The ultimate guide for digital nomads in Costa del Sol

Carmen Duran - Dec 4, 2023 - Noticias Pure Living

Digital Nomad Visa

In recent years, the concept of remote work has revolutionized the professional world, leading to the rise of digital nomads. Marbella, known for its perfect climate and cosmopolitan atmosphere, has emerged as a prime destination for digital nomads. This has significantly influenced the luxury real estate market.

At Pure Living Properties, we’ve noticed a growing interest in the region, especially in Marbella’s Golden Triangle, Estepona, and Benahavís, from digital nomads. Therefore, we aim to help you understand everything about the digital nomad visa, particularly if you’re considering Marbella and the Costa del Sol as your next destination.


Download our comprehensive market report on Digital Nomads in Marbella and the Costa del Sol for exclusive insights.

digital nomad market report

FAQs: Digital Nomad Visa

1.What is a Digital Nomad and Why is Marbella Ideal for Them?

A digital nomad uses technology to work remotely from anywhere in the world. This lifestyle offers unprecedented freedom, allowing professionals to live and work in various cities or countries without being tied to a physical office. Digital nomads are often freelancers, entrepreneurs, or employees who have the flexibility to work remotely from their companies.

Marbella boasts over 300 sunny days a year, making it an attractive place to live and work. Its Mediterranean climate ensures a pleasant work environment, both indoors and outdoors. The Costa del Sol offers modern infrastructure, including high-speed internet, essential for remote work. Additionally, its proximity to international airports makes travel, for business or leisure, convenient.

Marbella is home to a diverse, multicultural community, facilitating integration and establishing international contacts. The city offers an exceptional work environment and a high standard of living, including access to top-notch restaurants, leisure activities, beaches, and vibrant nightlife.

Safety and quality of life in Marbella are key factors for many digital nomads. The city provides a peaceful and safe environment, ideal for those seeking a work-life balance.

2. How Can I Obtain a Digital Nomad Visa in Spain?

Getting a Digital Nomad Visa in Spain has been simplified to attract professionals globally. This visa allows digital nomads to live and work legally in Spain, enjoying its benefits and lifestyle. Here are the steps and requirements:

  1. Basic Requirements:
  • Age: Must be over 18.
  • Stable Income: Proof of sufficient regular income for self and family, if applicable.
  • Remote Work: Employment with a company outside Spain or self-employed with clients mainly outside Spain.
  1. Necessary Documentation:
  • Proof of Income: Bank statements or financial documents demonstrating economic stability.
  • Health Insurance: Valid medical insurance covering your stay in Spain.
  • Criminal Records: Certificate from your country of origin and any country where you’ve lived in the last five years.
  1. Visa Types: 
  • Long-Term Visa: Up to five years, renewable.
  • Short-Term Visa: Usually for one year, ideal for shorter stays or testing life in Spain.
  1. Application Process:
  • At the Spanish Consulate: Apply at the Spanish consulate or embassy in your home country or residence.
  • In Spain: If you’re already in Spain on a tourist visa, you can switch your status to digital nomad in the country.
  1. Submitting the Application:
  • Complete the application form and submit all necessary documents at the consulate or through designated Spanish government channels.
  1. Approval Wait Time:
  • Processing time varies, but a response is typically expected within 20 days. If no response is received, the application is considered approved by administrative silence.
  1. Receiving the Visa and Planning the Move:
  • Once your visa is approved, you can start planning your move to Spain, specifically to Marbella.

Note that this process may vary slightly depending on your personal situation and current Spanish government policies. It is recommended to consult the nearest Spanish embassy or consulate for up-to-date and specific information.

At Pure Living Properties, we can offer additional assistance and advice to help you settle in Marbella, ensuring a smooth transition to life in Spain.

proceso visa nómada digital

3. Duration and Renewal of the Digital Nomad Visa

  • Initial Visa: The visa can be granted for an initial period of one year if the application is made from outside Spain.
  • First Renewal: If you are in Spain, you can apply for a digital nomad residence card valid for three years.
  • Subsequent Renewals: After the first three-year residence card, renewals for successive two-year periods are allowed.

Renewal Process

  1. Planning: Begin the renewal process several months before your current visa expires to avoid any unforeseen issues.
  2. Meeting Requirements: To renew the visa, you must continue to meet the original requirements, such as the required income level and health insurance.
  3. Documentation: Present updated documentation proving your continued eligibility, including proof of ongoing income, valid health insurance, and evidence that you are still working remotely for a non-Spanish company or maintaining your international clients.
  4. Application: Apply at the Foreigner’s Office (Oficina de Extranjería) or local police, depending on your location in Spain.
  5. Processing Time: Processing time may vary, but a decision is typically expected within 60 days of the application date.

