Non Lucrative Visas - Looking to retire to Spain? Remember from January 2021 new rules APPLY.

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

If you are a UK passport holder the days of simply “rocking up” in another EU country with only your suitcase and dreams in tow, and intending to settle down are almost at an end.

Madrid taken from the roof top

31 December 2020 marks the end of the UK transition, unless of course there is a MAJOR U-Turn by the UK government.

Many people are still in denial, even at this late stage, and so often I’ll see comments on social media along the lines of “nothing will change, the Spanish won’t allow it because without “the British” the economy will be destroyed”.

It will happen, it is happening and so if you intend to move to Spain you need to understand what the requirements are after 31 December this year.

Baring miracles as a country outside of the EU anyone from the UK will likely have to apply using the VISA regime that is already in place, and so where to begin.


The greatest number of enquires we get on our Facebook group pages are from people either retired or approaching retirement. So let us assume that you are moving to Spain after Brexit and not intending to work when you arrive, which pretty much covers anyone thinking of retiring to Spain, and also those under retirement age who have sufficient funds to support themselves without having to work.

A joint application for a NON-LUCRATIVE VISA means you, your spouse, and your children will be able to reside in Spain. All you need to do is demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to cover your family’s stay, easy?

The visa is for an initial period of one year, renewable every two years and after five years you can apply for permanent residency.

You will not be able to work, but you will for example be able to continue with work/business activities in another country so it’s ideal for anyone who intends to work remotely.

Remember you will NOT be able to work in Spain, you will also NOT have recourse to public funds, and you will NOT have access to the health service. Put simply the government will NOT pay towards your maintenance whilst you reside in Spain.

IPREM and income requirements.

IPREM - is the income indicator used as a reference for the granting of aid, subsidies or unemployment benefit. It was introduced in 2004 to replace the “salario minimo interprofesional” as the reference point.

A Graph showing the IPREM Mensual from 2004 to 2020.
Monthly IPREM 2004 - 2020

It’s important because to obtain a non lucrative visa you need to prove that you have 4 times the IPREM going into your bank account annually. In 2020 you can see that the IPREM is set at 537,84€ a month or 6.454€ a year

This means the applicant requires a minimum income of 25.816€ (6.454€ x 12)

If you also intend for your spouse to join you, they and each other individual on the application would need an additional 6.454€ or 100% or the annual IPREM.

A family of 4 would therefore need a minimum of 45.180€, and I stress minimum because submitting an application with only the bare minimum is not advisable and likely to be an excuse for rejection.

Private Medical Insurance PMI

A Non Lucrative Visa doesn’t allow access to the Spanish health service and so you will need PMI that covers “everything” including preconditions and there should be no co-payments*

*co-payments are like an excess you pay each time you require a consultation or treatment.

And so you can see the conditions for obtaining a visa are not inconsiderable, however IF you are ready to press ahead that what do you need to apply?


Application form for a ‘National Visa”

Form EX-01

Bank Statements


Photos 3x4cm


Medical Certificate, to certify you do not suffer from any recognisable disease that would prevent entry into the country.

Criminal Record Background Check, issued in your country of origin, translated and legalised.

I have always been of the opinion that where possible you should do the application process yourself however having been through Visa applications myself and especially here in Spain where local knowledge is so important I’d recommend seeking professional advice before submitting anything yourself. - is a great place to find the necessary documents and further information.

Please visit our “Moving to and Living in Spain” facebook group.

Next time… working visas and Investment Visas.

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