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Applying for a Spanish residency visa with keyboard Residency Visas In Spain For UK Nationals Post-Brexit Expat Tips

Are you looking to live permanently in Spain post-Brexit? 

If so, you will now need to obtain a long term Spanish residency visa.

With the Brexit transition period fully expired and UK nationals now referred to as ‘non-EU citizens’, the process for those looking to legally reside in Spain from January 2021 has changed.

In a previous article, we wrote extensively about the residency process here in Spain and how you could register yourself while at the same time, securing your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, which was negotiated between the British government and the European Union.

Anyone who was previously living in Spain prior to 2021 was able to apply for permanent residency with the Spanish authorities. This allowed them to maintain their existing rights knowing that life in Spain would continue pretty much as before.

But what are the options for those who wish to move to Spain post-Brexit now the UK is no longer a member of the EU?

Well, the good news is that moving to Spain permanently is still an option, regardless of the UK no longer being a part of the bloc.

Below we aim to clarify things and offer you an insight into what we currently know about the visa options and how you can potentially become a permanent resident here in Spain.

Which visa is right for you will depend on a number of factors including your financial means and whether or not you wish to work or retire in Spain.

It is worth noting that much is still unknown at this stage about any future agreements that may be brokered between the UK, the EU and individual member states including Spain.

We will continue to update this page, as and when we learn of any changes that may affect the process of applying for residency visas.

Two Paths To Long-Term Residency In Spain

According to the Spanish government site, from January 1, 2021, UK nationals wishing to obtain residency in Spain will fall into one of two categories.

  • Beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement - Those who were legally resident in Spain prior to the end of the transition period on December 31, 2020. Anyone living in Spain prior to the end of the transition period should now have either obtained their residency and TIE card or be in the process of doing so.
  • Those governed by Spain’s general immigration regime - This is anyone from outside of the EU coming to Spain from January 1, 2021, who would like to permanently reside here. There are a number of residency visa options available.

Below we cover the most popular residency visas in Spain which cover the majority of people and provide you with legal residency status in Spain.

Visa application approved

Non-Lucrative Visa

What is a non-lucrative visa?

The non-lucrative visa is for non-EU nationals who wish to reside in Spain but not undertake any work or professional activity here.

The non-lucrative visa or 'Visado de Residencia No Lucrativa', is a non-working residence visa for Spain.

However, it is important to note that you may still carry out work remotely which will allow you to service clients or employers remotely in countries outside of Spain and its territories.

The non-lucrative can also be considered to be a retirement residency visa and therefore ideal for retirees.

With the non-lucrative visa, you only need to make sure that you have sufficient on-going financial means to support yourself (and your family) while living here.

From the Spanish government's perspective, they want to know that you will not become a financial burden on the state.

Unlike the investor visa (below), you will not need to make any large investment in the country. You will only need a consistent guaranteed income (details below) to satisfy the residency requirements, although you will have to provide evidence of this.

Who is the non-lucrative visa for?

  • Those looking to retire in Spain
  • Those who want to work remotely from Spain
  • Those who wish to live in Spain for the first year without work but apply for a work permit in year two.

What are the benefits of a non-lucrative visa?

There are a number of benefits to obtaining this type of visa. This includes:-

  • After the first year, the visa can be renewed every 2 years until you reach 5 years at which time you will be eligible for permanent residency.
  • After the first year, you will be able to apply for one of the work visas.
  • You will be able to work remotely for clients or companies outside of Spain.
  • You may study or take a paid internship in Spain as this is classed as ‘education’.
  • No need to make any form of large investment into Spain.
  • Free movement within the 26 Schengen countries.
  • You may bring your spouse and dependent children with you.

What are the visa income requirements?

Having sufficient funds to sustain yourself and your family in the country is one of the main requirements of the non-lucrative visa.

In order to demonstrate that you have sufficient means, you will need to provide proof of the following yearly minimum income levels.

  • For the non-lucrative visa, you must prove that you have 400% of the IPREM received annually into your bank account. For 2021, the IPREM is €564.90 for a month. This means that an individual would need a regular guaranteed monthly income of €2,259.60 or €27,115.20 yearly.
  • For each additional family member, 100% of the IPREM is required, which in 2021 amounts to €564.90 per month or its equivalent in the foreign currency.

Evidence of sufficient income will need to be provided via the submission of original and stamped documents to demonstrate that regular income meets the requirement or the holding of financial assets that guarantee the income such as rental property, investments or pensions etc.

If any of the financial means are acquired from investments in Spanish companies, applicants will need to certify that they do not carry out any work activities for the companies.

How do you apply for the non-lucrative visa?

