Digital nomads from the United Kingdom and other countries are forcing locals out of Barcelona, especially in the hip neighborhood of Poblenou. Along Rambla de Poblenou boulevard, the area, which was once the industrial heartland of Barcelona, has been transformed into tech offices, trendy cafes, and tapas bars as well as design showrooms.
The influx of nomads has raised rental prices along with beer prices, with locals complaining at the high charge of €6 for a beer. British nomads have come in such numbers that in fact English is heard predominately on the streets instead of Spanish or Catalan.
Those from the United Kingdom, northern Europe and even America have been moving to Spain recently due to the Spanish government’s new digital nomads’ visa. The new visa, which was introduced on March 31, gives non-EU nationals the chance to live and work in Spain for up to five years.
This specific visa was approved as parliament has been eager to bolster the country’s tech scene and attract entrepreneurs to the country. Aside from professional requirements, the income threshold is €2,334 per month or €28,000 per year.
Some of the requirements include:
- Only 20% of their income can be from Spanish firms
- Applicants cannot have lived in Spain within the five years prior to applying
- Have had to had their clients on the books for more than three months prior to applying
Change isn’t new to Poblenou, as the neighborhood began its revival back in 2000 when Barcelona city council gave the ok for overhauling old factories. Called @22, the district attracted tech start-ups through financial incentives to move to Spain.
Due to the digital nomad visa, there are other parts of the country that have also been impacted by internationals taking advantage of the visa. Malasaña in Madrid, a once poor inner-city area, has been transformed into a street filled with cool coffee shops and vintage clothing stores.