Before Britain decided to leave the EU, Britons could buy property in Spain and move to the country with very minimal paperwork. Spain was considered a haven for British retirees who wanted to enjoy long and lazy days in the sun. Now, however, living in Spain after Brexit (or, indeed, spending extended time in the country) is a little more complicated for Britons who no longer benefit from EU member status. But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible! If you want to retire to Spain, or can afford to live in the country without working, then a non-lucrative visa could well be the perfect option for you.
Here are some of the main benefits of having a non-lucrative visa, and how you go about securing one:
What Happens If You Don’t Have a Visa?
Britons are now only able to spend 90 days out of every 180 day period in Europe (be that in Spain, or elsewhere). That means that Britons can still own and visit holiday property in Spain, but that they can no longer live in those properties permanently, visa-free. In brief, if you don’t have a visa then the longest you can stay in Spain at any one time is three months. Working in Spain is also more difficult for Britons in the post-Brexit world, because they are now treated as third party nationals when making job applications, and the financial requirements you must meet to apply for residency are much more stringent than they were before.
For this reason, if you have the financial means and can demonstrate this, applying for a non-lucrative visa is the easiest and most straight-forward route to moving to Spain.
Am I Eligible for a Non-Lucrative Visa?
Firstly, you will only be eligible for the non-lucrative visa if you don’t work in Spain, and have no intention of working in the country whilst you live there. You are also unable to study, invest, or conduct any kind of business in Spain if you are staying on a non-lucrative visa. If you intend to do any of these things then this isn’t the right visa for you. You are also not eligible for a non-lucrative visa if you are able to obtain residency because you have Spanish family roots or a partner that is from the EU. Instead, the Non-lucrative visa is for those who are hoping to obtain residency via financial means.
To be eligible for a non-lucrative visa you need to be able to demonstrate that you have the financial means to support yourself (and any dependents) during the time you are living in Spain. In Spain this type of visa is known as a “visado de residencia no lucrativa”. It is best known as a retirement visa because it is most popularly used by individuals planning to retire in Spain.
If you are deemed to be eligible then you will be issued with a temporary residency visa that will last for one year: when this initial year is up you can renew your visa twice (giving you two more years of residency with each renewal). Once this five year period is up, then you will be eligible to apply for long-term residency: a visa which lasts for another five years. If you are prepared to renounce your British citizenship and nationality then at the end of this ten year residency period, British citizens can obtain Spanish citizenship. Many Britons choose not to take this final step.
How Much Money Will I Need?
If you’re wondering whether you can afford to secure a non-lucrative visa, or whether your annual retirement income would be considered ‘sufficient financial means’ then unfortunately this term is very vague and differs from region to region. Spain’s Royal Decree states that sufficient financial means “will not exceed the level of resources by which social subsidies are granted to Spaniards or the amount of the minimum Social Security pension”. This decree refers to the IPREM, an indicator that in 2021 stands at €564.90 (£488.34 with the current exchange rate) per month.
To give you an idea of the figures you can expect to need, we have taken this figure and multiplied it by 400% of the IPREM, which is the standard figure used. However do be aware that this figure will vary by region, and is subject to change. But if you are in the ballpark of these figures, your application is more likely to be accepted:
- A couple would need €33,894 (£29,300) annually in savings or a monthly income through investments, pensions or other assets of €2,824 (£2,441) a month.
- A family of three would need €40,672 (£35,156)
- A family of four would need €47,450 (£41,015)
Please bear in mind that four your first and second renewals, these figures would have to be doubled, as the renewed residence permit visa is valid for two years rather than one.
How Can You Demonstrate These Figures?
There are many different ways that you can demonstrate your income: the documents you may be asked for are likely to vary from region to region. As it’s better to be over prepared than under prepared, be prepared to show your bank account certificate, bank statements from the past six months, pension plans, credit cards, and any property deeds (as property values can occasionally be used to demonstrate financial fluidity). The higher the income you can show the better, so don’t leave anything out that you feel may help your application.
Don’t forget you will also be required to secure private health insurance when you arrive in Spain, so the cost of that should be deducted from your monthly income. This is a legal requirement, and most be secured with a Spanish medical insurance company. You should also consider any tax implications of moving to Spain before you take the plunge, to ensure that your finances won’t be negatively impacted.
Are you ready to get back to Spain? Whether you’re looking for a holiday in Spain or are hoping to move to Spain and secure a non-lucrative visa for a holiday that lasts a lifetime, it won’t be long now! If you’re looking for estate agents in Southern Spain then why not get in touch with Right Casa Estates? Our locally based property experts are a font of local knowledge, and are perfectly placed to help you find the home of your dreams.