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Spanish residency visas for non-EU citizens

in Andalucia, Spain
By Nick Nutter | 12 Mar 2021

UK nationals after Brexit

With the Brexit transition period fully expired, UK nationals are now referred to as non-EU citizens or, increasingly, Nationals of a Trusted Third Country, or TTCNs. As such the residency requirements to live permanently in Spain have changed for UK nationals who must now comply with the rules appertaining to citizens from all non-EU countries. This article looks at the requirements for living in Spain, Spanish residency visas.

UK Citizens and the Withdrawal Agreement

UK citizens who were legally resident in Spain prior to the end of the transition period on December 31, 2020 are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement. UK citizens living in Spain prior to the end of the transition period should now have either obtained their residency and TIE card or be in the process of doing so.

Those who have failed to do so will have problems.

Residency Visas in Spain for non-EU citizens

Are you thinking of living permanently in Spain? There are a number of residency visa options available including the two most popular, the non-lucrative visa or 'Visado de Residencia No Lucrativa', and the ‘Golden Visa’ sometimes referred to as the Investor Visa or 'Visado de Residencia Para Inversores y Emprendedores'.

If you intend to work in Spain you will need a work visa that may also cover your residency in Spain.

What is a non-lucrative visa?

The non-lucrative visa is for non-EU nationals who wish to reside in Spain but not undertake any work or professional activity in Spain.
It is important to note that you may still carry out work remotely which will allow you to service clients or employers remotely in countries outside of Spain and its territories.

The non-lucrative visa can also be considered to be a retirement residency visa and therefore ideal for retirees.

With the non-lucrative visa, you only need to make sure that you have sufficient on-going financial means to support yourself and your family while living in Spain.

The Spanish government want to know that you will not become a financial burden on the state.

You will only need to prove that you have a consistent guaranteed income to satisfy the residency requirements.

Who is the non-lucrative visa for?

- People retiring to live in Spain
- People wanting to work remotely from Spain
- Those who want to live in Spain for a period of one year without work and then apply for a work visa.

What are the rules of a non-lucrative visa?

The main rules and benefits are:
- After the first year, the visa can be renewed for a period of 2 years and then for a further 2 years until you reach 5 years at which time you will be eligible for permanent residency.
- After the first year, you will be able to apply for one of the work visas.
- You will be able to work remotely for clients or companies outside of Spain.
- You may study or take a paid internship in Spain as this is classed as ‘education’.
- No need to make any form of large investment into Spain.
- Free movement within the 26 Schengen countries.
- You may bring your spouse and dependent children with you.

Minimum Income for Spanish Residency for the non-lucrative visa

The income requirements are calculated using a formula which is known as the IPREM (Indicador Público de Rentas de Efectos Múltiples). The following figures are for 2021. To demonstrate that you have sufficient means to support yourself and any dependants you will need to supply proof of the following minimum income levels:

For the non-lucrative visa, you must prove that you have 400% of the IPREM received annually into your bank account. For 2021, the IPREM is €564.90 for a month. This means that an individual would need a regular guaranteed monthly income of €2,259.60 or €27,115.20 yearly.

For each additional family member, 100% of the IPREM is required, which in 2021 amounts to €564.90 per month or its equivalent in the foreign currency.

What is an Investor or Golden Visa?

The ‘Golden Visa’ sometimes known as the Investor Visa or 'Visado de Residencia Para Inversores y Emprendedores' is the second option. This particular immigration scheme is for those who have made a ‘significant investment’ in Spain and is available to both investors and entrepreneurs intending to set up a business.

Applicants must be over the age of 18, non-EU residents and not live in a country where EU laws apply.

The Golden Visa is the fastest and easiest way for those outside of the EU to acquire Spanish residency.

Due to its simplicity, the Investor Visa has become very popular, especially with wealthy individuals from China and Russia who wish to expedite the residency process.

The investment immigration scheme also allows other members of the applicants family to also apply for residency, including:
- The spouse or unmarried partner
- Children who are minors or those of legal age being financially dependent on the holder
- Parents in their charge

Unlike other visas, this one permits the applicants to continue to live and work anywhere in Spain and its territories.

Who is the Golden Visa for?

The Golden Visa is for both investors and entrepreneurs wanting to permanently live and work in Spain. It is a combined work and residence visa.

In order to be approved for the Golden Visa, the main applicant will need to make a ‘sizable investment’ in Spain.

These can include any of the following financial assets:
Taking over public debt (€2 million).
Spanish company shares (€1 million).
Investment funds, investment funds of close-end type or venture capital funds set up in Spain (€1 million).
Bank deposits (€1 million).
Real estate (€500,000).
Business projects. There is no minimum investment specified but the project must
- create jobs
- be of social and economic impact on the geographical area where they are made
- make a significant contribution to scientific and/or technological innovation

How long is a Golden Visa valid?

