24 May , 2022 - digital nomads

Spain has become, recently, the destination par excellence in Europe for digital nomads and teleworkers. In fact, Gran Canaria, with Las Palmas at the top, is among the top places in the ranking.

In addition, the Government of Spain is developing a new visa for digital nomads to allow people to work remotely for foreign companies and reside in the country without the need for a regular work visa.

While we wait for it to be officially approved (at the end of 2022), we tell you everything you need to know to come to live and work in Spain.

The requirements to live and work in Spain depend on the country of origin / Imagen de Francesca Tirico.

Requirements to live in Spain

Exquisite cuisine, good weather, great atmosphere, ease of travel, ancient culture, dream cities, numerous historic World Heritage Sites, and a high quality of life as a seal of guarantee. These are the main reasons that make thousands of people decide to stay and live and/or work in our country every year. But there is much more:

And we could mention many more… But it is not necessary. What is necessary is to know the requirements to live in Spain as a European or a foreigner.

The “green card” for Europeans

All citizens belonging to any member country of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, have it easy: there is no requirement or document, beyond the DNI or passport, to reside for a time in our country. Of course, if you plan to spend more than 3 months, there is an obligation to register in the Foreigners Registry and process the famous “green card”.

This residence card is commonly known as the European Union Citizen Registration Certificate. This procedure is carried out by appointment at the National Police Station of the place where the person wants to live for a while. There, you will be automatically assigned a NIE and given a green paper card. Obtaining this document is simple, and can be done in just 24 hours.

Reside in Spain without a European passport

If you are not a European citizen, you will need to meet a series of requirements to emigrate to Spain. The most important thing is to be clear about the reason for your trip and how long you are going to stay in the country. Then, it will be time to choose one of the visas for Spain.

These visas, which can be of short or long duration, temporary or permanent residence, are not applicable to all nationalities nor do they have the same costs. To learn more about which visa you will need depending on the country you come from, click on this link.

Similarly, the basic requirements to live in Spain are:

Requirements to obtain a residence and work permit in Spain

If you want to live in Spain temporarily or permanently and be able to work legally, there are a series of legal requirements that all future residents, whether they are from the EU or foreigners, must know and comply with to have a peaceful stay, like any other Spanish citizen.

Requirements for Europeans

European citizens who want to live in Spain for a period of less than three months only need to present their passport or identity document. For stays longer than 3 months, as we said, you must register in the Central Registry of Foreigners of the Immigration Office of the region where you want to live.

Requirements for non-Europeans

To live and work in Spain, without being a citizen of the European Union, you need to have a study or work offer in our country, that is, a visa to be with an employer or to work on your own.

When getting a job, the application will have to be accepted by the State Public Employment Service (SEPE), and once accepted, the applicant must apply for a work visa in Spain, issued by the consulate in their country of origin. And from there, meet the aforementioned requirements to obtain a work permit in Spain.

Those foreigners who want to study in our country must follow similar steps, even if they are not looking for work. Considering this, Universities and educational centres greatly facilitate the procedures to become a temporary resident.

Although all these procedures may sound somewhat complicated to you, they are not: the public services in Spain always facilitate, in a simple and professional way, for anyone to start their life or work career in Spain as long as they meet the requirements and have the relevant documentation.

The European passport or green card is a basic requirement to live or work in Spain / Image by @mana5280

Being self-employed in Spain

The requirements to work as a freelancer in Spain vary depending on whether we are talking about a person from the EU, a foreigner or from the UK or the time the person will be in Spain.

If you are self-employed in any country of the European Union, you travel to Spain and stay for less than 3 months, you will not have to do anything, and you will be able to invoice your work as you have always done.

The situation changes if you are going to reside in Spain for more than 3 months. In that case, the first thing you will have to do is, as we have mentioned before, apply for a green card or residence card. Once you have it, before registering as self-employed in Spain, you must:

After registering the NIE you can already process the registration as self-employed.

The case of the United Kingdom

Since January 1, 2021, citizens of the United Kingdom in Spain are already considered non-EU in terms of immigration. This has meant important changes to obtain your residence permit and work permit. To be clear about the processes to be followed at present and how the legal and labour relationship between the UK and Spain is, click here.

Being a self-employed foreigner in Spain

You will first need a visa to enter Spanish territory and, later, obtain a long-term residence permit in Spain. Thus, any non-EU citizen who wants to register as self-employed in Spain needs 2 mandatory permits: the residence permit and the self-employment permit.

The Canary Islands are a highly demanded destination for digital nomads and remote workers / Image by Daria Mamont

Live and work in the Canary Islands

Now that you know the requirements to work in Spain… It’s time to choose the destination! The Canary Islands are, year after year, one of the favourites for people from all over the world.

The Canary Islands have positioned themselves among the best destinations in Europe to work remotely or simply to change places of life and work. The reasons are obvious: a fantastic climate all year round, an overwhelming nature, its beaches, gastronomy, a much more moderate cost of living than other large European capitals and Spanish cities…

To this, we must add the varied and extensive range of accommodation for all types of pockets and needs. If you decide to live and work in the Canary Islands, here you will find everything you need. The community of remote workers in the Canary Islands is especially interested in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The capital has become one of the main destinations for teleworkers who stay, especially in the Las Canteras beach area. A true oasis where locals and expats mingle to work, have fun, surf

Las Canteras is one of the best areas to live in Las Palmas and an excellent location with all kinds of services and also accommodation for digital nomads such as Tusity WOW and Tusity ONE. Flats and private rooms with everything you need to spend a few days or a season on the island, which also have a coworking space to be able to telework with the maximum facilities and comforts.