Digital nomads and the Canary Islands

The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly changed our existences, radically disrupting our outlook on life and our priorities.

Many economic sectors have experienced losses from which it will be difficult to recover for at least another couple of years. However, there is a sector that has had a strong growth impulse. I’m talking about the digital sector.

From online lessons to Affiliate marketing , passing through videomaking : there are dozens and dozens of professions that were born or spread further during the quarantine. Actually, they all come under the category of Digital Nomad .

Having spent whole weeks locked in a room in a city has prompted so many people to reevaluate their accommodations and seek housing in places where (in the event of another pandemic) quarantine is more tolerable.

For this reason, the Canary Islands have become a new favorite destination for those who, working online, can afford to live around the world. Good year-round climate, no need to leave Europe, Canaries boast of good living and fiscal conditions.

But what does a digital nomad face when deciding to move to the Canary Islands? What are the first steps to take? Where is it best to stay? Let’s find out together in this article!

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Necessary documentation and "NIE"

As you can read deeeply later on in this article , if you come from one of the countries of the European Union , to move to the Canary Islands you will need your passport or national identification document. Furthermore, being in possession of the European Health Card , you will be entitled to emergency hospital assistance (if you intend to settle on the island for more than three months, I would recommend that you take out private medical insurance).

If, on the other hand, your citizenship is British you can stay in Spain only for a maximum of three months, without the need for a visa, just with your passport.

What is the NIE and when does it become mandatory to apply for it

The N.I.E., Numero de Identidad de Extranjero, is the foreigners identification number by which anyone meeting certain requirements can work in Spain. Actually, you will need it not only for work purposes, but also to be able to carry out numerous other economic and non-economic transactions, such as opening a bank accountt, renting a house, studying in Spain, etc.

Supposedly, it is mandatory to apply for the N.I.E. if you settle in Spain for more than three months, but you may not necessarily be granted it if you do not have a valid reason, such as a job, buying a car or a house, or want to open a VAT number. So don’t panic, if your only intention is to stay for a short time, you won’t need it.

How can I apply for a NIE?

  1. You can already apply in your home country by going to a Spanish consulate .
  2. Or, once in Spain, (in this case the Canary Islands) you can go to one of the National Police Offices (Supercomisaría) or to an “Oficina de Extranjería ” (I leave you here the link of the Supercomisarìa de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in order to apply of an appointment directly online).
  3. You could also contact a representative , appointing an authorized law firm, in case you are not familiar with the language or, in any case, prefer to act more confidently.

What documents do I need to apply for the NIE?

  1. Passport;
  2. The application form (in Spanish), to be completed online;
  3. Receipt of payment of the administrative fee (to be downloaded online or delivered to you on site at the time of the appointment);
  4. Justification or a self-declaration in which you must specify why you need it.
nomadi digitale alle Canarie

Coworking spaces in the Canaries

Below I report the most popular and central Coworking spaces of the capitals of the main islands (although I would recommend you to opt between Gran Canaria or Tenerife, which are the largest and most populated).

  • TENERIFE (Santa Cruz de Tenerife)
    1. Workeamos, Coworking Tenerife;
    2. Tenwork coworking space;
    3. Espacio Kernel;
    4. Ark de Babel;
    5. Tenworking;
    6. Iriarte37 coworking.
  • GRAN CANARIA (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)
    1. Playachicawork;
    2. Coworking dojo;
    3. Repeople coworking – Las Palmas;
    4. Coworking Fataga y centro de negocios;
    5. Work-labs;
  • FUERTEVENTURA (Corralejo / Puerto del Rosario)
    1. Hub Fuerteventura Coworking Space; (Corralejo)
    2. Co-nomad.life; (Corralejo)
    3. Co.Space Fuerteventura; (Corralejo)
    4. Baifo CoWorking Fuerteventura (Corralejo);
    5. 138 Coworking; (Puerto del Rosario).
  • LANZAROTE (Arrecife)
    1. The Square Coworking Lanzarote;
    2. Espacio Siono;
    3. Lanzarote Coworking (aeropuerto).
  • LA PALMA (Los LLanos)
    1. Cowork Cafe;
    2. Coliving Awid Aman – Casa Benahoares;

Cost of house rentals in the Canaries and means of transport

As for the cost of rents in the main cities of the islands, in my opinion they’re not too high.

Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment near the sea or in more central areas (e.g., in the Las Canteras and Vegueta neighborhoods as far as Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is concerned, and Los LLanos, La Salle and Plaza Weyler in Santa Cruz de Tenerife) ranges from 550€ to 700€. Moving away from the sea and going inland, the average drops to 450€ per month.

On the other hand, if you want to opt for a room in a shared apartment, prices range from € 250 to € 350 per month. Below I leave you the links to the most common and used housing search sites in the Canary Islands.

Usually bills are not included and range between 75 and 100 € bimonthly, for electricity and water bills (heaters are practically not present in any house), in a studio apartment, for one / two people

Means of transport

As already mentioned, in the islands of the Canary archipelago there is no railway system. So to move you can use:

  • Electric bicycles or scooters : they are very popular, especially in the city center of Las Palmas and Santa Cruz, since they are not very busy cities;
  • Bus (called in local slang Guagua): the cost of one route is €1.40 for urban rides, while to travel between municipalities it can cost as much as €9 each way (if you obtain residency, then the cost of the season ticket is around €30). At this link you can find all the timetables and fares of the ” guaguas municipales ” and ” Guaguas global ” in Las Palmas.
  • Taxi : Taxi fares are quite cheap. They start at a minimum of €3.60 (whether it is 100 mt or 1 km), while for a ride of about an hour (for example, from the city center of Las Palmas to the Airport) they come to cost between €20 and €25.

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