Spain has long been established as a hotspot for expats. An optimal climate, a cheap cost of living, and a relaxed pace of life have been enough to draw hoards of expats over the last few decades.
Additionally, Spanish gastronomy is world-renowned, and the nation’s profound history – being home to the world’s fourth most UNESCO World Heritage Sites – makes it the ideal place to live a life of relaxation and exploration.
The non-lucrative visa Spain may be your golden ticket to starting a new life in Spain. This visa is designed for non-EU nationals who wish to live in Spain without working. However, you can still enjoy the Spanish lifestyle if you can show that you have sufficient financial means to support yourself and your family.
But how do you obtain the visa? You can start by reading this comprehensive guide, which breaks down essential information such as the Spanish Non-lucrative Visa income requirements, how to apply for a Non-lucrative Visa in Spain, and more.
What is the Spain Non-lucrative Visa
A Spain Non-lucrative Visa (Visado de Residencia No Lucrativa) is a residency permit introduced by the government to boost the Spanish economy. It’s also known as a Non-profit Visa in Spain as it is designed for non-EU citizens with sufficient economic funds who want to retire or live in Spain without seeking a work permit or conducting business activities.
Since this visa is designed for individuals who have a stable source of passive income, applicants need to show bank statements as proof that they have sufficient funds to cover their living expenses in Spain. These funds can come from various sources, such as foreign employment and businesses, or non-working monthly income like pensions and rental income.
Benefits of the Non Lucrative Visa Spain
Free entry and circulation in the Schengen Zone
After the applicant receives their non lucrative residency permit, they will have the right to visa-free travel in the Schengen Area, comprised of 27 European countries.
You can apply on behalf of any family members as long as they depend financially on you.
The right to reunification covers the applicant’s:
- Spouse or partner.
- Minor or disabled children.
- Children over 18 who are financially dependent, single, and who are part of the family unit.
- First-degree ascendants in the direct line of the resident or respective spouse, provided they are financially dependent on them.
The right to live in Spain
The Non-lucrative Visa grants non-EU legal residence in Spain.
Visa holders have access to Spain’s public services, including healthcare and education, similar to other residents. They’ll also benefit from Spain’s cost of living, which is quite affordable, as well as the country’s pleasant weather, rich cultural heritage, and a relaxed pace of life.
Pathway to permanent residence and Spanish citizenship
Once you are in Spain, you need to apply for the Foreigner Identity Card. The residence permit is initially granted for a period of one year. After this time, you will need to renew your residence permit. The next two renewals are for two years.
After the third renewal, you may choose to apply for a permanent residence permit. After ten years of legal residence, you are entitled to apply for Spanish citizenship, whereby you can get a Spanish passport.
Spain Non Lucrative Visa Requirements
The non-lucrative residence visa requirements include the following:
- A minimum income or savings proving you have enough money to live in Spain without looking to work
- Private medical insurance*
- Criminal record certificate
- Medical certificate
*Applicants will need to present an original and a copy of the certificate accrediting the public or private health insurance contracted with an insurance entity authorized to operate in Spain. The insurance policy must cover all the risks insured by Spain’s public health system.
Applicants who fulfill the Spanish Non-lucrative Visa requirements can renew the visa until they are eligible for permanent residency after five years.
Spain Non lucrative Visa income requirements
The non-lucrative visa is intended for those who wish to reside in Spain without performing any paid work or professional activities. As a result, the applicant must have enough resources to cover their expenses while in the country. It is important to note that this visa does not authorize the holder to work.
In 2022, the minimum monthly income requirement for the Spanish Non-lucrative Visa was €2,316.08 per month and €579.02 for each additional dependent included in the application.
The Spanish government sets the value at 400 percent of the monthly IPREM [Indicador Público de Renta de Efectos Múltiples (Public Indicator of Multiple Effects Income)]. IPREM is an index reference for the concession of economic support, such as grants, allowances, unemployment benefits, as well as minimum wage.
As of 2023, the IPREM increased to €600, meaning the current Spain non-lucrative visa income requirements stand at €2,400 per month and the same income of €600 for each dependent. The income can also be presented in annual income or savings, which would be €28,800 for the main applicant and €7,200 for each dependent.
