Spain has been an ever-popular holiday destination for British nationals for decades. The sunny Mediterranean climate, often in complete contrast to that in Britain; the stunning beaches along the Mediterranean coast as well as the rich cultural heritage and relaxed lifestyle, together with the many regions with a significantly lower cost of living than that in the UK all contribute to Spain's continued attraction.

Also, Spain's property market offers the opportunity of investment, a number of people take the opportunity of buying a Mediterranean villa in one of the regions in Spain.

A number of British nationals each year, following many years of holidaying in Spain, make the decision to retire to Spain, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) validates the fact that as many as a third of the British nationals permanently resident in Spain are over the age of retirement. In order to do so a visa enabling permanent residence must be obtained.

Giambrone & Partners' highly experienced immigration lawyers suggest that a non-lucrative visa is a good option for many British nationals. It is a type of visa that allows foreigners to reside in Spain for an extended period of time provided they do not engage in any lucrative activities, such as working for a Spanish employer or running a business in Spain. This visa is suitable for retirees, individuals with sufficient passive income or financial means not to need to work. It also brings with it 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. Giambrone & Partners together with our immigration lawyers will be exhibiting at A Place in the Sun, Birmingham one 22nd – 24th September, if you would like to come along and discuss relocating to Spain with our experts can advise you and assist you with every step of the way when applying for a non-lucrative visa. Click here to book tickets

Graziano Cechetti, a partner based in Barcelona commented, "a non-lucrative visa is suitable for a number of foreign nationals, retirees, individuals with sufficient financial means, or those who can support themselves without the need for employment in Spain. A holder of a non-lucrative visa is expected to reside in Spain and may not leave Spain for longer than a period of six months before returning." Graziano further pointed out "our immigration team can assist with all aspects of your application including advising on the appointment at the Spanish consulate where your documentation is reviewed. An applicant must make the application themselves."

As will all visas there are various criteria required to support your application see below:

  • A valid passport.
  • Evidence of payment of the visa application.
  • Completion of a national visa form and EX01form.
  • Evidence proving you have no criminal record in Britain or Spain.
  • Comprehensive private health insurance and it must be with a suitable company authorised to operate in Spain.
  • A medical certificate, complying with the International Health Regulations, must have been issued at least three months before submission of your visa application.
  • Form 720-052 must be completed and the fee paid to permit temporary authorisation for residence.
  • A significant requirement is that you must be able to demonstrate with appropriate documentary evidence that you have sufficient funds to support yourself for a period of one year. This provision is primarily demonstrated by having a designated sum of money in your bank account. Giambrone & Partners' lawyers can explain this requirement to you in detail and review your financial position to ensure that you fulfil this criterion.
  • All evidential documents that are required that are drafted in English must but be translated into Spanish by a sworn translator and official documents such as criminal records need to be apostilled. Giambrone & Partners can assist you in this respect.
  • If you have dependents you will require an additional income in respect of each dependent person.

Giambrone's experienced immigration lawyers will advise you and ensure that you have all the required documentation to support your application and that it is valid, with no omissions that will result in rejection.

There are very limited circumstances where the consular office will request additional documentation. Once the visa has been granted you have a period of one month to collect it.

Your visa will be granted for a period of one year and there is a requirement of residence of at least 183 days of residency in Spain each year to enable the non-lucrative visa to be renewed at its expiration. The renewal process is very straightforward and following each renewal the length of time the visa extends to is increased. Once the applicant has lived in Spain continuously for five years, an application for permanent residency can be made.

Graziano Cechetti is an Abogado (Spanish lawyer). Prior to joining Giambrone he worked in Italy and Spain where he was employed in a significant law firm and a well-known company where he gained invaluable commercial law experience.

Graziano brings unparalleled knowledge of the residential real estate market in Spain to his clients enabling him to guide them through the intricacies of the market. His comprehensive knowledge and meticulous attention to detail together with his capacity to resolve issues and find satisfactory solutions where necessary have earned him an impressive reputation in this field. He also specialises in all aspects of residential property transactions working with international clients and global corporations on the sale and purchase of investment properties throughout Spain. He assists with the transfer of equity, estate management, taxation and facilitating the acquisition of assets by way of inheritance.

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.