Spain retirement visa

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Are you considering retiring to Spain but aren’t sure about the visa you need? Then this guide is for obtain your retirement visa in Spain. Nowadays, Spain has become one of the best retirement destinations globally, and for very good reasons. The country offers an array of benefits to expatriates who opt to spend their golden years there. The benefits run from an affordable healthcare system to a stubby cost of living and an excellent climate. In this guide, we will enlighten you on all the vital details you should be aware of when looking to retire in Spain, from the different categories of retirement visas available and the required documents to how to retire to Spain. Please continue reading to the end!

Top 7 Reasons why Expatriates Choose to move to Spain

spanish retirement visa
how to get a spanish retirement visa?

Every year, thousands of retirees’ flock to Spain thanks to the many benefits the country provides to the expatriates. Here are the top 7 reasons many choose to retire in this great country.
• The weather
One of the reasons why many people like to retire in Spain is because of the favourable climate in the country. The country is one of the most climatically diverse in Europe, where you can enjoy pleasant weather almost all year round in Spain. Retirees often choose various destinations in Spain. Most often they retire in Malaga or retire in Barcelona, although many others choose to retire in the Canary Islands.

While colder winters and rain characterize the Northern region of Spain, the southern part of the country and along the Southern Mediterranean coast experience warm sunny summers and mild winters, and that’s where you will find many retirees in the country.
• Large ex-pat community
Spain is a popular retirement destination for EU and non-EU citizens. With so many retirees spread across the country, you will feel a sense of belonging when you move there for your retirement. That is because you are likely to find a community that you will share and move along with throughout the journey of retiring abroad.

• Accessible, reliable, and affordable transportation
Europe has developed public transportation networks. That makes transportation in the country accessible, reliable, and relatively inexpensive. As a foreign retiree residing in Spain, you do not necessarily need to own a private car. You can explore the country using flights, trains, and buses available in almost every city, and they can take you to any corner of the country.

• Affordable cost of living
The cost of living in Spain is one of the factors that attracts thousands of foreign retirees to settle in the country. The country is much more affordable than most western European countries. You can comfortably retire in Spain and enjoy a high standard of living on a $25,000 – $30,000 a year.

The average rent for an affordable 1-bedroom apartment costs $1,050 per month. But in a suburban neighbourhood, expect to part with roughly $1,550 monthly. A litre of milk is slightly above $1, a dozen eggs cost $3.00, while a bottle of beer costs around €2. And if you don’t want to cook at home, you can get a nice meal out for one is around $30.

• An excellent Health care system
Spain has a superb healthcare system for all Spanish residents, including the expatriates who pay into the social security system in the country. All retirees living and working in Spain can enjoy universal health care coverage due to taxed wages.

Also, retirees can access private health care, which is relatively affordable. Most insurance plans cost between €50 and €200 per month.

• Banking
Spain allows foreigners who own NIE to open bank accounts. This is a plus for expatriates because you will not have to deal with credit card charges and exchange rates with a local bank account.

• Safety
Many people prefer retirement in Spain because it is a safe country. The region has very low crime rates; hence you can freely move around the country without concern about your security.

• Proximity to other European Countries
Many retirees prefer relocating to places where they can easily connect to their home countries. That is why many retirees from European countries find Spain the ideal retirement destination due to its proximity to their home country. Although Spain is one of the countries in the Western region of Europe, it still offers easy and affordable access to other countries in the continent. If you reside in Madrid, a 2-hour flight will get you to Rome or Paris. Also, France and Portugal will be a short drive away if you live near Spain’s borders.

What are the requirements for a Spain Retirement Visas?

retirement visa spain
spain retirement visa income requirement

There are several requirements you must meet to be eligible for retirement visa in Spain, which includes:

  • You must have a clean criminal record
  • You must be financially stable and have enough money to sustain you and your family during your stay in Spain.
  • You must be a medical certificate of good health
  • You must not participate in or benefit from any work-related activities in the country.

Who Can Retire in Spain?

spain retirement visa
spain retirement visa for us citizens

Depending on whether you are a European citizen or a non-European citizen… you will have different requirements.

• EU Citizens
Since Spain is a member of the European Union and Schengen area, it is effortless for European citizens to retire, work, live or study in the country without restrictions. Citizens from EU and EEA countries are eligible to retire in Spain without a residency permit or a visa.

• Non-EU Citizens
Also, Non-Europeans citizens are eligible to retire in Spain. However, for non-EU citizens, you will require a Spain retirement visa.

What are the different types of retirement visas available in Spain?

