How do Portugal and Spain’s Digital Nomad Visas Compare?

Written by:
Last updated on June 14, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

Ever since the pandemic, countries are rushing to attract digital nomads and remote workers. Both Portugal and Spain are two countries to introduce digital nomad visas, both of which allow foreigners to move to those countries for a period of time. The question is: which is better?

Income Requirements

For Portugal’s digital nomad visa, you will need to show a monthly income that’s equivalent to four times the Portuguese minimum wage. As of 2024, that means you need to show a monthly income at least €3,280 per month.

For an individual applying for Spain’s digital nomad visa, your income needs to equate to 200 percent of the country’s minimum wage, according to Remotepad’s article on Spain’s digital nomad visa. As of March 2023, this works out at €2,334 per month. For a second person, such as a partner or child, you will need to show an additional 75% and then an additional 25% for each additional person.

Taxes

Both Portugal and Spain are expected to offer tax benefits to digital nomads that move there. 

Portugal has the “new NHR” regime, which, for most nomads, would mean paying a flat rate of 20% on earnings as well as social security of 21% on the remaining 80%. For many digital nomads, particularly high earners, it can be a good deal, but it’s not the only option or necessarily the best option. Paula Santos from TaxTeam Consulting encourages digital nomads to look at the Simplified Regime as well as other tax regimes and then decide which option is best for them. 

“Another option for service providers with turnover of less than €200,000 is the Simplified Regime, which uses (progressive) standard Portuguese tax rates but means that only 75% or 35% of your income is taxed, depending on the services provided.”

According to Costa Luz Lawyers, under the Spanish digital nomad visa, holders would pay a flat rate of 24% up to 600,000 euros. From 600,000.01 euros onwards, the tax rate would be 47%.

Citizenship

After 5 years of being resident in Portugal, you will be able to apply for Portuguese citizenship and permanent residency. The process can take another 2 years or so, but being able to apply for citizenship after 5 years is considered very fast. Another benefit of Portuguese citizenship is that Portugal recognises dual citizenship

Spain recognises dual citizenship in some instances, but it’s not as straightforward as Portugal’s approach. It also takes 10 years until you’re able to apply for citizenship: double that of Portugal. However, you can apply for permanent residency after 5 years.

Places to Live

Spain and Portugal both have several digital nomad hotspots as well as parts of the country that have fewer expats and are much more traditional. Portugal has Lisbon and Madeira, but Spain has Barcelona and Gran Canaria. 

Although you do need to consider the cost of living, particularly rent, in both, ultimately it comes down to preference more than anything. 

The small print: Portugalist may generate a commission from mentioned products or services. This is at no additional cost to you and it does not affect our editorial standards in any way. All content, including comments, should be treated as informational and not advice of any kind, including legal or financial advice. The author makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors or omissions or damages arising from its display or use. Links to external websites do not constitute an endorsement. [Disclaimer Policy]
Written by

James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.

Spotted a mistake? Suggest a correction

There are 0 comments on this article. Join the conversation and add your own thoughts, reviews, and stories of life in Portugal. However, please remember to be civil.

Leave a Comment