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The Spanish villages that want remote workers

With the news that Spain will be introducing a digital nomad visa and tax incentives for startups, several places in Spain are already trying to attract remote workers. Here are some of the villages that want remote workers and what they offer.

The Spanish villages that want remote workers
Tolox in Málaga province is among the villages in Spain that want remote workers. Image: Pxfuel

The rise of remote working means that many jobs can be done from anywhere that has an internet connection, and Spanish regions that have struggled with depopulation due to a lack of job opportunities are seizing upon this trend.

A total of 30 towns and villages across Spain have joined the association of Red Nacional de Pueblos Acogedores or the National Network of Welcoming Villages, aiming to attract digital nomads (people who travel while continuing to work remotely) and remote workers (who settle full time in one place and work remotely for a company or companies in another town or even another country) to their communities.

These towns and villages are spread throughout the regions of Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, La Rioja, Aragón, Andalusia, Navarra and the Basque Country.

Among other services, most of them offer coworking spaces and high-speed internet. 

READ ALSO: Tax cuts and special visas: Spain’s new law to attract foreign startups and digital nomads

Andalusia

Benarrabá
A tiny village of just 460 inhabitants, Benarrabá is located in the province of Malaga. It’s a charming and picturesque village, where the cost of living is €392 per person per week, according to RNPA. It offers a coworking space, plus a library to work from.

Photo: Albertoac1990/Wikipedia

Tolox
The village of Tolox is a gorgeous white village set in the Sierra de las Nieves, just west of Malaga. It has a total of 2,250 inhabitants and the cost of living is €150 per person per week. It’s ideal for nature lovers, with access to the nearby Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park and Biosphere Reserve. There’s no coworking space, but there is a public library to work from. 

The village of Tolox is welcoming remote workers. Photo: jacqueline macouPixabay 

Basque Country

Kuartango
Located in the Basque province of Álava, just west of the capital of Vitoria-Gasteiz, Kuartango has just 430 inhabitants and a cost of living of €310 per person per week. It’s ideal for those who want to explore the nearby Gorbeia Natural Park and all the excellent culinary offerings in Vitoria-Gasteiz. It also offers a library, an education centre and a coworking space. 

Photo: Asier Sarasua Garmendia/Wikipedia

La Rioja

San Vicente de La Sonsierra
The cute town of San Vicente de La Sonsierra sits on a hilltop surrounded by vineyards and topped with a castle and a church. You can even see snow-capped mountains in the distance. It has a population of 1,030 and a cost of living of €205 per person per week. As well as its cultural offerings, it has a coworking space and library.

Photo: Josep Renalias/Wikipedia

Canary Islands

Tejeda 
Tejeda is located on the Canary Island of Gran Canaria, surrounded by mountains and ancient volcanoes on all sides. While it may be located in the interior of the island, it’s just a one-and-half-hour drive from the coast. The village has a population of 1,020 and the cost of living is €205 per person per week. It’s ideal for those who don’t like cold weather, with an average yearly temperature of 19C. It also boasts a public library and is on the island’s bus network. 

Tejeda in Gran Canaria wants remote workers. Photo: Vladimír JeškoPixabay 

Aragón

Oliete
The small village of Oliete lies just south of the city of Zaragoza and is just a two and half hour drive from the Catalan coastline and the Natural Park of the Delta del Ebro. With a population of just 343, it’s quiet and compact but offers a coworking centre and a library from which to work. The cost of living is €314 per person per week and there’s plenty of opportunities to explore the nearby natural and gastronomic attractions. 

Photo: B25es/Wikipedia

Castilla y León

Covarrubias
Located in the province of Burgos, along the Arlanza River, Covarrubias is an attractive little town of 541 people. Filled with half-timbered houses, it’s known as the ‘Cradle of Castilla’ because it was once the capital of one of the most important monastic manors. History buffs will love Covarrubias, because of the sheer number of historic sites and buildings in such as small place. The cost of living is €405 per person per week and there’s a public library, as well as several other facilities. 

