Digital Nomad Visa Comparison: Spain vs. Portugal

A comparison of remote work visas for Spain and Portugal.

Digital Nomad Visa Comparison: Spain vs. Portugal

Digital Nomad Visa Programs in Spain and Portugal

If you're looking to live the digital nomad life in Europe, Spain and Portugal offer attractive visa programs. Both countries offer stunning landscapes, rich cultures, and affordable living costs. If you're considering applying for a digital nomad visa in either country, it's important to be aware of the requirements.

Spain's Special Visa for International Teleworkers under Startup Act 28/2022

If you're a digital nomad looking to live in Spain, the Special Visa for International Teleworkers under Startup Act 28/2022 may be an option worth considering.

Standard Visa 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)
  • Police background check of the country/countries they resided in the past 2 years, along with the affidavit of clean criminal record

Special Criteria for Digital Nomads

  • Visa is valid only for one year
  • Residence permit is valid up to 3 years
  • The freelance applicant is required to earn at least 80 percent of income from outside of Spain
  • 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

Taxation Requirements

While tax residence criteria is the same as for other visa holders, digital nomads in Spain may be eligible for the Special Tax Regime. 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.

Portugal's Residency Nomad Visa and Temporary Nomad Visa

If you're a digital nomad looking to live in Portugal, you have two visa options: The Residency Nomad Visa and the Temporary Nomad Visa.

Requirements for Both Visas

  • Application form
  • Proof of average required monthly income for the past three months
  • Proof of employment or self-employment
  • Passport valid for 3 months beyond the intended duration of stay
  • Proof of immigration status if not a citizen of the country of residence
  • Return Ticket/ transport document
  • Two passport-sized photos
  • A form authorizing access to Portuguese a criminal record maintained by SEF

Residency Nomad Visa

  • Processing Fee: EUR 90
  • Valid for an initial period of 120 days and is converted to a residence permit after entry
  • If the applicant stays in the country for more than 183 days in a year, then he might be considered a tax resident of the country

Temporary Nomad Visa

  • Processing Fee: EUR 75
  • Issued for 91 to 356 days (cannot be extended or converted to a residence permit)
  • The applicant must continue to remain employed abroad.

Additional Requirements for Residency Nomad Visa

  • Indication of health care coverage
  • Account in a Portuguese bank
  • Required criminal record from the country of residence and every country the applicant has resided in for over a year

Additional Requirements for Temporary Nomad Visa

  • Original bank statements
  • Minors under 16 years are exempt from providing criminal record documents

Income Requirement

The applicant is required to have a monthly income equivalent to at least four times the Portuguese minimum wage, which is around EUR 2,820 or US$2,750 per month.

Choosing Between Spain and Portugal

Choosing between Spain and Portugal as a digital nomad destination depends largely on your personal preferences and work requirements. While Spain offers a special visa for digital nomads, it may have some strict requirements, particularly for freelancers. Portugal provides two visa options, and both require proof of remote work and a specific income requirement. However, Portugal may be a more flexible option with a longer visa duration and more relaxed tax requirements.