The Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa offers residency to British nationals who have the financial means to support themselves without working. The Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa scheme is therefore ideal if you are retired, or have passive income, for example income from rental properties or other investments. The Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa is intended for full-time residency in Spain, i.e. 6 months or more per year.
What does the Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa Offer UK British Nationals?
The Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa offers temporary residency in Spain, renewable on an ongoing basis providing eligibility requirements continue to be met. The TIE, tarjeta de identidad de extranjero is the residency card that is issued. The initial residency permit and TIE is valid for 1 year. After the first year, the non-lucrative residency permit is renewed every 2 years, and a new card obtained at each renewal. When 5 years of full-time residency has been completed, long term permanent residency can be applied for, subject to having met the minimum stay requirements over the last 5 years.
A Visa for Full-Time Living in Spain
The Spanish Non-Lucrative residency scheme is aimed at 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, (older if in full-time education / financially dependent), and dependent ascendants, (e.g. elderly parents), can also obtain residency in Spain under the Non-Lucrative Visa scheme. This of course, provided 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 intended 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. 4 or 5 months over the winter. (Read about the recent Supreme Court Ruling regarding this.)
How does a British UK National Apply for a Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa & Residency?
British nationals who wish to get a Non-Lucrative Visa, must apply for it via the Spanish Consulates in the UK, or if they reside in another country, through the Spanish consulate in that country. There are three Spanish Consulates in the UK in London, Manchester and Edinburgh. The Consulates outsource application processing to BLS Visa Centres.
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, TIE tarjeta de identidad de extranjero. The application for the TIE, must be made within 30 days of arrival in Spain.
Applications for the Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa cannot be presented by a legal representative and must be applied for in person. There are application fees totaling £525 per applicant, plus additional fees payable to BLS.
Summary of Non-Lucrative Visa General Requirements
The Non-Lucrative visa applicant needs to:
● 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 (€28,800 for the main applicant plus €7,200 for each dependent family member)
● Not have a criminal record in Spain or in any 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 Spanish Residency for British Nationals
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 while holding this type of residency. Remote workers may consider the Digital Nomad Visa.
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 at renewal 2 years residency with savings only, requires savings of 2 times €29,000.
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 long term 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 in the UK give a timescale of 3 months. Having assisted with hundreds of non-lucrative visa applications through all the Spanish Consulates over the last 2 years, we have found the timescales vary between the consulates, and depending on the province in Spain, that you are moving to, and the time of year that you apply. 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. During the summer when immigration prioritise student visa applications, you should be prepared to wait up to the full given timescale. 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, please get in touch, we’ll be glad to assist you.
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