Non-lucrative visa for Spain
The non-lucrative visa is designed for people who want to live but not work in Spain. It is therefore the most popular choice for retirees. The visa application is made in the UK via an appointment at one of the three Spanish Consulates, located in London, Manchester and Edinburgh.
What you need to have prepared ahead of your appointment at the Consulate
- National Visa Application Form completed by the applicant.
- A recent colour photograph with a white background. Size: 3.5cm x 4.5cm.
- Original passport, valid for at least one year from submission of the application and two blank pages and passports will not be valid for over 10 years so be careful with extra months added on due to early passport renewal. Also, a photocopy of your passport open at the photograph page.
- Police clearance from countries of residence for the last five years. For applicants with five years of continuous residency in Britain this will be the ACRO criminal record certificate. This document must be legalised (via a Hague Apostille Certificate) and translated into Spanish.
- Medicate Certificate that the applicant does not suffer from any diseases that can have serious health consequences as per the provisions of the International Health Regulations 2005. Again this document must be legalised by way of Apostile and translated into Spanish if it has not been issued by a Spanish Doctor.
- Medical insurance with an insurance company authorised to operate in Spain, valid for at least the first 12 months of your stay in Spain. The policy should start on the projected date of arrival into Spain once the visa has been issued. The British S1 Form is also acceptable for those of State Pension Age and will require pre-registration before attending the Consulate appointment.
- Documents proving sufficient financial means for living expenses. €2,400 per month for the first 12 months plus a further €600 per month in joint financial means for a spouse or dependent family members. Evidence includes stamped bank statements, proof of pension, other investments etc.
- Form EX-01. Non-lucrative Temporary Residence Authorisation Form.
- Form 790-052. Residency admin fee form.
Once you have paid for and collected your visa from the Consulate you are required to travel to Spain within 90 days. Then within a month of arrival you must apply for the Foreigner Identity Card (TIE) at the Oficina de Extranjeria (immigration office) which will be valid for one year. arrange to attend a meeting at the immigration office or police station to exchange your visa for a 12 month temporary TIE (residency) card.
After 12 months there is a process to re-apply for a further 2 years, and two years after that until permanent residence is granted after fiche years. After 10 years the option of Spanish Citizenship becomes possible.
Frequently asked questions about the non-lucrative visa
Do I need to arrange healthcare cover if I am a British pensioner?
If you are in receipt of a UK state pension, the S1 form offers you access to Public Spanish healthcare on the same basis as the Spanish. This will save you the cost of an annual private healthcare insurance policy. But beware you will still need to get cover for the 1-2 month interim period when you first arrive in Spain and are awaiting your TIR card applications to the processed.
What options are open to me if my pensions and investments aren't enough to meet the financial means test?
The Spanish Consulates can be receptive about other forms of income or potential sources of funds to make up any shortfall. Examples include
- Ownership of a Spanish property. If you can show the titles deeds as proof of ownership, the fact that you will not be paying rent on a property lowers your living expenses.
- Rental income from UK property. Proof of rental income from a buy-to-let for example by way of a lease contract and proof of regular income will be taken into consideration.
- Parents with a Spanish home. Following your family to Spain? Parents and other close family members can act as guarantors – promising to help cover living expenses. This needs to be made official by way of a notarised document.
- Other investments. Untouched pension pots, bonds, ISAs and dividends could be considered
- Finally, credit cards. If you hold credit cards with unused credit, this can be considered as a route to further funding if needed.
What are the common reasons that applications get rejected?
- Applicants are unable to show suffficient proof that they have ceased working. It is vital if you have a P45 that it is part of the information pack.
- One of the documents is unaccpetable, typically it may have expired.