We are celebrating more successful applicants for the new Digital Nomad Visa here at Move to Spain Guide! After hours of preparation and a good few weeks of waiting we are overjoyed to share that more of our first batch of applicants are successful and have been approved for the digital nomad visa.

Among these successful applicants are new nomads Callan Andrew and his partner Haekyung Jeong, who kindly agreed to answer some of the burning questions that have been swirling in the minds of aspiring digital nomads everywhere.

approved applicants

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

Where are you from?
South Africa (I have been living in South Korea on and off since 2009); my wife is from South Korea. 

What is your job?
I am a Copy Editor.

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

How long did it take to get approved?
I applied on the 27th of April 2023 and I got accepted on the 8th of June 2023.

[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!.] 

Did you apply alone or include dependents?
I had one dependent (my wife).

Staying in Spain whilst waiting for approval

Did you stay in Spain after making the application?
I did, my wife did not (she is South Korean and does not need a Schengen).

If so, did you have enough Schengen days or did you technically overstay?
I had a single entry, 20 day permit - so yes, I did overstay.

What did you have to translate?
I used DeepL and ChatGPT; also an official translator for the relevant documents. 

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

Did you get asked for any extra documents by the UGE?
Yes, for me an official translation of my work contract (I am hired as an independent contractor for the company); for my wife ‘evidence that she was in Spain at the time of application’ - which was vague, so we submitted a selfie standing in front of a famous monument with the metadata, a signed letter from the hotel we stayed at stating that we indeed stayed there, and a few receipts.

Did you submit contracts with all of your clients?
No, just the main one which was the bulk of the money. 

Did you only submit work income or do you also include savings or other kinds of income?
We included everything as I was a few hundred euro under the threshold with just the one contract: Savings in South Africa and Korea, rental contract for a property we own in South Africa, invoices for additional freelance work, bank statements to show payments from rent, salary, freelance. 

How long did you get the visa for?
Three years.

How easy or difficult was the whole process?
Extremely difficult, would not have been able to do it without Louise’s assistance. There were too many grey areas and the additional documents they asked for seemed quite random. We were stressed for the entire process essentially. We actually almost gave up because it was so stressful. 

Visa approved, you're a successful applicant: now what?

What stage are you at now with the padron/TIE etc.?
I hired someone to get me a padron meeting and a TIE meeting. I have had both and am currently waiting for my TIE card. Due to my citizenship, I am not allowed to leave the country until I get my TIE. It should arrive in roughly 2 weeks. 

Where have you chosen to live in Spain and why?
Valencia. We feel this is the best introduction city to Spain as there are so many expats living here and the cultures mix quite well. We were concerned about xenophobia, particularly anti-Asian sentiment against my wife, but found this did not exist. We also love the beach. We may consider moving to the Basque country in the future, but for now, Valencia is great. 

Any advice for future applicants?
The anxiety of the nomad visa might not be worth it for some people. Also, with the new law that all documents have to be officially translated, this may be very expensive (we had over 100 pages, so we were lucky to get in before). I would also advise that they hire some, like Louise, to walk you through the steps. 

If you hope to be the next successful applicant for the Digital Nomad Visa or have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in contact.

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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