Has anyone tried to apply for a non-lucrative residence visa in Spain?

Hey everyone,

I’m planning on moving to Spain and I’d like to connect with those who have tried to apply for this special type of long-term visa called as “non-lucrative residence visa”.

Going from what I’ve researched so far, it’s a good option for us nomads (more so: business owners) to stay longer in Spain (one only needs to prove steady stream of income of at least EUR 2.2K per month and that you should NOT work for Spain — so let’s say having a U.S. company and staying in Spain is fine).

So : my concerns right now revolve mainly on anyone’s experiences with applying for this type of visa. How difficult was it? How long did it take you?

Also, I’m wondering about how I can secure a rental space for a year if my lease depends on the approval from the embassy. I’m also wondering if Valencia is a good place to stay in?


I can’t speak to the long-term visa issue (yet, I may do this in 2017) but I spent a few months in Valencia and Barcelona in mid-2015. I rented Airbnb apartments in both cities and Valencia cost half of what I paid in Barcelona. Valencia was easy to navigate, with lots to do and decent wifi. Long-term apartment leases may require more than a 1-year commitment and I’m told it’s best to speak/read Spanish or have someone who can help with the contract. Since rental agencies usually take 1-3 months additional rent as deposit, you might want to rent through Airbnb for a few months and then look for something else (and apply for the residence visa) later on.

Thank you so much for your feedback!

A lot of my friends have said the same about Valencia.

As for leases, that’s great to know. I looked at this website called idealista and I found a really good apartment that said 1 month deposit only. Not sure about the requirement yet for the commitment. Nevertheless, I have heard about that option of renting an AirBnB for a few months and telling the embassy of my desire to find a longer term place once I’m in Spain. The thing is, I’m already in Europe and I have time to go apartment hunting, so I was thinking it could be nice to just find something now.

(I’ll lodge my application back in my home country in the Philippines).

hey thats funny i’m also considering in staying in spain longer and also thinking in going to Valencia. (i have already been to Madrid and Barcelona). Do you have links
for info about the visa you are talking about?

Awesome to hear! Well this is the page of the embassy from my home country: http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/MANILA/en/InformacionParaExtranjeros/Applying-for-Visa/LongtermVisas/Pages/Residence-Visa.aspx

There should be a corresponding page for your nationality.

You could apply for a freelancers visa; my friend Mariza’s business is a full service helping people get them (she has connections with Spanish lawyers) but she also recently put out an ebook for DIYers. Her site is SpanishBusinessVisas.com

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Hey thanks for that info @lucha54 But… I think I read online about how I would have to establish my ‘business’ in Spain to do that ( which I wouldn’t want to do). I mean, I think my situation is more of an entrepreneur than a freelancer (I own an online Amazon business). Not sure if I still qualify as ‘freelancer’ then?

indeed. That “freelancer” visa doesnt seem to be “freelancer” at all. I dont want to set up a business in spain. I just want to work for my employer remotely from spain to the world…

Likewise. I’ve read of people who have been able to do it though (working remotely there in Spain under this visa). I believe the main importance they put for this kind of non-lucrative visa is that for the applicant to prove that he/she has enough monthly income stream to support himself/herself.

How much do you think that monthly income level would have to be?

2200 euros per month

Still trying to figure out if that EUR 2,130 (exact) income requirement is before or after taxes (net or gross).

What about showing 26,400 euros in savings for a year long stay, sufficient? Or it needs to be monthly income?

I’ve read online that proving current assets help but they put great importance more on proving that you have a recurring monthly income – I guess as a way to assure them that you won’t find work when in Spain and steal jobs from the Spanish people.

thanks for posting this.

I didnt know this was even an option and now it’s something I’ll keep in mind for the future :slight_smile: btw what are the application fees if any?

I’m going through this process right now. I have not yet been approved. A coupe things I’ve learned:

There’s a “self-employed” visa as well as a “non-lucrative”.

The non-lucrative is really supposed to be for people that are retired. However, in my case, since I own a company in the USA, I was able to say that my income comes from the ‘ownership’ of the company and not me “working”.

If you are working for a company… or freelance… this is going to likely be considered “Self-Employed”. Spain is allegedly getting more stringent on this particular rule.

Having credit cards with available credit helps… having 25k-30k euros in the bank helps… the more the better. They’re getting more concerned about people that get approved for a year with their 26000 in savings and then don’t have the means to continue financially beyond the year… but stay anyway.

You’ll only be given a 90 day visa from the USA – then you need to go an finish the process at the local police station where you live. You need to have a ‘permanent address’ when you do this.

Which Consulate you’re applying at matters. Los Angeles & San Francisco are considerably more ball-busters than New York & Miami, for instance. (I went to the LA location with all my documents… but they ultimately made me come back with a new appointment (6 weeks later) because I did not make copies of bank statements & insurance info for my children’s applications.)

For nomads, I think the Visa application process is going to be pretty challenging b/c we’re used to being so ‘free’ and ‘flexible’. Government red tape is like our kryptonite. I can’t speak for “all” countries - but I’ve talked to some other nomads and expats and really it’s the same everywhere – well ‘same but different’ - they all have red tape, but the nuances are very different from country to country (and even Spanish Consulate to Spanish Consulate).

If I was single, I would seriously consider just 3 months in Spain… then 3 months in a non-Schengen country… and then back again. If you really want to stay in Spain for a year or more – then you’ve just got to be ready to collect a bunch of paperwork and decide that it’s worth it to overcome the challenge.

(Oh, and if your plan is to just stay in Spain for a year and not travel outside of that country - they’re known to be very relaxed in this regard. Spain, Italy, Greece and some others are very relaxed on the ‘3 month schengen’ rule. Maybe that’s changing b/c of the refugee crisis, I don’t know.)


Keep in mind that the self employed visa from spain is for people that want to be self employed in spain, ie open a local business in spain to benefit the local population. Correct me if i’m wrong but this type of visa is NOT for freelancers that want to work remotely from spain for his/her employer abroad…

@iamaileen Which part of Spain are you thinking in living in? I’m considering also Spain and although i prefer London, the cost and the weather makes Spain more viable and attractive. I’m from South America so i can get also the citizenship in two years, but again one thing that bugs me is that you would lose flexibility, in other words you would have to stay in spain several years :slight_smile:

@iamaileen Well keep this thread posted if you start your application for the visa :slight_smile:

Actually, Oskar - I do believe you’re wrong. This is based on what the agent at the Spanish Consulate in Los Angeles told me. They are beginning to look at people that work for a company in the USA (or elsewhere) but are physically located in Spain as “self-employed” now too.

That said – who the heck knows, really?
You go to one consulate and get a different set of answers than another.

I’m working through an immigration lawyer in Spain… and she directed me to do the non-lucrative. And luckily, since I own the company, I’m able to say that my income is just from my ‘equity’ or ‘dividends’ or whatever.

However, when I got to the consulate window, was told the above info and both my wife and I had to fill out something stating specifically that we will “not be working in Spain” because they’re viewing this sort of thing more like ‘self-employed’ than ‘non-lucrative’.

Keep in mind, too – the self-employed visa fee is more expensive than non-lucrative - so, if you’re Spain… you’d rather get the higher fee, right?