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What will Spain's income requirement for the digital nomad visa be?

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What will Spain's income requirement for the digital nomad visa be?
Digital nomads in a co-working space. Photo: MANDEL NGAN / AFP

Spain's new digital nomad visa will have to compete with other countries' alluring residency offers for remote workers. What is Spain's minimum income requirement likely to be and how will it stack up against other nations' visas?


Spain approved its Startups Law in November 2022 which includes a one-year digital nomad visa (extendable up to five years) to allow remote workers to come and live and work in the country. 

FEBRUARY 2023 UPDATE: Spain has announced income requirement for the digital nomad visa

In a nutshell, it will grant non-EU freelancers and remote workers entry and residency rights in Spain, with less bureaucratic obstacles than there currently are and enticing tax benefits.


Many nomads have been waiting with bated breath to learn all about Spain's digital nomad visa, which has been in the works for over a year and countless remote workers are ready to make the move.


But as of yet, all the details of the visa haven’t been released and we don’t know what the final requirements will be, including how much you’ll have to earn to be eligible.

Most digital nomad visas around the world require you to prove that you earn a minimum monthly and these amounts can range dramatically, so what will Spain's requirement be?

What do other European countries require digital nomads to earn?

Croatia has been offering its digital nomad visa since January 2021 and requires its applicants to prove they have a monthly income of €2,361 per month.

Malta’s Nomad Residency Permit states its applicants must have a slightly higher amount of €2,700 gross per month, while Hungary’s White Card (its version of the digital nomad visa) requires a slightly lower amount at €2,000 per month.

Most seem to hover around the €2,000 mark However, there are several countries in Europe that require nomads to prove they have a monthly income of above €3,000.

Those wanting to move to Romania must prove an income of €3,300 per month, to Greece of €3,500 per month and Estonia of €3,504 per month.

These relatively high amounts for the last three countries may indeed prevent many digital nomads from moving to these nations, so if Spain wants to attract as many remote workers as possible as is its aim, it should keep in mind to set a reasonable amount.


Portugal, which is currently one of the top destinations for digital nomads in the world, recently announced their new digital nomad visa and requirements. The average monthly income for the last three months must be equivalent to at least four times the national minimum wage in Portugal, which is currently €705 per month. This means they will need to prove a monthly income of at least €2,820.  

How much money will you need to earn to obtain Spain's digital nomad visa?

Spanish media have been speculating how high Spain will set the bar and all of them estimate that it is likely to be around €2,000 a month gross, around twice the country's minimum wage.

It's worth stressing that nobody within Spain's government has yet suggested an amount, nor was a figure included in the draft law published following its approval by the Spanish Parliament.

It will be up to Spain's Economic Affairs Ministry and crucially the Senate to decide what the minimum amount required is before the law comes into force in early 2023. 

The closest type of residency permit Spain has to the digital nomad visa is the non-lucrative visa, which allows you to live in Spain for a year. The main stipulation though is that you’re not allowed to work, so it has so far precluded digital nomads.

Up until now, many digital nomads have in fact come to Spain either on tourist visas or have been using the non-lucrative visa and hiding the fact that they’ve been working, as technically you’re not allowed to, even if it’s for companies outside of Spain.

READ MORE: What are the current rules on remote working and taxes in Spain?

One of the main requirements of the non-lucrative visa is that applicants must prove they have a passive income of €2,316 per month from investments, rental income, pensions or other passive income abroad.

This equals 400 percent of the IPREM and the Spanish government could certainly choose a similar amount for its nomad visa.

Another fact to keep in mind is that the financial requirements for Spain's non-lucrative visa and the golden visa (residency through property or investment) are both considerably higher than Portugal's requisites, so will Spanish authorities really be willing to lower the bar below Portugal's mark when it comes to the digital nomad visa?


Digital nomad profile

According to the website Digital Nomad World, in 2022 the average digital nomad is 40 years old. However, those in their 30s make up 47 percent. A surprising 61 percent of all digital nomads started their journey in their 20s.

Male digital nomads are most likely to work in marketing, IT/development and digital design, while female nomads mostly have jobs in the creative or marketing industries such as digital design, writing and animation.

The majority of both male and female remote workers are self-employed, so their income is likely to fluctuate month to month, another factor the Spanish government should keep in mind when deciding on the financial requirements. 

The majority of them are married or travel with a partner, but do not have children.

Studies from the Digital Marketing Institute suggest that one in five digital nomads who come from the US make between $50,000 (€48,200 or €4,000 a month) and $99,000 a year (€95,450 or €7,950 a month). This is typically more than their European counterparts would earn and especially more than those working in creative industries such as writing.

It also means that four out of five US digital nomads earn less, and many may struggle to show monthly earnings that are above €3,000 if Spain sets the bar that high.


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