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Obtain a Non-Lucrative Visa for Spain

Obtain a Non-Lucrative Visa for Spain

The non-lucrative residence visa is issued for those individuals who want to stay in the country for longer periods and not engage in professional or work-related activities. In order to obtain a non-lucrative visa for Spain, the applicant will need to make the needed application with the Spanish Embassy, Consular Office or Diplomatic Mission in the area of residence.

Our team of lawyers specializing in obtaining non-lucrative Spanish residence permit can help you with complete information on how and where to apply for this document, as well as provide you with a complete list of the needed documents. 

Who can apply for a non-lucrative visa for Spain?

The non-lucrative residence permit was created for the following categories of immigrants:

  • for foreigners who want to live here after retiring;
  • for non-EU citizens who are financially self-sufficient;
  • for individuals who wish to spend their first year in Spain without employment with the possibility of extending their stay with a work permit later.
 Quick Facts  
Availability for EU citizens (YES/NO)  

NO, this type of visa does not address
EU citizens

Availability for non-EU citizens (YES/NO)

All non-EU citizens, except for Swiss, Liechtenstein and Norwegian nationals can apply for this visa. In the case of the 3 countries, similar rules as to EU states apply


 The non-lucrative residence permit is a special visa that does not allow the holder to take up employment
Eligibility requirements The visa can be obtained by retired persons, individuals with sufficient funds to sustain themselves, and persons who want to take employment after the visa expires
Validity period This type of visa has a 3-months validity period
Application procedure 

The application procedure implies for the documents to be filed in person with the Spanish Embassy or Consultate in the home country

Documents required The application form, a valid passport, a health certificate, proof of self-sufficiency, a health insurance,
clean criminal record


Visa interview required (YES/NO) YES, this type of visa requires an interview
Possibility to renewal (YES/NO) The visa can be renewed for another 2 years 
Possibility of exchange for a residence permit (YES/NO) YES, after 2 years the visa can be exchanged for a residence permit
Registration with local authorities (YES/NO) YES, registration with the local authorities and obtaining a provisional personal identification number are mandatory
Family reunification option (YES/NO) YES, the spouse and minor children can also obtain
such a visa
Timeframe to obtain a
non-lucrative visa for
Spain (approx.)
The visa processing timeframe ranges from 2 to 5 weeks, however, longer times should also be considered
Advantages of the non-lucrative residence permit  It is a pathway to permanent residency, it does not require substantial investment, it enables the holder to move to Spain with close family members, it is easy to obtain
Visa application services (YES/NO) YES, we offer tailored support in applying for a Spanish non-lucrative visa and residence permit
 Requirement to apply for the visa in person (YES/NO) Yes. In the case of minor children, the application will be filed by one of the parents. 

 Possibility to exchange the non-lucrative visa for a work permit (YES/NO)


 Requirements to exchange the visa for a work permit

 An employment contract.

 Possibility to travel based on a non-lucrative visa (YES/NO)  Yes, you can leave and enter Spain based on this type of visa.
 Visa denial possibility (YES/NO)

Yes, the visa can be denied, even if rarely. 

 Visa refusal reasons

 Most of the time an incomplete file can lead to visa refusals.

For this purpose, you can rely on our lawyers to make sure your paperwork is in order.

 Authorities in charge with the application/issuance of the visa

 Spanish Embassy or Consulate. 

 Foreign Identity Card required for the applicant (YES/NO)

Yes, the applicant must apply for this document within one month from arrival. 

 Requirement to obtain NIE number (YES/NO)


 Access to tax residency  Yes, with this visa, applicants become Spanish tax residence.
 Is the non-lucrative visa similar to the Golden Visa?

Yes, there are certain similarities between the two types of visas, such as the possibility of moving with close family members. 

 Difference between the non-lucrative visa and the Golden Visa

The Golden Visa does not require the applicant to live in Spain, while the non-lucrative visa does. 

 Minimum living requirement

 The holder of a non-lucrative visa must spend at least 183 days in a calendar year in Spain.

 Access to permanent residency

After 5 years of living in Spain. 

 Access to citizenship  After 10 years.

Should you want to move to Spain through this type of visa, do not hesitate to request our specialized services.

The application conditions can differ according to your particular situation, for example when traveling with your family to Spain. This is why it is highly recommended to talk to one of our immigration lawyers in Spain and receive personalized information. This visa also comes with a residence permit in Spain.

The characteristics of the non-lucrative residence visa

The non-lucrative residence permit is a type of visa that allows its holder to enter the country and stay for periods of time exceeding 90 days without working. Not all citizens need to obtain this visa if they wish to come to Spain and not engage in work activities. This permit is not mandatory for EU citizens, those of Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Norway, and Switzerland. All other foreign nationals, for example, those who are interested in immigration to Spain from the USA without working once they arrive in the country, should be aware that they will need this permit.

The non-lucrative visa in Spain is applied for in person and also collected by the applicant. The submissions are made with the Embassy, Consular Office or Spanish Diplomatic Mission in the area in which the foreign applicant resides. A visa fee applies and the applicant is requested to follow the formal steps for application, as well as submit all of the needed documents.

