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The Spanish non-lucrative visa explained

Solicitor Raymond Nesbitt explains to us one of four legal ways to bypass the pesky 90/180-day rule that now affects all UK nationals post-Brexit.

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By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers 8th of May 2021

As its own name implies, this visa allows the applicant to live, but not to work, in Spain. The applicant will be expected to be self-supporting and will be required to prove he or she has enough savings for at least two years. This visa is ideal for retirees who wish to spend extended periods of time in Spain – without working – enjoying the finer things in life. But other applicants, who are not of pensioner age, are also welcome to apply i.e. students. This visa is also a good option for those who want to test the waters and are considering living in Spain long term.

The non-lucrative residency permit allows you to stay in Spain for a period of 1 or 2 years (as it is a temporary residency authorization), plus renewals. Initially, for one year and then on two renewals of two years each. At the time of applying for a third one, you may apply for long-term residency in Spain. In case you apply for long-term residency, you should renew it every 5 years.

As it has a non-profit nature, I stress again it does not allow you to engage in any professional activity or employment. You are required to be self-supporting, relying on your own means to live. If you are able to prove that you have enough funds to this end, and that your stay in the country won’t induce government aid, you will qualify for this visa.

Attaining Spanish residency indirectly implies you will eventually become a Spanish tax resident. Please note this visa service is only open to non-EU residents. Once you attain it, you also have the advantage of moving unfettered through the Schengen Area (access to 26 countries), besides Spain.


  • Not be already in Spain illegally.
  • Not be banned from entering Spain.
  • Clean criminal record (previous 5 years).
  • You must have your own health or medical insurance, with full coverage in Spain (must be under 75 y.o. to hire one).
  • At least €27,000 annually for the main applicant. For each dependant a further €7,000.
  • You must not suffer from any of the diseases that can have serious public health repercussions.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Will my family be included in this visa?

Yes, as dependents.

  1. How long does this work visa last?

One or two years, then on renewals. After you have completed five years you may apply for a permanent residency card.

  1. How much money do I need to invest?

Nil, this visa does not have attached any investment requirements in Spain, unlike other visas.

  1. Do I need to hire private health insurance?

Yes, this is a core requirement.

  1. Do I need a medical certificate?

Yes. You will need to provide a certificate from your GP with a specific wording we will provide you with, don’t worry.

  1. Do I need to live in Spain all year round?

This visa allows you to stay in Spain all year round, yes, on bypassing the pesky 90/180-day rule. But you are not ‘forced’ to remain in the country for any period of time, it’s up to you really. The bottom line is that you are free to come and go as you please from Spain. However, when it comes to filing an NLV renewal, you will be required to categorically prove you have spent over 183 days within a calendar year in Spain (which automatically triggers tax residency in Spain).  

  1. How much savings do I need?

At least 27k/year. The ability to categorically prove you are self-supporting is a core requirement.

  1. Can I study in Spain with this visa?

Yes, you may. Because studying is classified as a non-lucrative activity. However, we have specific study visas. You may also apply for internships in companies.

  1. Do I need to prove my source of income?

Yes. You will be asked to supply copies of your home countries bank statements over the last 12 months to verify your source of income. In a way, Immigration Authorities are monitoring where exactly you derive your income over an extended period of time. Their goal is to verify you are indeed self-supporting and will not claim benefits in Spain to make ends meet.

  1. How long does a non-lucrative visa take to arrange?

On average, 3 to 4 months through us.

LNA offers the following visa service for non-EU nationals: Non-lucrative visa

LNA has a 100% track record obtaining Spanish residency

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers, small on fees, big on service.

At Larrain Nesbitt Abogados, we have assisted hundreds of EU and non-EU nationals to successfully attain a Spanish residency permit.

Interested? Come and speak to Larraín Nesbitt Abogados’ friendly staff who will be pleased to guide you through the different residency options, choosing the one that appeals to you most. Your family’s success is only one call away: (+34) 952 19 22 88.

Residency services available from LNA

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Article originally published at Larrain Nesbitt Abogados: Non-Lucrative Visa Explained

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