Thinking about living in Ibiza as a digital nomad?

Ibiza Spanish visa

Moving to Ibiza as a digital nomad

Working remotely wasn’t an entirely new concept, but when COVID-19 shut everything down unexpectedly in 2020, it became a necessity. Many businesses and employees who’d never even considered the possibility of home working were suddenly discovering the benefits.

Once people experienced the convenience and flexibility of the “WFH” or hybrid-working lifestyle, hardly anyone wanted to go back to being chained to an office desk full-time. Instead, it inspired a huge wave of “work from anywhere” freelancers – commonly known as digital nomads.

For many remote workers, all they need is a laptop and a secure internet connection to do their job. This means they don’t even have to work from home – they could theoretically work from wherever they happen to be, giving them the freedom to keep moving from place to place.

Whether you’re looking for a long-term or short-term relocation, what better place to move to than Spain as you switch to the digital nomad lifestyle? There are plenty of prime spots for professionals to move to throughout the country, including several Spanish islands.

If you want to settle down somewhere sunny for a little while and enjoy Mediterranean beaches while you work remotely, why not move to Ibiza? This blog from Manzanares Lawyers explores the ins and outs of living in Ibiza as a digital nomad, and the legal implications you should be aware of.

 

Why move to Ibiza to work remotely?

Known as the White Isle or White Island, Ibiza has a reputation for being a party hotspot in the summer – but there’s far more to it than that. The island has many faces, with the south attracting young tourists and hustling creatives, while the north side has a calmer pace of life that’s more suitable for families and relaxing in tranquil nature.

Not only can you enjoy crystalline turquoise seas and white sand beaches, but Ibiza is also home to idyllic coves, pine forests, and stunning mountains. Beyond the hustle and bustle of the summer party season, Ibiza is the ideal place to find inspiration and lean in to peaceful productivity.

With a mixed international community and plenty of things to do whenever you fancy a change of scenery, it’s impossible to get bored in Ibiza – but it’s easy to achieve a fulfilling balance between your work life and personal growth as a digital nomad.

As one of the largest of the Balearic Islands, and the most popular Airbnb destination in the world on a list that includes several other locations in Spain, Ibiza is an excellent choice for freelancers looking for somewhere to set up shop for a while.

There is a growing sector of co-working spaces in Ibiza that provide a place for digital nomads without their own office to telecommute from in comfort and security, so you don’t have to worry about working from a hotel room or hunting down a café with stable Wi-Fi.

Life in Ibiza is the epitome of freedom and flexibility, as shown by the increasing numbers of freelancers and even remote employees who move to the island for a taste of the unique lifestyle and opportunities that can’t be found anywhere else.

 

Digital nomad visas in Spain

Spain has been drafting legislation with the aim of boosting the country’s economy for a while now. The Start-up Act intends to attract entrepreneurs to Spain to start their own businesses, and to draw remote workers like digital nomads who can increase local talent pools – all of whom will also invest more money into the Spanish communities they join.

As part of this Act, the Spanish government plans to introduce a new type of Spanish work visa that’s specifically for digital nomads. This is expected to come into effect by the end of 2022, so foreign nationals travelling to Spain can apply for a digital nomad visa that allows them to stay in the country while working for up to 12 months, without having to apply for a Spanish residency permit.

This should streamline the often paperwork-heavy process of obtaining and renewing Spanish visas, and would also come with tax incentives – potentially charging a 15% rate for Spanish non-resident tax for up to 4 years, instead of the usual 25%.

Theoretically, this is much easier and more appealing for freelancers and entrepreneurs than current Spanish visa options. Temporary tourist visas don’t allow people to work while they’re in Spain, and nor do non-lucrative visas for residency without participation in economic activities. The new digital nomad visa would allow people to experience life in Spain for a limited period while legally earning an income, without the formalities of applying for a full work visa or full residency permit.

 

Who can get a digital nomad visa in Spain?

Though it hasn’t officially been introduced yet, the Spanish digital nomad visa is expected to be open to non-EU and non-EEA remote workers who are either have non-Spanish employers or earn less than 20% of their income from Spanish companies.

Anyone with an EU passport or citizens of Schengen countries are already able to work remotely in Spain for less than 6 months without having to officially register as a resident, so they won’t need this type of visa to spend a few months in Spain as a digital nomad.

Spain’s digital nomad visa is likely to last for 1 year, with approved holders able to renew this up to two more times if they continue to meet the requirements. These are likely to include:

  • ⦿ Carrying out work that can be done remotely
  • ⦿ Having already worked remotely for at least 1 year
  • ⦿ Working remotely for at least one company outside of Spain (if freelance)
  • ⦿ Having a professional remote working relationship with a company for at least 3 months (if under contract)

As with other Spanish visas, applicants will probably need to attend appointments at their local Spanish embassy or consulate before obtaining permission to work from within Spain while visiting the country for a limited period of time.

 

Get help from Ibiza lawyers

Until the Spanish digital nomad visa is properly introduced, there are many complex legal issues around freelancing in Ibiza or anywhere else in Spain. You’ll have to take Spanish immigration law and Spanish employment law into account, as well as Spanish income tax (and potentially Spanish corporation tax, if you’re working for a company outside of Spain).

The point of the proposed digital nomad visa is to minimise these concerns for both freelancers and employers, so it will definitely be a gamechanger when it comes into law. However, even then, you can’t overlook the intricacies of issues like local labour rights, data protection, and health and safety regulations – where the guidance of Ibiza lawyers will be invaluable.

While the digital nomad visa isn’t available yet, there’s no harm in planning ahead – or, if you’re ready to move to Ibiza much sooner, it’s still a good idea to get in touch with lawyers in Ibiza.

For professional advice on the legal implications of living and working in Ibiza, contact Manzanares Lawyers by emailing your enquiries to clientservices@manzanareslawyers.com – or call our Ibiza office directly on +34 971 30 31 32 to speak to a member of our expert legal team today.

 

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