How Can an EOR Help With Digital Nomad Visas in Spain?

Becoming a digital nomad in Spain sounds like a dream come true, but the path to realising this dream can be filled with hurdles, especially when it comes to the complexities of Spanish legislation. The Spanish government's digital nomad visa program, on the surface appears to be an enticing opportunity for remote workers. It allows you to work remotely for overseas companies to reside in Spain for a year, with the possibility of extending your stay for a second year through a residency permit. However, beneath the allure of sun-soaked beaches and rich cultural experiences lies a web of legislation and bureaucracy which can be challenging to navigate. In this article we are going to discuss some of these challenges and how to overcome through the use of an Employer of Record.

Visa Requirements 

One of the primary challenges that you may face as a digital nomad when seeking to obtain this visa is the issue of taxation. To be eligible for the visa as a remote worker you are required to pay a 24% income tax for the first 6 months of your stay in the country. If your stay extends beyond this period, the tax rate is determined through double taxation agreements, which can be a complex and confusing process.

Moreover, the eligibility criteria for the digital nomad visa add further layers of complexity. As an applicant you must come from outside the European Economic Area and should not be residing illegally in Spain at the time of your application. Additionally, you cannot have lived in the country within the five years prior to applying, which means that recent ties to Spain may render you ineligible if any of the above applies to you.

Commitment to Remote Work

In addition to these residency requirements, as an applicant you must prove your commitment to remote work. You must demonstrate that you have been working with your clients or company for more than three months before applying. The company you work for must have been operational for at least one year, which can be a significant obstacle for those new to remote work or looking to transition into it.

Proving that your job can be done remotely is another challenge as well as requiring a clear contract of employment or evidence of regular employment by a foreign company outside of Spain. Not all employers are willing to support the idea of their employees working from abroad, making this criterion a potential roadblock for many aspiring digital nomads.

Professional Qualifications 

Qualifications are yet another area of scrutiny. While having a university degree or professional certificate can be a straightforward path to meeting this requirement, if you are without such formal qualifications, you must demonstrate at least three years of work experience in your field of work. This criteria can be a significant barrier for many aspiring digital nomads which have entered a new field of work or looking to change career paths.

The difficulty of meeting these qualifications and documentation requirements has discouraged many potential applicants over the past years. Even if applicants come from a country that has a social security agreement with Spain, such as the United States or the United Kingdom, obtaining the necessary certificates can still be an intricate process.

How an EOR Can Help Digital Nomads in Spain

Considering the complexities, some digital nomads have found an alternative solution to make their Spanish dreams come true by using an Employer of Record (EOR) service. An EOR is a third-party organisation that acts as the official employer for tax and legal purposes while the remote worker maintains their direct employment relationship with their overseas company. EOR services can help mitigate the tax and administrative burdens associated with the Spanish digital nomad visa, providing a smoother path to obtaining the visa.

In conclusion, while Spain's digital nomad visa program offers the promise of a year of remote work in a stunning Mediterranean setting, the journey to obtain it is not without its legislative and bureaucratic challenges. The stringent eligibility criteria, tax obligations and documentation requirements can be daunting. Utilising an EOR service offers a viable alternative for those seeking a simpler and more efficient way to fulfil their digital nomad dreams in Spain. It may come at a cost, but the peace of mind and support it provides can make the journey more accessible and enjoyable for you as a remote worker looking to call Spain their temporary home.

In need of EOR support?

At Leap29, we have been helping professionals work internationally and compliantly for over two decades. If you’re currently thinking about working in Spain as a nomad, get in touch with our expert team today and we can discuss your options.

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