The Golden visa is in two parts, the residence permit that must be renewed after 2 years, at which time you can apply for an extension for 5 years when you become eligible for permanent residency. The Investor visa must be renewed after 6 months if the investment was in real estate, otherwise after 1 year.

What are the benefits of the Golden Visa?

You and your family may live anywhere in Spain and its territories You and your family members may work in Spain
Fast track process means that the decision on your visa application is made within 10 days of application
Residence permit decisions are made within 20 working days of application
Renewal is not dependent on your effective residence in Spain.

Income requirements for the Golden visa in Spain

The income requirements are calculated using a formula and are referred to as the IPREM (Indicador Público de Rentas de Efectos Múltiples). The following figures are for 2021. To demonstrate that you have sufficient means to support yourself and any dependants you will need to supply proof of the following minimum income levels:
Investors: For the Golden visa, you must prove a monthly income of 400% of the IPREM received into your bank account. For 2021, the IPREM is €564.90 for a month. This means that an individual would need a regular guaranteed monthly income of €2,259.60 or €27,115.20 yearly.
For each additional family member, 100% of the IPREM is required, which in 2021 amounts to €564.90 per month or its equivalent in the foreign currency.

Entrepreneurs: Need only prove an income of 100% of the IPREM, €564.90 per month. The first dependant requires a further 150% of IPREM and additional dependants require 50% of IPREM.

Transferring Your Money to Spain

Whichever visa you apply for, you will be transferring money from your bank in your home country to your bank in Spain. Transfer fees between International banks can be high so it makes sense to use a money exchange company

They do charge a commission but often balance that with a good exchange rate.

There are six things you should look for with a currency exchange company;
Cheap fees
Fast transfers
Ease of use
Multiple currencies
Safe and regulated
Great Reviews

Wise (was Transferwise)

One currency exchange company that meets that criteria is Wise (was TransferWise).

Great independent reviews - check them out here

What is Wise?

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How do I apply for a Visa?

To apply for a visa, you will need to submit your application form and supporting documentation to your nearest Spanish consulate. In the UK you can do the initial visa application and make an appointment online via email to one of the following addresses:

London: Spanish Consulate London Email: cog.londres.residencia@maec.es

Manchester: Spanish Consulate Manchester Email: cog.manchester.vis@maec.es

Edinburgh: Spanish Consulate Edinburgh Email: cog.edimburgo@maec.es

In the subject line of your email, you must specify the type of residence visa you wish to apply for.
Within your email, you will need to include the following:
- Personal Details (full name, nationality, passport number and telephone number)
- Type of residence visa you wish to apply for
- Reasons for requesting the visa
- Desired date for the appointment at the Consulate office (only on TUESDAYS and THURSDAYS of each week, between 09:30 and 12:00)

You can apply for the non-lucrative residence visa up to 90 days before your required entry date into Spain.

Applications for Golden Visas may be made up to 10 days before departure.

If your application is successful, you must collect your visa in person within one month from the date of being notified. If you do not collect it within this time, it will be taken that you have renounced the visa and the process will be closed.

Application Documents for Spanish Visa

You will also need to provide the following documentation to support your application:
- National visa form - Download here
- Form Ex-01 - Download here
- Fee payment form - Download here
- Private Health Insurance - Proof of private health insurance contracted with a company authorised and regulated to operate in Spain.
- Photos with white background - See official requirements here
- Original passport
- Bank certificate - Proof of financial means which satisfy the income requirements.
- Medical certificate - This will need to demonstrate that you do not suffer from any of the diseases that would prevent your entry into Spain.
- Certificates will need to have an accompanying sworn translation into Spanish.
- Criminal records - These must also be legalised and translated into Spanish. They must not be older than three months.
- Payment of the relevant visa fee which is payable at the Consulate on the day your application is accepted.

The official government guidance about non-lucrative visas is here. Non-lucrative visa guidance

You will have one month from the date of entry into Spain, to process the TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero) at the nearest Immigration Office or Police Station to your place of residence in Spain.

Spanish Visa Application fees

Valid for 2021
USA – €123
Canada – €507
Most other countries – €80



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Approved Comments

Submitted by Laureate on 31 May 2021
Hi we are hoping to retire to Spain April next year, do you offer a service to assist ?

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Hi Laureate, Sorry we do not have such a service. You could try one of these people https://visit-andalucia.com/one_business_type.php?business_type=bureaucracy-assistance

Submitted by Fiona Mudie on 18 May 2021
Hi If your monthly income is less that the required amount but you have reasonable savings which you can deposit in your Spanish account would this suffice?

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Hi Fiona, I really do not know, you would have to make the application and see what the response was.