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VISAS

How much money do Britons need to move to Spain in 2022?

If you're a UK citizen looking to move to Spain but realise Brexit has hampered your chances of obtaining Spanish residency easily, here’s how much money you need to show with the non-lucrative visa to be allowed to live in Spain in 2022 (an amount that’s higher than previous years).

how much money for Spain's non-lucrative visa?
How much money do you need to show in bank statements, pensions, assets or other investments to be approved for Spain's non-lucrative visa? Photo: Tibor Janosi Mozes from Pixabay

Since Brexit came into force on January 1st 2021, UK nationals wanting to move to Spain or spend part of the year here have a much harder task ahead than they used to. 

It is harder to land a job or set oneself up as self-employed in Spain as a non-EU national, and the requirements for residency are more demanding than for Britons who registered as residents before 2021 and are protected under the Withdrawal Agreement.

EXPLAINED: How Britons can live and work in Spain after Brexit

The other main pitfall for Britons in Spain is that without residency or a visa, they can only spend 90 out of 180 days in Spain (and the Schengen Zone).

However, showing you have the financial means to care for yourself and your family is one of the best ways to solve this, which can be done through Spain’s non-lucrative residency visa. 

This article is therefore geared to UK citizens who don’t want to work in Spain (at least initially) and have the financial means to do so, as well as retirees with sufficient funds and pension to cover their costs. 

What is Spain’s non-lucrative residency permit?

A non-lucrative visa is an authorisation that allows non-EU foreigners to stay in Spain for a period of more than 90 days without working or carrying out professional activities in Spain, by demonstrating that they have sufficient financial means for themselves and, if applicable, their family.

In Spanish it’s called a “visado de residencia no lucrativa” and it’s often referred to as a retirement visa, as this is the best option for retirees from non-EU countries who want to move to Spain.

It is however available to third country nationals of all ages who can prove they have the financial means, and is also a good option for UK nationals who want to first travel and get to know Spain better for a year before considering working there. 

In order to prove your sufficient economic means you’ll need to show official documentation including bank account statements, proof of pension, assets and other investments. 

You can technically work remotely for a company based abroad, as well as invest in both Spain and overseas, but you will be subject to double taxation rules, asset declaration and wealth tax. 

You’ll also need to take out comprehensive private healthcare, have no criminal record and fulfil other requirements. 

READ MORE: What you need to know about applying for Spain’s non-lucrative visa

Spain’s non-lucrative residency permit is a temporary residence visa which lasts for one year initially. Britons will still need to apply for a TIE residency card once they obtain their ‘NLV’ (non-lucrative visa).

Once they have their non-lucrative visa and temporary residency permit, Britons will also be able to travel freely throughout the Schengen Area without having the same 90-day constraints as Britons residing in the UK.

The first and second residency renewals last for two years each, after which five years of residency will have been obtained and therefore the possibility of applying for long-term residency, which lasts for ten years and doesn’t have the same financial requirements.

After ten years of residence in Spain, British citizens can obtain Spanish citizenship, although they will technically have to renounce their British nationality in the process.

how much money non lucrative visa Spain

Spain’s non-lucrative visa is one of the easiest ways for Britons to land themselves residency in Spain post-Brexit, if they can show they have enough financial cover. Photo: Oscar del Pozo/AFP

How much money do UK nationals need to show to get Spain’s non-lucrative visa?

There are some discrepancies in what constitutes “sufficient financial means” between Spain’s regions, provinces and even the Spanish consulates around the world from which foreigners apply for the visa (For UK-based applicants, you apply from the general Spanish consulates in either London, Manchester or Edinburgh, not from Spain).

But in general terms, 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”.

The Spanish government is referring to the IPREM, an indicator that in 2022 will rise to €579.02 (£485 with the current exchange rate – €1 – £0.84) per month, just under €20 more than in 2021 and €50 more than in 2020.

The standard financial requirement for non-lucrative visa applicants is 400 percent of the IPREM: €2,316 (£1,940) per month.

So for a UK national wanting to apply for the non-lucrative residency permit for Spain for the first time (it lasts one year), the amount they need to prove is €27,792 (£23,276 ), more than €600 than for those who applied in 2021.

For every family member included in the residency application it’s an extra 100 percent of the IPREM you need to prove you have: €6,948 (£5,818) for the year.

