Ep79: Everything we know about the Spanish Digital Nomad Visa so far

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If you've ever wanted to live and work in Spain before, then you'll know it's tough if you're non-EU.

However, Spain seems to be following in the footsteps of Portugal, Greece & Croatia and introducing a Digital Nomad visa to allow anyone who is a ‘third country' native to live & work in Spain.

In typical Spanish style, the launch date is ‘mañana', but in this episode, we speak to the Spanish visa expert Jessica Baker (who owns DecipherSpain.com) as she gives us her expert predictions on what it'll look like.

She also goes through the 5 existing visas that will allow you to live and work in Spain without having to wait for the Spanish Digital Nomad visa.

You can find out more about Jessica at:

And we also mentioned the amazing people at the co-working space in Malaga – The Living Room. They helped us by introducing us to Jessica, so thanks guys!

NOTE: This is following our new format of podcast episodes that are either about:

  • WHY you want to live & work abroad
  • HOW to live and work abroad
  • WHERE to live & work abroad

The roadmap we mention can guide you through the questions you need to ask before starting your own adventure.

Want to get involved? It's completely free – just go to ASidewaysLife.com/roadmap.

As ever, get in touch on Instagram (@asidewayslife) or email asidewayslife@gmail.com. We genuinely would be thrilled to hear from you.

The Transcription

As ever, this transcription is done by a robot, so it's not 100% accurate (and the robot doesn't speak Spanish…)

Al
So you smuggled him in?

Jessica
Yeah. In some lines of duty, they would call it trafficking. I'm confident.

Leanne
Hello, and welcome to episode 79 of a satisfying podcast, the Honest Guide to Living and Working Abroad. I'm Leanne.

Al
And I'm Al.

Leanne
And here we are again.

Al
Yes, yet again on a Thursday. Beautiful Thursday night in Malign, coming in your ears. So you know the drill by now. This is the Honest Guide to Working Living Abroad. We have a lot of questions about people who want to live and work abroad in Spain.

Leanne
Well, yes, Spain is a popular tourist destination, a tricky expat stroke. Nomad destination. But that could all be changing.

Al
Yeah. So basically, we heard about maybe about three, four weeks ago, about a proposed digital nomad visa for Spain. Now, there's a few digital nomad visas in Europe. Do you remember them all?

Leanne
Croatia, estonia. Greece, kind of germany. Germany. Portugal.

Al
Portugal. I think Portugal is the most famous, particularly amongst our audiences of North Americans and Australians. They've heard of the Portuguese one, but Spain is supposedly bringing in their own now, in typical Spanish style, it's arriving Manhattan sometime. It's supposed to be after Christmas, but it'll probably be next summer, won't it? But nobody really knows much about it. However, we found one lady who we think if anyone's going to guess what it looks like, then she's the right person. And her name is Jessica Baker. She's got a company called Decipher Spain, and she essentially does visas for anyone who wants to live in Spain. She talks through all the different kinds of visas and we've asked her basically the question, what do you think this digital nomad visa is going to look like?

Leanne
Which is a good question. And I think, as you'll probably hear as we go through, there are lots of maybe this, maybe that, probably this, possibly this. Until they release all the details, we will not know for sure. But what we can share with you is what we do know so far and what is likely to happen.

Al
Exactly. So I interviewed her last week and unfortunately, my audio is a little bit quiet in this, so I apologise. I've tried to edit it as much as I can in my little garage band, but I'm not a professional producer, I'm no Quincy Jones, so I don't really know exactly how it all works. But basically you'll hear her talk all about at the moment, I think there are six different types of visa. There might be five I can't remember exactly, of which you can disregard. Probably the average person disregard most of them, apart from one. What was interesting, though, is the student one. Now, I thought with a student visa, you couldn't work, but you can. Interesting, but it's not a back to back visa, it's not guaranteed. And also you still have to be studying and it possibly in the same course, but Jessica will explain more about that. So I think also, one of the things you might have heard at the very beginning of the episode, that's about her smuggling her husband into Europe. And I did say, Is it okay to publish this? And she said, yes, he's here now, they can't take him out.

