that your bank account is as strong as the Spanish defense? Here's how to prove that you have the means to live the Iberian dolce vita, while juggling your remote job. Transform your finances into a winning file!

Financial resources required

  • Minimum of €2000 monthly income: This amount corresponds to approximately 200% of the Spanish interprofessional minimum wage.
  • Additional family members:
    • For the first additional member: +75% of the Spanish interprofessional minimum wage.
    • For each subsequent additional member: +25% of the Spanish interprofessional minimum salary.

How to prove these resources

  • Current employment contract: A valid and current employment contract is solid proof of stable income.
  • Bank statements for the last few months: Submit bank statements for the last six months to show financial stability.
  • Recent pay slips: Provide the last three pay slips to prove the regularity of income.
  • For freelancers:
    • Client Contracts: Present current contracts with clients to demonstrate regular sources of revenue.
    • Invoices issued: Provide copies of invoices issued within the last six to twelve months.
  • Tax returns from the previous year: Submit tax returns to prove annual income.

Tips to strengthen your file

  1. Diversify your evidence: Don't limit yourself to just one type of document. Use a combination of employment contracts, bank statements, pay stubs, and other financial evidence.
  2. Show financial stability: Make sure your bank statements and pay stubs show financial stability over several months, not just the minimum required.
  3. Present income above the minimum: If possible, show that your income exceeds the minimum required to strengthen your case.
  4. Client portfolio for freelancers: Show that you have a diverse and stable customer portfolio to prove the sustainability of your revenue.
  5. Include savings or investments: If you have savings or investments, include them to demonstrate long-term financial security.
  6. Fluctuating income: If your income fluctuates, calculate an average over six to twelve months to present a more stable picture.
  7. Explanatory letter : Prepare a letter detailing your financial situation if it is complex, to help clarify your file.
  8. Official translation of documents: Have all your financial documents officially translated into Spanish to avoid confusion and facilitate the processing of your file.

Step-by-step application procedure

  1. Obtaining the NIE number : Before submitting the visa application, the applicant must obtain a Foreigner Identity Number (NIE) from the Spanish authorities.
  2. Document preparation : Gather all required documents, including visa application form, passport photos, valid passport, criminal record, proof of residence, health insurance, professional certifications and proof of financial resources.
  3. Making appointments : Contact the BLS Visa Application Center in London to make an appointment.
  4. Submitting a request : Appear in person at the BLS center to submit the application and documents. Visa fee payment must be made at that time.
  5. Receipt of the receipt : The consulate will provide a receipt with a code to track the status of the application online.
  6. Processing the request : The consulate will examine the request within a legal period of 10 days, which may be extended if additional documents or information are necessary.
  7. Possible maintenance : The consulate may summon the applicant for a personal interview if necessary.
  8. Notification of decision : The consulate will inform the applicant of the decision regarding their visa application.
  9. Visa collection : If approved, the applicant must collect their visa in person or through a representative within one month of notification.
  10. Entry into Spain : Once the visa is obtained, the holder can enter Spain and start working remotely in accordance with the visa conditions.

How to obtain the NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero)

Visit Foreigner Identity Number (NIE) is a unique tax number assigned to foreign nationals who wish to live, work or carry out certain transactions in Spain. Here is the procedure for obtaining your NIE, the steps to follow, the documents required and important information.

Choose the location of the request:

You can request your NIE in Spain or at the Spanish consulate of your country of residence.

  • In Spain:
    • If you are planning a stay of more than 3 months in Spain, you can directly request your NIE in a immigration office.
  • At the Spanish consulate:
    • If you live abroad, you can submit your request to spanish consulate of your country of residence.

Make an appointment:

  • Mandatory at the consulate: Making an appointment is OBLIGATORY.
    • Don't forget to take as many appointments as NIE to request.
  • Online for immigration offices: You can make an appointment online for immigration offices in Spain through the following platform: https://sede.administracionespublicas.gob.es/
    • Select the province where you will apply.
    • Choose “Policía – Assignación de NIE” from the available options.
    • Fill in your personal information.
    • Select an available appointment date and time.

Prepare the necessary documents:

Mandatory documents for all cases:

  • Form EX-15 completed and signed (original + copy).
  • Passport in process of validation (original + copy of biographical data page).
  • Justification of economic, professional or social reasons of the request (depending on your situation).
    • Examples of justifications:
      • Spanish employment contract
      • Registering a business in Spain
      • Evidence of real estate investments in Spain
      • Admission to a study program in Spain
      • Retirement in Spain
  • Form 790 (code 12) filled.
  • Payment of fees: €9.84 for a first NIE or €7.31 for an update.
    • Payment can be made by cash, bank check or credit card.

Additional documents as applicable:

  • Request by representative: Identity document of the representative and power of attorney.
  • Request for a minor:
    • Presence of parents/guardians.
    • Copy of family record book or birth certificate.
    • Identity documents of parents/guardians.

Submission of the application:

  • In person or by accredited representative:
    • Whether you apply in Spain or at the consulate, your physical presence or that of your accredited representative is OBLIGATORY when submitting the application.

Delay of treatment:

  • Average time: The processing time for NIE requests is generally 2 weeks, but it can go up to 4 to 5 weeks.
  • Attribution of the NIE: The NIE is awarded by the General Directorate of Police in Spain.

Receipt of the NIE:

  • Sending by email: The NIE will be sent to you by E-mail to the address provided in the request.

Important:

  • NIE and right of residence: The NIE obtained via the consulate allows you to carry out administrative procedures in Spain, but it does not grant you no right of residence. To reside in Spain, you must first obtain a visa.
  • Limited online application: The online NIE application is generally impossible for most cases. The online system is primarily used to make an appointment or track the status of an existing request.

Appeal procedure

In case of visa refusal, the applicant can:

  • File an appeal for reconsideration with the consulate within one month of notification of the refusal.
  • File a legal appeal with the High Court of Justice of Madrid within two months following notification of the refusal or rejection of the appeal for reconsideration.

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One Response

  1. Hello how are you I'm Fathi from Algeria I want you to help me look for work I'm a public machinery driver I have seven years experience I want a work contract to be able to get there I have no problem with the consulate Thank you very much

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