For non-EU citizen planning to retire in Spain, there are two types of Spain retirement visas you can acquire. These visas are Spain Golden Visa and Non-Lucrative Visa. But how can I apply for a Retirement Visa in Spain? Below is how you can acquire either one of the Spain retirement visas.

The Spain Golden Visa

One of the Spain retirement visas for non-EU citizens is the Golden visa. It is a residency-by-investment program that grants wealthy non-EU citizens who make a significant investment in Spain a residency permit and then a permanent residency which can eventually lead to citizenship. To get Spanish citizenship by investment, you must have invested in the country for at least of 10 years and spent at least 183 days in Spain yearly in 10 years. Also, you will need to prove you have a basic understanding of the Spanish language, culture, and history.

How a Golden Visa works?

With a Golden visa, expatriates and their immediate family members can become Spanish residents within less than one month under a temporary residence permit. A residency visa for investors has a validity of 2 years, after which you can renew it indefinitely after the end of the term as long as you still own your investment. But after five years of continuous residence in Spain, residents by investment can acquire a permanent residence status by applying for a Permanent residency permit and acquire citizenship after that.

Investment Options for Golden Visa for retirement in Spain

If want to retire to Spain using a Golden Visa, you will first have to make significant investments in the country. You can either invest in a company, in Spanish public debt or buy real estate. If you invest in real estate, you acquire a Golden Visa known as Residency Visas for the Acquisition of Real Estate (RIV). If you invest in shares in a company or deposit in the Bank of Spain or public debt, you get a Golden Visa type known as Residency Visas for Capital Investors (RIC). Here is the investment option you need to make to qualify for this visa

  • Invest in real estate with a minimum €500,000 in Spain.
  • Invest at least €2,000,000in the Spanish public debt.
  • Deposit in a Bank in Spain or Buy shares in a company worth at least €1,000,000.

Who qualifies to apply for a Spain Golden Visa?

The following are some of the conditions you must fulfil for you apply for a retirement Spain Golden Visa

  • You must be over 18 years
  • You must have proof of having made one of the investment options (provided below)
  • You must have sufficient financial means to cater for yourself and your family.
  • You must have a clear criminal record from all the places you have lived.
  • You should not have rejected Schengen’s visas
  • You aren’t on Spain’s list of unwanted persons.

If you meet all the qualifications, you can now proceed and apply for this country’s Golden Visa.

How to Apply for the Golden Visa to Spain?

Once you invest the required amount of money in any of the provided investment options, you can proceed and apply for the Visa. You can either apply for a Golden visa to Spain from your home country or lodge your application at the Spanish embassy or consulate. However, you should note that the earliest time you will be permitted to apply for this Visa is three months before your intended travel to Spin. Here are the documents you need to submit while applying for a Spain retirement Golden Visa and the step-by-step instructions on the Visa application procedure.

Required Document for Spain Golden Visa Application

The following are the supporting documents you must submit when making your application

  • The Spanish Golden visa application form
  • Two passport photos
  • Proof of country of residence (You can use your ID, driving licence etc.)
  • Your valid passport
  • Proof of investment
  • Police clearance document
  • A medical certificate
  • Proof you have sufficient financial means to sustain your stay in Spain-You can produce a recent bank statement for the past six months.
  • Health insurance is purchased from an authorized Spanish insurance company.

Steps for Applying for a Retirement Golden Visa to Spain

Below are the steps to follow when applying for this Spain retirement visa

  1. Make an investment
    the first step is to settle on the investment option you need to do in Spain. It is advisable to consider each investment option carefully and choose the one you are confident is an ideal choice. The next thing you should do is apply for a regular/tourist Spain visa, travel to Spain, and finalize the investment option. Ensure you collect all the documents involved when investing, as they will be used as proof of investment when applying for the Visa.
  2. Get a (Número de Identification de Extranjero) NIE
    During your travel to Spain, you will need to apply for NIE in any Spanish Embassy near you or the Consulate General of Spain. An NIE acts as your foreign identification number and is helpful in several ways, including paying taxes in Spain, opening a Spanish bank account, registering for property or business, applying for a Spanish driving license, and accessing Spain’s medical service.
  3. Gather all the necessary documents for the application
    It will be time to gather all the mandatory documents for visa application. It is advisable to make a checklist of all the required documents and produce copies. You should note that failure to submit the correct documents can disqualify you from getting the visa.
    Ensure all your relevant documents got an Apostille stamp and are in Spanish. Therefore, if your documents are in a different language other than Spanish, you will need them translated and validated by a spanish sworn translator.
  4. Submit your application
    After finalizing the investment, obtaining the NIE, and gathering all the relevant documents, it will be time to submit your application and pay the processing fee for your Golden Visa. During this time, ensure you carry the required visa processing fee, which is approximately €249.65 per applicant but is subject to change. You can apply for the visa or use a legal representative at the nearest Spanish Embassy. Make sure you lodge your Golden visa application within three months of investing.
  5. Arrange for an interview session at the Spanish Embassy or Consulate for Your Visa application
    Next, after completing your application, it will be time to book a session at the embassy or consulate. During the appointment, you will have a one-on-one interview with the officials in the embassy. It is usually a short interview where you are asked general questions regarding your visa application and reasons for choosing to retire in that country. Also, at this stage, you will submit all your supporting documents.
  6. Receive your visa and get your Spanish residence permit
    Once your Golden visa to Spain is out, and you receive it. You will have to move to Spain, exchange the visa for a residence permit for investors, and give out your biometric data, including photos, fingerprints, and many more. The processing of a residency permit usually takes one to two months. A Golden visa is only valid for one year, but an investor residency permit has a validity of 2 years. However, you can keep renewing it indefinitely after expirations as long as you maintain the investment.

