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A guide to the Non Lucrative Visa

Updated: Oct 28, 2023

What is a NON-Lucrative Visa?

The non-lucrative visa (NLV, and often referred to as the retirement or none-working visa) is a Spanish visa available to non-EU citizens who have sufficient economic means to stay in Spain without engaging in any work or professional activity

What is sufficient economic means?

In short, you will require the equivalent of €28,800* (for the first applicant) and €7,200* per person thereafter.

These amounts can be made up of passive income (state pension, occupational pensions), savings (including investments and pension pots) or a combination of the two.

*€28,800 for information is 4 X IPREM (Indicador Público de Renta de Efectos Múltiples). The IPREM is announced by the Spanish authorities annually in January, it can increase so you need to be aware that financial requirements can also increase.

How long does the visa last?

A question we are often asked, the visa itself has a shelf life of only 3 months from the date of issue (clearly shown on the visa), during those three months you need to get over to Spain and have the VISA stamped.

Once you arrive you have 1 month to register yourself on the padron and apply for the tarjeta de identidad de extranjero or TIE. Your TIE is your residency and lasts initially for 1 year, before you need to renew.

When do I renew?

The first renewal is after one year (you can renew 60 days before your visa expires or up to 3 months after) at which point you will receive a two year visa (covering years 2 and 3) and then again at the end of year three you will renew for years 4 and 5.

Renewals are applied for in Spain.

After living in Spain continuously for 5 years, on your third renewal you can request a permanent residency permit, this will be valid for 10 years and will grant you access to the Spanish State Healthcare system (in theory, as not all areas are willing), travel discounts and other benefits available to Spanish nationals and permanent residents.

What are the implications of the 2 year visa - double the income/savings?

Much has been written about the need for double the income/savings in year 2, there is no doubt about it is a grey area.

Ok, because you are applying for a two year visa some areas require you to show sufficient economic means to cover the entire two year period.

eg. MR S applies for a visa in the UK and has combined pensions of €20,000 and he supplement this with savings of at least €8000 thus meeting the financial requirements.

On renewal, the figure the Spanish authorities are looking for is €56,000 (double the 28K) it is assumed that his pensions are regular monthly/quarterly/annual payments so that over the two years he will receive €40,000. That’s ok, however he will need to make up the shortfall of €16,000 in savings.

What are the implications of the 2 year visa - is it double everywhere in Spain?

No, some areas interpret the rules differently, so in Alicante, Almeria and Murcia (to name 3 areas) they are accepting people who only have €28,000 in other words they are not requiring double! However, not everyone is reading from the same hymn sheet and so even within the areas mentioned there are differences of approach.

We have spoken to the lawyer in Almeria who first broke the news of this change in rule interpretation. He mentioned that he’d toyed with the idea of requesting a national review so that all areas were forced to use the same basis. However he decided to let sleeping dog lie because there was always the risk the decision would be to reaffirm the “double” requirements and that he’d didn’t want.

What are the implications of the 2 year visa - what is the advice?

Personally I would air on the side of safety having double the amount is recommended, and areas such as Malaga it’s more or less your only option.

Can I work with a NLV?

No and that includes remotely, but you do have an option to modify your visa after 1 year to include the ability to either work or become autonomo (self-employed).

I think I meet all the requirements and want to proceed to apply for a NLV, are there any reasons it could be declined?

I understand this is a concern many people have, because for example they have sold properties to fund their move or resigned their job (which you need to do).

There is absolutely no reason why you will be rejected IF you meet the financial requirements, you have a clean(ish) police record and you can show that you are not working. We have a 100% record, all our clients who have applied have been granted visas.

What If I am declined?

If for any reason your visa is declined the consulate is obliged to give you written details and 99% of the time it comes down to a missing or incorrect document - a common example being people not having a P45, or the incorrect doctors certificate. They will also give you 30 days to appeal, the appeal needs to be in writing (Spanish), it needs to explicitly say you are appealing against (state dates and reference numbers)…. and in support of the appeal… at this point you provide the missing or correct documents. We have a 100% record on appeals.

If a document is missing, before issuing a rejection letter, the consulate will ask for the document or outstanding information.

The areas of most concern when it comes to appeals is the ACRO, these are challenging because a police record is a police record and if you have previous for an armed robbery you might just have to concede defeat!

How long does the process take?

Your ACRO is the one unknown, it can take 2 weeks or it can take a month or more for the police to issue the ACRO.

What I say is that by the time the ACRO is returned to you, apostilled then you should be in a position to apply for your appointment, so 6 weeks.

The you will need to secure an appointment, this can range from 2 or 3 days to a month or more depending on the consulate HOWEVER at the time of writing appointments are readily available and are taking no more than a few days.

Once you have had your appointment, it is anyones guess how long you will need to wait

How long does it take to apply for a Non Lucrative Visa - timeline
Non Lucrative Visa Timeline

for the visa to be issued, sometimes it’s 3 weeks, sometimes it’s 3 months or more and it is frustrating because you’ll go on social media and people will say I’ve recieved my visa it to

ok 3 weeks in London. It means nothing and doesn’t mean yours will take three weeks.

I have come up with a TIMELINE of events of how the process should pan out, you can download this below.

Download PDF • 65KB

You mentioned the ACRO, what else do I need?

In no particular order:

  • ACRO (police record check)

  • Certificate of good health - issued in accordance with the 2005 international health regulations.

  • Health Cover - which can be a private health insurance policy or S1 (people in receipt of the state pension).

  • Marriage or Birth Certificates (where applicable).

  • Translations (must be translated by an approved certified translator)

  • Apostilles, an official documents need legalising (ACRO, Doctors certificate, Marriage and Birth Certificates)

  • Forms EX01, 790-52 and the National Visa Application form

  • Passport size photo

  • A passport with at least one year left on on it and it must not be over 10 years old.

  • If you are of working age a copy of your P45 or evidence that you have ceased self-employment or that you do not work.

  • If you have taken early retirement and not been working for some time a print out of your National Insurance record (available from the Government Gateway) showing that you have not made any National Insurance contributions.

  • If you are in receipt of a State Pension your annual letter showing your rate of pension for the following year (we understand that they do not require this letter to be translated) or your S1 form (see our article on S1)

  • Bank statements (recommended 12 months)

  • Other supporting documents, including evidence of lump sum payments (I’m thinking house sales inheritance).

  • In the case of children travelling with one parent, a written permission to travel document signed and witnessed by a notary and apostilled.

  • Sponsorship, by which I mean, if the bulk of the money is in one persons name you may be asked for a letter to confirm that person will cover their partners expenses in Spain. I don’t recommend providing this unless you are asked for it.

  • Proof of residence in the consular district. Your address in the UK (driving license or bank statement) To verify your consular district, please see image below.

  • And of course you need to pay the consulates application fee of €516 AND a small fee of 10€ (it mush cost them more processing the payment!).

That’s it, easy.

For a full check list, download it below:

Download PDF • 152KB

Can you help with the Visa and how much will it cost?

Yes, you can apply here and the cost is £415 pp, this includes all of the above items shown in bold with the exception of the Notary costs and Insurance premiums. The insurance costs are dependent on age and pre-existing conditions.

For the S1 applicants or applicants who already have their own insurance, the cost is £550 pp.

We also offer support with obtaining TIE appointments on the Spanish side, it is an additional optional service.

You can request a call here to discuss the process or you can fill out our NLV form to set the ball rolling!

If you have any other questions let me know and I will update the Q&A section.


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