Applicants need to show bank statements as proof that they have sufficient funds from various sources, such as foreign employment and businesses, or non-working monthly income like pensions and rental income.
How to Apply for a Spanish Non-lucrative Visa
There are a few different types of Spanish residence visas, and the application process for each can vary slightly. The Spanish Non-lucrative Visa application process is relatively straightforward, provided the applicant meets the visa requirements and can provide all the documents required.
Spanish Non-lucrative Visa Eligibility Criteria
You’re eligible to submit a Spanish Non-lucrative Visa application if:
- You are a third-country national (non-EU/EEA and non-Swiss)
- You want to live in Spain long-term
- You have the necessary financial resources to support yourself and any dependent relatives to live in Spain without working
- You have a clean criminal record check certificate
- You have adequate health insurance
- You’re free of any illnesses listed under the World Health Organization (WHO) International Health Regulations 2005
Immediate family members, including a spouse or common-law partner and dependent children, are eligible to receive a residency visa in Spain under a main applicant’s non-lucrative residence visa application. This is on the condition that the applicant can present proof of additional income to support each family member.
The following documents are required to apply for the Non-lucrative Visa Spain
- National visa form
- A valid passport ( minimum validity period of 1 year) with two blank pages. Passports issued more than ten years ago will not be accepted. Original and a photocopy of the passport’s page(s) containing the biometric data must be submitted.
- A recent, passport-size, color photograph taken against a light background, facing forward, without dark or reflective glasses or any garments concealing the oval of the face.
- Original and a copy of the criminal record check certificate(s) issued by the applicant’s country/countries of residence for the past five years.
- Public or private health insurance policy, which must cover all the risks insured by Spain’s public health system.
- Original and a copy of a medical certificate accrediting that the applicant does not suffer from any disease that could cause serious repercussions for public health pursuant to the 2005 International Health Regulations.
- Documents to prove sufficient financial means
i. Bank account statements for the last three months
ii. An employee contract stating the salary
iii. Proof of investments
iv. Proof of other types of income; i.e., from a rented property
- Non-lucrative Visa application form (EX-01)
If adding dependents to the application, the family members should also provide all of the abovementioned documents, except for the proof of financial means. In addition, they should provide the following:
- i. Minor children: birth certificate issued by the civil registry
- ii. Spouse: marriage certificate issued by the civil registry
- iii. If adding a partner: certificate of registration as an unmarried couple or any other document substantiating an unmarried partnership with the applicant
- iv. Adult children: documents proving financial dependence, the adult child’s civil status, and that they continue to form part of the family unit
- v. Parents: documents proving financial dependence and that they form part of the family unit
Please note that all foreign documents must be legalized or apostilled and, where applicable, must be submitted together. In addition, a sworn translation into Spanish by a sworn translator or interpreter registered in Spain is required for all non-Spanish documents.
The specific photo requirements for a Spanish visa may vary slightly depending on the type of visa and the consulate or embassy where you are applying. However, the following guidelines are commonly observed for Spanish visa photo requirements:
- Size: The photo should be 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm (1.38 inches x 1.77 inches) in dimension.
- Color and quality: The photo should be in color, clear, and high-quality. There should be no visible pixels, blurring, or distortion. It should be printed on photo-quality paper.
- Background: The background should be white without any patterns or distractions.
- Facial Expression: The applicant should have a neutral facial expression with both eyes open and looking directly at the camera. The mouth should be closed.
- Head Position: The head should be centered in the photo and positioned in such a way that the face covers around 70 to 80 percent of the photo.
- Lighting: The photo should have even lighting, without shadows on the face or background.
- Attire: The applicant should wear everyday clothing for the photo. Headwear is generally not allowed unless it is worn for religious or medical reasons. Uniforms must also not be worn.
- Headgear and Accessories: Except for religious or medical reasons, the applicant should not wear any headgear or accessories that may obscure their facial features. If the applicant has to wear glasses for medical reasons, the eyes should be clearly visible with no reflections or glare from the lenses. The frames should not cover any part of the eyes.
