The first few approved visas are here! After hours of meticulous preparation and a good few weeks of waiting we are overjoyed to share that our first batch of applicants has been approved for the digital nomad visa.

Among these successfully approved new nomads is Josh Counsell, who kindly agreed to answer some of the burning questions that have been swirling in the minds of aspiring digital nomads everywhere.

approved digital nomad visa applicant Josh Counsell


Josh, thank you very much for agreeing to answer some questions for us. Let's start with the basics.

Where are you from?

I'm from London.

What is your job?

I'm a Public Relations Company Director.

Did you apply as an employee or as a self-employed applicant?

I applied as a self-employed applicant. 

Do you run and own your own company? 

Yes, I do.

Were you a director of your company? 

Yes, I was. 

Did you resign as director for the application? 

Yes, I did.

[Note from MoveToSpainGuide: it may not be necessary to resign if you are applying for the visa as self-employed, we'll update when we know more.]

Did you become an independent contractor for your company? 

Yes, I am now self-employed and work as an independent contractor for my company.

How long did it take to get approved?

It took around 26 days.

[Note: the Digital Nomad Visa has what is known as positive administrative silence, which means that after 20 working days, the application becomes automatically approved. But this doesn't mean that you get an automatic approval letter! For Josh's visa, after 24 days, we put in a formal request for an answer]. 

Did you apply alone or include dependents?

I applied alone. 

Staying in Spain whilst waiting for approval

Did you stay in Spain after making the application?


If so, did you have enough Schengen days or did you technically overstay?

I technically overstayed. I even left after my days had run out for work and came back without any issue at passport control, they didn't even check.

[Note: we do not recommend trying this as re-entry to the Schengen zone will depend entirely on the border security on the day, their knowledge of the system & even their mood!]. 

What did you have to translate?

I translated my CV, bank statements and invoices as simple translations and submitted a SWORN translation for my criminal record check.

[Note: please check with your advisor/lawyer about which translations are needed for what documents as the requirements regarding SWORN translations have changed since Josh submitted his application.]

Did you submit a contract? 

Yes, I created a contract and I got the new director of the company to sign alongside me so it was worded to meet every demand.

Did you get asked for any extra documents by the UGE?


How long did you get the visa for?

3 years.

How easy or difficult did you find the application process? 

With MoveToSpainGuide's help it was easy, the hardest part was making sure I had everything. The criminal record check was the most annoying part of the process.

Visa approved: now what?

What stage are you at now with the Padron/TIE etc.?

I have booked a meeting for next week, TIE is currently being worked by another company to speed up the process.

Where have you chosen to live in Spain and why?

In Barcelona, it's warmer than London.

Any advice for future applicants? 

As long as you make sure you tick all the boxes you shouldn't have many issues. 

About the Author Naomi Thornalley

Naomi is an experienced Visa Consultant with Move To Spain Guide, having helped hundreds of digital nomads start a new life in Sunny Spain.

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