Digital nomads are back to Europe in droves now that the continent’s not only lifted their years-long entry curbs but went as far as launching new, easy migration paths for the category.
One of these countries that are warming up to digital nomadism is Spain, a sunny hub that’s long been considered exclusively a summer destination yet now has been reinventing itself as a mid to long-term remote work capital:
Spain Is One Of Europe’s Main Digital Nomad Hotspots
The largest country to occupy the Iberian Peninsula of Europe, easily the continent’s warmest region, Spain has a long history spanning several millennia, and its cultural dominance precedes it.
It ruled a vast empire that stretched from its European mainland as far West as the American continent, and even though you might have never been to Spain yourself, you are familiar with the language, at least partly, the flavorful cuisine and the music.
Spain is what we call a ‘soft’ power, meaning it has influenced the rest of the world culturally for centuries now, but other than the fact it is extremely popular for tourists, why is it also silently becoming one of the trendiest digital nomad spots?
Spain Boasts A High Quality Of Life
First of all, Spain boasts the highest quality of life indices compared to most countries, as verified by Expat Insider last year.
Expats – and this includes residing nomads – are particularly fond of the culinary and dining options, with 91% of them approving Spain’s food scene and the cultural offers and nightlife.
Again, over 90% of them like Spain for its recreational activities.
Additionally, more than nine in ten are happy with the weather, with certain parts of Spain, notably Andalusia, enjoying summer and fall-like temperatures well into winter.
Digital Nomads Are Happy With The Infrastructure In Spain
Furthermore, digital nomads are highly satisfied with the infrastructure and great services they can access in Spain, from affordable healthcare to a wide range of coworking spots and affordable housing away from the touristy cities.
Unlike the United States, Spain has a public-funded health system all nationals and residents can access, and this includes expats residing in the country legally.
With that being said, nomads are normally required to take out health insurance, as they cannot be employed by a Spain-based company, nor benefit from social and health services while residing in the country temporarily as long-term tourists.
Still, those who opt to apply for some kind of visa and set up formal residency in Spain have remarked that the welfare state is one of their highlights.
Spain Is Incredibly Safe
Furthermore, Spain has a high level of safety compared to other European countries like France or England.
While pickpocketing is a common issue in urban centers, rates of violent crime and assault are fairly low, and the occurrence of terror attacks, a major concern amidst rising tensions in the Middle East and the overspill of conflict in Europe, is less pronounced.
Whether they are strolling that boardwalk at leisure or working from a cafe alfresco as they people-watch, nomads can be sure they will seldom be targeted by robbers for their belongings.
Believe It Or Not, Spain Can Be Affordable To Live
According to NomadList, currently the largest community for digital nomads online, some of the cheapest cities you can reside in as a remote worker include Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where monthly expenses average US$1,979, Malaga (US$2,809), and Seville, the Andalusian capital (US$2,840).
Spain is certainly no Balkan country or incredibly cheap Eastern European destination, but budget-conscious nomads will find it can be relatively affordable as a home base, especially because consumer prices are not exorbitant.
A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Seville costs roughly US$11.63, while rent can be 57.6% cheaper than other Western European cities, like Paris or London.
The same cannot be said about Madrid or Barcelona, two of Spain’s most sought-after, touristy, and thus expensive cities to live in.
Spain Has A Digital Nomad Visa
There are many ways you can go about planning your relocation to Spain.
It all depends on how long, under which circumstances, and your own personal situation. Americans can stay in Spain – and the wider Schengen Area – for 90 days out of any 180 rolling block of days visa-free, after which period they have to leave for an additional 90 before being able to be readmitted.
Those who choose to base themselves in Spain for temporary blocks of time of 90 days each will be doing so as tourists, and they will either be required to exit the Schengen Area after these periods are up and wait for the clock to restart in a non-Schengen country (such as Albania or Montenegro), or return to their home country.
This may not be ideal for some, particularly those hoping to establish stronger links in Spain and make it their permanent home.
In this case, obtaining a visa in advance that permits you to stay longer than the allowed 90 days is required, and fortunately, Spain has launched its very own Digital Nomad Visa, but not without a series of requirements.
Applicants must be able to prove they can financially support themselves while working remotely from Spain by proving they earn a certain amount of money monthly. They must take out health insurance covering the entirety of their stay and present a clean criminal record, among other documentation.
The Spanish DNV enables them to remain in Spain – and the Schengen territory – for longer than 90 days at a time until their one or two-year visa expires. Unless, of course, they choose to extend it.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com