With the shift towards remote work becoming a permanent part of employment culture, and the world fighting to win back tourist dollars, countries are starting to target a unique group of travellers.
Digital nomads are on the rise; setting themselves up in other countries and working from their laptops for an extended period of time.
Visas used to be the issue with this type of lifestyle; you could traditionally only spend 30 – 90 days in a country as a tourist, and didn’t have the legal right to work.
But that’s all changing, and with 50+ countries now offering generous long term visas specifically for remote workers, the question then becomes which one to choose as your base.
If you’re looking for a country with an affordable cost of living, an amazing healthcare system, incredible places to explore on your days off, and year round sunshine, there’s really only one country to consider; Spain.
Reasons to Work Remotely From Spain
Affordable Cost of Living
When you’re working remotely, there’s a high chance that you’re earning in a different currency to that of the country you’re living. And this can often cause a disparity against the cost of living.
But regardless of whether you’re eanring in USD, GBP, AUD, or EUR, the cost of living in Spain is far cheaper than the rest of Western Europe.
As a single remote worker, your monthly costs without rent will average around 2,000€. Even if you’re earning in a weaker currency like the Australian dollar, the actual cost of living is 31% lower than in Aus, and rent in Spain is 40% lower.
Rent is still 33% lower than in countries like the UK.
Spain provides universal healthcare coverage, and even as an expat you have access to the medical system. With all of that extra cash you can put it into exploring Spain’s incredible places.
Generous Digital Nomad Visa
Spain has a great record of offering talent visas; since 2013 they’ve had an entrepreneur visa, the golden visa and many other residency opportunities.
But now Spain will be offering a Digital Nomad Visa; a residence permit for non EU residents that can be extended up to 5 years for you to live and work remotely from Spain.
While there are plenty of countries now offering similar visas, Spain is offering one of the most generous. You’re originally granted a year, with a pathway to then apply for a 3 year resident permit, which you can renew for another 2 years.
You can include your whole family on the same application, and their Non-Resident Income Tax Regime means paying a flat rate of between 15 – 24% on your income, instead of a progressive rate that can reach up to 48%.
The visa should be available from 2023, with a minimum income requirement of between €2,000 and €3,000 a month. You can learn more about this new visa here.
Year Round Sunshine
Travelers and expats alike are attracted to Spain because of it’s amazing climate, and with 300+ days of Mediterranean sunshine, it’s a fantastic place to base yourself as a remote worker.
If you’ve recently transitioned from working in a dark office cubicle, you’ll be pleasently surprised with the weather in Spain; it’s the sunniest country in Europe, and even in the winter, the daytime temperature in places like Costa del Sol often reaches 15 to 20C (59 to 68F).
Besides having guarenteed good weather to explore and plan activities on your off days, there is also a link between weather and work produtivity.
For most, a bright and sunny day means workers tend to be more productive. Sunlight has a positive impact on mood and personal outlook, and this positivity means higher produtivity than on gloomy days.
So – if your boss has been trying to increase your productivity, you have a very good case to present for moving to Spain!
An Incredible Base for Exploring
There’s no doubt that Spain is an incredible country, and if you’ve previously been stuck in a destination where you’re bored on weekends, it’ll be the complete opposite in Spain.
There are world class art museums in Madrid, modernist architecture in Barcelona, beaches of the Balearic islands, cultural sightseeing in Seville, and layers of history in places like Toledo.
Getting around in Spain is cheap, fast, and easy; locally there are fantastic bus and metro systems across the country, and it’s a very short and cheap flight to get around not only Spain, but also into other regions within Europe and Northern Africa (like Egypt and Morocco).
Culture of Siesta
Your boss can’t threaten to fire you for napping in the afternoon in Spain – it’s actually part of the culture!
Siesta is a culture in Spain where from 2 pm – 4 pm each day is a rest period (even on work days). Businesses close, because Spanish culture is all about a relaxed lifestyle, and not overworking yourself to the point of stress.
Work usually starts in Spain around 10am, so you can enjoy a breezy morning, followed by your afternoon sisesta, and then most Spaniards log off around 8 pm.
With all of this in mind – cheap cost of living, year round sunshine, incredible diversity of things to do, and a culture which prioritizes life over work, what more reason do you need to apply for the digital nomad visa to work remotely from Spain!