To apply for the non-lucrative visa, you will need to submit your application form and supporting documentation to your nearest Spanish consulate from where you legally reside in the UK. You can do the initial visa application and make an appointment online via email.

There are three main consular regions in the UK which are covered by London, Manchester and Edinburgh.

You will need to email one of the following addresses below stating in the subject line which visa you are applying for.

London
http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/LONDRES/en/Consulado/Pages/LocalizacionContacto.aspx
cog.londres.residencia@maec.es

Manchester
http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/MANCHESTER/en/Consulado/Pages/LocalizacionContacto.aspx
cog.manchester.vis@maec.es

Edinburgh
http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/EDIMBURGO/en/Consulado/Pages/LocalizacionContacto.aspx
cog.edimburgo@maec.es

In the SUBJECT line of your email, you must specify the type of residence visa you wish to apply for.

Within your email, you will need to include the following:-

  • The applicant's PERSONAL DETAILS (full name, nationality, passport number and telephone number)
  • TYPE OF RESIDENCE VISA you wish to apply for.
  • REASONS are requesting the visa
  • DESIRED DATE for the appointment at the Consulate office (only on TUESDAYS and THURSDAYS of each week, between 09:30 and 12:00).

You can apply for the non-lucrative residence visa up to 90 days before your required entry date into Spain.

If you are successful, you must collect your visa in person within one month from the date of being notified. If you do not collect it within this time, it will be taken that you have renounced the visa and the process will be closed.

Required Application Documents

Below we list the documents you will need to provide when making your application for the non-lucrative visa. All documents will need to be photocopies of the originals.

  • National visa form - Download here.
  • Form Ex-01 - Download here.
  • Fee payment form - Download here.
  • Private Health Insurance - Proof of private health insurance contracted with a company authorised and regulated to operate in Spain. Please contact us here at Health Plan if you would like us to assist you with choosing the right policy for your residency application.
  • Bank certificate - Proof of financial means which satisfy the income requirements.
  • Photos with white background - See official requirements here
  • Original passport
  • Medical certificate - This will need to demonstrate that you do not suffer from any of the diseases that would prevent your entry into Spain. Certificates will need to have an accompanying sworn translation into Spanish.
  • Criminal records - These must also be legalised and translated into Spanish. They must not be older than three months.
  • Payment of the relevant visa fee which is payable at the Consulate on the day your application is accepted.

How much is the non-lucrative visa?

The cost of the visa is relatively cheap given that it allows you to permanently reside in this wonderful country.

At the time of writing, the fee varies from where you are from and will need to be paid at the consulate on the day that your visa is approved.

  • USA – €123
  • Canada – €507
  • Most other countries – €80

Once you have obtained your visa from the Consulate, you will have one month from the date of entry into Spain, to process the TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero) at the Immigration Office or Police Station.

Application Forms

Non-lucrative EX-01 Application - http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/LONDRES/en/Consulado/Documents/Formulario%20EX-01.pdf

National Visa Form -  http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/LONDRES/en/Consulado/Documents/Solicitud%20nacional%20ES.pdf

Fee Payment Form 790-052 - http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/LONDRES/en/Consulado/Documents/Formulario%20790-052.pdf

You can see the official government guidance on the non-lucrative visa here.

http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/LONDRES/en/Consulado/Documents/RES%20ES-EN.pdf

Red passport with map and sunglasses

 

Investor Visa (Golden Visa)

What is an Investor or Golden Visa?

Another option, which is sometimes referred to as the ‘Golden Visa’ is the Investor Visa or 'Visado de Residencia Para Inversores y Emprendedores'.

This particular immigration scheme is for those who have made a ‘significant investment’ in Spain and is available to both investors and entrepreneurs looking to set up a business.

Applicants must be over the age of 18, non-EU residents and not live in a country where EU laws apply.

For many, the Investor Visa is the fastest and easiest way for those outside of the EU to acquire Spanish residency.

Due to its simplicity, the Investor Visa has become very popular, especially with wealthy individuals from China and Russia who have the financial clout and wish to expedite the residency process.

The investment immigration scheme also allows other members of the applicants family to also apply for residency. This includes:-

  • The spouse or unmarried couple.
  • Children who are minors or those of legal age being financially dependent on the holder.
  • Parents in their charge

Family members can apply for their visa at the same time as the main applicant or at a later time.

Unlike other visas, this one permits you to continue to live and work anywhere in Spain and its territories.

Who is the Investor Visa for?

This visa is for both investors and entrepreneurs looking to permanently live and work in Spain (if required) and can be thought of as a work and residence visa.

In order to be approved for the Investor Visa, the main applicant will need to make a ‘sizable investment’ in Spain.

These can include any of the following financial assets.

