Start the visa application first if you are retiring in Spain; only then start looking for your dream home in the sun. The non-lucrative visa in Spain is the “Brexit-beating” clause presented to us by the Spanish Government.
British people, in particular, want to move to Spain; that has not changed. What has changed is the law here regarding the amount of time non-Europeans, like the British, can spend in Spain.
It is causing a load of hurt and distress for ex-pats in Spain. Especially those who start house hunting before getting the visa.
A bigger problem is that clients are dealing with estate agents who are not explaining to them in detail what they need to do in order to move to Spain.
Do I need a VISA before buying in Spain?
We are encouraging people buying property in Spain, post-Brexit, to think about the non-lucrative visa in Spain. This is the best option for them. You need to decide before you even start viewing properties in Spain. Not all estate agents fully understand the process. But this must be started in your home country before you come to Spain. Anyone telling you any different simply does not understand how to buy a retirement property in Spain.
If you apply successfully for an NLV in Spain you must be a resident in Spain. In fact, the residence requires you to stay a minimum of 183 days a year in the country.
Next, you need some financial metrics; The main applicant effectively needs 2,259 euros or 400% of the IPREM. Subsequent family members require 100% of the IPREM, which in 2021 amounts to 564,90 euro. We’ll explain more below, but it basically means you need around 27,000 euros in your bank account.
Does the Non-Lucrative Visa In Spain expire?
The visa can be renewed. Once you have followed the rules, specifically you must stay a minimum of 183 days a year in Spain.
This visa will then allow you to live here and reap the benefits of your passive income- i.e. all income earned in any country in the world, except here in Spain. You cannot work in Spain with a non-lucrative visa but you can enjoy all the other benefits of this magnificent country.
Passive income can be pensions, state and private, rental income, stock, and shares, etc. Remember what the non-lucrative residence visa is; this is a brand new plan from the Spanish government to allow British people to live here. This type of residency permit in Spain allows all non-European citizens to relocate to Spain for long-term life. Again, just to be crystal clear, the permit is non-profit. That means you will not be permitted to do any economic and professional duties in Spain.
Getting a Non-Lucrative Visa In Spain is not simple, unfortunately
Firstly, the applicants must prove their financial capabilities. You must show an ability to support yourself in Spain for at least one year without working.
After the initial year of residency in Spain, this visa is subsequently renewable for up to 5 years total; you reapply after year one and year three. If that goes well, and you want to have a permanent stay, you can apply for a permit to become one of Spain’s hundreds of thousands of ex-pat permanent residence holders. The visa allows you to bring your family members here so long as you can have enough money to sustain them.
Advantages of the Non-lucrative visa
Some of the advantages to our non-European clients of the Non-lucrative visa are listed here.
- Are you thinking of buying a property in Spain? Do you intend to live in Spain with passive income, either pension or investment? This is the answer for you and we advise you to do it before you buy your Spanish property.
- Unlike a golden visa, you do not need to make investments in Spain’s economy before you move to Spain on a non-lucrative residence permit.
- Ultimately, this is a stepping stone to obtain Spanish nationality, assuming you have sufficient funds to maintain your ten years in Spain without any permanent employment.
- This visa allows you free movement in any of the Schengen States for short periods of less than 90 days without acquiring another visa. 26 countries make up the Schengen nations and this is a big plus.
- We spoke in the past of the Spanish government’s plans to create a “location independent working visa” as many countries have done already. If you are location-independent, we believe you’ll be able to upgrade this visa for the nomad visa, once that is all ironed out later in the year.
Getting a Non-lucrative visa in Spain is not an automatic process. Not everyone is approved and there are some consulates who refuse to grant you the non-lucrative residence visa if they suspect that you are going to continue working remotely.
Requirements for the non-Lucrative visa in Spain
Primarily, the residence authority in Spain requires all applicants to demonstrate that they have enough money to survive in Spain and not become a drain on the state. This process is the key requirement.
We mentioned the IPREM previously, this is an indicator used in Spain to determine minimum income for an individual per year. In Spain, applicants must have at least 400% of the IPREM value in their bank account. The 400% IPREM value per month for 2021 is 2.259,6€. Therefore our clients will need to show funds in excess of €27.115,2 (minimum) per year.
Additionally, 6,768 euros is required yearly for each additional family member to qualify for the Spanish non-lucrative visa. Just to make it easier, a euro account is always a good idea in Spain. Euro is the official currency used as opposed to the currency in your home country.
You can use a range of documents as proof of your financial means within the period of your stay in Spain. We call it a certificate of affairs; bank accounts, a validation statement from your bank to prove that you are solvent, proof of investments, shares, and income from other avenues, including rented accommodation.
The required amount of money can be in multiple bank accounts, less than 6 months old, and if in a joint account you must prove that you have the right to access the funds.
Documents we need to Submit?
As with so many transactions in Spain, there is a fair number of documents that must be submitted in order to qualify for the non-lucrative visa. We apply in the Spanish consulate for the first-year visa. Remember it is renewed after years one and three.
Some of the documents required include:
- Visa Application Form
Naturally, this is the first document to be signed and filled in. Applicants have been returned for incomplete information, please don’t try to take shortcuts here!
- Passport Photo
Your visa will have your photo on it, so you will need to provide passport-type photos during the application. The photo’s size should be 3×4 cm.