Al
But it's a really funny story. You'll hear that maybe about sort of three or four minutes in. If you have any questions about this, don't come to us. We're not the experts. Jessica is the expert. Just go to Decipherspain.com or you can find her on Instagram. Decipherscore, that's difficult to say after Jen Decipherscorespain, and she's done all the socials just search basically for her and you'll find her. And there's those links from the website.

Leanne
Yeah. And she's brilliantly active as well on Instagram, posting lots of videos and posts and whatnot. So a good account to follow if you do have your little eye on Spain.

Al
Absolutely. And just to reassure you, on our website, she says, I'm a woman with a plan for absolutely everything, but crucially, very adaptable to circumstances. So there you go. We're actually using her to talk to her, talk a bit about the end about our story. But should we just get cracking and speak to Jessica?

Leanne
Let's do it.

Al
I'm so excited to talk to Jessica Baker from Deciphering, Spain. It was quite a strange scenario where we met Jessica, because there's a coworking space in Malaga called the Living Room, which is fabulous. I'm sure we'll ask Jessica about that later. Spoke to them. They said if you want to speak to someone about visas, you need to speak to Jessica, because she knows absolutely everything. So rather than me telling you all about Jessica, let's meet Jessica. Hello, Jessica.

Jessica
Hello, how are you? Thank you for asking.

Al
Well, thank you so much for taking the time. I know you're really busy before we get on to the actual nitty gritty of visas. And I am going to ask you a very strange question about the proposed digital nomad visa, which seems to know what it's about, but I think you're going to be best place to predict what it might be.

Jessica
We can try.

Al
Exactly. I want to hear your story. So how did you end up in Spain and where do you live and how did you start your business?

Jessica
Okay, so I initially moved to Spain in 2008. I was 20 years of age. I was in my second year of university. I just finished my second year of university, where I was studying political science and Spanish for language and literature. And I spent a lot of time in the bar, we'll say, and didn't really know a lot of Spanish. So I thought, okay, Jeff, come on, get your shit together. If you're going to actually pass your exams next year, you're going to have to learn Spanish. So I looked into all the options arasness, studying abroad, et cetera, et cetera, and I went to speak to my professor and he said, I mean, if you really want to go in Spanish, Rasmuss really isn't the way to go. It is a lot of fun, but you'll be in a university dorm with a load of international people. They'll all Speak English. That's not going to be the way. If you really want to use this year to learn Spanish, what you need to do is join the programme language Assistant Programme, which they call the Aquaciliar Semisakion. So you apply for this programme. It's nine months long, as long as the school year is.

Jessica
They pay you every month, I think, €700 or €900 or something. You work 11 hours a week, but you can't decide where you're going. So I applied, I was accepted and I was sent to a very small town in Castilla Mancha, which is in central Spain called Al Qaeda Sanjuan. 290 people, and I was the only English speaker. I learned the language very quickly. And I remember when I got my placement letter and my mom said, well, if you hate it, you can come home. And that's very much my philosophy for what I do now. If you hate it, you can go home. And I didn't hate it and I absolutely loved it. And I stayed there for my initial year. Then I went home and finished my degree as fast as I could and I ran straight back and I stayed for another four. Then after that, I kind of thought was teaching not really my thing, I'm not really a vocational teacher. It was fine, but I thought, okay, I'm going to need some more options and opportunities. And rural central Spain is probably not the place for that as a 24 year old.