Public debt (€2 million).
Shares (€1 million).
Investment funds, investment funds of close-end type or venture capital funds set up in Spain (€1 million).
Bank deposits (€1 million).
Real estate (€500,000).
Business projects: there is no minimum investment requirement, they must be of general interest:
 - Creation of jobs
 - Social and economic impact on the geographical area where they are made.
 - A significant contribution to scientific and/or technological innovation.

How long does it last?

The Investor Visa is the only one which allows you to live and work in Spain for an initial period of two years. The other visa options only provide you with an initial residency right of one year.

The scheme is made up of a visa and residence permit.

The initial visa lasts for 6-12 months and must be renewed.

The Residence Permit part initially covers you for two years.

After the first two years, you may apply for an extension of five further years and as a result, will become eligible for permanent residency.

  • Real estate assets not formalized: visa/residence permit: 6 months
  • Visa: 1 year
  • Residence permit: 2 years
  • Renewal of the residence permit: 5 years.

Renewal does not require effective residence in Spain.

What are the benefits of the investor visa?

  • You and your family may live anywhere in Spain and its territories
  • You and your family members may work in Spain
  • Fast track process means that the decision on your visa application is made within 10 days of application
  • Residence permit decisions are made within 20 working days of application
  • Renewal is not dependent on your effective residence in Spain.

What are the income requirements?

Other than the requirement to have made a sizable investment in Spain, you will also need to have a very minimal income to support yourself and your dependents while living in Spain.

Investors - In order to support the main applicant, you must have a monthly income of 400% of the IPREM, which in 2021 is €564.90. This means that the main applicant will need to demonstrate an income of at least €2,259.60 per month.

For each additional family member, 100% of the IPREM is required, which in 2021 amounts to €564.90 per month or its equivalent in the foreign currency.

Entrepreneurs - This group will need to only prove an income of 100% of the IPREM which would equate to €564.90 per month in 2021.

For family members; family unit of the holder and one regrouped person 150% IPREM and family unit of the holder and more than two people additional 50% IPREM for each family member.

How do you apply for the investor visa?

Like the non-lucrative visa, you must initiate the process and request an appointment by emailing your nearest Spanish consulate.

There are three main consular regions in the UK which are covered by London, Manchester and Edinburgh.

You will need to email one of the following addresses below stating in the subject line which visa you are applying for.

London
http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/LONDRES/en/Consulado/Pages/LocalizacionContacto.aspx
cog.londres.residencia@maec.es

Manchester
http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/MANCHESTER/en/Consulado/Pages/LocalizacionContacto.aspx
cog.manchester.vis@maec.es

Edinburgh
http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/EDIMBURGO/en/Consulado/Pages/LocalizacionContacto.aspx
cog.edimburgo@maec.es

In the SUBJECT line of your email, you must specify the type of residence visa you wish to apply for.

Within your email, you will need to include the following:-

  • The applicant's PERSONAL DETAILS (full name, nationality, passport number and telephone number)
  • TYPE OF RESIDENCE VISA you wish to apply for.
  • REASONS are requesting the visa
  • DESIRED DATE for the appointment at the Consulate office (only on TUESDAYS and THURSDAYS of each week, between 09:30 and 12:00).

Your appointment time and date will then be confirmed via email.

Note that you must apply for the visa 90 days prior to the desired date of entry into Spain.

Required Application Documents

To apply for the Investor Visa, you will need to provide the following documentation during your appointment.

  • National visa form - Will need to be completed, signed and dated. The form can be downloaded here.
  • Recent photo with white background - See official requirements here
  • Valid passport or travel document - Must have a minimum validity of 12 months and two blank pages.
  • Photocopy of all passport pages
  • Valid UK residence permit and photocopy
  • Criminal records certificate - Only for those over 18 years. This must also be legalised and translated into Spanish. Must not be older than three months.
  • Bank certificate - Proof of financial means that satisfy the income requirements.
  • Private Health Insurance - Proof of private health insurance contracted with a company authorised to operate in Spain. (Contact us at Health Plan for appropriate policies)
  • Payment of the relevant visa fee which is payable at the Consulate on the day your application is accepted.

Private health insurance is a requirement

Note that with the investor visa, it is a requirement to take out private health insurance cover from a company operating in Spain.

Please contact us here at Health Plan if you would like us to recommend the most appropriate insurance for your visa application.

Official guidance on the investor visa from the Spanish government can be found at the following links below and are in English.

https://extranjeros.inclusion.gob.es/ficheros/UnidadGrandesEmpresas/ley_14_2013/tripticos/triptico-invertir-INGLES.pdf

http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/LONDRES/en/Consulado/Documents/RIC-RIV-RVT-RPE-REP-REM%20ES-EN.pdf