Solicitor Raymond Nesbitt gives us a sweeping overview on how to legally bypass the pesky 90/180-day rule that now affects all UK nationals post-Brexit.
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Article copyrighted © 2021. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
21st of May 2021
After 47 years, the United Kingdom will no longer be a Member State of the Union. The United Kingdom officially left the Union on the 31st January 2020, after both Westminster and the European Parliament ratified the Withdrawal Agreement.
As most UK nationals are already aware by now, you may not spend more than 90 consecutive days in Spain post-Brexit. This pesky limitation is known as the 90/180-day rule. It should be noted that, within a calendar year, you may stay up to 90 days within every rolling six-month period. In plain English, you may remain in two separate stays of up to 90 days each within every calendar year (without visa). A visa is only required when you want to spend over 90 consecutive days in Spain.
Over the course of the previous five months, we have painstakingly published detailed in-depth articles that explained the different legal ways to circumvent the 90/180-day rule. In today’s article we are going to gloss over the four main legal options. Please be advised the point of this article is not to go into every nook and cranny, albeit to skim over the surface light-heartedly and collate all the different legal options open to UK nationals, acting as a repository. If a reader wants to delve in deeper, we advise you follow the links supplied below (just click on them), or simply contact us – one of our friendly staff will be delighted to have a chat with you.
For full disclosure, we should point out there are other visas you can apply for, besides the listed four, but because the majority of our clients never demand them, we have purposely chosen to exclude them i.e. student visa, work visa, etc.
The four listed visas below allow its successful applicants, and dependants, to remain in Spain for more than 90 consecutive days within a calendar year; moreover, you may stay all year round if it pleases you. As an additional advantage, it gives its visa holders unfettered access to the Schengen Area (26 European countries). Basically, you will be treated on equal footing to a Spanish national on entering & exiting the country without all the pesky border & customs hassle that aggravates us so.
Regarding taxation, none of them automatically make you tax resident in Spain on attainment. However, if you spend over 183 days/year in Spain you will be deemed tax resident. On applying for a visa renewal, you will have to provide proof you are living in Spain long term, which may trigger tax residency.
All the below-listed visas have in common the following requirements:
- Non-EU national.
- Hire private health insurance.
- Clean criminal record (previous 5 years)
- Be self-supporting (you will not claim benefits)
- Not be already in Spain illegally at the time of making the application.
1. Golden Visa – Investor visa
The investor visa is thought for affluent applicants. It is popularly known as a ‘Golden Visa’. It’s a blue-ribbon visa that basically rolls out the red rug for its privileged holders that neatly cuts through all the red tape. Its purpose is to foster foreign investments in Spain. Whilst there are many different ways to attain a GV, the most popular (and least expensive) is by investing in Spanish real estate. This requires investing €500,000 in property. We should point out that it applies retrospectively; meaning that any UK national (or any other non-EU) that bought a property in Spain for over 500k on or after the 28th of September 2013 may qualify. Unlike the other three visas listed below, renewals are not subject to proving you live in Spain all year round. They are based on keeping the investment. This ability to override the 90/180-day rule and not being ‘forced’ to live in Spain make it one-of-a-kind and explains why it is so coveted.
- Affluent property buyers
- Investors, developers
2. Marriage visa – EU Family regroupment
It’s intended for families or couples that have been separated, in and out of the EU. It seeks to reunite them in an expedited manner within the EU. So, although this type of visa is popularly dubbed as ‘marriage visa,’ it would be rather more appropriate to refer to it as ‘family visa’, as its scope goes well beyond a married couple. It ought to be understood in broader terms, as in family reunion. As its own name implies, couples must be married (including same-sex partners).
- Separated family members that wish to reunite within the EU
- Married couples
Further reading: EU-family regrouping (marriage visa)
3. Business visa – Lucrative Visa
As its own name implies, this permit allows the applicant to work in Spain as you will be self-employed. This residency applies to someone who is looking to set up his own business in Spain. Typically, you will be acting as director or company administrator. Needless to say, one of the key requirements is that you will have enough means to be self-supporting both for yourself and your family for one year. The catch, besides a cast-iron motivation, is that you need in the ballpark of €80,000 to €100,000 in savings to open & run a business.
- Applicants (families) wishing to set up and run a business in Spain
Further reading: Lucrative residency permit (business visa)
4. Pensioner visa – Non-lucrative visa
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. However, it should be noted that other applicants, who are not of pensioner age, are also welcome to apply. This visa is also a good option for those who want to test the waters and are considering living in Spain long term. The catch is that you need to prove you have an income of at least €27,000/year.
- Would-be buyers, long-term tenants
- Bon vivants
Further reading: The Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa Explained
“I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” – Groucho Marx
Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx (1890 – 1977). Was born to Jewish immigrants who fled from the terrors of Europe (Germany and France) and would be welcomed with open arms by a young US, terre d’accueil. He was an American comedian, actor, writer, stage, film, radio, and television star. He is generally considered to have been a master of quick wit and one of America’s greatest comedians. Along with his five siblings, they shot 13 movies. They are commonly referred to as the Marx Brothers (Chico – Leonard, Harpo – Adolph, Groucho – Julius, Gummo – Milton, and Zeppo – Herbert).
LNA has a 100% track record attaining Spanish residency
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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
- Lucrative visa
- Non-lucrative visa
- EU-family regrouping (marriage visa)
- Golden Visa
- Spanish Residency permit for EU nationals (includes TIE card & NIE number)
Related visa articles
- Investor Guide to Spain’s Golden Visa Law – 8th November 2013
- Spanish Golden Visa (New York Times – China edition) – 8th July 2015
- Golden Visa Spain – 8th June 2017
- Golden Visa Spain – 8/8/18
- Golden Visa Spain: 10 frequently asked questions – 8th October 2019
- Relocating to Spain? We offer a wide range of Immigration & Residency services – 8th January 2020
- Golden Visa for British investors – 21st January 2021
- Spanish Golden Visa for British, it’s retroactive! – 8th February 2021
- EU-family regrouping (Marriage Visa) – 8th March 2021
- Lucrative visa (self-employed) – 8th April 2021
- Non-lucrative visas explained – 8th May 2021
- How to spend over 90 days in Spain – Residency visa overview – 21st May 2021
Article also published at Larrain Nesbitt Abogados: How to spend over 90 days in Spain – Residency visa overview
Please note the information provided in this article is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. No delusional separatist politician was harmed on writing this article. VOV.
2.021 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.