A Guide to Spain’s Digital Nomad Visa: LGBTQ+ Edition | (2024 Update)

Brimming with sunshine, vibrant culture, and a welcoming atmosphere, Spain has become a coveted destination for digital nomads, including those from the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, Spain was recently named the #1 country in the world for digital nomads.

But working remotely legally requires the right visa, and that’s where Spain’s digital nomad visa (DNV) comes in.

I’m considering pursuing this visa myself, and I’ve hired attorneys in Spain to help with the process.

Before we get started, I will say that everyone’s situation is different, and you’ll need to examine how this can best work for you. I’m here to share the broad strokes with you and some of the more detailed information I’ve gained after speaking with multiple attorneys in Spain regarding their digital nomad visa.

What is the Spanish DNV?

Officially known as the “Remote Work Visa,” this program allows non-EU/EEA citizens to live and work remotely in Spain for up to five years, provided their income comes from outside the country.

This allows freelancers, remote employees, and entrepreneurs to enjoy the magic of Spain while fulfilling their professional commitments.

Why Choose Spain’s Digital Nomad Visa?

  • LGBTQ+ Friendly: Spain boasts a progressive stance on LGBTQ+ rights, with vibrant communities and welcoming cities like Barcelona and Madrid.
  • Stunning Landscapes: From golden beaches to majestic mountains, Spain offers diverse natural beauty for every taste.
  • Rich Culture: Enjoy historical landmarks, world-class museums, and captivating traditions.
  • Delicious Cuisine: Indulge in mouthwatering tapas, fresh seafood, and regional specialties.
  • Affordable Living: Compared to other Western European countries, Spain offers a relatively lower cost of living, especially outside major cities.
  • Strong WiFi: Stay connected with reliable internet infrastructure in most areas.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Non-EU/EEA citizens: This visa is unavailable to EU or EEA citizens.
Spain's Digital Nomad Visa

Essential Documents:

  • Valid passport: Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond your intended stay in Spain.
  • Completed application form: Download and complete the official application form for the Type D Long-Stay Visa and the Remote Work Visa.
  • Proof of stable remote income: Documents demonstrating your consistent income stream, such as:
    • Employment contract with a foreign company
    • Self-employment tax returns
    • Bank statements showing regular income deposits
    • Proof of passive income sources (e.g., rental agreements, dividends)
  • Valid health insurance: Proof of private health insurance covering you throughout your stay in Spain, with a minimum coverage of €30,000 for medical expenses.
  • Proof of sufficient funds: Documents showing you have enough financial resources to support yourself during your stay, exceeding the minimum income requirement. This could include bank statements, investment records, or other relevant documents.
  • Clean criminal record certificate: A certificate from your home country and any other countries you’ve resided in for extended periods, proving you have no criminal convictions.
  • Two passport-sized photos: Recent photos meeting the specific size and format requirements as outlined in the official guidelines.

Minimum Income Requirements

  • Main applicant: You must demonstrate a monthly income of at least 200% of the Spanish minimum wage. Currently, this translates to approximately €2,160 per month or €25,920 annually (as of March 2024)
  • Additional family members: For each additional family member, you need to show an extra income:
    • Spouse/Partner: 75% of the Spanish minimum wage (€645 per month)
    • Each Child: 25% of the Spanish minimum wage (€215 per month)

Example: A family of four (2 adults and 2 children) must show a minimum combined income of approximately €3,710 per month.

Note: There will likely be an increase in the minimum income requirements as the minimum wage has been increased by 5%. Please check the official website for Spanish DNV when applying.

Additional Documents (may be requested):

  • Proof of accommodation in Spain (e.g., rental agreement, hotel reservation)
  • Travel itinerary
  • Proof of relationship (if applying as a family unit)
  • Professional qualifications and/or references (for self-employed individuals)

Important Notes:

  • A certified translator must translate all documents into Spanish if they are not originally in Spanish.
  • You may need to provide additional documents depending on your individual circumstances.
  • It’s crucial to consult the latest official information from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the most accurate and up-to-date list of required documents.

