Digital Nomad Visa

Spain’s new Digital Nomad Visa (DNV, for short) offers unique tax advantages that no other Spanish visa can match. Its main outlier - and what distinguishes it from all the other available visas - is precisely the wide array of tax benefits it offers its privileged holders (see below). The DNV has been purposely devised so successful non-EU applicants pay little to no tax in Spain. 

The DNV is the first of a new generation of visas that targets a specific collective that Spain wants to incentivize and attract to move and work (remotely) in Spain.

The DNV is modelled after Beckham’s Law, enacted in 2015, and which applies to EU residents which in turn was inspired by the UK’s wildly popular non-Domiciled taxpayer scheme. I stress the DNV only applies to non-EU applicants.

It’s a legal fiction whereby a non-EU taxpayer is treated as a non-fiscal resident in Spain, but for administrative purposes, they are regarded as fully resident in Spain. The tax significance of this nuance simply cannot be understated enough and opens the door to a slew of tax benefits I collate below.

Precisely because of its (huge) tax advantages, the law time-gates it to a maximum of only five years.

Needless to say, a DNV makes you tax resident in Spain (that is precisely the whole point!).

Because of its nature (to attract talented individuals), and similar to Golden Visas, all applications are fast-tracked and streamlined. Meaning that in only three weeks you know if you’ve been accepted.

In a nutshell, the DNV is all about paying little to no tax in Spain, legally.

General staple requirements

  1. Non-EU national.
  2. The applicant must be of legal age (18-years-old or over).
  3. Hire private health insurance in Spain.
  4. Clean criminal record (previous 5 years).
  5. Be self-supporting (you will not claim benefits).
  6. Not be already in Spain illegally at the time of making a visa application.
  7. Have sufficient financial means to support both himself and his family whilst in Spain.
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Specific requirements

  • You need to prove you are hired by a foreign company or are self-employed (with foreign company). This is the core requirement.
  • You will work remotely in Spain (not an office job).
  • You need to prove you have formal academic qualifications (i.e. a university degree, business school or professional qualification), or proof you have 3 year’s work experience that qualifies you for the position.
  • You need to prove you have at least 3 years of work experience. 
  • Not to have resided in Spain during the previous 5 years. 
  • Not to obtain income from a permanent establishment in Spain.

General advantages

  • Five-year residency permit. Initially on a one-year application, followed by two-year renewals up to a total of 5 years. The visa extends to the family of the main applicant.
  • Allows you to work in Spain remotely. Moreover, it encourages you to work in Spain, specifically remotely with your laptop (or desktop).
  • Allows you to legally override the 90/180-day rule that limits stay in Spain (and by extension in the Schengen Area/EU).
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DNV tax benefits

  • The main highlight is that all income & assets held abroad go untaxed. In other words, any source of worldwide income is tax-exempt (just like with the popular UKs non-dom tax scheme). For example, if you hold €8mn in the USA, this goes untaxed in Spain, because you are fiscally treated as a non-tax resident (legal fiction). Although in practice, for admin purposes, you are regarded as resident in Spain to all intents and purposes.
  • DNV holders only pay tax strictly on the income they derive working remotely in Spain for a foreign employer. They will pay a flat tax rate of 24% on the first €600,000 of gross annual earnings over a five-year period.
  • They are not required to file a 720 tax return (unlike Spanish tax residents).
  • They are not required to file Wealth Tax (unlike Spanish tax residents).
  • You can request to defer the payment of tax on the first and second year without penalties or delay interests being rolled on top (as is standard).
  • For the purposes of other tax agencies, you are formally considered tax resident in Spain.

The Digital Nomad Visa addresses a gap for high-end professionals that wish to relocate to Spain, alone or with their families, and enjoy all the country has to offer, including ultra-low taxes, regardless of where they settle down in Spain i.e. in Mallorca.

In effect, with a DNV you get the best of both worlds; you get to enjoy all the perks of being legally resident in Spain albeit you are fiscally treated as a non-resident, paying little to no tax. In my book, that’s a win-win.

Larraín Nesbitt Abogados offer Lionsgate Capital clients improved conditions on their standard Terms & Conditions. As written above, we attain DNVs in 3 weeks.


Article by Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt

Director of Larraín Nesbitt Abogados

Raymundo has been practising law since 2003 and has set up his own practice, Larraín Nesbitt Abogados (LNA). He advises mainly Irish, UK, and non-UK domiciled clients, and his main areas of expertise are conveyancing, immigration, and taxation.

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