Time spent in Spain under the Digital Nomad Visa may count towards permanent residency and eventually Spanish citizenship, subject to meeting additional requirements set by Spanish law.

4. What Does Having Sufficient Income for the Digital Nomad Visa Mean?

Having sufficient income for the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain means proving that you can support yourself financially during your stay in the country without needing local employment or state social assistance. This is crucial to ensure that digital nomads can live comfortably and contribute to the economy without burdening the Spanish system. The specific details are:

  • Visa holders must demonstrate the availability of funds equivalent to 2,200 euros (200% of the Spanish minimum wage).
  • For the first dependent (spouse or partner), an additional 825 euros (75% of the minimum wage) is required.
  • For additional dependents (children), 275 euros each (25% of the minimum wage) is needed.

Proof of these incomes should be provided through bank statements or other financial documentation showing your economic capacity. These should reflect regular and stable income over time, sourced from outside Spain.

marbella para nómadas digitales

5. Can I Bring My Family Members with the Digital Nomad Visa?

Yes, you can bring your family members with the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain. The visa allows for the inclusion of your family members in your application, enabling them to legally live in Spain with you. The specific details are:

  1. Accepted Family Members:
  • Spouse or Registered Partner: You can include your spouse or registered partner with whom you have a stable union.
  • Dependent Children: Includes your children under 18 years of age, or older if they are still economically dependent on you and do not have their own families.
  • Other Dependents: In certain cases, you can include other financially dependent family members, like dependent parents.
  1. Requirements for Dependents:
  • Proof of Economic Dependency: You must prove that you have the economic capacity to support your family members during their stay in Spain.
  • Health Insurance: Like the main applicant, family members must have valid health insurance in Spain.
  • Additional Documentation: Additional documentation, such as marriage or birth certificates, is required to verify the family relationship.
  1. Application Process:
  • Family members should be included in your initial visa application, or you can apply for their inclusion after your visa has been granted.

6. Is a Work Contract Necessary for the Digital Nomad Visa, or Can One Be Self-Employed?

For the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain, it’s not strictly necessary to have a work contract with a company. You can be either an employee (with a work contract) or self-employed (freelancer or individual entrepreneur). Both options are viable as long as you meet certain criteria:

  1. For Employees:
  • If employed by a company, it must be located outside Spain.
  • You must demonstrate the ability to work remotely, and that your employer allows this work mode.
  • It’s important to have an established employment relationship with the company, usually for at least three months before applying for the visa.
  1. For Self-Employed:
  • If you are self-employed, your clients should primarily be outside Spain.
  • You should be able to prove your ability to work remotely and sustain yourself financially.
  • Having a stable and continuous work history is beneficial for the application process.

7. Time Restrictions for the Digital Nomad Visa: Staying Outside Spain

The Digital Nomad Visa in Spain, like other residency visas, has restrictions on how much time you can spend outside the country without risking your residency status. While the visa is designed for digital nomads, who may naturally want to travel, it’s important to understand and respect these restrictions:

  1. General Rule for Long-term Residencies:

Como titular de una visa de residencia en España, no debes permanecer fuera del país por más de 6 meses consecutivos en un período de un año. Permanecer fuera de España por más de este tiempo podría interpretarse como una falta de intención de residir permanentemente en el país, lo cual es un requisito clave para la mayoría de las visas de residencia.

  1. Consequences of Exceeding the Limit:

Si superas el límite de tiempo permitido fuera de España, corres el riesgo de que tu visa sea revocada o no renovada. Esto es especialmente relevante cuando buscas renovar tu visa o si estás considerando solicitar la residencia permanente o la ciudadanía en el futuro.

  1. Special Considerations:

En circunstancias especiales, como por razones de salud, estudio o trabajo (siempre que no contravengan las condiciones de la visa), es posible solicitar una autorización para extender el período fuera de España. Estos casos se deben discutir y aprobar individualmente.

8. Importance of Criminal Records for the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain

Criminal records play a crucial role in the application process for the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain. When applying for any type of residency visa, including the Digital Nomad Visa, the Spanish government evaluates your criminal history to determine your suitability as a resident. Key aspects related to criminal records include:

  1. Criminal Record Certificate:
  • You must present a criminal record certificate from your country of origin and any country where you have lived in the last five years.
  • This certificate should be translated into Spanish (if necessary) and legalized or apostilled to be accepted by Spanish authorities.
    1. Validity of the Certificate:
  • The criminal record certificate must be recent, typically no older than 90 days from its issue at the time of visa application.
  • Not all offenses recognized in other countries are considered the same in Spain, so records will be evaluated according to Spanish law.
  • Spain will also check that you are not rejected in any Schengen Area country.
  • Even if you obtain the visa, the presence of criminal records can affect future visa renewals, applications for permanent residency, or citizenship.
La Costa del Sol vida de calidad