Application Process:

  • Apply for a Type D Long-Stay Visa: Submit your application at your local Spanish embassy or consulate.
  • Once in Spain: Apply for the Remote Work Visa at the local immigration office.
  1. Obtain NIE: Get a Foreigner’s Identification Number (NIE) either from a Spanish consulate or a designated police station in Spain.
  2. Gather Documents: Collect the required documents, which include:
    • Passport
    • Proof of income
    • Health insurance
    • An employment contract or freelance proof
    • Proof of qualifications
    • Criminal record check
  3. Apply: Submit your application in one of two ways:
    • At a Spanish consulate in your home country
    • From within Spain with a tourist visa (You’ll need to change your status later).
  4. Processing Time: Expect a decision on your visa within a few months.

Important Notes:

  • Always check Spain’s official government websites for the most up-to-date requirements.
  • Consider consulting with a visa specialist or immigration lawyer for assistance.

Additional Tips:

  • Start planning early: The application process can take several months.
  • Gather all required documents: Ensure you have everything readily available to avoid delays.
  • Consider professional help: An immigration lawyer or visa specialist can guide you through the process.
  • Learn some Spanish: Basic language skills will enhance your integration and experience.

Embrace the Spanish Dream:

Beyond the visa logistics, Spain offers countless experiences for digital nomads:

  • Explore bustling cities: Immerse yourself in the energy of Barcelona or Madrid with their cultural offerings and vibrant nightlife.
  • Relax on the beach: Soak up the sun and serene atmosphere of Spain’s diverse coastline.
  • Discover charming towns: Wander through historical villages and experience authentic Spanish life.
  • Indulge in local cuisine: Savor the regional specialties and diverse culinary delights.
  • Connect with the LGBTQ+ community: Participate in events, join online groups, and find your welcoming corner.

Ready to embark on your Spanish digital nomad adventure? With its welcoming DNV program, stunning beauty, and inclusive atmosphere, Spain awaits! So, pack your laptop, embrace the remote work lifestyle, and discover the magic of this captivating country.

Spain is a top destination for digital nomads, and for good reason. With its warm climate, stunning landscapes, rich culture, and vibrant LGBTQ+ scene, it offers a unique blend of work and leisure opportunities. Here’s a guide specifically tailored to LGBTQ+ digital nomads considering Spain:

Key differences between Spain’s Digital Nomad Visa and Non-Lucrative Visa:

Spain Digital Nomad Visa

  • Target Audience: Remote workers and freelancers who primarily work for companies or clients outside of Spain.
  • Work Restrictions: You can work while on this visa. Most of your income must come from outside Spain, and you cannot work for Spanish companies.
  • Income Requirements: You must demonstrate a higher income level (at least double the Spanish minimum wage) than the Non-Lucrative Visa.
  • Duration: The initial visa is valid for one year, with the possibility of renewal for up to five years.
  • Benefits: Designed specifically for digital nomads and their remote work needs.

Spain Non-Lucrative Visa

  • Target Audience: Individuals with sufficient financial means to support themselves without working in Spain (e.g., retirees, those with investment income, or remote workers with clients predominantly in their home country).
  • Work Restrictions: You are not allowed to work in Spain for local or foreign companies.
  • Income Requirements: The income demonstration requirement is lower compared to the Digital Nomad Visa (approximately 400% of the IPREM, an economic indicator). You primarily need to prove you have the resources to live without working.
  • Duration: Initial visa for one year, renewable for two-year periods afterward.
  • Benefits: Provides residency for those who wish to live in Spain without engaging in work activities within the country.

Choosing the Right Visa

The best visa for you depends heavily on your specific circumstances:

  • Do you need to work to support yourself while in Spain? If so, the Digital Nomad Visa is likely the only option.
  • Where does the majority of your income come from? If most of your work is with Spanish companies, neither visa is suitable.
  • How financially secure are you? The Non-Lucrative Visa works well for those with substantial savings or passive income streams.

