Spain has always held a strong appeal for remote workers, travelers, and digital nomads. The country offers numerous attractive features for expats, including affordable living, beautiful beaches, and foreigner-friendly cities. While these factors make Spain an enticing option, the reality of relocating can be much more complicated. For those contemplating a move to Spain from a non-EU country, the notorious visa requirement always comes into play.
The process of navigating visas can feel overwhelming. However, Spain has several options for foreigners who want to live, work, or study. No matter what your aim, there are choices for you. Here we’ve compiled an overview of how to get a visa in Spain. Check out the most popular visa types and get ready to step into your new life under the Spanish sun!
Spain Digital Nomad Visa
After much anticipation, Spain has recently launched a digital nomad visa. This brand new visa allows foreigners who meet certain specifications to live and work in Spain for up to 5 years. Spain joins the ranks of other countries like Portugal, Greece, Italy, and Croatia in offering such visas, which aim to attract international talent and innovation.
The Spain digital nomad visa is open to all non-EU individuals who work remotely for a non-Spanish company. To qualify for the visa, there are several basic requirements. First, applicants must have a history of at least 3 months working with their respective company. The company itself must also have an operational history of at least one year. The job role must be completely remote, and the applicant must demonstrate sufficient qualifications or expertise in their respective field.
One of the crucial aspects of the digital nomad visa is that the applicant must have social security coverage from their country of origin, which can be difficult to obtain. For countries without a social security agreement with Spain, the applicant’s company will need to register and pay into the Spanish social security system.
If you’re planning to work as a digital nomad in Spain, be sure to check out our Urban Campus Coliving Spaces. At Urban Campus, you will be connected with other digital nomads and freelancers from all over the world.
Spain Work Visa
Spain’s work visa is one of the most traditional visa types, allowing you to live and work in Spain through the sponsorship of your employer. To acquire a traditional Spanish work visa, the first step is securing a job offer. This will be the main component of your application. The company does not have to be Spanish, but your job position must require your presence in Spain.
The company sponsoring you will need to provide details and documentation about their operations and financial status, and you will also be required to demonstrate your qualifications and expertise. This could include documents like university degrees, certificates, and letters from previous employers.
The traditional work visa additionally requires some fundamental documents necessary for almost all visa applications. Typically, this includes background checks with stamps and seals, medical certificates and passport scans. The notable advantage of Spain’s traditional work visa is that it allows you to seamlessly integrate into the country’s workforce, and it can be easily renewed year after year.
Spain Student Visa
The Spain student visa can be obtained for various educational pursuits, including university studies, exchange programs, and research endeavors. The student visa has a straightforward application process and also allows you to work up to 30 hours a week. You do not need to attend a traditional university to obtain a student visa, as there are a wide variety of programs and institutions that offer them. It is important to note that you need to be accepted by a program or educational institution before you apply for the visa.
The student visa remains valid throughout the duration of your study program. If you’re eyeing opportunities to work in Spain, this visa can be a great start. You’ll be able to establish professional contacts in Spain while utilizing the 30 hour student work authorization. Be sure to obtain a certificate of completion at the end of your course, which will be a key requirement if you plan on applying for another visa in the future.
Spain Self-Employed Visa
Do you naturally have an entrepreneurial drive? If that’s the case, considering the self-employment visa might be a smart move. To become a self-employed individual in Spain, you’ll need to show your relevant qualifications, have a solid business plan approved by a government-endorsed organization, and demonstrate your initial investment and investment income for your business. If you have a history of freelancing or self-employment, it will surely make the application easier.
Once your visa is approved, you’ll need to register as a self-employed person (autónomo) in Spain. This forms the basis for all your business activities. While the process of getting a self-employment visa is more complex, it’s worth it because you will have the freedom to work for yourself and run your business independently.
Fast-Track & Golden Visas
For those lucky individuals who meet stringent criteria, expedited visas are an option. The most common fast-track route is reserved for highly qualified professionals who earn notably high salaries and present exceptional qualifications. Similar to the traditional work permit, you will need a job offer from a company to apply for this visa. If your salary is above the specified threshold, this visa could be an option for you. The approval process for highly qualified professionals is swift and normally involves very little waiting time.
We would be remiss not to mention the well-known “golden visa”, which is an expedited visa obtained through lofty investment avenues. This includes actions like buying €500,000 of Spanish property or investing €1 million into a Spanish bank. While the golden visa is not a realistic possibility for most people, it certainly is an effective way to obtain a fast-tracked visa.
The Visa Process
Embarking on the visa journey is an exhilarating step towards a new adventure.
Conventionally, most visa applications are done through an embassy or consulate in your country of origin. However, sometimes you can enter Spain on a tourist visa and initiate your application from inside the country. We highly recommend seeking the guidance of a legal professional, as the requirements are complex and ever-changing. With the right information and support, you can seize the visa process and embark on your new life in Spain.