The Digital Nomad Visa in Spain, which was supposed to be the highlight of a new government course, is nowhere to be mentioned any more. Hopefully it wasn’t just a political ploy..
Faced with massive economic problems and the effects of the pandemic, the Spanish government has realised that it requires a bit of imagination if it is to pull the country out of the crisis and make its economy more competitive.
One of the loudly announced measures to accelerate growth was the introduction of the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain, which will allow programmers and computer specialists to more easily navigate Spain’s enormously complicated immigration system and make the country their home. It was a strategy that, within ten years, would, according to the President, Pedro Sanchez, transform Spaniards into an entrepreneurial nation.
However, it is more likely that it will take ten years just to implement this measure. So far, everything has proven to be empty rhetoric. There have been no concrete steps taken yet, and given the speed with which bureaucracy operates in Spain, it will take a long time to get there.
Regardless, small villages that have been devastated by the terrible effects of depopulation see this new regulation as an opportunity to attract not only some talent, but also some families. A lack of job opportunities in rural Spain has resulted in dwindling populations in many small towns and villages, but these destinations, in particular, are more than willing to welcome remote workers.
To encourage digital nomads to visit, around 30 towns and villages in Spain have decided to join the Red Nacional de Pueblos Acogedores para el Teletrabajo (or National Network of Welcoming Villages for Remote Workers). They are all towns with fewer than 5,000 people and are looking for new residents to help repopulate their streets.
It is hoped that an influx of people working from home will help to revitalise communities, whether they stay for a short time or make these places their permanent home.
Instead of having to find their own way, the programme provides remote workers with a host who can welcome them to the town or village and connect them with community life. On the network’s website, you can also find an interactive map of the locations looking for digital nomads.
Even if you are not a digital nomad, but rather a tourist, the website is a gold mine of information on internet connectivity and connection quality in some of Spain’s most remote areas. This way, people who need Internet access for business and also like to travel can get an additional and very reliable source about the quality of internet in some rural areas of Spain, as well as the locations of co-working spaces.
Unfortunately, none of the 30 villages that have joined this organisation are from Valencia Community. The digital nomad visa in Spain may be an important factor in preparing the economy for the twenty-first century, but we are living in a province where Internet connectivity is still closer to the twentieth century. After all, it was recently revealed that the Valencia Community has the worst connectivity in all of Spain, particularly in rural areas.
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