Obtaining a residence and work permit to live in Spain is a complicated task, especially for citizens from countries outside the European Union (EU) without a job offer.
However, for those non-EU citizens who just want to start living in Spain without conducting any type of economic or professional activity, the Spanish government offers the possibility of applying for a non-lucrative visa.
According to government information, this type of temporary residence visa allows the holder to reside in Spain for one year starting from the date of entry, but without the possibility of carrying out any paid activity.
After the first grant, subsequent visa renewals will be valid for 2 years.
This type of visa is not intended for employees and cannot be requested by people who are living in Spain illegally.
Non-lucrative visas must be requested at the Spanish missions (embassies, consulates) abroad. In other words, you cannot be already in Spain if you want the application to be successful.
The advantages of non-lucrative visa
The non-lucrative visa is a good option for people who want to retire in Spain, enjoy its climate, food and quality of life, for example. Perhaps it could also be useful for people who just to taste Spanish life for a while and later start searching for a job and apply for a work permit.
Non-lucrative visas offer other benefits for non-EU citizens, such as the ability to travel freely within the EU Schengen area. It also enables holders to study and receive training. Therefore, it is interesting for some families with dependent children or minors.
But not everything is easy. To obtain a non-lucrative visa, applicants must demonstrate to the Spanish authorities that they have sufficient financial resources to pay their expenses and not become a burden on the public social security system.
Although it is not intended for that, non-lucrative visas have been sometimes used by non-EU citizens who were digital nomads to work remotely from Spain for another country. However, it should be noted that legally it is not a visa designed for workers of any kind.
In fact, consular offices can reject applications if they suspect that the applicant wants to go to Spain and work remotely from there.
The requirements to access a non-profit visa are the following:
- Not be a citizen of a State of the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland, or a family member of citizens of these countries to which the Union citizen regime applies.
- Not be living illegally in Spain.
- Not having a criminal record in Spain and in their previous countries of residence for crimes under Spanish law.
- Not be prohibited from entering Spain and in the countries with which Spain has signed an agreement in this regard.
- Have the necessary financial means to pay the expenses of stay and return and, where appropriate, those of their family members, in accordance with the following amounts:
- 400% of the IPREM monthly for own expenses.
- 100% of the IPREM for the support of each family member
- Have public or private health insurance arranged with an insurance company authorized to operate in Spain.
- Not suffering from any of the diseases that pose a risk for public health.
- Not being within the commitment period of no return to Spain after participating in a voluntary return program.
The Spanish 'Indicador Publico de Renta de Efectos Multiples (IPREM)' is a minimum amount of income which is used in Spain as a reference to grant aid, subsidies or unemployment benefits. The draft budget for 2022 includes a 2.5% rise in the IPREM, up to 579.02 euros per month.
Therefore, to apply for a non-profit visa valid for one year, the applicant must demonstrate to the authorities that they have at least 27,792.96 euros for their support.
How to apply for the non-lucrative visa
The non-profit visa must be requested in person -except in the case of minors, in which their parents or legal guardians can do it- at the diplomatic mission or Spanish consular office in whose demarcation the applicant resides.
Applicants must fill out form 790 code 052 and pay a public fee for the residence authorization.
The term for notification of the decision is three months. In the case of granting the residence visa, the applicant has one month from the notification to collect it personally.
Once the visa has been collected, the applicant must enter Spain within the next three months.
The first non-lucrative residence permit will be valid for one year, starting from the date of entry into Spain.
Within one month of entering Spain, the visa holder must personally request the foreigner's identity card at the Immigration office or police station of the province where the authorization has been processed.