Just in time for winter 2022, Portugal and Spain will join the list of countries offering a visa for digital nomads. Rose Dykins reports
Portugal and Spain are offering new visas to digital nomads that will allow foreign remote workers to live and work in away from home.
Portugal’s new visa comes as part of the Portuguese government’s amendments to the nation’s immigration law in July 2022. Anna Catarina Mendes, minister in the cabinet of the Prime Minister and for Parliamentary Affairs, said: “Portugal is a country for immigration.
“Every year, we receive thousands of immigrants, seeking opportunities in our country. A country that wishes to welcome immigrants as it wishes its emigrants to be welcomed, too”.
From October 30, location-independent professionals can apply for the new visa, officially named as a “residence visa for the exercise of professional activity provided remotely outside the national territory”.
To qualify for the new visa, applicants need to earn at least €2,800 per month (four times the minimum wage in Portugal); they must come from a country outside of the EU or the European Economic Area; and they must either be employed, or employed by a country outside of Portugal.
They’ll need to show proof of income for the past three months, submit tax residency documents and either a contract of employment, or proof of self-employment.
Portugal has a thriving digital nomad scene, particularly in the cities of Lisbon and Porto. Digital nomads benefit from the warm temperatures, excellent beaches, and high quality of life. Portugal’s timezone is also conducive to working internationally.
Other benefits include the ability to access both Portugal’s public and private health system, its NHR tax regime, and the chance to apply for Portuguese citizenship after five years if digital nomads decide they finally want to take root.
Meanwhile, Spain plans to roll out digital nomad visa scheme for those working for enterprises in other countries, who earn a maximum of 20 per cent of their income from Spanish firms.
The scheme has not been enshrined in law yet, but it is expected to offer one-year visas for digital nomads, with the option to renew for up to five years, with family members also able to join applicants in Spain.
To be eligible, applicants must be from outside the EU or the European Economic Area, and must be able to prove they have been working remotely for at least one year.
They must also be able to show a contract of employment or show that they are regularly employed as a freelancer outside of Spain. Finally, they must prove that they will earn enough to remain self-sufficient, and that they have an address in Spain.
As well as enjoying the covetable digital nomad lifestyle, warmer weather and cultural richness of life in the likes of Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga and Valencia, successful applicants will benefit from being taxed at 15 per cent for four years (rather than the standard 25 per cent base rate).