Jessica
So I decided I would just go home and very quickly started a job in the Argentine Embassy in Dublin as PA ambassador. So I was surrounded by visas and consular affairs and diplomatic affairs, and it was an experience. And after four years there, I seem to be a bit of a four year girl, but after four years there, I thought I'm commuting 3 hours a day, an hour and a half in the morning, an hour and a half in the evening. My salary, it's not going to give me what I want to have. And the lifestyle in Dublin isn't exactly what I'm looking for. So I made a plan to come back and I just got very specific about where I wanted to be, the opportunities and options that I wanted to have when I got here and I landed on Malaga, whether property prices at the time that's changed, job opportunities for bilingual people. There's a lot of international companies here, accenture booking.com, lots of different ones. And that was how it happened on Cana and I've been here ever since.

Al
I was reading on your website that when you start one of the reasons why you started deciphering Spain was the complication of getting a visa from Mauricio. I got that story right.

Jessica
You did? Absolutely. I came to Malaga having worked for four years in an embassy. So I knew more or less, the concept of how getting a visa between an EU, non EU spouse would go, which is actually why we decided to get married, because we'd only known each other for five minutes. But I said, right, we'll get married. It's very easy to get unmarried if you need to, so we'll just give this a go. Look at these. Six years later, we're still going strong, so that's good. So I had read all of the things, I'd gone through all the websites, looked at Facebook, all the things, and I was fairly confident that I had it done. So our main error was that we decided to do things right. What I would say to do things right. And I came to Spain, got myself set up with a job, very quickly, apartment, and we did the application from his home country, which is, in theory, the way you were supposed to do these things, rather than us applying for a tourist visa for him and then doing the application from Spain. So I decided to do things kind of, in theory, technically the right way, and they would not run that visa.

Jessica
I mean, every possible excuse to say, Sorry, no visa. So there was about, I'd say about three applications in eight months before I said, you know what? We're going to do it a different way. I don't know if you want to know how I did it.

Al
I mean, are you allowed to share that secret?

Jessica
He's already here, so I suppose so.

Al
Before you do that, is this the story of how you did it, or is this the advice you would give someone who comes from I would definitely.

Jessica
Not encourage anybody to do this. Disclaimer nobody do this.

Al
Okay, well, let's hear it.

Jessica
I went to see a lawyer who I still work with today, because he's absolutely brilliant. Anyone who comes to me that has any complicated visa issue or complicated residency issue, the first thing we do is we go and we see Courtney. I explained to him that I had all my finances in order, I had my housing in order, we had our marriage in order. Everything was right. And he looked at everything and he said, they should have granted this, but there are a lot of consulates that have will say an unofficial quota on how many visas they can give out, and they're not going to give you this visa. He said, but if you can get him here, if you can have him sitting in my office, I promise you will fix it in four weeks. And I said, but how am I going to get him here? They won't even give him a tourist visa at this stage. He said, yes, that's not my reason. I can't tell you how to do it. But I promise you, if you can get them sitting in this seat, I will fix it for you in four weeks.

Jessica
So I did what any 28 year old would do. I found my mom and I said, Mum, this is what we've got. And she said, okay, leave it with me, I'll have a think. And now she always does say that there's a lot you can do with creativity and a little bit of money. And our solution was to rent a yacht.

Al
I heard that right. You said to rent a yacht.

Jessica
Yeah, we rented a yacht. Gabrielis from France to Ireland. My brother and my cousin and my mother sailed it from France to Ireland. My wife and I flew into Dublin, met there and we sailed him to Europe.

Al
You smuggled him in?

Jessica
Yeah, in some lines of duty, they would call it trafficking. I'm completely smuggling.

Al
That's amazing.

Jessica
And then we got a blablac hard from France down to the Spanish border, and once he was in, he was in. That's it. They can't throw them out. That's one thing I always say to people who say, well, I've overstayed, but I want to I'm in a process. Once you're in, you're in. I'm not going to throw you out. It costs a lot of money to throw you out. As long as you're in a process, it can be fixed.

Al
So let's go slightly less people trafficking route. Yeah, let's talk about someone's listening. And a lot of our listeners are in North America, which is obviously outside the EU, as sadly as the UK, but that's a different story for a different day. Someone sitting there listening there in America, and they go, yes, I would like to live in Spain, but I don't have a clue whether I should go for a visa. Do I need a visa? How long can I stay without a visa? Could you maybe talk through as if I was that North American asking these questions and wants to come to Spain?

