For anyone who has imagined working in Europe for a long time (and being able to travel freely around the region), there are more and more options for people who can work remotely. These digital nomads, or techpats, are increasingly being drawn to EU governments as a way to combat the economic impacts of the pandemic.
In Europe, a large number of countries already have programs to attract digital nomads – by definition, these are people who are already employed and can therefore immediately spend money in the country of their choice and help to revive the economy.
Applicants must show proof of already earning a stable income, often around $2,000, and most offer stays of up to a year, with the option of renewing the visa once or twice.
There are already schemes in Georgia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Iceland, Germany (where the scheme is called Aufenthaltserlaubnis für selbständige Tätigkeit), Norway, Portugal (where proof of income of $600 is sufficient and where the visa is renewable for a period of 5 years), Malta, Hungary and more recently Romania.
The main appeal of the digital nomad visa is how long someone can stay in a country – most visas are only for a period of three months and although a visa is not required to visit a country, one is needed if visiting it plans to stay longer than that. These nomadic visa regimes are much less bureaucratic than the more traditional regimes for obtaining work visas in EU countries.
And now Spain has announced that it is launching a digital nomad visa. People who work for clients or companies outside the country would be allowed to enter for six to 12 months without residency rights – visas could also be extended under the right conditions. euro news reported that it could be up to 3 years in some cases.
The program is part of Spain’s new Start Up law, which seeks to bring to life towns and villages whose populations are steadily shrinking, but whose beauty and location could attract people wishing to work remotely in new places. research.
30 villages, for example, have joined the Red Nacional de Pueblos Acogedores para el Teletrabajo (or National Network of Host Villages for Remote Workers). These are villages across the country with less than 5,000 inhabitants, offering great benefits to people who want to relocate temporarily or permanently.