- Your existing passport
Applicants must have the original and photocopy of their current passport’s first page. The passports should be issued within the last ten years of the application. Also, it should have a minimum of 2 blank pages, to allow for the attachment of the new Spain’s non-lucrative residence visa.
- Police Clearance Certificate
The Spanish government needs to ensure that you are the kind of person they want in Spain! For this reason, all non-resident visa applicants must have a police clearance certificate from their home country. Our Sworn translator, Sandra Ricarte, will turn it into Spanish as the authorities need to see a lack of criminal records in all countries where the applicants have resided for the last 5 years. This police clearance record must be issued within 90 days before making an application at the relevant Spanish consulate.
- Private Health Insurance
The health insurance that our NLV clients need must be one year or longer and must be issued by a private insurance company operating in the Spanish territories. There are a large number of brokers that we can recommend. The Spanish government, as you would expect, do this to make sure that they are not taking care of your medical needs should you move to Spain.
You must prove that you have no major underlying health problems.
- You must also produce a form referred to as the EX-01.
How do you Apply?
If you are thinking of buying a property in Spain, we highly recommend that you speak to an expert about your non-lucrative visa first. There is no point in buying your dream home if you don’t take this seriously.
Get your application process started and only take your advice on the visa from qualified law offices like ours. Estate agents are not necessarily the best people to discuss this process with. Their job is to sell you a property in Spain, ours is to make sure your paperwork is all above board and you can actually stay here! Spain’s non-lucrative visa should be applied at least five weeks before travelling to Spain.
The application should not exceed a period of 3 months. We can make the visa application for you through the Spanish embassy or through a consulate.
Process of Visa Application
As mentioned, the application process to achieve this visa, allowing you to live in Spain, must be done in the country of residence and done before travelling to Spain. A tourist who has entered Spain already, cannot apply for a non-lucrative visa in Spain. Worse still, we have a client who bought a house in Alicante in February, finally moved to Spain last month, and wants to apply for their Non-lucrative visa now. It won’t work, and the estate agent did not explain this to their buyers.
If your application is unsuccessful you will not be issued the residence card after you arrive in Spain. The good thing is that if you are turned down, it’ll be done before you come here. Especially for clients who are moving to Spain to retire, we want them to have the visa approved before we help them to buy their Spanish home.
The Interview in the embassy
A part of the non-lucrative visa Spain application process is the interview. This is conducted in your country of residence. It’s a serious part of the application and apart from taking your biometric data, including the facial image and the fingerprints, the authorities want to see if you are the type of person they want and genuinely not coming to Spain to work. We have people who have been through the process who will explain the sort of questions you will be asked.
How much is the Spanish Non-Lucrative Fee
Putting a price on this without knowing your circumstances is difficult. Strictly speaking, you can do the process yourself, if you have a really good grasp of Spanish and the system. Each country has a different price; In the UK, it is around 700 euro for the paperwork but… that does not include any of the extras- translations, NIE numbers, conveyancing when you purchase your Spanish home, help filling in the paperwork etc. In reality, the real cost of the non-lucrative visa runs into the thousands, if you get it done correctly.
There are estate agents in Spain who tell their clients they don’t need it or they will get them an “NLV lite”- steer clear of them and if you’re buying a house in Spain, talk to Spanish Solutions first. We offer a special conveyancing price to clients who use us for their non-lucrative visas.
How long does the Application Processing take?
The documents take around one month to be reviewed by the Spanish government delegation. You’ll hopefully be approved at this time, allowing you to have your visa stamped on your passport. The next stage is travelling to reside in Spain alone or with your family if they are successfully added as dependents. That is the time to start searching for a home in Spain, take your time, there is no hurry remember.
What else do you need?
Your visa will come with a stamped N.I.E number on it. This number is an essential identification number for all foreigners in Spain. The NIE number is unique for each foreigner and does not ever change.
Once you come to Spain with a non-lucrative visa that is stamped with your new NIE number, you’ll be allowed one months to apply for the foreigners’ identification card. The TIE number is obtained by registering with the municipal authorities in your residential area. You will be required to submit yourself at a local police station, register your fingerprints, and receive your TIE.
Your visa will come with a stamped N.I.E number on it. This number is an essential identification number for all foreigners in Spain. The NIE number is unique for each foreigner and does not ever change.Once you come to Spain with a non-lucrative visa that is stamped with your new NIE number, you’ll be allowed three months to apply for the foreigners’ identification card. The TIE number is obtained by registering with the municipal authorities in your residential area. You will be required to submit yourself at a local police station, register your fingerprints, and receive your TIE.
The non-lucrative visa in Spain application can be complicated. We tried to make it as clear as possible here. We can of course help you with every aspect, this is not a time to take shortcuts. You will be denied if there is no proof of your economic means or if you make an incomplete application. The government wants to see proof of800% IPREM in your bank account during the first year too to make your renewal a smooth process. You can of course transition your visa in Spain to a lucrative residence if your circumstances change and you start to work here. Let’s address that when we come to it.
You will be expected to pay your income tax here in Spain. Again, we’ll take care of this, once we have the information regarding your investments, rental properties abroad, etc.
If you are moving to Spain, to retire and you have not started this process, our advice is to stop the house search. This, albeit tedious part of the process, is the key to a successful relocation to Spain, if you do not intend to work here.
All the fun parts, finding your new home in Spain, meeting your new neighbours, checking out the beach/golf club and social tennis club will go more smoothly when you know that you have your successful non-lucrative visa application already done.
For more information and a chat about your application, please get in touch with us