9. Tax Benefits of the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain

  1. Reduced Tax Rate in Non-Resident Income Tax (IRNR):
  • Holders of the Digital Nomad Visa can benefit from a reduced tax rate in the Non-Resident Income Tax (IRNR).
  • For annual incomes up to 600,000 euros, the applicable tax rate is 24%, significantly lower than the progressive tax scales for regular residents.
  • For incomes exceeding 600,000 euros, the tax rate increases but remains competitive compared to resident rates.
  1. Exemption from Wealth Tax:
  • Digital Nomad Visa holders are exempt from paying wealth tax, which can mean significant savings, especially for high-net-worth individuals.
  1. Exemption from Foreign Asset Declaration (Model 720):
  • You are not required to file the informative declaration of foreign assets (Model 720), simplifying your tax obligations and reducing administrative burdens.
  1. Deferred Payment of IRNR:
  • There is an option to defer the payment of IRNR for the first two years of having a positive taxable base, without additional interest. This offers greater financial flexibility for digital nomads in their early years in Spain.
  1. Special Tax Regime Duration:
  • The special tax regime’s duration is subject to specific regulations and may vary.
  1. Specific Application Process:
  • To avail of this tax regime, a specific application process with the Spanish Tax Agency is necessary, which must be initiated within six months from obtaining residency authorization.

These tax benefits make the Digital Nomad Visa an attractive option for professionals looking to optimize their tax burden while enjoying a flexible lifestyle in Spain. It’s important to note that these tax rules are subject to change and it’s advisable to consult with a tax advisor to fully understand the tax implications of residing in Spain under the digital nomad visa.

10. Ideal Properties for Digital Nomads in Marbella

Marbella, as a popular destination for digital nomads, offers a variety of properties suited to the lifestyle and specific needs of this group. Ideal properties for digital nomads in Marbella typically combine comfort, functionality, and access to services, with a focus on connectivity and workspaces. Here are some types of properties that are often ideal:

  1. Modern Apartments:
  • Apartments in central locations or near the beach, with high-speed internet access and spaces usable as home offices.
  • These properties are often in communities offering amenities like swimming pools, gyms, and social areas.
  1. Villas with Workspaces:
  • Villas offering tranquility and privacy, ideal for those needing to focus on work without distractions.
  • Many villas come with additional rooms or dedicated spaces that can be set up as offices.
  1. Properties with Views:
  • Properties with sea or mountain views, providing a calm and stimulating environment beneficial for creativity and productivity.
  1. Complexes with Co-Working Facilities:
  • Properties in residential complexes offering co-working facilities. This allows digital nomads to work in a communal, professional setting without leaving their residence.
  1. Strategic Location:
  • Properties near essential services like cafes, shops, fitness centers, and public transport.
  • Easy access to airports or train stations, facilitating travel for frequently moving digital nomads.
  1. Security and Maintenance:
  • Properties in secure communities, with property management and maintenance services, essential for digital nomads who may spend time away from home.
viviendas para nómadas digitales

11. How Can Pure Living Properties Assist in Finding the Ideal Property in Marbella for a Digital Nomad?

Pure Living Properties, specializing in luxury properties in Marbella, offers personalized services to help digital nomads find their ideal property.

Pure Living Properties possesses in-depth knowledge of the Marbella real estate market and its surroundings. This allows them to provide expert advice on the best locations and properties that match your needs and preferences as a digital nomad.

Based on your specific criteria, such as property type, location, budget, and workspace and connectivity needs, they can present you with a selection of properties that meet your requirements.

From the initial search to the finalization of the purchase or rental, they guide you through every step of the process, including negotiations, contracts, and legal formalities.

Once you have acquired or rented your property, Pure Living Properties can continue to assist you with after-sales services, such as property management, maintenance, and other services to ensure you enjoy your new home worry-free.

Thanks to their extensive network, they can offer you access to complementary services in Marbella, such as specialized lawyers, tax advisors, and relocation services.

With their experience serving international clients, they understand the unique challenges digital nomads face when moving to a new country and can offer assistance tailored to these needs.


This guide aims to be a comprehensive resource for those considering a shift towards a more free and flexible lifestyle, leveraging the opportunities offered by the digital era. Marbella, with its natural beauty, welcoming atmosphere, and modern facilities, is ready to welcome you and become your new home where work and pleasure merge in a perfect setting, the Costa del Sol.

Download our comprehensive market report on Digital Nomads in Marbella and the Costa del Sol for exclusive insights.


digital nomad market report
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