Jessica
Yes. So I would say, first of all, it's really important to look at your age group. If you're someone who is retired or thinking about pre retiring, let's say you have the option of the non lucrative visa, but you have to, I say, look at your age group. Because of course there are people who are in their thirty s and their 40s who have turned to money in the bank. I mean, the nonlucredive visa is all about having money in the bank and promising that you won't work. But it's the promising that you won't work that I always bring to people's attention and say, right, you're 35, you've made a load of money. I think that's brilliant, I think that's fine, but will you get bored? How often is it going to take for puzzle boarding to get old? How is it going to take for you to have seen every city in the country and you're going to have to renew that visa. So if you go mad and spend all your money the first year, you're not going to be able to renew that non nuclear visa. So the non nuclear visa is great if you're of a certain age, in my opinion.

Jessica
Apart from that, you have student visas, which I think are wildly, wildly underrated. People think of students that are, like, in their teens or in their 20s. Not necessarily. I have clients that have come to Spain on a student visa. They've stayed for up to two to three years because you can kind of keep renewing it if you're still in education. And by education, I usually mean in a Spanish school. So it's a minimum of 20 hours a week, or as a maximum, I don't know, it's generally about 20 hours a week. You're expected to be in class and then the rest of the time enjoy it. You can even work. You can apply to work during that time. So I think it's a wildly underrated visa and I do kind of try to encourage people, especially younger people, away from the non lucrative visa and into the student visa. Because the other thing is, you can give up work and decide you're going on this nonupervatively to get here and think, I freaking hate this place, this is horrendous. Not everybody loves Spain. Not everybody adapts. Well, not everybody loves the heat of the south, or the slight coldness, we say, of the people of the north.

Jessica
Some people just really don't adapt to it and that's okay, but don't put all your eggs in one basket.

Al
That all makes perfect sense. So you just mentioned there are two visas, the non lucrative and the student visa. Now, what about for the majority of people? I know I'm a bit older than you, but sort of in our age bracket, who perhaps are freelancers or have a small consultancy or something that doesn't sound like either one of those two is going to be the right thing.

Jessica
You cana make that work with the student visa quite easily as long as you're a freelancer. So, yeah, you can't do that on the non lucrative visa. You cannot go into a consulate and say, I don't work, but actually you are working. They'll find you. Exactly. And then I know we were going to discuss this potential possible digital nomad visa down the line that may or may not appear in early 2023. And it's looking like it would be a good option for people who do either have a consultancy or are even just allowed to work abroad. Because what I've seen from, say, EU people is that a lot of their offices just never went back. So they said, well, why work from home in a grey dock in London or Dublin or Germany when I can do that from Malaga? So then you also have to remember that there's a lot of nonEU people that are married to EU people and there's also a lot of none you people. And I'm going to say in Great Britain. Who are married to people who have access to an EU passport. Their parents have been Irish. Their grandparents have been Irish.

Jessica
And Ireland are good about giving out passports to those who are entitled to them. It might take some time, but they do give them out.

Al
Someone's listening to this, they might go, Wait a minute, what do you mean they're sitting in Australia and their grandparents were Irish. Does that mean that they can go for an Irish passport and then have you like, right, they cana.

Jessica
It takes time. There is quite a long process behind it. But I mean, when I say it takes time, it might take two years. And the grand scheme of things, it's not that long. But, yeah, if you are a child or a grandchild of an Irish citizen, you're entitled to expert.

Al
I'm hoping that there's going to be at least 20 people who've listened to this episode and go, what? And then realise there's something wrong.

Jessica
Sometimes they haven't even noticed. Because a lot of Irish people, especially when they move to the UK or they move to abroad, they kind of were so eager to fit in, not be bullied by you lot, that they kind of just not gave up their Irishness but didn't really refer to it. There's a lot of people that I've spoken to who thought, well, I'm going to go and speak to my mom, because Grandma did actually have a funny accent and suddenly I know she was Irish, she just didn't really talk about it very much.