- Recent Photo: The photo should be recent, typically taken within the last six months, to accurately represent the applicant’s current appearance.
It is important to note that these guidelines are general, and it is recommended to check the specific requirements provided by the consulate or embassy where you will be applying for your Spanish visa.
Spanish Non-lucrative Visa Application Fees
The visa fee is €80. For nationals of Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom, different rates are applied. This is due to reciprocity measures that Spain has implemented. In these cases, the application fees for a non-lucrative Spanish residency visa must be consulted with the Consular Office.
How to apply for a Spain Non-lucrative Visa?
The first step in applying for a Non-lucrative Visa is gathering all the documents required. You can apply for this residency permit up to 90 days before the intended travel date to Spain. A Spain Non-lucrative Visa can be applied for through the Spanish Embassy, Spanish Consulate, or a third-party organization that provides visa services on behalf of Spain in your country of residence.
The visa application process is as follows:
- The qualified applicant: Spain’s Non-lucrative Visa applications must be submitted by the main applicant.
- Make an appointment and submit the application and all the required documents: non-lucrative residency applications must be submitted in person by appointment only at a Spanish Embassy or Consular Office.
- Proof of receipt: The Spanish Embassy will provide the main applicant with confirmation of the submitted Non-lucrative Visa application with a code that enables them to check the application status through a web portal.
- Rectifying the visa application: The embassy may ask applicants to present any missing documents or provide additional documentation they deem necessary to proceed with the review. They may also request applicants to make another visa appointment to attend a second interview.
- Await a decision: The decision stage for a Non-lucrative Visa generally takes 90 days; however, this may be extended if further due diligence or documents are required.
- Collecting the non lucrative residence visa Spain: The Visa must be collected in person by the main applicant or by their legal representative (if the applicant is a minor) within a maximum period of 1 month, counted as the day after the date on which the favorable decision is notified. The Consular Office will inform the applicant regarding the procedure for returning the passport and any other original documentation.
- Denial of the residence visa: If the Non-lucrative Visa is denied, applicants will be notified in writing with the grounds on which the decision was made.
- Appeals of refusal: If a non-lucrative residence card is denied, applicants may appeal for reconsideration to the same Spanish Consular Office within one month of the refusal notification. Applicants may also file an appeal with the High Court of Justice of Madrid within two months of receiving the notification of the refusal or dismissal of the reconsideration appeal.
After arriving in Spain with a non-lucrative residence permit
All foreign nationals, including each family member over 18, holding a Non-lucrative Visa must apply for their NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) within one month of the date of their arrival in Spain.
After getting the visa, and once in Spain, the applicant also needs to apply for a TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero), which is a Foreigner Identity Card. The application for the residence card should be made within a period of 1 month from the applicant’s entry into Spain at the Immigration Office or the corresponding Police Station.
What is an NIE number?
An NIE number is Spanish identification and tax number given to Spanish foreign residents as a form of national ID and to conduct legal or official activities in Spain. The NIE number is required for things such as opening a Spanish bank account, registering as an international student, paying taxes, or any other legal or professional activity.
After receiving the non lucrative residence permit, the card will be valid for one year, renewable for periods of 2 years. You must spend at least 90 days of the year in Spain and continue to prove that you have sufficient economic means to support yourself to renew the visa. After the third renewal, you may choose to apply for a permanent residency in Spain.
Can the Non-lucrative Visa lead to Spanish citizenship?
When planning to submit a Spanish Non-lucrative Visa application, applicants must know that this visa does not directly lead to Spanish citizenship.
To acquire citizenship in Spain, you must be naturalized, which generally takes ten years of residency. You can apply for permanent residency in Spain if you maintain your non-lucrative resident status for five years.
Continuing permanent residence for a further five years will constitute eligibility for Spanish citizenship, provided that the applicants reside in Spain for ten years, spending at least 183 days per year in the country.
If your country of origin is one of Spain’s former colonies, based on Spanish citizenship law, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship by naturalization after two years of residency.
How Global Citizen Solutions Can Help
Expats and foreign investors can encounter many difficulties when applying for a Spain Non-lucrative Visa, which is why it is worthwhile to have an expert on hand to provide personalized assistance throughout the Spanish visa application process.
