Retirement Visa For Spain

Retirement visa requirements Spain has been a big trending topic especially among social media in the past few years. It is a valid concern for many people who are working or planning to retire or do business in Spain.

There has been a great deal written about the new Spanish immigration law, especially online where there are many opinions. But what impact does it really have for those wanting to retire in Spain?

Is it cost-effective to retire in Spain? Well yes, and no! If you’re looking for a small, cosy apartment with a small yard and an excellent Spanish supermarket nearby… then it is best to reconsider. There’s no denying Spain offers the most established, franchised retirement living experiences in Europe.

Retirement Visa For Spain

Pleasant to the blog, I am Eric, who is fond of visiting Spain, and especially love the beauty of Spain and its people. Therefore, I have tried to share information about applying for Spanish immigration for all people who would like to follow this, if you want to learn more about simple steps about how to become Spanish citizen here.

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What is the non-lucrative visa?

Spain’s Non-Lucrative Residence Visa is an option for people who would like to retire in the country as well as those non-EU citizens who would like to live in the country but work remotely from Spain.  It can also be an option for those who would like to spend a year in Spain without working before obtaining a work permit.  As the name implies it is about non-EU citizens who have the financial means to support themselves in the country without working and any accompanying family.

The visa allows you to say in Spain for one year after entering the Spanish territory.  You must spend a minimum of 183 days in the country to be able to renew.  This also means that you will become tax resident and taxable on your worldwide income (subject to double tax treaties).

The visa can be renewed every 2 years until you get permanent residency, which is available after 5 years in the country.

Although the visa does not allow you to carry out any type of economic or professional activity in Spain, it does not require you to invest in the country to obtain a visa.  You simply have to show that you have sufficient means to support yourself (and your family).   That does not mean that you cannot invest in Spain while there with this visa.  You are free to invest in any business and generate additional income.

Although you are not able to earn in Spain while staying under this visa, you can study and this includes a paid internship.

The restriction is not to work in Spain and many people apply for this visa and continue to work remotely for a company in another country.  The visa does not address remote work and this arrangement is generally accepted.  However, in some cases applicants have been refused when indicating that they plan to work remotely and so although this can be a good option for people who want to spend time in Spain but continue working remotely it should be handled carefully when explaining the source of funds you will rely on.

The Non-Lucrative Visa entitles you to travel freely within the Schengen zone.

Requirements for a Non-Lucrative Visa

The following requirements must be met in order to be eligible for the visa:

Demonstrating you have sufficient funds
In the case of the non-lucrative visa, you must prove that you have 400% of the IPREM annually in your bank account.  The Public Indicator of Multiple Effects Income which is the benchmark in Spain for the allocation of aid and subsidies.   In 2022 this means that the main applicant for this visa must demonstrate he or she has at least 27,792.96€. This is, however, the minimum and a higher amount may be required.  For each dependent travelling with you will require that you have an additional amount equal to the IPREM (6.948.24€ annually).  Thus the requirement for a couple is 34,731.20€

The legislation refers to income and the primary way of demontrating this is showing what goes through your bank account.  It is possible to demonstrate that you have the required resources by showing you will be receiving regular income, such as a pension or pensions, that you have savings that you can live off or a combination of both.   You will be required to provide a bank certificate or bank statements from the last six months.  The funds may be in multiple accounts.

Remote work is an issue here.  The treatment of this can vary from consulate to consulate.  Some may accept income from a job or business outside Spain but others may require proof that the employment is to be terminated before you move to Spain if earned income is evident on your bank statements.

Private health insurance
Applicants must have a private health insurance policy with full coverage in Spain with no copayments provided by a Spanish insurance company for at least one year.

If you are a UK citizen who qualifies for an S1 this is now accepted as meeting the requirement to prove you have health cover. This was not the case after Brexit but is now accepted. However, there are some practicalities.  The Overseas Pension Office at the NHS will only send the S1 to an address in Spain and so you will need to ensure it is sent in time to be available for your NLV appointment at the Consulate.  This means you will need to allow time and make arrangments for it to be returned to you in the UK in good time.

The S1 will need to be registered once you get to Spain and the process can only be begun once you have your TIE.  You have 30 days to register for your TIE card and then it can take another 30 to 45 days for you to be able to collect your TIE card.  You can then apply to register your S1 but it can take up to six months for the Spanish Social Security (Seguridad Social) to issue you with the certificate to allow you to register with a Doctor.  Until this happens you will not have access to the Spanish healthcare system and so may need to get private healthcare to cover this period anyway.

Application process for a Non Lucrative Visa

The application process is divided into two parts: the initial visa application and then obtaining the residence card once you enter Spain.

Visa application

The application must be made in your country of origin or there where you are legally resident.  You are not able to apply in Spain having entered the country as a tourist.

You will have to send all relevant documents to the Spanish Consulate:

  • National visa form (available for download from your local Spanish Consulate website).
  • Form Ex-01.
  • Private Health insurance policy from a company authorsed to operate in Spain
  • Bank certificate, demonstrating the possession of required funds per year.
  • Photos, 3×4 cm with white background.
  • Original Passport (minimum validity of one year and at least two blank pages).
  • A medical certificate (less than 90 days old), demonstrating that you do not suffer from any restricted diseases.
  • Criminal record translated to Spanish and legalised (issued by the country or countries where the applicant has resided in the last 5 years).
  • Documents (original and stamped) to prove you have the required financial means through periodic and sufficient income or have an estate to guarantee the required income.

Confirmation will be within one month and the visa will be stamped in your passport and you will then be free to travel to Spain.  The visa will also include your NIE Number.

Interview for Non-Lucrative Visa

You will need to attend an interview at the nearest Spainsh Consulate in your country of residence to progress the processing of your visa application. On the day of the interview, you will:

  1. Meet at the Consulate for the interview.
  2. Submit the supporting document to the interview
  3. Give your fingerprints and facial image.
  4. Pay the visa fee. Check how this needs to be paid with the Consulate as you may need to pay in cash, money order or certified check

Obtaining the TIE or foreigner’s identity card

Once you have your visa you must enter Spain within a maximum of 3 months.  You therefore need to think through the timing of your application to ensure you will be able to travel within 90 days of the approval.

Once in Spain, you will need to register on the Padron in your local municipality and obtain your TIE (foreigner’s identity card).

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