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Spain to attract remote workers with digital nomad visas

Sunny weather, lower cost of living and a small tax break to be used to entice non-EU workers

Spain is set to introduce a "digital nomad" visa that could allow citizens from the UK and other non-EU countries the chance to work in the country and take advantage of the nicer weather and lower cost of living. 

The finer details of the visa are still being ironed out, but it will be offered to people who work remotely for companies outside of Spain. 

As an essential requirement, applicants must work for a company that derives a maximum of 20% of its annual income from Spanish firms - there is no minimum requirement here. They must also be from outside the European Economic Area and have spent the last year working remotely (at least one year). A contract of employment or proof they have been regularly employed by a company outside of Spain if they're a freelancer. 

Applicants will also need to demonstrate that they will earn enough to be self-sufficient and that they have an address in Spain. What's more, for the first four years, they will be taxed 15%, rather than the full 25% base rate. 

The visa is essentially a residency permit and will be valid for one year. However, it will be renewable for up to five years depending on the applicant's circumstances and spouses and children will also be eligible to join the applicant. 

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When the visa is finally launched, Spain will join 15 other European countries that offer a nomad-type visa, which country offering slightly different conditions. Croatia, for example, requires applicants to be earning at least €2,300 per month, whereas Iceland asks for €7,100 and Portugal just €700. Spain is said to be considering a minimum of around €2,000.  

Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona are already some of the most popular destinations for the EU's digital nomads, particularly Barca which has a growing technology hub. Though the country's excellent 4G coverage makes it a great place to work in rural areas where rents are lower. It boasts one of the fastest average internet speeds in Europe with 148Mbps, which is almost double the 75Mbps in the UK. 

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