Photo: Ecelan/Wikipedia

El Burgo de Osma
One of the largest towns on the list with a population of 5,035, El Burgo de Osma is located in the province of Soria and was declared a Town of Touristic Interest and of Historic and Artistic Importance. Filled with honey-coloured architecture and a plethora of historic sites, there’s plenty to do here. Sitting somewhere in the middle of Valladolid, Zaragoza and Madrid, it’s also ideally situated to reach various transport hubs. The town offers a coworking space and a library and has a cost of living of just €169 per person per week.  

El Burgo de Osma is welcoming remote workers. Photo: Andrés CorredorPixabay 

Santa Colomba de Somoza 
A 20-minute drive from the city of Astorga, Santa Colomba de Somoza lies in prime position for travel to nearby León and Ponferrada too. It has a population of 520 inhabitants and is known for tourism and gastronomy. You’ll always find foreigners travelling through here, as it’s located along the famed Camino de Santiago route. It’s home to a coworking space, as well as lots of other facilities, including bus service. The cost of living here is €310 per person per week.

Photo: Jim Anzalone/Flickr

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WORKING IN SPAIN

Your questions answered about Spain’s digital nomad visa

Spain's long-awaited digital nomad visa is finally available, but there is still much confusion about it, so we've answered all your burning questions.

Your questions answered about Spain's digital nomad visa

Spain’s Startups Law, which also introduced a new digital nomad visa, was approved at the end of 2022, but didn’t come into force until January 2023 and all the details are only just now being revealed. 

From how much money you need to your tax obligations and if you can bring family, members, here are all your questions answered. 

READ ALSO – REVEALED: Everything you need to know about applying for Spain’s digital nomad visa

What are the financial requirements to apply for the visa?

You must prove that you earn 200 percent of the SMI or Minimum Interprofessional Salary. On January 31st 2023, the Spanish government announced they would increase the minimum wage to €1,260 per month. 

This means that you must be able to prove that you will have an income of at least €2,520 per month or €30,240 per year. You can prove this amount either with job contracts, invoices or bank statements.

Can I bring family members with me on the visa?

Yes, you are permitted to bring partners and children with you to Spain on the digital nomad visa.

In order to add a family member, however, you must prove that you have an extra 75 percent of the SMI or minimum wage. This currently equates to an extra €945. For each additional family member after this, such as children, you will have to prove you have an extra 25 percent of the SMI, which is €315.

READ ALSO: Ten of the best cities for digital nomads to move to in Spain

Do I need private health care?

You must also make sure that you have either private or public health insurance, simply getting travel insurance with health coverage is not enough.

The Spanish government mentions the option of getting public health insurance instead of private cover, but it is not yet clear whether this means that you will have to contribute to the social security system or be eligible for the convenio especial – the public pay-in scheme.

Do I have to have any professional qualifications? 

You must prove that you either have professional qualifications or a degree relating to your job or that you have at least 3 years’ experience working in your field. 

How long is the visa valid for?

The visa will be valid for an initial period of one year, however, it can be renewed for up to five years. After that, if you want to continue living in Spain, you will be able to apply for permanent residency.

Does the visa give me access to travel around the EU?

Yes, once you have your visa and you’re in Spain, you will be able to apply for a residency card. This will allow you to travel throughout the EU during the time that you’re living in Spain.

Keep in mind though, it won’t give you the right to work or live in other EU countries, but you will be able to go for short breaks. 

How long do I have to stay in Spain for the visa to be valid?

Many digital nomads choose to split their time between different countries. If this is your case, and you want to split your time between back home in the US or the UK for example, you must make sure you stay in Spain for a maximum of 6 months per year for your visa to remain valid.

Do I have to pay tax in Spain?

Yes. If you stay longer than 183 days, then you will be considered a tax resident in Spain. This means that any money you earn while working in Spain, even if it comes from clients or companies abroad will be taxable.

However, the digital nomad visa grants you tax benefits, such as being able to pay the Non-Residents Tax Rate (IRNR) rather than the regular progressive income tax (IRPF) that Spain’s resident workers pay.

Non-Resident Tax was previously only applicable to non-residents such as second-home owners, but an exception has been made for digital nomad visa holders even if they spend more than 183 days a year in Spain and are therefore technically fiscal residents.

IRNR is generally 24 percent in Spain and digital nomads will be able to pay this instead of the more progressive rates, as long as they earn below €600,000 a year.

This favourable tax rate will be available for four years, if you choose to renew your visa. 

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