Al
If you are currently a freelancer and you work for yourself, and I'll talk about if you work for your own company in a second, but at the moment, am I right thinking there's just two options, which is the non lucrative, which is not an option if you're working? And is there a third option for someone like, imagine they wanted to pay autonomous or something, is that an option?

Jessica
So there's an investor's visa and there's a self employed visa. The self employed visa you have to apply from your country of origin, you have to have a watertight business plan. I don't mean if you're an online English teacher, they're going to be like, no, this needs to be something that's innovative, something that's usually something that's techy, something that is really going to bring value to the Spanish economy, something that could potentially create employment for not necessarily Spanish people, but Spanish residents. I talk to people all the time and say, well, I'm a hairdresser now. There's literally ten hairdressers within 100 metre radius of my house. That's not going to cut it. This has to be something that is kind of cutting edge and that they look at your business and go, that's interesting. Yeah, this is your self employed visa.

Al
Okay.

Jessica
Yeah. So you have to just prove that you're really niche and then it'll kind of depend on the embassy who's reading it, because it can all be very subjective, of course. Whatever consoles reading, it can go, no, not into that. Sorry.

Al
Okay. So that is the self employed visa, which is really important point, you said at the beginning, I think, was that you have to apply for that before you land in Spain.

Jessica
Yes. All of your visas you will have to apply for before you land in Spain. The only exception to that is if you're married to any new citizen or the six month student visa, which is fine, but it is six months. You can renew it for a further six months as long as you're in the same programme, maybe you don't pass your exams or whatever. So it's the same school, the same programme, but it's not great as a long term issue. It's not great as a long term visa. I speak to people who say, I just want to get there and do it. Yes, but you're not thinking down the line in six months time. And you go, that went quickly.

Al
So can you talk us through the investor visa, then? Is that applicable to anyone, do you think?

Jessica
If you've got kind of €2 million or yeah, you can invest that in kind of stocks, shares. And it's literally what it is. It's an investor visa, but it's high level investment. The only other one that isn't a bad visa and it's great for people who say bought a property maybe ten years ago, are selling it now and have made a massive profit on it. And that's what they call the golden visa. That's where you invest €500,000 in property. It doesn't have to be in the same house. People think it has to be one house. It doesn't. It has to be in property. $500,000, no mortgage. And then you are entitled to work, live, travel fairly permanently. I would recommend that if you have the million or the 2 million for the investment, just buy the property.

Al
So what's interesting is we've been looking at the Portuguese golden visa, and 500,000 is a bit rich for us, but it does drop a little bit if you go into rural areas, and it drops even more if you buy a property that needs refurb. So it can be down to €250,000 a little bit more manageable. Is there a similar kind of thing in Spain?

Jessica
No, literally 500,000.

Al
And then you have to five houses at 100,000.

Jessica
If you wanted to, you could do that as well. Yeah, absolutely. Now, the only thing that you do have to keep in mind, people forget about it, but I'm here to remind them, when you buy property in Spain, you're looking at anywhere between twelve and 18% taxes and costs and different things. So if you have your 500,000 to invest in property, make sure you have your almost 80, 70 or 80 to cover the cost of that.

Al
So let's switch over to this proposed visa. Based on all your experience, your amazing knowledge of this, what would you expect this visa to look like? And just add the caveat for anyone listening, this is not what it's going to look like. This is what an expert thinks it's going to look like.

Jessica
Okay, so I think that this is going to be really good for who it's meant for, and that is digital. Nomads people that want to work for themselves or work for somebody else, because this is going to apply. As long as less than 20% of your income is coming from a Spanish entity, then this visa can apply to you. I don't think it will be great long, long term, in the sense that I think that they will ensure a caveat to make sure that people can't renew it so many times that they suddenly have permanent residency. It will be great for a year, two or three years, and then after that, you're going to have to make a life plan on whether or not you want to stay in Spain or whether you want to move and all of those things. By the time that happens, you might have met the Spanish person of your dreams to marry, or any other EU nationality. You may have a job offer. There's a lot of things that can change. But keep in mind that long term, this visa may not be your life plan.

