Spain’s Non-Lucrative Visa allows non-EU citizens to live in Spain provided they are able to support themselves financially. It is used by those planning to retire to Spain and is an option for British retirees and other people who do not plan to work in Spain now that the UK is no longer a member of the EU.
What is the non-lucrative visa?
Spain’s Non-Lucrative Residence Visa is an option for people who would like to retire in the country as well as those non-EU citizens who would like to live in the country but work remotely from Spain. It can also be an option for those who would like to spend a year in Spain without working before obtaining a work permit. As the name implies it is about non-EU citizens who have the financial means to support themselves in the country without working and any accompanying family.
The visa allows you to say in Spain for one year after entering the Spanish territory. You must spend a minimum of 183 days in the country to be able to renew. This also means that you will become tax resident and taxable on your worldwide income (subject to double tax treaties).
The visa can be renewed every 2 years until you get permanent residency, which is available after 5 years in the country.
Although the visa does not allow you to carry out any type of economic or professional activity in Spain, it does not require you to invest in the country to obtain a visa. You simply have to show that you have sufficient means to support yourself (and your family). That does not mean that you cannot invest in Spain while there with this visa. You are free to invest in any business and generate additional income.
Although you are not able to earn in Spain while staying under this visa, you can study and this includes a paid internship.
The restriction is not to work in Spain and many people apply for this visa and continue to work remotely for a company in another country. The visa does not address remote work and this arrangement is generally accepted. However, in some cases applicants have been refused when indicating that they plan to work remotely and so although this can be a good option who want to spend time in Spain but continue working remotely it should be handled carefully when explaining the source of funds you will rely on.
The Non-Lucrative Visa entitles you to travel freely within the Schengen zone.
Requirements for a Non-Lucrative Visa
The following requirements must be met in order to be eligible for the visa:
- Demonstrating you have sufficient funds
In the case of the non-lucrative visa, you must prove that you have 400% of the IPREM annually in your bank account. The Public Indicator of Multiple Effects Income which is the benchmark in Spain for the allocation of aid and subsidies. In 2021 this means that the main applicant for this visa must demonstrate he or she has at least 27.115.20€. This is, however, the minimum and a higher amount may be required. For each dependent travelling with you will require that you have an additional amount equal to the IPREM (6.778.80€ annually).
You will be required to provide a bank certificate or bank statements from the last six months. The funds may be in multiple accounts.
- Private health insurance
Applicants must have a private health insurance policy with full coverage in Spain with no copayments provided by a Spanish insurance company for at least one year.
The application process is divided into two parts: the initial visa application and then obtaining the residence card once you enter Spain.
The application must be made in your country of origin or there where you are legally resident. You are not able to apply in Spain having entered the country as a tourist.
The application should not be made more than 90 days before your intended travel date. You will have to send all relevant documents to the Spanish Consulate:
- National visa form (available for download from your local Spanish Consulate website).
- Form Ex-01.
- Private Health insurance policy from a company authorsed to operate in Spain
- Bank certificate, demonstrating the possession of required funds per year.
- Photos, 3×4 cm with white background.
- Original Passport (minimum validity of one year and at least two blank pages).
- A medical certificate, demonstrating that you do not suffer from any restricted diseases.
- Criminal record translated to Spanish and legalised (issued by the country or countries where the applicant has resided in the last 5 years).
- Documents (original and stamped) to prove you have the required financial means through periodic and sufficient income or have an estate to guarantee the required income.
Confirmation will be within one month and the visa will be stamped in your passport and you will then be free to travel to Spain. The visa will also include your NIE Number.
Interview for Non-Lucrative Visa
As a part of your application, you will need to attend a visa interview at the nearest Spainsh Consulate in your country of residence. On the day of the interview, you will:
- Meet with a visa consular for the interview.
- Submit the supporting document to the interview
- Give your biometrics – fingerprints and facial image – if you have not traveled to the Schengen territory in the last five years.
- Pay the visa fee. Check how the Spanish authorities have regulated this issue in your country of residence. You may need to pay in cash, money order or certified check
Obtaining the TIE or foreigner’s identity card
Once you have your visa you must enter Spain freely within a maximum of 3 months.
Once in Spain, you will need to register on the Padron in your local municipality and TIE (foreigner’s identity card).