Spain continues to be a popular holiday and retirement destination for British citizens. Spain's affordable lifestyle has become even more attractive, in light of the cost of living crisis. 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.

Brexit has presented an obstacle to the ease of movement between the UK and EU for British owners of property in Spain, in the shape of the restrictions on the number of days the British home owners in Spain can visit Spain without being obliged to return to the UK and sit out the lengthy wait before being permitted to return once more to their home in Spain.

Fortunately, the solution for British citizens who are aiming to retire to Spain is to apply for a non-lucrative visa which permits the successful applicant to travel to Spain without limit on the number of days they can remain in Spain. A non-lucrative visa is designed primarily for individuals who have retired or do not intend to work in Spain. However, once a non-lucrative visa has been obtained, there is the possibility that the visa may be able to be converted to a working visa after the first year.

Gonzalo Butori, a partner, commented "a non-lucrative visa is an ideal solution for retired persons who wish to enjoy the benefits of a warm climate, a slower pace of life and far more affordable household running costs." Gonzalo also pointed out "only the individual seeking a non-lucrative visa can make an application for the visa. However, there are situations that permit an application to be made by a third party with notarised authorisation if there is an admissible reason."

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 comprehensive private health insurance with a company authorised to operate in Spain. You must also provide a medical certificate, issued at least three months before submission of your visa application. The certificate must comply with the International Health Regulations.
  • Form 720-052 must be completed together with payment of the application fee 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 which must arise from investments or a pension as you are not permitted to work. Or you have over €27,000 in your bank account. Evidence to this effect can take the form of 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.

There is a mandatory interview to be held at the consulate office, that you must attend and the outcome will go towards the decision as to whether to grant the visa. Giambrone & Partners' experienced Spanish immigration lawyers can advise and guide you through the entire procedure and ensure that all the documentation required to support your application is valid, compliant and complete.

The visa must be collected within one month if it is granted. There are certain circumstances where the consular office will request additional documentation.

There are some obligations that an applicant must agree to adhere to, there is a requirement of residence of at least 183 days in Spain each year in order for the visa to be renewed at its expiration. 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.

Gonzalo Butori is highly regarded for his capacity to resolve high-stakes cross-border disputes through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) by evolving pragmatic solutions aimed at his clients best interests. He represents both claimants and defendants across a wide range of jurisdictions. Gonzalo has acted as co-advocate in international commercial disputes under ICC rules as well as in other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings.

Gonzalo's expertise also extends to cross-border inheritance matters, including complex contested high value matters. As well as advising on cross-border family law together with complicated issues involving child and financial arrangements. Together with advising on all aspects involving real estate purchase and immigration.

Additonally, Gonzalo leads the expansion into Latin America, managing the LATAM Desk in London, advising both UK and South American companies planning to enter the LATAM or UK market respectively. He can also assist individuals with issues such as inheritance, family matters and divorce.

Gonzalo is admitted in England & Wales as a Registered Foreign Lawyer (RFL), as an Abogado, a Spanish-qualified lawyer in Spain, as well as Avvocato Stabilito in Italy.

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.