The new Spanish Visa for UK professionals, investors and “digital nomads”. UK nationals have been struggling during the last two years to get adequate visas to come to Spain as the existing legislation, Immigration Act 4/2000 and Golden Visa 14/2013, do not address the post Brexit (and post Covid19) scenarios.
The existing Golden Visa, Non Lucrative Visa (NLV), students, interns, academics, self employed and employees, highly qualified staff, exemption, intra group transfers, family, etc…are still options that we are managing for our clients, but there is still a huge gap to address the real issues.
There is new legislation currently discussed in the Spanish Parliament, known as the “Start Up Law”, in Spanish Proyecto de Ley de fomento del ecosistema de las empresas emergentes aimed at investors, entrepreneurs and qualified professionals with a business interest in Spain and “Digital Nomads”, entrepreneurs or virtual employees of foreign companies.
The new visa will be granted for a year either as self employed or employees as long as the following conditions are met:
- A virtual working relationship, employment or professional, with a foreign company, which must authorise the remote working arrangements.
- A university degree or professional recognised equivalent
- Three years of professional experience of which one should be with the existing company
The good news is that the visa may allow “Digital Nomads”, entrepreneurs or teleworkers for foreign companies, wanting to live and work in Spain to benefit from the Special Tax Regime for Non-Residents’ Income Tax (still under discussion). This will effectively create similar conditions to the existing Beckham Rule.
The period during which a taxpayer must have been a tax resident in a third country in order to qualify for the Special Non-Resident Income Tax Regime is reduced from the current 10 years to 5 years. The regime will be also extended to include the spouse, civil partners and children. The Non-Resident Income Tax Act will be amended to exempt stock options – as well as other income from work in kind – under the same conditions as personal income taxpayers.
Regarding British property owners who may not be interested in working or investing in Spain, unless you have secured a Golden Visa or are classified as a Spanish resident, there are no other visas available, unless you want to acquire Spanish residency.
Therefore, Britons are not able to visit their Spanish property for more than 90 days in any 180 days period (Schengen Rules). We have raised our concerns to the Spanish authorities to address this issue but there is little they can do legally as the Schengen Space is regulated at European level. As discussed in my article published by The Times last year, I still believe that British property owners’ rights are being infringed by the Schengen limitations in accordance with the European Human Rights Convention (EHRC), which states that individuals have a legal right to ‘peacefully enjoy’ the possession of their home and deprivation of possessions by states should be subject to certain fair and equitable condition. But, who wants to go to Court?
By León Fernando del Canto, Head of Chambers, Barrister and Spanish abogado.