Spain is the most popular destination for British citizens wishing to retire in Europe. The climate, the quality of life and affordable residential real estate combine to make Spain the country of choice for many people when considering retirement. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) states that as many as one-third of the British ex-pats living in Spain are over retirement age.
A common course of action that many people take is to buy a property in Spain as a holiday home, often rented out when the owners are not resident, with a view to eventually moving to Spain permanently when it is time to retire. The limitations that Brexit has placed on British citizens as third-country citizens have impacted on the length of time their homes in Spain can be visited as well as creating a lengthy wait before they can return to Spain.
Fortunately, there is a solution for British citizens who are aiming to retire to Spain. Giambrone's well respected Spanish immigration lawyers in our Spanish offices point out that they should apply for a non-lucrative visa which permits the possessor to travel to Spain without limit on the number of days they can stay in Spain. A non-lucrative visa is designed primarily for individuals who have retired or do not intend to work in Spain. In certain circumstances, once a non-lucrative visa has been obtained there is an opportunity to convert to a working visa after the first year.
An application for a non-lucrative visa should be made by the individual requiring the visa. However, there are circumstances that permit an application to be made by a third party with notarised authorisation if there is an admissible reason, such as in the case of minors, where parents or guardians are permitted to apply.
The documentation required to support your application is as follows:
- A valid passport.
- Evidence of payment of the visa application.
- Completion of a national visa form and EX01form.
- Documentary evidence proving you have no criminal record in Britain or Spain.
- You must have private health insurance with a company authorised to operate in Spain – the insurance coverage must be comprehensive.
- A medical certificate, issued at least three months before submission of your visa application, complying with the International Health Regulations.
- Form 720-052 must be completed and the fee paid to permit temporary authorisation for residence. You must be able to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself for one year in the shape of a monthly income of €2,259.60. or you have over €27,000 in your bank account. Evidence to this effect can take the form of payslips, a State or Government pension, pension scheme, or possession of investment assets that guarantee your income.
- If you have dependents you must have an additional income of €564.90 per month per dependent.
You will be required to attend a mandatory interview to be held at the consulate office, which will go towards the decision on the visa. Giambrone's experienced Spanish immigration lawyers will advise and guide you through the entire procedure and ensure that all the documentation required to support your application is valid, compliant and that there are no omissions that will result in rejection.
Once the visa has been granted it must be collected within one month of the notification of acceptance. There are circumstances where the consular office will request additional documentation.
A non-lucrative visa is granted for a period of one year initially and there is a requirement of residence of at least 183 days of residency in Spain each year in order to be renewed at its expiration. There is a very straightforward renewal process, the first renewal, after one year, grants a non-lucrative visa for two years. Once the applicant has lived in Spain for five years an application for permanent residency can be made. Non-lucrative visa has the added advantage of also allowing free travel throughout the 26 countries within the Schengen Area that have officially abolished all border control including passports, at their mutual borders.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.