Obtaining a non-lucrative residence visa is a process that requires detailed planning and, most importantly, must be handed in advance sometimes as much as two to three months before the planned departure to Spain. The process is not a complicated one, however, it is important to submit the application filled in as requested by the Consulate or otherwise it will be rejected, resulting in the applicant needing to restart the process (and make a subsequent appointment for obtaining the visa). This can have an undesirable consequence in that it can prevent you from leaving for Spain on the desired date. If the non-lucrative residence permit is the one right for you, our team of lawyers who specialize in Spain immigration can help you with all of the needed information and clarifications in advance. Our team can give you complete details on the general requirements for applying for the non-lucrative residence permit and furthermore with information about how to proceed once you arrive in the country.

Depending on the reason for migration, our immigration lawyer can offer completely customized services and advice. Among our most popular services are offering support in applying for a residence permit in Spain in accordance with one’s reasons to relocate. Many people moving to Spain will first need to apply for a work permit; our agents can assist non-EU workers with the paperwork.

If you need information on Spanish citizenship, our lawyers can advise you. Here is an infographic on the non-lucrative visa:

The application for the non-lucrative residence visa

Foreign nationals who wish to reside in Spain without working need to fill in a visa application form. The list of needed documents will include the original and a copy of the application form, together with a recent full-face photograph and the following documents:

  • identification documents: a valid passport that is valid for at least one year from the date of the application.
  • criminal record clearance: proof that the applicant has a negative criminal record, that has been issued in the last three months from the authorities in his home country.
  • medical certificate: a document issued by the family doctor stating that the applicant is not suffering from any contagious diseases; an international medical insurance will also be needed.
  • proof of financial means: the applicant must be able to show that he will be able to support himself (and his family if applicable) during the stay in Spain without working; for individual support, the monthly income rate should be around 2,100 €.

residence permit in Spain is quite easy to obtain under this visa.

Spanish translations of these documents are needed and applicants will also have to observe the applicable Embassy or Consular fees.

Because the processing period for a non-lucrative visa can be a lengthy one, it is advisable to be prepared and make the proper submissions during your first appointment with the Embassy, Consulate or Diplomatic Mission. Our team of lawyers specializing in obtaining a non-lucrative Spanish residence permit is ready to answer any questions you might have about this particular type of permit, as well as other requirements for foreign nationals planning on residing in Spain for long periods of time.

The visa interview

A particularity of the Spanish non-lucrative visa is that the applicant must also go through an interview.

The interview takes place in the state where the candidate currently resides, where the visa application procedure began. The applicant meets with the visa consular during the interview and presents all necessary paperwork to support the interview.

Biometric information, such as your fingerprints and facial image, will be recorded at the same time. This only applies to those who haven’t been to a Schengen country in the last 5 years prior to applying for a visa.

The interview is not difficult, as it is a formality where the documents for the visa are filed. However, if you have any questions about it, do not hesitate to request details about from our immigration lawyers in Spain.

Our attorneys can also assist you if you need help applying for a nomad visa in Spain should you decide to use it as a temporary means of moving to this country. We are an immigration law firm, and we are here to assist people from all around the world move to one of Europe’s most beautiful countries. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us for assistance in applying for this visa.

Our Spanish immigration attorneys can offer thorough information on the requirements for obtaining a work visa. If you wish to apply for a Spanish resident permit, we will be able to answer all of your questions. Whatever method you choose to use to investigate this possibility, our experts will provide custom solutions that adhere to your needs.

Obtaining a NIE number and resident card in Spain

Becoming a Spanish resident implies obtaining a NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) number (the social security code) and a resident card (TIE – Targeta de Identidad de Extranjero).
The main advantage is that the non-lucrative visa for Spain has the NIE number stamped on it. All foreign nationals planning to come to Spain must have this identity number. Each foreigner has a different NIE number, which never changes.

After arriving in Spain on a non-lucrative visa stamped with an NIE number, you have three months to apply for the foreigners’ identification card. The first step in getting a TIE is to register your residential information with the municipality authority. The next step entails presenting oneself at a police station where he/she must register and obtain a TIE.

Our immigration specialists in Spain also offer post-immigration support, such as assistance in obtaining the NIE and TIE.

Advantages of the non-lucrative residence permit in Spain

Obtaining a non-lucrative visa for Spain comes with various benefits. Among them, we mention the following:

  • it is one of the fastest pathways to permanent residency and even Spanish citizenship, provided that one has sufficient funds to support one’s stay for 10 years;
  • it can first be accessed as a non-lucrative visa after which the holder can turn it into a work permit;
  • free-travel in Schengen states and staying there for up 90 days is another advantage of the non-lucrative visa in Spain;
  • there is no need to contribute to the Spanish economy as it would be when applying for an investment visa.

From an investment point of view, this visa is a good choice against the golden visa which comes with specific financial requirements. For those who want to live in Spain while earning passive income, this visa is also a suitable choice. This income can derive from dividends, retirement, or even property rental in one’s home country. We also invite you to watch our video below:

Foreigners living in Spain

Spain is one of the most appealing expat destinations in Europe, and according to the most recent data gathered by Statista.com, here are some numbers for 2022:

  • Moroccans represent the largest community of expats here with 776,223 residents;
  • they are followed by 632,859 Romanian citizens living here;
  • British citizens occupy the 3rd place among expat communities in Spain with 316,529 inhabitants.

Contact our immigration lawyers in Spain who specialize in all types of visas, including the non-lucrative visa in Spain, for more detailed information and advice applicable to your particular case. We also provide tailored assistance if you want to apply for Spanish citizenship.

If you match the conditions, you can also obtain citizenship in Spain if your parents were citizens of the country. You or your kids must be under the age of 18. This is an advantageous way to get a passport, as it requires less documentation. However, there are cases in which proof may be more difficult to find.