Your passport without a visa is like a car with (almost) no petrol
Imagine the following.
You are holding your passport on a sunny morning.
You are in your garden.
And inside your passport… your Spanish visa.
Your best picture.
Your personal details.
It’s the ticket to your new life.
You take a deep breath and you smile.
You can now live in Spain for more than 90 days.
The dream is about to start.
No more Internet search.
No more endless websites full of jargon and things that nobody understands.
No more contradictions (and people moaning and attacking each other) on Facebook groups.
Now it’s for real.
If your passport could speak, it would be so happy.
He would probably say with tears in its eyes: you mean the world to me.
Your passport without a long-term visa is like a car whose tank is almost empty.
You cannot drive too far.
Once the petrol is gone, your car will let you down anywhere… perhaps in the middle of nowhere.
Same for the tourist visa. You could be in the middle of something (interesting, serious, fill the blank) and forced to leave Spain.
No problem at all, you have got the long-stay visa.
The non-lucrative visa.
To live in Spain permanently.
Forever, until the end of the time.
But there is a gap between the previous and the actual moment
You still haven’t gotten your visa.
The happy version of yourself holding the visa is there waiting for you, at the other side of the gap, in the future.
And part of the gap is the process to obtain your non-lucrative visa Spain.
Another part of the gap is going in person to the Spanish consulate.
Another part of the gap is waiting to get your visa approved.
Maybe you have not started yet.
Maybe you don’t know where to start.
Maybe you feel overwhelmed from reading stuff on the Internet.
What’s true is that the visa will not happen on its own.
It will not appear printed automatically in your passport.
(A tourist visa is about to expire)
You will need to take some action, which combined with our help will make your visa and Spanish residency card come true 😊
What is the non-lucrative visa Spain?
In simple words: it’s a stay permit given to non-EU citizens who want to live in Spain.
There are other visas, here is my Spain visa guide.
The visa itself is just a one-page sticker on your passport issued by the Spanish embassy, which has special security marks.
The Spanish non lucrative visa is produced at the Spanish embassy/consulate of your country of origin.
Your visa becomes a Spanish residency card (TIE) once in Spain.
How long can you stay in Spain with this visa?
There are two main groups of foreign people when it comes to stay permits:
- EU citizens (don’t need visas)
- Non-EU citizens (do need visas)
Some countries like the USA have special agreements with the EU, so you if you’re a US citizen, you can stay in Spain up to 3 months without a visa, as a tourist.
Other non-EU countries need a tourist visa, even if they’re only spending several weeks in Spain.
One way or another, if your plan is to live in Spain or to spend more than 90 days, then you need a non-lucrative visa.
The initial visa is for one year.
The first renewal will give you a residency card valid for two years.
There you will get another 2-year residency card, after the second renewal.
Finally, you will become a permanent resident.
Main characteristic (only one)
Here we go:
“You can’t work or create a business in Spain”
If you’re on one or more public/private pensions, no problem at all.
If you have investments, no problem at all.
And, of course, if you have your own savings, no problem at all.
However, consulates will not issue the visa if you are working / running a business, in person or remotely.
In short, the non-lucrative visa Spain is a legal residency visa only (not to work or run businesses).
Can your family members apply with you?
Yes, they can.
By ‘family members’ I mean: spouse, children, or parents who are dependant on you.
The key here is always to prove that you can support your family members economically.
What are the requirements?
There are two essential ones: financial means and private health insurance
However, the list of “secondary” requirements will vary depending on the consulate.
The application forms are the same all over the world anyway.
5 common mistakes
Over the years, I have seen many people making tons of mistakes.
Some of them are fine, fixable.
Other mistakes are even funny (and fixable).
But there is a group of mistakes that can bring unpredictable results, all the next ones:
This is the path to the dark woods, metaphorically speaking.
Applying for a visa is not climbing Mount Everest with a broken foot and no water, but there are many things to keep in mind.
Keeping in mind that some documents will expire.
The little bits (stamps, signatures, etc).
Proof of address.
The usual mistakes that people make.
2. Following social media advice
This is a classic.
Some people follow the opinions and recommendations of anonymous smiley people on social media.
But their story may have nothing in common with yours.
What consulate did they apply at?
One application, two people, a whole family of nine?
Was the application done recently or back in the year of the Olympic Games in Spain (Barcelona 1992)?