Benefits of having a Golden Visa

Using a Golden Visa as a Spain retirement visa has many benefits. Some of the benefits include.

  • You and your immediate family will receive a renewable two years residency permit allowing you to stay in Spain.
  • You will be eligible to travel visa-free to all countries in Schengen Zone for up to 90 days in a 180 days duration.
  • After living in Spain for five years under a temporary residency permit, you will be eligible to apply.
  • With a Golden visa, You and your family can enjoy Spain’s education and health system.
  • No minimum stay requirement when applying for or renewing the Golden visa
  • You can apply for Spanish citizenship after ten years of residence when you use a Golden Visa for investment as your Spain retirement visa.
  • Low tax rates

Non-Lucrative Spain Retirement Visa

Another type of Spain retirement visa is a non-lucrative visa. Unlike a Golden visa, a non-lucrative visa does not require an applicant to invest. Below are more details about this visa.

Is the Spanish non-lucrative visa good for retirees?

An NLV is a good option for retirees. This type of visa is the best and most affordable option for non-EU citizens planning to spend their golden years in Spain. The visa allows non-European Citizens to stay in Spain as long as they can support themselves. If you are a British retiree or retiring in Spain from usa, this is one of the best visas you can apply for.

What is an NLV (non-lucrative visa) or retirement visa?

The Spain NLV was designed for a person who would like to retire in this country, more so non-European citizens. Also, it works best for anyone who wants to live in the country for a year without working as they wait for their work permit to process. The visa is renewable yearly but you must have stayed in Spain for six months.

What does a non-lucrative visa entail?

When you enter Spain using this type of visa, you must stay in the country for at least 183 days before you exit. This helps you to renew your visa. Also, you will become tax resident reliable, and all your worldwide income will be taxed subject to international double taxation treaties.

Besides, before you acquire a permanent residence visa, this visa is renewable. You can keep renewing it until you complete the five years.

When you acquire a non-lucrative visa, it does not allow an individual to engage in local economic activities. So, you must prove you have sufficient funds to sustain you and your family. But this does not mean you cannot invest in Spain. You are free to invest in any business and acquire extra income.

Although the visa limits your earnings in Spain, you can join a learning institution as a student and enjoy a paid internship.

It is good to know that the work restriction is for migrant retirees living in Spain. The visa does not address remote work. Thus, it does not have any limitations for those people who are willing or work remotely for companies abroad. However, working remotely does not guarantee your finances. Many people have been denied this visa when they use this reason to justify their source of funds. So, handle this with care when you visit your local consular.

Lastly, the visa allows you to travel freely in the Schengen areas. That will enable you to explore and experience Europe for ninety days within 180 days. The time you spend in Spain is used to calculate the 90 days limit.

Who can apply for NLV?

The Spanish Non lucrative visa is suitable for non-EU citizens who long to retire in Spain. The following people can apply for this visa.

  • Any person who wishes to retire to Spain from usa or any other country.
  • Any person who long to live in Spain and experience everything the country has to offer.

What are the requirements for a Spain retirement visa?

To apply successfully for this visa, you must meet the following requirements to be eligible.

1. Proof of funds

Having sufficient money to finance your stay is a requirement when applying for a non lucrative Spain retirement visa. To meet the Spain retirement visa income requirement, you need to proof you have 400% of IPREM in your account.