So if a British couple is applying, it’s €34,740 (£29,092) for the year in savings or a monthly income through investments, pensions or other assets, or €2,895 (£2,424) a month.

For a UK family of three it’s €41,724 (£34,945) of available income a year; for a family of four it’s €48,708 (40,795) and so on, adding €6,948 (£5,820) for each family member.

If you’re renewing your non-lucrative visa for the first and second time, bear in mind that you will have to prove you have 800 percent of the IPREM as the renewed residence permit is valid for two years.

For an individual, that amounts to €55,584 (£46,555) that they can prove they’ll have available for two years, and €13,896 (£11,638) for every family member with you in Spain. 

READ ALSO: Should I change my non-lucrative visa for another residency permit?

Remember that these figures are to be used as a reference, so if you have more assets, money or investments to strengthen your case, show them. 

“Obviously the more assets you can prove the better,” Margaret Hauschild Rey, an immigration lawyer for Madrid-based English-speaking law firm Bennet&Rey, told The Local.

Remember to also factor in changing currency exchange rates.  

If you have that plenty of capital available, you may want to consider if Spain’s golden visa is more suitable for you, and if you don’t, consider Spain’s business visa or new offering for startups, investors and digital nomads.

READ ALSO: Can I be a non-resident for tax purposes with Spain’s non-lucrative visa?

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PADRON

Can I get my padrón online in Spain?

The padrón certificate is a handy multipurpose document you receive when you register with your local town hall in Spain. It can often be frustrating having to apply for it in person, so are you able to apply online instead?

Can I get my padrón online in Spain?

Empadronamiento is a registration process which adds you to the census of your local area. The associated certificate – el padrón – provides you with official proof of your address.  

For your local town hall, or ayuntamiento in Spanish, it serves the purpose of knowing exactly how many people are living in the area, which in turn helps them receive adequate funding for public services.  

But your padrón certificate is very useful for you too, as many official processes in Spain require you to prove your address.

For example, you may need it to get your driving licence or to register as an autónomo (self-employed). 

READ ALSO: 16 things you should know about Spain’s padrón town hall registration. 

Technically, you should apply for your padrón within the first three months of moving to Spain, or if you move home to a different area within Spain.

You may also need to reapply for it if you need it for another official process and it is older than three months.

If you’ve already been living in Spain, you’ll know that getting documents such as your padrón can take longer than you probably hoped for. This can be very frustrating, particularly having to first get a prior appointment (cita previa) from your town hall, as this ends up stringing out the process.

Being able to apply online instead of in person could save you a lot of time and should make the whole process easier, but is it possible?

Can you apply for the padrón online in Spain?

The short answer is yes, it is often possible to apply for your padrón certificate online. However, it may depend on the area you live in.

For example, if you live in Barcelona or Madrid, you are able to apply for your certificate for the first time online or renew it online too.

Those in Barcelona should visit the relevant page of the Ajuntament website here where you can fill out and submit the online form.

Those in Madrid can fill out and apply for the form here, while in Valencia, you can apply via the following link here.

You will simply need to follow all the steps, filling out all your personal details as you go and then submitting it at the end. 

Remember, you will also need to have digital copies of your ID documents such as passport, TIE or other residency cards, the deeds if you own the property where you live or your rental contract if you are renting.

You may need a digital certificate or [email protected] to be able to officially identify yourself during online processes, but this may not be necessary for all town halls, it will depend on what type of system they have set up.

For example, if you live in Granada and have your digital certificate, you can apply online, but if you don’t, then you will need to apply for it in person.

In Madrid, those who don’t have a digital certificate can apply for the padrón via e-mail.

In some other areas, you may be able to apply to renew your certificate online, but if you’re applying for the first time then you will still need to go in person.

As is so often the case with official matters in Spain, there is no standard procedure which applies across the board for getting a padrón online.

You may ask one civil servant who tells you it is possible, then turn round and quiz another funcionario, who completely rules it out. Perhaps you’re better off first Googling “solicitar padrón a través de internet” (apply for padron online), plus the name of your town to see if it is an option.

‘Spain is different’, Spaniards often say in English when being critical about their country. When it comes to applying for a padrón online, Spain and its 8,131 town halls most certainly are different.

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