LGBTQ+ Safety and Inclusivity:

  • Spain is known for its progressive stance on LGBTQ+ rights, with same-sex marriage legalized nationwide since 2005.
  • Major cities like Barcelona and Madrid are particularly welcoming, with thriving LGBTQ+ communities, bars, clubs, and events.
  • Smaller towns and villages may vary in their level of openness, so research your destination beforehand.
  • While discrimination is rare, it’s always good practice to be cautious and aware of your surroundings.
Spain's Digital Nomad Visa

Best Times to Travel in Spain: A Regional Guide for Digital Nomads

As a digital nomad, you have the flexibility to choose the best time to explore Spain. Here’s a breakdown of ideal times to visit different regions, taking into account weather, crowds, and exciting events:

Andalucía (Southern Spain)

  • Best Overall: Spring (April-May) and fall (September-October) offer enjoyable temperatures for sightseeing and outdoor work.
  • Summer (June-August): Great for beach lovers, but be prepared for the heat. Some festivals might fall during these months.
  • Winter (November-March): Mild weather, perfect for budget-conscious nomads and enjoying holiday festivities.

Northern Spain (Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Basque Country)

  • Best Time: Late spring (May-June) and early fall (September) for comfortable weather and fewer crowds.
  • Summer (July-August): Pleasant temperatures and ideal for beach time.
  • Winter (November-March): Cold and rainy, but less crowded and a unique experience.

Central Spain (Madrid, Castile-La Mancha, Castile and León)

  • Best Time: Spring (April-May) and fall (September-October) for outdoor adventures and exploring cities.
  • Summer (June-August): Can be very hot for daytime exploration.
  • Winter (November-March): Cold, but Madrid is magical during the holiday season with fewer crowds.

Mediterranean Coast (Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia)

  • Best Time: Late spring (May-June) and early fall (September-October) for warm days, smaller crowds, and beach time.
  • Summer (July-August): Perfect for beach vacations, but expect crowds and higher prices.
  • Winter (November-March): Mild with some rainy days. Enjoy exploring Barcelona and Valencia without the summer bustle.

Islands (Balearic and Canary Islands)

  • Best Time: Year-round for great weather! Peak season falls during summer.
  • Spring/Fall Shoulder Seasons: Warm weather and fewer crowds.
  • Winter: Temperatures remain pleasant, great for hiking and exploring.

Remember: Spain is a land of festivals! Research if any coincide with your travel plans. Popular events like Semana Santa (Holy Week), Feria de Abril (Seville), Las Fallas (Valencia), and San Fermin (Pamplona) can transform your trip!

Places to Visit:

  • Barcelona: A vibrant city with stunning architecture, world-class museums, and a renowned beach scene.
  • Madrid: Spain’s capital boasts historical landmarks, vibrant nightlife, and a diverse LGBTQ+ community. Chueca and Lavapiés are central LGBTQ+ areas.
  • Valencia: This coastal city offers beautiful beaches, delicious food, and a relaxed atmosphere. The Ruzafa neighborhood is known for its LGBTQ+ scene.
  • Sitges: A charming seaside town near Barcelona, popular for its LGBTQ+ beaches, bars, and annual Pride celebration.
  • Gran Canaria: This Canary Island offers stunning landscapes, diverse beaches, and a strong LGBTQ+ presence, especially in Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas.

Things to Consider:

  • Language: Spanish is the official language, although English is spoken in tourist areas. Learning some basic Spanish phrases will enhance your experience.
  • Currency: The Euro is the official currency. ATMs are widely available, but carrying some cash is recommended.
  • Transportation: Spain has a well-developed transportation system with trains, buses, and flights connecting major cities and towns.
  • Accommodation: Choose LGBTQ+ friendly hotels, hostels, or Airbnb options for a more comfortable experience.
  • Costs: Spain can vary in cost depending on your location and lifestyle. Major cities are generally more expensive than smaller towns.

Additional Resources:

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Let Spain’s vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and welcoming spirit captivate you, regardless of your background. Come, explore, and discover your own Spanish adventure!

Have you considered Spain for your digital nomad journey? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!

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