Moving to Spain For Members

What you need to know about applying for Spain's non-lucrative visa

The Local Spain
The Local Spain - [email protected]
What you need to know about applying for Spain's non-lucrative visa
Passport. Image: ConvertKit/Unsplash

If you're not from the EU and you want to spend more than three months in Spain at a time, this may be the visa for you. Here are the steps to apply, the requirements and some expert tips.


Spain’s non-lucrative visa - visado de residencia no lucrativa - allows non-working individuals with a reliable source of income or substantial savings to live in the country for more than three months.

The visa could be for those who want to retire in Spain, those who receive a passive income from their home country or simply those who want to spend a year living in Spain and have ample savings to do so.



To be able to apply for the non-lucrative visa, you must prove that you have a sufficient amount of savings to support yourself and your family. As the name suggests, the visa does not allow you to work or study in Spain.

How to apply

The first step is to apply for your visa appointment at your local Spanish embassy or consulate. You cannot apply from Spain. This must be done three months prior to when you want to move. While you’re waiting for your appointment, you need to get all your documents in order, which may take a while. You will need:

  • An EX-01 Form

This will need to be printed, filled out and signed and can be found here.  

  • A 790-52 Form

This is a payment form, for paying your visa fees. You will be requested to pay the fee at your visa appointment. 

  • A photocopy of your passport
  • A passport photograph

This must be a typical passport-style official photograph, measuring 2x2 inches or 5x5 centimeters.

  • Proof of funds

A document showing proof of the funds you need to support yourself. It’s a substantial amount, so you have to make sure you have this money available. It must be an official document signed or stamped, not just a photocopy of your bank statement.


How much money do Americans need to become residents in Spain?

This is a trickier question than it may seem as there are often discrepancies in what constitutes “sufficient financial means” between Spain’s regions, provinces and even the Spanish consulates and embassies from which foreigners apply for the visa.

Spain’s Royal Decree states that sufficient financial means “will not exceed the level of resources by which social subsidies are granted to Spaniards or the amount of the minimum Social Security pension”.


  • A health certificate proving you are in good health

This must be no older than three months before your visa appointment date and include an official signature or stamp from a doctor.

  • A certification of ‘absence of police records’   

You will need a background check to prove you don’t have any criminal records before applying for your visa. This also can be no older than 90 days before your visa appointment. How you get this certificate, will depend on which country you’re applying from.  

Non-lucrative visa for Spain Non-lucrative visa for Spain. Photo: Google Images (CC)
  • Medical insurance

As you won’t be paying social security in Spain, you won’t have access to the public health care system, so you’ll have to get private medical insurance. This must be a specific type of cover with no co-payments.

READ ALSO: What are the best private health insurance options in Spain for Brits?

  • If applying with your family, you will also need to show marriage and birth certificates Each member of your family will also need to show the above documents. You will also need to show more funds for each subsequent family member. 


Remember that all your documents, minus the Spanish forms, need to be translated into Spanish. This must be done by an official sworn translator and apostilled to prove authentication. Ask your embassy for a list of official Spanish translators. 


Common issues when applying 

  • Not getting the correct health insurance
    Make sure you don't just buy any health insurance to get your visa, as not all of them will be accepted. Make sure to ask at the embassy which health plans they recommend. 
  • Not showing proof of funds in Euros
    You must show the necessary amount to support yourself in the equivalent number of Euros. It can't just be shown in GBP or USD. Sometimes it can be very tricky to get your bank to give you a letter to show how much you have in EUR as of course, the amount will keep changing depending on the currency exchange. 
  • Not getting all your documents translated properly
    As mentioned above, all your documents need to be translated by an official sworn translator from a specific list. Even things like bank statements or bank letters must be translated and certified. 

Once your visa has been granted and you arrive in Spain

Even though the non-lucrative visa is granted for one year, the visa you receive from your home country will only be valid for 90 days. Therefore, when you arrive in Spain, you must contact your Local Immigration Office (Extranjería) to make an appointment to get a Tarjeta de Identificación de Extranjero or TIE. Remember, you will need to bring all your original translated documents with you to the appointment.

READ ALSO: BREXIT: How to apply for a TIE residency card. 

The visa and TIE card will allow you free movement within the Schengen Zone while living in Spain.

While the non-lucrative visa is issued for a period of one year, it can be renewed after this time while you're still in Spain. 


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also