From choosing the right city to understanding everything you must consider to settle in the country and start working online. Next, you will access a complete guide on how to work remotely from Spain, including how to do it legally with the right residency.
Is Spain the right place to live and work remotely?
In order to answer this question we just need to look at the statistics.
Spain is one of the main options within Western Europe for foreigners from all around the world when deciding where to settle and start working remotely.
So the answer is yes; and there is plenty of reasons that can explain why.
First of all, the nearly perfect weather conditions that make it completely enjoyable to spend the whole year in the country.
Then there is the well-known Spanish cuisine, which allows anyone to get delighted with every single meal out.
But there are other not-so-common reasons that still contribute to creating the perfect environment for remote workers.
In Spain you have plenty of expat communities. Other foreigners who tend to get together frequently, something that makes it way easier to create new social circles.
Then there is the cheap cost of living, especially so for remote workers who receive salaries from abroad (the US, UK, etc.) but who face relatively cheaper Spanish costs.
Of course, big touristic cities like Madrid or Barcelona are much more expensive (including rentals), but generally speaking, you can more than comfortably live in the country with € 1.200 – € 2.000 per month.
And, finally, the favorable legal conditions.
As we will explore in the last section of this article, you have different residency options to settle in the country and become a remote worker; as well as a favorable tax regime that will benefit your personal economy.
The 3 steps to start working remotely from Spain
Let’s now explore the 3 main steps every foreigner must follow in order to finally establish herself in the Spanish territory and start living as a remote worker.
Find a job that allows you to work remotely
First things first. You can’t become a remote worker without a remote job.
And here the order of events is crucial, especially for the legal part we will see next.
So the first step in the process will be to find a job you can perform online and abroad, and that pays you enough money to support your living (which, as we have seen, is not that much in Spain).
And you have 3 different options here:
- You can start working for a company (as an employee) that allows remote work which is located outside Spain
- You can become a freelancer or self-employed worker with clients spread over the world
- Or you can perform any type of activity that generates income online
Choose your right location
Once you have a job (or enough clients to support your living), the next step is finding the city where you will base your operations and remote work life.
And here it is crucial that you spend some time considering the right option, as there are important regional differences in Spain.
The country is made up of 17 Autonomous Communities or regions, each with its own particularities when it comes to climate, food, people, and traditions.
When choosing, you must make sure to consider 2 big groups of parameters:
First of all, your personal preference and how you feel living in each of them. Apart from working remotely, you will enjoy free time, and each Spanish region has different offerings for that purpose. If you enjoy sailing or simply having the sea nearby, Valencia or Barcelona may be good options. Whereas if you are keen on hiking, then the northern regions would suit you best.
On the other hand (and this is more important when choosing the right city inside the chosen region, all the practical things you also need for your working activities. As a remote worker, you need a fast internet connection, great infrastructure, plenty of good cafes to work outside home, and even a great innovation and tech ecosystem in case you are launching a startup.
Based on the before, many remote workers choose the following Regions as they offer the perfect mix:
- The Canary Islands
- Catalonia (mainly Barcelona and its surrounding areas)
- Comunidad Valenciana (Valencia and Alicante)
- Andalusia (Málaga and Seville)
Even though big cities like Barcelona or Madrid may easily come to mind, it is also important to explore its full metropolitan area. For example, there are many cities nearby Barcelona that offer much cheaper rentals than if you were in Barcelona itself, but that still allow you to reach the center fast.
Apply for your remote work residency
Is it legal to work remotely from Spain?
Yes, you can legally work remotely from Spain. And you have several legal options for that.
The first question you must answer is for how long you will stay in the country (as there are many expats who travel from one country to another while performing their remote jobs):
- If you stay for less than 90 days in the country, then it is enough to obtain a tourist visa
- But if you are staying for more than that, then you must apply for a residence permit
In the latter case, the right residency is called the “digital nomad visa”, a residence permit specifically designed for remote workers.
Apart from allowing you to work for a company or clients outside Spain, this permit has several other advantages:
- First of all, you can obtain it directly from Spain as a tourist, without needing to travel back to your country of origin
- It allows you to include your relatives within the application, hence being able to move with your family
- It is a residence permit for 3 years, that can be renewed afterward every 2 (until you get PR or citizenship)
- It offers great tax advantages, as you will benefit from a special tax regime: you will just pay a flat fee of 24% on your income, instead of a progressive one that reaches up to 48%; as well as not paying wealth tax
- If allows you to enjoy a fast-track application, so you can obtain this visa in just 20 labor days
And if you have any legal doubts regarding your moving to Spain process or need help from our immigration lawyers, get in touch with us below.
Get in touch with our lawyers and let us guide you step by step: