Retirement years should be relaxing, enjoyable and free from anxiety. A reward for all the years of toil. The impact of Brexit, Covid, the conflict in Eastern Europe and finally the budget bungled by the previous Prime Minister has resulted in a considerable number of over 65s in the United Kingdom facing, for the foreseeable future, an uncomfortable retirement full of deprivation, hardship and pensions that barely stretch to meet their needs. Royal London's cost of living report has discovered that four in five people approaching or already retired have had to change their retirement plan due to ever rising costs.

As the economic consequences of the painfully high cost of living crisis, older people search for solutions. Many people look towards Europe in general and Spain in particular with a view to relocating to country with an enviable warm climate, affordable cost of living and a culture and cuisine already familiar to many British citizens. The Office of National Statistics' (ONS)

most recent report indicates that a total of 284,988 British citizens are now living in Spain with 116,178, just under 40 per cent, being over 65 years.

Andreu Marin Muñoz, a senior associate and head of immigration in Spain, commented "whilst the impact of Brexit has altered the ease with which British nationals can visit European Union countries; relocating to Spain, for those in their retirement years is an extremely viable option and can be achieved relatively easily." Andreu further pointed out "there are two visa options a non-lucrative visa and a Golden visa, dependent on the level of investment the applicant is able to commit. Our experienced immigration lawyers have had considerable success in managing and resolving complex issues relating to both non-lucrative and Golden Visas"

Non-Lucrative Visa

A non-lucrative visa is designed principally for individuals who have no intention of generating income in Spain but have sufficient income such as a pension or investment income to support themselves and their families, where necessary, in Spain. This is the perfect visa for the retired.

An application for a non-lucrative visa must be made through the Consulate, initially it is for a period of one year renewable for a every two years. After five years of residence permission may be granted for permanent residence.

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 (the criminal records office (ACRO) certificate's have a limited validity of three months).
  • A comprehensive private health insurance with a company authorised to operate in Spain is required, together with 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 provide evidence that you have sufficient funds to support yourself for one year - a monthly income of €2,316.08 which must arise from investments or a pension and not arising from paid employment in Spain. Alternatively, if you have over €27,800 in your bank account (the easiest way to prove the financial means). A State or Government pension, pension scheme, or possession of investment assets that guarantee your income will all support your application.
  • If you have dependents you must have an additional income of €579.02 per month.

The Golden Visa

The Golden Visa has the same requirements as to the documentary evidence and the independent income as Non-lucrative visa but differs in one significant factor in that the Golden Visa is an investment visa and grants residency to foreign nationals who purchase real estate with a minimum value of €500,000 (VAT not included). The purchase must be mortgage free up to €500,000 however should the purchase price be greater than this the remainder of the value can be achieved with a mortgage. For example, if the property you wish to buy is valued at €700,000, the first €500,000 must be paid in cash and the additional €200,000 can be acquired by a mortgage.

A Golden Visa can be applied for in Spain, if you are in Spain as a tourist within the parameters of the rule permitting a 90 stay within a period of 180 days. It can be applied for online at the UGE-CE (Unit of Large Corporations and Strategic Collectives), which has 20 days to decide whether to grant a residence permit.

The Golden Visa permits family reunification in that children over the age of 18 but still dependent financially on their parents, such as students can be included.

Giambrone & Partners' highly regarded immigration lawyers have years of experience in assisting British citizens to relocate and settle in Spain. Our lawyers can assist with all aspects of your move to Spain including advising on real estate purchase, opening a bank account, assistance with tax matters and drafting a will to ensure your beneficiaries will not be caught by the laws of succession in Spain.

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.