Al
That's really interesting because in Portugal, the D seven views, there is a route to residency. And so what we're saying I don't.

Jessica
Think I'm going to do that here.

Al
No. Okay. That's really interesting. I've heard banded around that there might be a non residents tax rate of about 15%. What have you heard about that?

Jessica
Yeah, I've absolutely heard that. And I think that they will do that because what they're going to try and do is get people in. They're going to want people to come for the year, for the two years, to pay some tax. At the moment, there are so many people living for three months working and not paying a cent, that 15% is better than nothing. So, yeah, I think they will stick to the 15%. I think I read that it was going to be up to an income of 600,000. So what happens after that? I don't know. But again, you have that kind of an income, you can potentially buy the property to give yourself the permanent residency.

Al
Okay, what we're talking about here is I've just written these down and obviously, if you want more information on this, you need to speak to Jessica Go on a website. It's fantastic. I think you're on Instagram as well. You've got a podcast.

Jessica
I'm on Instagram. You can watch me being very glamorous every single morning doing my Instagram stories as I walk my dog on the beach.

Al
So we've talked about the non lucrative visa where you can't work. We talk about a student visa where you have to study for 20 hours a week. We've talked about the self employed visa, which you have to apply for before you come here, as most of these are, and it's very specific. We've talked about the golden visa where you have to buy property at 500,000 plus. You've got 20% worth of taxes and agent costs. And then the final one is the investment visa, which is 2 million or plus. Am I right thinking those are the only sort of six options unless this digital comes out of living in Spain longer term.

Jessica
Yeah, at the moment they're the only ones that I've come across now, except, for example, if you're sponsored for a job. Okay, you're sponsored for job. Now, this is a tricky one. Like, people come to me all the time saying, can I move if I'm sponsored for a job? You can, but again, you want to be very niche because and the company that you're working for is going to want to be very willing to that you are the person to have on board. And the reason is because your employer is going to have to apply for the vis on your behalf. It's expensive for them, and they have to be able to prove that there is no other either EU citizen or Spanish person that can do that job. So, I mean, we're talking astronomers. Again, this isn't hairdressing, but if I speak English while I hairdress, nah, it's not going to cut it. There are cases of visas being sponsored. A lot of the time, the Spanish companies will just go for someone who's already here because they do not want to get involved in the admin. Sometimes they will sponsor somebody. And a lot of the time that comes from, say, at the moment, I have a client who is moving from India to Madrid because the company that he's in is kind of a multinational.

Jessica
They have an office in both cities. So that's where, like, what would you call it? A transfer can come in. And because they already have a certain level of confidence in the employee and trust in them and everything, they're willing to make the investment.

Al
We were looking for the self employed route when we were here previously, 2016. And there was something called I think it's called autonomous, which is about which at the time was about €250 per person per month, whether you made any money or not.

Jessica
Yeah, that's your Social Security payments. So at the moment, I pay about $300. My husband pays a little bit more because he's been so it's on a sliding scale. So you start your first year depending on your age and your industry. For your first year, they give you a reduced rate of about 70 years. Then after year one, that starts to slowly go up and. That is whether you make money or not, because it's not a tax, it's your Social Security payment. So it's what you're paying in for your health, for your retirement, for, I don't know, whatever it is they do with it.

Al
What's confusing is that one of the speculations no, sorry. One of the things we had to do to get our residents here was to have private medical insurance, private health insurance. So I would be asking them, well, why am I giving you $250 a month if I have to also spend another 150 in private insurance?

