The Non-Lucrative Visa offers residency to third country nationals who have the financial means to support themselves without working. The Non-Lucrative Visa residency scheme is therefore ideal if you are retired or have passive income, for example from a portfolio of properties or other investments. The Non-Lucrative Visa is for full-time residency in Spain.
What does the Non-Lucrative Visa Offer?
The Non-Lucrative Visa offers temporary residency in Spain for up to 5 years, providing ongoing eligibility requirements continue to be met. The TIE, tarjeta de identidad de extranjero is the residency card that is issued. The TIE is initially valid for 1 year, and can be renewed twice for 2 years at a time. When 5 years of full-time residency has been completed, permanent residency can be applied for, subject to having met the minimum stay requirements over the last 5 years.
Non Lucrative Visa for Full-Time Living in Spain
The Non-Lucrative Visa is intended for people who want to live in Spain full-time. Time spent in Spain does not count towards the Schengen limit, so travel in the rest of the Schengen area, up to 90 days in 180 days is also still possible.
Spouse or legal partner, children under 18 years and dependent ascendants can also obtain residency in Spain under the Non-Lucrative Visa scheme. This of course providing there are sufficient financial means to support all applicants.
Unlike the ‘Golden Visa‘, there is a minimum amount of time that must be spent in Spain to be able to renew residency, so it is not ideal for holiday home owners who want to spend more than 3 months in one go in Spain, but typically spend less than 6 months altogether, e.g. 5 months over the winter.
How do you Apply for a Non-Lucrative Visa & Residency?
Nationals from non-EU countries who wish to get a Non-Lucrative Visa, must apply for it at the Spanish Consulate in their home country, or if they reside in another country, through the consulate of that country. Once the visa has been approved, it’s valid for 90 days from the date of issue. During this time the holder must travel to Spain and apply for their residency card or TIE tarjeta de identidad de extranjero. The application for the TIE, must be made within 30 days of arrival in Spain.
Applications for the Non-Lucrative Visa cannot be presented by a legal representative and must be applied for in person. There are application fees and these vary depending on the country in which you are applying.
Summary of Non-Lucrative Visa General Requirements
The Non-Lucrative visa applicant must:
● Have a valid passport with at least 1 year before expiry
● Not have entered or stayed illegally in Spanish territory
● Not have been refused entry in any of the 26 Schengen countries
● Have sufficient financial means to cover personal and family living costs (€28,000 for the applicant plus €7,000 for each dependent family member)
● Be 18 years or over, with no criminal record in Spain nor in the countries where they have resided in the previous 5 years
● Have access to public healthcare, or private health insurance providing the equivalent with an insurer authorised to operate in Spain
You can read more about the costs and requirements in our article Understanding the Requirements and Costs for British Nationals to Get Spanish Residency
FAQS About the Non-Lucrative Visa for Residency in Spain
CAN INCOME FROM MY BUSINESS OR SELF-EMPLOYED REMOTE WORK BE USED
No, the non-lucrative residency visa does not allow the holder to carry on any business activity whilst holding this type of residency
CAN SAVINGS BE USED INSTEAD OF INCOME?
Savings may be taken into account in lieu of income, or to ‘top up’ a shortfall in the minimum required amount. Savings must be sufficient to cover the minimum income requirement for the duration of the residency. E.g. for 5 years residency with savings only, requires savings of 5 times €28,000.
WHAT ABOUT TAX RESIDENCE?
Non-lucrative residency is intended for people that want to live in Spain for 6 months or more. If the minimum amount of time has not been spent in Spain, the residency renewal may be turned down. The 183 day rule is the starting measure for determining tax residency. You are deemed to be a Spanish tax resident if you spend 183 days or more in Spain during any one calendar year. You would also be deemed to have changed your country of habitual residence, and therefore fiscal residence if for example you spent 180 days in Spain, 120 in the UK and the other 65 in another, or other countries.
DOES THE NON-LUCRATIVE VISA OFFER PERMANENT RESIDENCY?
Non-lucrative residency can lead to permanent residency in Spain. To obtain permanent residency the holder of the visa must prove continuous residence in Spain throughout a qualifying period of 5 years. To meet the continuous residence measure you cannot spend more than 10 months outside of Spain during the 5 year period of temporary residence.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A NON-LUCRATIVE VISA AND TIE?
The Spanish Consulates give a timescale of 3 months. The application process and procedures vary not only from one country to the next but also between consulates in the same country. This means that timescales also vary a lot. The time of year also affects the processing of applications., e.g. in the summer student visa applications are prioritised and as a result, some consulates do not take any non lucrative visa applications in July and August. At best applications can take 2 to 3 weeks from date of submission to be approved, however the average is around 4 to 5 weeks, If applications have queries raised or additional information requested, then they can take even longer.
If you need more information or advice about getting a Non-Lucrative Visa for residency in Spain, or would like to employ the services of a professional company that specialises in Spanish residency visas, we’ll may be able to assist depending on your situation and country of residence. Please feel free to get in touch.
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