It means you must demonstrate that you have 27792.96 euros in your account. The amount is the minimum, and the consular may require a higher amount. However, if you have a dependent you are traveling with, you will need another 6.948.24 euros in your account. Thus, a couple must prove they have more than 34731.20 euros.
Besides, the legislation requires you to confirm that you receive regular income like state pension or income from investments. Further, be ready to present a six-month banking statement even. Whether the funds are in multiple accounts, does not matter.

At this juncture, remote work could be an issue. The treatment of this varies from one consulate to another. Some will accept your visa request if you provide proof that you will have terminated the contract before entering Spain.

2. Have private health insurance

When applying for non lucrative Spain retirement visa, you must have Spain’s private health insurance coverage. This health insurance should have no copayments with a Spanish insurance company provides for a year.

For instance, if you are a UK citizen who can qualify for S1, you must not proof you have active health coverage. However, there are some practicalities that you must meet. The Overseas pension office at NHS should send your S1 to an address in Spain. Your responsibility is to ensure your SI is processed on time before you attend your non-residence visa appointments.
However, once you are in Spain, start your S1 registration process after receiving a TIE card. The regulations give you thirty days to register for a TIE card. However, the TIE card takes a maximum of 45 days to process. Then proceed to register your S1, which may take six months for the Spanish Social Security to provide a certificate that will allow you to register with a doctor. Before the process is complete, you can only access Spanish healthcare in case you need medical attention.

What is the application process for an NLV or retirement visa in Spain?

The application process is done in two parts.

  • Visa application
  • Processing a resident card when you arrive in Spain

Non-Lucrative Visa application

The Visa application process is done in your home country or in the country where you are a legal resident. If you are in Spain with a tourist visa, you need to return to your country of residence to start the NLV visa application. Here are some documents you need to submit to your Spanish Consulate near you.

  • Filled out National Visa form
  • Form Ex-01
  • Six-month Bank statements
  • A 3cm by 4 cm photo with a white background
  • Your original passport
  • Private health insurance policy (the company must be authorized to operate in Spain)
  • Clean police clearance certificate translated into Spanish
  • Document duly signed to prove you have financial means or sufficient income or an estate guaranteeing the required income.
  • Medical certificate stating you are not suffering from restricted diseases.

After you have completed filling and submitting the above documents. Wait for a month for your visa to be stumped and be free to travel to Spain.
Note: this visa will include your NIE number.

Prepare for an interview for a Spain retirement visa.

You must attend an interview at your nearest Spanish Consulate to progress your visa process. During this day scheduled by the Consulate, you are supposed to:

  • Meet with the Consulate for the interview
  • Give out your facial image and fingerprint
  • Submit all the necessary supportive documents
  • Pay your visa processing fee.

What can I do with a Spain retirement visa?

The NLV is purposed for those who want to live in this country without earning a passive income to support themselves. Besides, the holder of this visa is not meant to benefit from Spain’s resources or access the country’s health system. They are also not entitled to claim benefits and are liable to a Spanish income tax return on any income earned abroad.

What are the Benefits of a Spain retirement visa?

Below are some of the benefits of using an NLV

  • Unlike a Spain Golden visa, no investment is required when applying for this visa.
  • You can travel through the Schengen area visa-free.
  • You can bring your family along.
  • You can get long-term residency after five years. However, you must have lived in this country for at least six months annually for five consecutive years.
  • Even if the investment is not a requirement in NLV application, you are free to invest in Spain with this visa and improve your income.

Obtaining your foreign identity card

Once your visa is out, and you have relocated to Spain. The next crucial agenda you should perform is applying for your local municipality’s foreign identity card. This card takes 45 days to process. Once it is out, you can travel within 90 days of the approval.

What is the renewal requirement and process of NLV?

The NLV is valid for one year in your application and can be renewed after two years. The process of its renewal commences sixty days before its expiry. However, the renewal period can extend to ninety days after its expiry. But it is advisable to start this period earlier to avoid unnecessary fines and inconveniences when your residence card expires.
Once immigration is aware of your request, they have three months to process your response. In case of failure to respond and the three months have lapsed, consider it approved. The renewal processes can either be through an appointment with the immigration office next to you, online, or by post.