How do you really know that people on Facebook are telling the whole story and not 75% of it? (or maybe 50% of it?).
Anyway, I think social media is good for a research stage, to get familiar with things, but not to follow the advice of anonymous people.
3. The fight club syndrome
This is another good one.
I start working with somebody to get their non-lucrative visa Spain, but during the process, they keep reading the forums, the Facebook Groups, Spanish websites written in broken English, etc.
The non-lucrative visa process becomes then an absurd contest about who is right and who is wrong.
A silly psychological negotiation.
“David, you said that we need to take these documents, but we cannot get them, and I read somewhere that we can take these other ones instead”.
Something like that.
They pay me to help them, but they try to fight with me at the same time.
The day of the visa application, these people will take whatever they decided that was correct, not what we advised.
4. Using somebody else along the road
This is a really good one too.
It has happened to me several times.
I start working with somebody.
They get their visas.
Then, when they are in Spain, they use the next door neighbour for the Spanish residency part.
Or whatever company which offers them who knows what to convince them (usually property purchase stuff and “we’ll give you the residency for free”).
They lose their visas because everything gets wrong, the deadline, the appointment to apply for residency, the requirements.
“David, we should have kept with you”.
5. Wrong official translations
The usual ones:
- Google Translate.
- A translation made by a friend of the son who’s studying Spanish.
- An expensive translation produced by a company which doesn’t have the right licence (the Spanish one).
- The translation made by the son’s friend that was stamped with a Homer Simpson face.
The day of the visa application: Wrong translations.
Outcome: get the right translations.
Which are: official translations produced by an official translator who has got the licence and certifications from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (my team of official translators :-)).
How can you apply for the non lucrative visa Spain?
You spend hours and hours reading contradictory information on the internet to do it yourself.
I’ve been in the relocation industry for many years, so I promise the rate of failure and frustration is quite high when foreign people throw themselves at the Spanish system wall (not speaking the language, not knowing the rules, only trusting what they’ve read on free pages or Facebook).
The usual outcome is going round in circles, as well as wasting time and money.
You spend a fortune in services from lawyers and attorneys that will do exactly what I will do (or will hire me to do the job that you will pay them for).
You can hire my services where I will:
- Guide you through the visa application(critical step), which would include: online sessions to cover every single aspect of the visa, speaking with the embassy/consulate if required, sending you a comprehensive list of requirements, filling out the official forms.
- Provide you with the official translations you will need for the visa application. I will send them to your home (no matter where you live in the world). Official translations + shipping, all included in my non-lucrative visa Spain service.
- Guide you through the Spanish residency card process when you’re in Spain (critical step). I will make the appointment at the police for you, I will let you know the final requirements at this stage, and, either one or my interpreters or myself, will be with you as your interpreter (Warning: you only have 30 days to obtain your Spanish residency card once you’re in Spain, otherwise you’ll lose your visa. In fact, many adventure lovers from Option 1 lose their non-lucrative visa).
My relocation services are not for everybody.
I must be sure:
- I can assist you throughout the whole process. Otherwise, I will never ever charge anybody for services I can’t provide.
- You’re willing to hire me because you’re aware that the Spanish non lucrative visa is a complex process to be solved using professional experts.
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Costa Blanca: These are my usual in-person coverage areas in Costa Blanca Spain, Altea, Calpe, Orihuela Costa, Guardamar, Javea, Moraira, Alicante, La Marina, Denia, Pilar de la Horadada, Benidorm, El Campello, Santa Pola, and, of course, Torrevieja; as well as other towns near Alicante.
Cities and towns in Murcia province:
Other areas in Spain
I have collaborators almost everywhere all over Spain, so no worries, I can assist you anywhere you are in Spain, in cities such as: Zaragoza, Vitoria, Bilbao, Albacete, Almería, Logroño, Avila, Badajoz, Caceres, Majorca, Zamora, Barcelona, Burgos, Oviedo, Cadiz, Santander, Castellon, Pontevedra, Ciudad Real, Cordoba, Cuenca, Gerona, Granada, Guadalajara, San Sebastian, Huelva, Huesca, Jaen, Navarra, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gijon, Leon, Lleida, Lugo, Madrid, Malaga, Orense, Palencia, Salamanca, Segovia, Sevilla, Soria, Tarragona, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Teruel, Toledo, Valencia, Valladolid.