Digital Nomad Visa as a Freelancer - Does Beckham Law apply?

Posting here in case someone has gotten a clear answer or is doing it themselves. I'm interested in moving to Spain under the Digital Nomad Visa and trying to see how it could financially work and have seen conflicting information on whether ALL digital nomad visa holders (including freelancers) can be approved for Beckham Law. Some sources say 'yes' others say not necessarily all freelancers and it has to be deemed entrepreneurial yada yada yada. Anyone else have a better idea or has done it themselves?

Just out of interest why Spain? There are other countries with a much lower cost of living expenses and offer the same kind of visa.

Have a look at the Bulgaria forum

@SimCityAT Because I am Hispanic so 1. I want my child to grow up knowing Spanish. 2 As a Latin American I can apply for EU citizenship within 2 years of residency.

@Dani Ramz

The Digital Nomad Visa (DNV) is very new, hence folks don't have lots of experience with it. But if you qualify for it, I'm sure it's a good option. If you have plenty of savings, then you could also consider the No Lucrativa Visa (NLV), as you need to show 29k euros. If I qualified for both, I'd choose the latter.

Beckham Law was designed to encourage relocation of employees from another country to Spain. Which, by definition, excludes digital nomads who are location-independent, and perhaps don't even have an employer. However, I understand that there have been recent changes to this law to make it more inclusive. So, again, this newness will mean there is more uncertainty and confusion. My guess is the new changes will include most/all digital nomads.

On the passport front, the special Spanish regime for Ibero-Americans is a big draw. My partner (Brazil) went nuts for it when she found out, so even though we were resident elsewhere in EU (Bulgaria), we had to get residence in Spain too. The headline number is 2 years, but I'm not sure how easy that is in practice. We got residence here in early 2019, and my partner has still not received her passport.

My understanding is that this regime applies only to Ibero-American citizens. Your profile says American, so hispanic heritage is unlikely to be sufficient, unless you have dual citizenship in Latin America. Although perhaps specifically Spanish heritage helps. You should also note that, officially, Spain does not allow dual citizenship with USA/Spain (but does for Ibero-America/Spain).

Separately, I think the appeal of an EU passport is overstated, and I've (unsuccessfully) had this conversation with my partner since the day she heard about this possibility. :-) I'm non-EU too (thanks to Brexit) so an EU passport would, of course, be nice to have, but I'm pretty sure I won't bother. That's because the EU is very good from the perspective of social integration and mobility. I already have 5 years in Bulgaria and I now have my PR (Permanent Residence). This is an indefinite status which is rather hard to lose, and allows me (if I desire) to live in Bulgaria for the rest of my life (with no discrimination relative to Bulgarian citizens, except for voting rights). Moreover, while my PR has no formal rights outside Bulgaria, most EU countries make relocation much easier for non-EU folks who already have PR elsewhere in the EU. In addition, the EU has a permit which is separate from a nation's PR, which is the EU Long Term Resident's Residence Permit (also after 5 years, and typically after your local PR). And this card DOES have many aspects of the Freedom of Movement enjoyed by EU passport holders.

@Dani Ramz

Just found this link too. Balcells normally have very good info, and this is their page about the DNV (and favourable tax treatment).

It says you can go straight to Spain and apply for this visa there instead of at the Spanish Embassy in the USA. Even better, it will then be issued for 3 years instead of 1 year. And it says that the DNV can also be extended to 5 years (at which point you should qualify for Permanent Residence, if you're not a citizen already). Taken together, that's better than the NLV.

@gwynj hi there, sorry for asking but could you please clarify for me? My partner is Brazilian and I British....would he be able to get a visa/passport easier than me? And how? Thanks so much, Jo


There are lots of Brazilians (and other Latin Americans) in Spain as the language and culture is so similar. However, both Brits and Brazilians are non-EU citizens, and I think they'd be treated equally from a residence / visa perspective.

One of you would need to qualify as a resident as an employee, or self-employed, or student, or perhaps non-working but of independent means, or even by a Golden Visa/investment. Once one of you is a legal Spanish resident, you could then consider Family Reunification for the other (or perhaps you both qualify for residence visas in your own right).

However, once resident, citizenship is a different issue. Spain has a special regime for Spanish residents who are citizens of Ibero-American countries (which includes Brazil). This allows a Brazilian to qualify for a Spanish passport after only 2 years living in Spain.

You should note that it's not as easy/quick as that. My partner is also Brazilian and we did this. She didn't actually receive her shiny new Spanish passport until more like 5 years had passed, as there seems to be a huge processing time even after you've met all the requirements to submit. She is extremely happy with her new passport though. :-)