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The little-known reasons you can be denied Spain's Non-Lucrative Visa

The Local Spain
The Local Spain - [email protected]
The little-known reasons you can be denied Spain's Non-Lucrative Visa
Spain's non-lucrative visa is a good choice for those with plenty of disposable income, but there are plenty of other important requirements. Photo: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Like many visas for Spain, there are numerous requirements for the non-lucrative visa in Spain, some of which are less known, and if you don't meet them all your application could be denied.

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Spain’s non-lucrative visa (NLV) is an authorisation that allows non-EU foreigners to reside in the country without working or carrying out professional activities. It’s initially available for a period of one year but can be renewed.

There are several requirements you must meet, such as demonstrating that you have sufficient financial means for yourself, and if applicable, your family too.

But, not everyone is automatically granted the visa and there are several reasons you could be denied.

READ ALSO: What are the pros and cons of Spain's non-lucrative visa?

Advertising your professional services on websites such as Linked-In

As the visa specifies non-lucrative, meaning you can’t work while you’re in Spain, even remotely for an employer back home, you can’t be seen to be actively trying to get work.

In late 2023, the High Court of Justice in Madrid confirmed that an applicant of Venezuelan nationality was denied the visa because he had not stopped his professional activities and continued to advertise his services on several websites, as well as LinkedIn.

Have insufficient funds to support yourself

Although you can’t actively work, you must show that you have sufficient savings to support yourself while living in Spain or passive income from renting out a property abroad or investments.

This should be at least 400 percent of the IPREM, which for 2024 is €2,400 per month for a single applicant and an extra €600 per month on top for each family member.

READ ALSO: Do I have to pay tax in Spain on the non-lucrative visa?

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Appear to actively be working

Like the case above, if for some reason the authorities believe that you are still working or there is evidence that you’re working remotely for companies abroad, then your application could be denied. You need to show that you comply with all the rules of the visa and this is by far one of the most important.

Even if you’re not actually working, but for example, retain a management position in your company you could also be denied as it’s expected that you will need to be working at some point.

Have a criminal record

In order to apply for the NLV, you need to provide a criminal record check from the country or countries you have lived in. If you have a record, it will be up to the discretion of the consulate as to whether they will approve you or not.

It will depend on the severity of your conviction, as well as how long ago it was. There have been reports of people being granted a visa who do have a criminal record so it is possible, however, you must be aware that it will likely be denied on these grounds.

READ ALSO - Non-lucrative vs digital nomad visa: Which one should you choose to move to Spain?

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Not passing your embassy interview

The Spanish embassy or consulate in your country may require you to go for an interview in person before they decide if they will grant you the NLV or not. They may ask you questions regarding where your savings have come from, making sure you do not intend to work while in the country and what your long-term intentions are about staying in Spain. If you do not convince the authorities of your motives or where your funds are coming from, you could also be denied.

Not having the correct medical insurance

There are various types of private medical insurance plans available in Spain. For example, it can’t just be a basic travel medical insurance, it must be equal to the same coverage you’d receive if you were benefitting from the public health system in Spain.

Often this means a plan with no extra co-payments, and is generally the most comprehensive and therefore, most expensive option. Keep in mind private medical insurance in Spain isn’t that expensive compared to some countries like the US. It's best to ask your consulate if they recommend a particular one. 

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Not able to provide proof of accommodation

Although being able to provide proof of accommodation isn’t actually a requirement for the NLV, it seems that some consulates are favouring applications from people who own a property in Spain or who have a lease in their name. It depends on which country you’re applying from, but some consulates have said they need to see either proof of accommodation or proof of sources leading to accommodation. In some cases, applicants have in fact been denied because they couldn’t prove where they would stay.

Be aware that in these cases a temporary Airbnb booking for example may not be sufficient and you may need to provide an actual lease. The problem is in many cities in Spain, this is very difficult particularly if you can’t prove you have a work contract.

If you have a friend or family member in Spain, you are able to get around the issue by getting them to write a formal letter saying you can stay with them.

Be aware, this doesn’t happen in all consulates and you may not even get asked at all.

Lack of an education plan for your children

If you are moving to Spain with your children aged between 6 and 16, they will be required by law to attend a school. Although, again it’s not an official requirement for the visa that they’re registered for a particular school, you must show proof that you’ve considered various options, such as private international schools.

Like above, this too will depend on your consulate and some may even require that you show registration proof. This can be very difficult if you’ve not yet been granted your visa as you won’t be able to register for public schools without your residency card, so may need to put down an initial payment for a private school instead. 

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