Our specialists can help you with the following:
- While most of the process can be done remote, having an expert lawyer can minimize the visits you have to make to the designated country
- Have someone who works solely on your behalf
- Reduce the hassle associated with putting your application together
- Acquire insider knowledge from someone with years of experience in the market
Let’s get you moving forward in your quest to obtain a Spain Non-lucrative Visa. Get in touch with us to book a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Spanish Non-lucrative Visa
Do you have to pay taxes in Spain with a Non-lucrative Visa?
A foreigner living in Spain under a non-lucrative residency visa automatically becomes a Spanish tax resident after spending more than 183 days in the country. The individual would be required to pay income tax to Spanish authorities on their worldwide income. This includes annual income from overseas, such as rental income and earnings from foreign businesses.
In addition to tax on worldwide income, non-EU citizens with Spanish residence permits, whether a temporary residence permit or permanent residence permit, are also required to pay capital gains tax as well as wealth and inheritance tax to the Spanish government. Spain does have several double tax treaties with other nations, so depending on your country of origin, you may have access to tax relief schemes as a Spanish tax resident.
Is the Spanish Non-lucrative Visa good for UK nationals?
The Spanish Non-lucrative Visa – also known as a Non-profit Visa in Spain – is the ideal residence permit for a UK national. The UK’s withdrawal from the European Union due to Brexit in January 2020 created a dilemma for many British expats living in Spain without permanent residency. The introduction of the Non-lucrative Visa created a straightforward way for UK nationals to continue legally residing in Spain and those who had plans to relocate there.
The current Spanish Non-lucrative Visa cost is €80. For nationals of Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom, different rates are applied. This is due to reciprocity measures that Spain has implemented. In these cases, the application fees for a non-lucrative Spanish residency visa must be consulted with the Consular Office.
The applicant and their family members can apply for the NLV at the embassy or consulate of the country of their current residence.
Can digital nomads apply for a Spanish Non-lucrative Visa?
No restrictions exist on who can apply for a Non-lucrative Visa for Spain. Provided that you can present the required documents and proof that you have sufficient economic means to live in Spain without looking for work, you’ll be eligible for a non-lucrative residency visa as a digital nomad and a Spanish bank account.
A Non-lucrative Visa requires applicants to prove financial means from bank statements of at least €2,400 in income per month or savings of €28,000, have private health insurance, and stay in Spanish territory for at least 183 days per year to maintain the visa.
Can you work on a Non-lucrative Visa?
A Spain Non-lucrative Visa a non-working visa that does not come with a work permit or permission to conduct any professional activity in Spain. The Non-lucrative Visa for Spain is explicitly designed for non-EU citizens who earn enough money to support themselves without working while living in Spain.
To obtain a work permit in Spain or conduct professional activity in Spanish territory, foreigners must apply for Spanish visas such as a Work Visa (Visa de Trabajo) or Self-Employed Visa (Visado de Trabajo por Cuenta Propia).
What is the non lucrative residence visa in Spain?
The non-lucrative visa is designed for individuals seeking to reside in Spain without carrying out any gainful (work or professional) activity. This visa is provided if the applicant has sufficient and guaranteed means to live in Spain. This visa does not constitute a work permit.
How much money do you need?
The current minimum income requirement for a Non-lucrative Visa stands at €2,400 per month and the same income of €600 for each dependent.
What is the minimum income requirement?
The current minimum income requirement for a Non-lucrative Visa stands at €2,400 per month and the same income of €600 for each dependent. The income can also be presented in annual income or savings, which would be €28,800 for the main applicant, which corresponds to 400% of Spain’s Public Multiple Effects Income Indicator (IPREM), and €7,200 for each dependent, which corresponds to 100% of the IPREM.
How long do I have to stay in Spain with a non-lucrative visa?
To reside in Spain with a non-lucrative visa, you must live in the country for at least 183 days a year, which is just over six months, to be able to renew your visa. This requirement also makes you a Spanish tax resident. Additionally, you must spend ten months per year in Spain for five years to qualify for permanent residency