Spanish retirement visa requirements

Here are the requirements needed by the immigration office to renew your NLV visa:

  • Have a clean police certificate
  • ou should not be prohibited from entering Spain or be rejected in countries Spain has signed an agreement in this regard.
  • Be a holder of NLV
  • Have your financial ready to cover your visa extension fee and expenses of stay. If you have your dependents, the amounts in the initial application do not change and remain.
  • Have healthcare insurance with an insurance company authorized to work in Spain
  • If you have minors under your care, they must be in school during this period.
  • As soon you receive a notification that your NLV renewal request has been approved. You have a month to carry out fingerprints and request a new physical card issuance. Prepare the following documents to complete the process with ease
  • Have a valid passport
  • Application for a foreign identity card.
  • Proof of payment of the fee of 790
  • Granting of the NLV
  • Three recent photographs of passport size with a white background

Best places to retire in Spain

Spain offers an array of incredible destinations for a retiree to choose from. Whether you are looking for a perfect beach life, serene rural life, or suburban. Spanish residency has it all. Here are the best places a retiree should consider staying.

Madrid, The capital of Spain!

Madrid like is a vibrant city and the capital of Spain. The city is the most populated in Spain and has more than 3.4 million inhabitants. Suppose you love impressive architecture, stunning outdoor plazas, and incredible museums; the city is the place to be. Besides, living in the city is exciting and dynamic, with endless sunshine, and not to forget the free access to free public service.
Making friends in this city is a walk in the park; many foreign retirees live in Madrid looking for friends. Also, the city is an excellent choice for people who want to relocate with minors.

Marbella, A city with a lot of glamour.

The city is located in southern Spain and lies between the Sierra Blanca mountains. The town has sandy beaches and is a center of the country harbours. Initially, the town was known as a famous fishing town but has encountered massive development over the years.

The town’s cost of living is cheap and boasts foreign-friendly restaurants. However, it is the most affordable city to live in Spain, with a monthly expenditure of 800 euros. Marbella is renowned for its glamour and glitz.

Barcelona, Retire in a big city like Barcelona

Barcelona offers a charming atmosphere for any foreigner who steps into this city. Just like Madrid, the city offers stunning architecture your eyes have not seen. You will encounter vibrant nightlife, world-class cuisine, a city atmosphere, and a joyful lifestyle to make it better. The city has efficient public transport, meaning you might not need a car.

Alicante, British retirees love this area.

This city in Spain is a great place to be. Alicante is known for its high number of foreign retirees living there. The city has warm weather all around the year, an excellent public transport network, and offers affordable housing.
Besides, the city will surprise you with expansive public beaches if you love the beach life. Also, it is rich in culture and history. As a result, Alicante makes it one of Spain’s most popular places for retirees.

Malaga, Retire in Malaga the best climate!

This coastal city in Spain is known for its food, rich culture, and stunning beaches. The city is a traveler’s destination and Spain’s most visited coastal city. The town is bustling in the summer. When you visit this port city, expect to see high-rise hotels and luxurious resorts.

While living in Malaga, you will experience sunny weather on most days of the year. That is why we classify Malaga as a perfect place to settle for history lovers who want to learn more about Spanish culture and traditions.

Valencia, Large seaside town with good climate for retirees.

Valencia is known for its good-looking museums, the Valencia cathedral, pristine beaches, and futuristic architecture. That is why many retirees consider it the city of arts and sciences. This is another beautiful city a retiree considering to settle on the southeastern coast can opt for.

The cost of living in Valencia can be slightly expensive depending on how much you are willing to incur per month. However, it is still a budget-friendly city if you are good at managing your funds.

Granada, An ideal place to retire.

If you are looking for a cheap city to retire to in Spain, consider living in Granada. The city lies 250 km from Sevilla and favours retirees looking for a cooler and smaller environment. Granada boast of hosting world-famous Alhambra-largest fortress and other attractive structures. The city is rich in Spanish history and sporting culture, and living among its welcoming citizens, you will have something to enjoy anytime.

If you are a lover of entertainment, the city has much more to offer than Valencia and Seville. Nonetheless, the cost of living is low compared with other Spanish cities. Living here you will part off with 800 euros monthly. Also, Sierra Mountain lies outside of this city, and it is an ideal place for hikers during winter.

Conclusion of the Spain retirement visa.

If you are retiring, there are many reasons you should consider Spain as your ultimate destination. It has a favourable climate, low living costs, and quality medical coverage. If you are an EU citizen, you can travel and settle in Spain visa-free. However, Non-European citizens will have to apply for a Spain retirement visa. There are two types of Spain retirement visa; the golden visa and the non-lucrative visa. All you need is to meet all the eligibility requirements, apply for any of the visas you prefer and move to any city of your choice in Spain.

Why choose us for your Spain retirement visa?

We are a Spanish law firm with more than 10 years of experience. We are specialists in immigration and real estate. We respond in less than 3 hours to all your questions or we schedule a call to resolve all the doubts of the client.

We are experts in obtaining Spain retirement visa so many clients speak well of us on the internet. If you need help with Spain retirement visa, contact us!

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