Your trusted Marbella real estate agent and property specialist on the Golden Mile.
Spain to welcome digital nomads
5th Sept 2022
By Michael Dolan
The last couple of years have seen dramatic changes for a lot of people in how we view our homes, and our work/life balance. The maxim “a man's home is his castle” simply means that a home is the place of refuge and safety for a person. This has never rung truer than since the covid pandemic struck and we found ourselves confined to them for long periods of time. They became our place of shelter, as well as our offices, schools, playgrounds, bars, and restaurants.
We have had to find a space to work, occupy the kids and relax. Whilst it was extremely tough at the time, one of the positives that came from the experience is many people found that with modern technology - smartphones, laptops, and the internet - they could easily work from home, wherever in the world that may be.
Since national and international borders have opened, we have seen a lot of people move, renovate, extend, and generally reassess their living spaces. For some this has meant a bigger home, such as a move from an apartment to a villa. Others have decided to immigrate here to Spain from colder climates, taking full advantage of being able to work from home, in the sunshine, a “remote worker”. (And why not when you consider Spain is one of the most affordable countries in western Europe to live.)
Others still have decided to look to travel whilst they work …. joining the ever-growing legions of digital nomads.
What is a digital nomad?
The term Digital Nomad became popular in the late nineties, following the publication of the book by the same name, written by Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners. The authors reasoned that new technology would allow people to return to a nomadic state and exist on the move.
A digital nomad is someone who travels to different locations whilst working remotely. They often only need a laptop and can work anywhere with a Wi-Fi internet. Some even have their own travel Wi-Fi or mobile hotspot which enables them to log on wherever they can pick up a connection.
This gives them the flexibility to travel, all over the world - at the same time as working as a freelancer, or for a company that has a remote working policy - as long as they comply with the current regulations and visa requirements of the countries they visit and stay in.
Spain’s digital nomad visa requirements
If you have an EU/EEA/Swiss passport, you have freedom of movement throughout the EU and you already have the right to live and work in Spain without requiring a Spanish visa. However, if you are planning to be staying for longer than six months, you do need to formally register your residence.
For those visitors from outside of the EU/EEA Spain has clearly recognised the advantage of welcoming digital nomads, and in 2021 announced plans to launch a new visitor visa specifically geared towards them.
Whilst nothing has been made official yet (they are looking at introducing it in 2023), January 2022 saw a draft of the Startup Act approved by the Spanish parliament. This is the law that is responsible for the visa. According to the draft, Spain’s digital nomad visa will allow those qualifying to reside in Spain for five years and receive special tax exemptions by paying a non-income tax. This means people working remotely for foreign companies or as freelancers with numerous clients, will be permitted to live in the country without needing a full work visa.
The hope is this will encourage both talent and investment into Spain and is another positive move towards the country being recognised as an emerging centre for global business.
It is estimated that (worldwide) there were approx. 35 million digital nomads in 2021, with that number predicted to double over the next few years. And the single biggest challenge they claim to face …… is connecting to the internet.
Luckily Spain has a fantastic internet infrastructure in place – with over 82% of the population having access to a connection. Spain is well served by a variety of providers; speeds are generally good; and prices are fairly low. 3G and 4G is available throughout the country, and 5G is available in most cities and urban areas.
All in all, you can see why Spain is a popular choice for remote workers and digital nomads…and the introduction of the new visa is just going to encourage even more growth in these visitors and residents alike.
Property Sales in Marbella
With its sunny beaches, year-round temperate climate, a rich cultural calendar and mouth-watering food, there are plenty of reasons why the Costa del Sol is the perfect place to drop anchor and spend some time chilling, relaxing, and exploring. Whether it is a short stay or a more extended visit, Marbella, and the surrounding areas of Estepona, Benahavis, San Pedro de Alcántara and Nueva Andalucia all have lots to offer.
There is an eclectic mix of urbanisations and developments - the prestigious, the picturesque, and the tranquil - which attracts a variety of different people and nationalities. If what you are looking for is a relaxed way of life with plenty of sunshine, close to a bustling metropolis with lots to do, the Costa del Sol is, without a doubt, the place to buy a property in Spain.
2022 is gearing up to be an exceptional year for property sales. We are seeing a huge demand for all categories of real estate - apartments, townhouses, detached villas - and we are actively looking for all types of properties for our buyers. Whether it is a holiday getaway destination or a family home you are after - Marbella is the place to be. It is a vendor’s market and if you are looking to sell, now is the time.
We are based in the heart of Marbella’s Golden Mile and specialise in high quality, desirable properties in prime residential locations. We understand that choosing a new home is a big step, and for those of you buying or selling a property in a foreign country, it can be very stressful. Our team of real estate experts provide a full ‘hands on’ service.
Dolan Property specialists are committed to the highest levels of business and ethical standards, and we are proud members of the Leading Property Agents of Spain (LPA).
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