Spain Explained

A mini guide on Spanish non-lucrative visa

Are you thinking about living in Spain but not needing to work because you have your own financial means? If yes, the Spanish non-lucrative visa is your visa.

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What is the Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa?

A non-lucrative residence visa entitles the applicant to reside in Spain while not undertaking in any work or professional activities

In other words: you can live in Spain legally but not work.

The Spanish non-lucrative visa applies only to non-EU nationals (the United Kingdom has not implemented any visas yet).

People applying for this visa must have proof of sufficient funds to financially cover their expenses throughout their stay in Spain. 

The term “sufficient funds” means finances in either a Spanish bank or a bank in your home country, which can include investments, annuities, or another source of income, such as a pension.

How long can you stay in Spain with this visa?

Generally speaking, there are two groups of people when it comes to who requires visas or not for staying in Spain:

  1. Citizens of the European Union do not require visas (only Spanish residency, including the United Kingdom for now).
  2. Citizens of non-European Union countries do require visas (here is a guide about the different types of Spanish visas).

However, there are some exceptions.

For example, the USA has a special agreement with EU countries, and US citizens are permitted to stay for up to three months (90 days) in Spain without a visa, but only as a tourist. 

Residents of other non-European Union countries may require a visa to visit Spain, despite how long (or brief) their visit may be.

If your plan is to live in Spain or remain in the country for longer than 90 days, then you will need a visa. The Spanish non-lucrative visa can be one of the options. One way or another, there will be renewal processes to live in Spain for as long as you desire.

The Main characteristic of the Non-Lucrative Residence Visa

There is only one main characteristic of this visa.

  • Under the rules of this type of visa you cannot work or create a business in Spain
  • However, you should not despair, you can still have investments abroad, private/public pensions, or your own savings

Each of these scenarios enables you to live in Spain on this type of visa.

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Are your family members permitted to apply with you?

Yes, absolutely, family members mean spouse, children, or your parents if they are dependent upon you. 

The key to your application is proving you have the ability to support your family economically.

What are the necessary requirements for this type of visa?

There are just two main or important requirements for the Spanish non-lucrative visa:

  1. Financial means 
  2. Health coverage

There is, however, quite a substantial list of secondary requirements. 

These requirements generally are about the same regardless of which embassy or consulate you are required to apply to. 

However, there can be some small differences or additional requirements between the different entities.

How you can apply for the Spanish non-lucrative visa

I have seen two different actions that people take:

Applying by your own

The first possibility consists in spending endless hours of your precious time reading contradictory information that is available on the internet to try to do it yourself. 

People who don’t speak Spanish and don’t understand the Spanish rules will likely trust anything they read on the Internet (any websites, forums and Facebook groups).

The usual result of this option is to end up going round and round in circles, wasting your time, and sometimes money, and not finding the necessary information you require.

Hire the professional services of an experienced company.

You will need official translations, appointments, forms filled out in Spanish, government fees, applying using the right timing and the correct regulations. 

This is like everything in life: the balance between time and money.

If you have enough time but little money, go for option 1.

If you have enough money but don’t want to invest a lot of time, go for option 2.

Peace of mind

Just put your mind at rest and hire real experts in Spain.

The list is simple:

  • Tax = fiscal advisers
  • Law = lawyers
  • Property law = lawyers
  • Stamped and written official translations = official translators
  • Spanish residency, visas, healthcare = relocation advisers
  • Linguistic issues = interpreters

It is tempting to do things of your own when you are living in a foreign country, especially because everybody seems to have the right answers on the Internet.

But as we say in Spanish: you will be the only one who will win or lose through your own actions.

Get the right professional in your life for all your Spanish needs and get peace of mind.

To your prosperity and happy life in Spain 🙂

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David Ruiz is a relocation adviser fully devoted to helping EU and non-EU citizens getting settled in Spain. Click on the link to visit his website:

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1 comment


31 July, 2020 12:22 pm

I am thinking this is at the moment is the only possibility for Retired British people who want to overwinter. I like to do it from November to March Inclusive less than 183 days. But as we are in transition until 31/12 and entering Canary Island before then maybe will be ok this winter but not next. I am thinking the requirements maybe easier for those with a property and no rent to pay and a record of having been there many years with no problems with police.