A month has passed since the Brexit transition period ended and the UK finally left the EU. If enquiries, posts and comment in social media and other forums are anything to go by, there is a major lack of understanding of the requirements and costs for British Nationals to get Spanish Residency.
We covered the general requirements in our article Spanish Residency Requirements for British Citizens and UK Nationals 2021.
Here we drill down further into what the new Spanish residency requirements for British National mean in real terms.
Spanish Residency Requirements for British Citizens as Nationals of Third Countries
The single biggest change that UK nationals seem to be failing to understand, is that British citizens are now nationals of third countries, and therefore subject to general immigration rules. This means that UK nationals who wish to come and live in Spain must first obtain a long stay visa, BEFORE they can actually come to Spain and apply for their residency.
Visas are obtained through the Spanish Consulate in the UK and applications must be presented with supporting documents present, correct, legalised, certified and officially translated as necessary.
The requirement for British nationals to obtain a visa in order to get Spanish residency, adds significant cost to the process, and also excludes a wide demographic of Brits who have previously made up a large section of migrants from the UK to Spain.
What Are The Visa Eligibility Requirements and Costs?
Applicants must have a sufficient secure income, such as a pension, and private medical insurance.
The minimum income required for a single person is just over €27,000 per year. Just under €6,800 per extra per year is required for each additional dependent family member applicant. So married couple applying together need a minimum income of €34,000 between them, and a family with 3 children €54,000.
The total application costs will depend on the applicants circumstances and the type of visa being applied for. We are going to use a couple, Mr and Mrs Bloggs, who are recently retired applying for a non-lucrative visa as an example.
Private Medical Insurance
This cost will of course vary. This example assumes the couple who are both aged 67, are in good health with no pre-existing conditions.
Each applicant must obtain a police report and medical certificate. These must then be legalised (apostile stamp attached), and then officially translated by a Spanish Government authorised (Sworn) translator. A police reports cost £55, medical certificate £40, legalisation £30 per document (plus £5.50 postage per order), official translation £40 per page.
As Mrs Bloggs doesn’t have sufficient income to qualify for a visa in her own right, she must apply as a dependent of Mr Bloggs and provide a marriage certificate, legalised with apostile and officially translated.
Other documents that might need to be certified and translated are those confirming income, e.g. P60’s, pension letters, private pension payslips, bank statements and so on. Document certification (official authentication) is done by a notary public and costs £50 per document. Not all documents need to be certified.
Visa Application Fees
The non lucrative visa application fee is £516 and paid directly to the Spanish Embassy.
So to summarise, the couples visa application estimated costs (in Euros) are as follows:
€1,900 – private medical insurance (1 year policy)
€640 – documentation costs
€1,166 – visa application fees
€3,656 – total estimated costs
Costs which are in GBP such as the visa fee, have been converted to EUR, the exchange rate at the time of writing £1 = €1.13.
Spanish Residency Card Application (TIE – Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjeros)
Once the visa has been approved, the successful applicants can travel to Spain and apply for their Spanish residency cards.
The application is made at the National Police station in the area that they are going to be living in Spain.
Given the amount of initial financial outlay that has to be made BEFORE getting approved for residency, understanding the requirements and being prepared ready with a properly prepared application are of obvious importance. The last thing you want to do is spend thousands of pounds only for your approval to end up being long drawn out process because of a poorly prepared application .
Similarly you don’t want to commit to the expense of a visa application if you’re unlikely to get approved. For this reason, if you are unsure whether you qualify, or don’t understand the requirements and process, its advisable to pay a firm that does, to review your situation and advise you, before you commit to the costs of a Spanish visa application.
What Can Go Wrong With Spanish Visa Applications
Insufficient / Irrelevant Income
Applicants must have a relevant reliable income such as a pension or derived from other assets, for example investments, share, property etc. If the applicant does not have sufficient income, but has significant cash savings, it is at the discretion of the Embassy to accept this or not.
NOTE: Applicants receiving income from a business activity in their home country, must demonstrate that the business activity doesn’t require their presence or input whilst they are in Spain. So for example, an income that is a salary paid to someone who works remotely is NOT acceptable as the non-lucrative visa does not permit you to work whilst in Spain.
Private Medical Insurance
A private medical insurance policy issued by a company operating in Spain is compulsory. The cover provided has to be the same as that available through the national health system in Spain, i.e. without limitations. If a policy providing adequate cover with no exclusions, is not in place and proof provided, the application will be rejected.
Applications require supporting documents to confirm the information provided. These may need to be certified as authentic or legalised before being officially translated. If the the right supporting documents are not supplied, or those presented are not correctly certified legalised or translated, this will hold up the application.
If you are applying for a visa and have children aged between 6 and 16 years of age, your application must include proof that you have made arrangements for their schooling. Proof might be confirmation of the enrollment of the children at a private school, with reservation deposit paid.
The non-lucrative visa is for individuals who intend to spend at least 6 months in per year in Spain. If the assessing officer forms the impression that the applicant doesn’t intend to do this or will otherwise not be able to (e.g. due to work or family commitments back home), then the visa application may be declined.
Spanish Residency for Applicants Living in Spain Before the End of the Transition Period.
Individuals who were living in Spain before the end of the transition period and who are able to prove this, may still be able to apply for residency under the withdrawal agreement terms. The cut off for such applications is the end of March.
If you are thinking about applying for a residency visa or Spanish residency, and want to be sure about how your should go about this, please feel free to contact us to arrange a review of your situation.