Understand the rules about leaving Spain after submitting your Digital Nomad Visa Application.
Navigating the world of the new digital nomad visa can seem daunting, but understanding the process and your rights can help ease the nerves. One of the most common questions we get asked is whether it is possible to leave Spain and return to your home country, or elsewhere after submitting your application for a Digital Nomad Visa. In this guide, we will let you know what you can and can’t do.
Submission of the Digital Nomad Visa Application
Collecting the documents needed to support your application is the first step towards obtaining your Digital Nomad Visa in Spain. The process involves gathering the necessary documents, translating those that require a translation and paying the applicable fees. At Move to Spain Guide, we help you through the process from beginning to end, and beyond. We have recommended translators for you to use and a dedicated client WhatsApp so that your questions never go unanswered. If you are looking for help with your application, you can get in contact here.
Can you leave Spain After Submitting the Digital Nomad Visa Application?
Once your application has been submitted, some applicants may wonder if it is permissible to leave Spain. The simple answer is: there is no simple answer. It depends on where you are from and how you entered the country.
Citizens from countries with a visa-free agreement with the EU
If you’re from a country that has a visa-free agreement with the European Union such as the UK, USA or Canada you are able to stay in Spain for up to 90 days without a visa. For countries with this agreement, citizens can enjoy 90 days of travel in the Schengen zone within any 180 days without applying for a visa.
For the purpose of the Digital Nomad Visa, applicants from these countries are allowed to leave Spain after submitting their application. But, if you choose to leave Spain once your application has been submitted then you need to ensure that you have enough Schengen days to come back into the country once your application has (hopefully) been accepted. If you leave without any Schengen days left, you risk not being allowed to come back into the country, even if your visa has been granted.
If you don’t have many Schengen days left in the EU upon submission of your application the best option is to stay in Spain whilst the application is being processed. If the process takes longer than the number of days you have left, you are allowed to overstay until a decision has been reached without any implications.
Not sure how many Schengen Days you have left? Use the calculator below.
Entering Spain on a Tourist or Visitor Visa
Citizens from countries that don’t have a visa-free arrangement with the EU such as Russia, China, India, and all African nations, are required to obtain a Spain Tourist visa (Schengen Tourist Visa). A tourist visa is commonly valid for stays no more than 90 days and as few as 3 days. If you hope to leave Spain once you have made your Digital Nomad Visa application and/or plan to visit another Schengen country it’s recommended to fill in the “multiple entry” gap in the application form. This way you will be able to enter and leave the Schengen Zone as you please for the amount of time allowed on your visa issued.
When entering Spain to make an application on a Tourist Visa, you can leave Spain after your Digital Nomad Visa application has been submitted but you must ensure that you have enough days left on your Tourist Visa to come back in if your Digital Nomad Visa is approved. If you choose to leave and you don’t have any days left to come back, you may be refused entry even if your visa was granted.
Implications of Leaving Spain After Your Application
If you are eligible and decide to leave Spain after your Digital Nomad application submission, make sure you understand the Digital Nomad Visa rules. Processing time varies greatly and nobody can give you a definite answer to how many days your application will take to receive an answer.
The UGE says your application will be processed in a maximum of 20 working days, however, we have seen people be approved in 15-16 days and we have seen people be approved in well over 20 working days. We have also seen the UGE request further documents to support the application on day 18/19/20 of waiting which can add further time.
NOTE: if the application is not approved within 20 working days, there is what is known as 'positive administrative approval', the application is automatically approved. When they exceed the 20 days, you still need to apply for a document from them that will enable you to apply for the TIE resident card, so the word automatic should be used loosely.
The freedom to leave Spain post Digital Nomad Visa application submission brings great flexibility for digital nomads, especially those with families they don’t want to risk uprooting before knowing that they have been approved for the visa. By understanding the potential risks and effectively managing them, you can ensure you don’t break any rules, or get locked out of Spain!