Jessica
No. If you're going to become resident. I mean. When you were living here previously. As an EU citizen. There are EU citizens that come to me and they say. I want to work in Spain because I see my life here and I want to be able to go down the road of a mortgage in a couple of years time. Or whatever. And I'll say. Right. Register as self employed. Pay all your taxes. Pay your Social Security. You don't need to pay for private health in that sense, in that case, because you're already paying for the public system. The private health only crops up when you're not paying into the public system. So you have to have a private health policy that will cover you just to give you as high coverage as the public system. So then there are people like me who just don't want to have to go to a public hospital, so I'd rather have a private hospital.

Al
So I realised that we basically bled. You drive for information and I don't want to take the mickey. So if people are interested in moving to Spain, then, I mean, we've only just met, but already I've learned so much from you and we are thinking of moving to Spain, so we'll definitely be talking to you. Jessica, how are people going to get in touch with the best way to get in touch with you?

Jessica
Okay, so what people can do is they can contact me. I think there's a what's up? Button on my Facebook page, which is Decipher Spain, and through my website, they cana book a call. So I have two types of calls that you can book one day a week. I offer my time for free, 15 minutes slots. People tend to think that this is for them to find out everything about moving to Spain. I tend to think of it as me vetting people to work out who I want to work with and who I don't, because relocation is a long process and if we don't get on, no one's going to be happy. So I offer my time for 15 minutes, one day a week to this week. It is actually today, I think, because I was away on Monday, but generally speaking, it's on a Monday. So you can choose a 15 minutes call option. It will just be a short chat about your needs, what you're thinking of doing, and then we can have a short chat. Then you also have a 45 minutes option, which is a lot more in depth. It's paid option.

Jessica
You'll send me all of your questions, queries, worries ahead of time. I'll prepare all the answers. I'll always play devil's advocate and say, right, if you go for this visa, what happens in this situation? I'll make you think a little bit and then I'll send you a written report that you can keep. Because sometimes I get people who say, well, I'm thinking of moving in a year's time, but I want to find out what's going on. So I'll send you that written report so that you can keep it, refer back to it, make notes about it, you can get me by my website, you can get me on Facebook, you can get me on Instagram, and that's it.

Al
Well, she was pretty amazing, wasn't she? She clearly knows her stuff. And what I really like about it is that she's not like some stuffy lawyer who goes under article 65 A of the particles of so it's like she will tell you, no, you can't do this or you can do that, and I quite like that.

Leanne
She's certainly someone you want to have on your team in a crisis, isn't she?

Al
100% love that story about her husband and I really hope he is okay to publish it.

Leanne
Well, I guess we'll find out from Jessica. Cana you take it down, Jessica? Just let us know. Not a problem.

Al
You follow on Instagram, don't you? Just make sure if you see a picture of her at a police station, then we're just going to be feel terrible anyway. So I think you know how to get look in the show notes, you'll see how to get a hold of Jessica. We've referred one other person to already. We're actually working with her at the moment, potentially with an idea of maybe.

Leanne
Being able to before we get into that, let's reflect on the conversation.

Al
Good point. So I think the golden visa seems like a good route for someone who's maybe sort of like in their, say, forty s. Fifty s Master, bit of money, got some property, want to actually move to Spain with no hiccups, no issues and just dead simple. Downside is you're going to need about €600,000, which are the time of recording is probably about £520,000. Or the downside is you're not going to be able to get that from a mortgage in Spain, but you might be able to do it for a mortgage in your home country. That's a possibility. So that's definitely looking at it. I thought it was really cool. She said the investor visa don't bother you might as well just do the golden visa. So really when it comes to self employed, says no point. The non lucrative. Well, that's fine if you're retired and have no plans whatsoever to work. But as she points out, most people in their forty s and fifty s, even if they sold the company and they got a million pounds, £10 million in the bank, they're going to get bored, aren't they? So, really, even the digital nomad visa might not be the best one for you.

Al
If you're just looking for like a year in Spain, maybe the student's one is the best one.

