Digital Nomad Visa Comparison: Spain vs. Panama

A comparison of remote work visas for Spain and Panama.

Digital Nomad Visa Comparison: Spain vs. Panama

Spain vs Panama: Comparing Digital Nomad Visa Requirements

About Spain

Spain is a beautiful Mediterranean country offering unique charm and diverse experiences for digital nomads. Known for its vibrant culture, friendly people, and dynamic cities, Spain is a top choice for many remote workers.

Special Visa for International Teleworkers under Startup Act 28/2022

Spain offers a special visa program for digital nomads, dubbed the “Special Visa for International Teleworkers under Startup Act 28/2022." Let's take a look at the program requirements:

Cost of Visa TBC within the instruction yet to be published (before 31 March 2023)
Length of Stay Visa is valid only for one year; residence permit is valid up to 3 years.
Income Requirement The freelance applicant is required to earn at least 80 percent of income from outside of Spain.

Conditions and Requirements

  • Certificate of Social Security coverage (If there is an agreement with the country of origin) or registration in the Spanish social security accrediting at least the application for registration of the foreign company before the Spanish Social Security and the commitment to register once the authorization before the start of work.
  • Public or private health insurance. Travel insurance is not accepted (Not necessary in the case of registration with Spanish Social Security).
  • The applicants are required to provide police background check of the country/countries they resided in the past 2 years, along with the affidavit of clean criminal record.
  • Being Qualified professionals: (i) graduates or postgraduates from universities of recognized prestige, (ii) professional training and business schools of recognized prestige, or (iii) with a minimum of three years' professional experience.
  • Proof of being employed with the employer (outside of Spain) for at least one year continuously and permit to work remotely.
  • In case of contractual employment, proof of professional relationship with an entity (outside of Spain) for no less than three months and permit to work remotely.
  • In case of freelancing, proof of working with at least one non-Spanish company from at least the past three months and providing terms and conditions allowing to work remotely.
  • Work through the exclusive use of means and systems, computer science, telematics and telecommunication.
  • Valid experience and technical knowledge for the job performance.
  • Clean criminal records.
  • Tax residence criteria is the same than for other visa holders. However, please note they may be eligible for the Special Tax Regime and, if they fulfill all the requirements, they would be taxed on their salary income at a 24% flat rate (up to 600k, 47% onwards) and their foreign source private income (such as capital gains, dividends, interests or income from real estate) would not be subject to taxation in Spain.

About Panama

Panama is a Central American country renowned for its natural beauty, tropical climate, and vibrant culture. It's an up-and-coming digital nomad hotspot, offering many attractions and amenities for remote workers.

Short Stay Visa under Executive Decree No. 198

Panama's digital nomad visa is a short-stay visa program, valid for up to nine months. Let's take a look at the program requirements:

Cost of Visa National immigration service: US$250; Visa Card: US$50
Length of Stay 9 months with an option to renew once for an additional 9 months.
Income Requirement US$36,000 Annually

Conditions and Requirements

  • Proof of medical insurance for stay duration
  • Three passport-sized photographs
  • Certificate of good health
  • Affidavit of non-acceptance of work offer in Panama
  • Required clean criminal record
  • Proof of income and subsistence.
  • The applicant cannot provide his services to any employer in Panama.

Choosing between Spain and Panama

Both Spain and Panama offer unique opportunities and experiences for digital nomads, making them top destinations for remote work. While Spain has a more comprehensive visa program, Panama's digital nomad visa is ideal for those looking for a short stay with lower income requirements. The choice ultimately depends on individual preferences, work requirements, and desired cultural experiences.