Leanne
Yeah, I mean, I think what's definitely clear is Spain needs another visa option for third country nationals who want to come here and spend their money and contribute to the economy. So, yeah, I think it's clear another visa and is needed. So it's great news to hear that it's coming. I think, as well, even just to give people an option to stay longer than three months, you can't really get a feel for a place if you're talking about a long term move, you can't get a feel in three months, because three months in Spain in the summer is very different to three months in Spain in the winter. And, you know, you need that. You need that time. So I think that's what is positive about it. And in terms of golden visa, yeah, maybe. As always, we've mentioned before, I think on the podcast that property markets abroad aren't always as buoyant as they are in other places like the UK or North America. So be mindful of that. If you're putting all your money in, it might have to stay there. Although we are getting kind of word from local people in Malaga at the moment that the property market is picking up in certain places around here.

Leanne
So I guess it also depends on where you buy. But an interesting option if you've got the cash.

Al
Definitely. And I think that's what else was quite interesting was hearing that you can apply for a student visa whilst you're in the country, where there's the others you can't. So you could potentially come here for three months, and if you love it, just apply for a student visa and study and also work. And you can stay for potentially up to I think if she said a year, and then you have to renew, it might be six months. Obviously, don't take our word for it.

Leanne
Speak to Jessica.

Al
Yeah, but go book a call with Jessica. Are we allowed to talk about our situation?

Leanne
Yeah. So let me take you back, listeners, to April 2022, when Alan and I were sat in our flat in Split, Croatia, chatting about how we were off to Portugal because we needed boots on the ground to see if it was somewhere we wanted to live and work abroad. And I think I said something like that on the episode, like Plot Twist, I reckon it will be neither. It won't be Portugal and it won't be Croatia where we end up. And plot twist. It might not.

Al
I think what we discovered was that we are still technically residents of Spain. It's just we've not been here for a little while, and we won't disclose exactly how long we've not been here, but we've not been here for a while. So it's possible that we can just swap our old card for a new card and be Spanish residents, but more importantly, Schengen residents, which would change everything. Listeners.

Leanne
Yeah. So I guess on that note, I mean, we're taking a very realistic stroke pessimistic view of it. We fully expect not to be able to renew our residency card given our current circumstances, but we will follow every avenue possible that we can to find that out until somebody official in Spain goes no. So, yeah, that could be exciting. So if you are in a similar situation, I guess I'm mainly talking to the Brits. That would have been affected by Brexit having an EU citizenship somewhere and then perhaps leaving. If that is you, you might not be too late get in touch, particularly with somebody like Jessica in Spain. Likewise, you've got other people like Sarah Dyson in Croatia, although we think that one is the door closed is on that one now. But yeah, always worth checking. Get in touch with an expert and see there might be a small sliver of hope that needs pursuing.

Al
And also, just ask around, make sure that none of your family are from Ireland, second generation Irish, because that could be a nice surprise.

Leanne
One generation oh, God damn it.

Al
Okay, so if you have a question about this now, tell you what, if you want to hear our story or you're in a similar situation with the Spanish, renewing your visa and you've got any stories, tell us, just email us sidewayslife@gmail.com. That's asidewayslife@gmail.com, if you want to go into Instagram, you can follow us on Instagram, which is a sidewayslife. We are on Facebook, but never go on there, because who does?

Leanne
If you want to hear, last week we talked about should you store, and we were talking about how we're in the process of getting rid of our storage. Well, that happened today. And my friends, we have a story about how that ended. My word, shit escalated. If you want to hear that, we're not just going to offer that get in touch Instagram email, let us know. If you want to hear that story, we will tell it next week.

Al
Absolutely. So you already know about roadmap, which is the roadmap to living and working abroad. Just go to sidewayslife. Comrodemap. Start that again. Sidewayslife.com roadmap.

Leanne
Don't forget that.

Al
Not sideways life. Well, on that note, I think we'll call it date, right, guys? We'll see you guys you soon. Bye.

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