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Spain’s Non Lucrative Visa And Golden Visa – Benefits And Requirements

Non Lucrative Visa And Golden Visa


The UK is now firmly out of the EU and many British people looking to move to the sunshine and lifestyle in Spain are wondering whether they can still move to Spain.  The main options for those retiring in Spain are Spain’s Non Lucrative Visa and Golden Visa.  What are the differences and how do you get the visa?



There are options to get assistance from specialists in visa processing like Spain’s Non Lucrative Visa by MySpainVisa and they can also help with a Golden Visa.  It is possible to apply yourself but such services like this avoid you making errors in your application that people used to preparing multiple applications would avoid.

Let’s look at what is involved with these visas and what the key differences are:


Non Lucrative Visa

A Non-Lucrative Residence Visa (NLV) is a residency permit for non-EU citizens who plan to move to Spain for the long term.  As the name suggests this residence permit does not allow you to earn a living by working or carrying out professional duties in Spain.    You can use this visa if you intend to continue working in other countries.  Some use this visa when they plan to work remotely from Spain for a company or business in your country of origin, although this is a grey area and should not be part of your application.

Unlike the Golden Visa there is no requirement to invest in Spain but you do have to demonstrate that you have the means to support yourself and any dependents financially.  To meet this requirement, you must prove that you have 400% of the IPREM annually in your bank account.  In 2022 this means that the main applicant must demonstrate he or she has at least 27.792.96€.  You can also include your spouse and dependent children and dependent elderly parents in the visa but you will need to demonstrate that you have an additional amount equal to the IPREM (6.948.24€ annually) for each dependent.  You will need to provide birth and marriage certificates to prove the relationship.

It will be necessary to prove that you have the funds by providing copies of bank statements for the last 6 to 12 months.  The funds can be in multiple bank accounts in the name of the main applicant.  You may be required to provide an employment letter if you will be receiving your salary from an employer outside Spain, proof of investment and income from other avenues, including rented houses

After the initial year of residency in Spain, this visa is renewable every 2 years.  After 5 years stay you can apply for permanent residence and after 10 years you can apply for citizenship if you want to.

As well as the right to residence in Spain the visa allows you to freely visit any of the Schengen States subject to a maximum of 90 in 180 days within the Schengen Zone (excluding the time in Spain).

The NLV requires you to spend at least 183 days a year in Spain which means that you will become tax resident in Spain and will therefore be liable to tax on your worldwide income.  As well as income tax Spain also has a range of other taxes including a wealth tax.


Golden Visa

The Golden Visa allows Non-EU citizens to gain the right but not the obligation to reside in Spain.  Unlike the NLV the Golden Visa allows you and any accompanying relatives to work legally in Spain.  This visa also allows you to move freely you within the Schengen Area.  You are only required to spend one day a year in Spain and so you do not have to become tax resident unless you decide to spend 183 days or more a  year in Spain.

The Golden Visa requires a substantial investment in Spain.  This is most commonly met by an investment of at least €500,000 in property, but there are also options to set up a business in Spain or invest larger sums in Spain (two million Euros in Spanish public debt securities, one million Euros in company shares or stock of Spanish capital companies with an actual business activity or one million Euros in investment funds, closed-end investment funds or venture capital funds or a business project intended to be carried out in Spain that is deemed and proved to be of general interest).

You also have to provide proof that you have sufficient economic resources to support yourself and any accompanying family members.  Normally monthly this requires 200% of the IPREM for the main applicant ( for 2021 the IPREM is €564,90 so that creates a requirement for around € 1,075.68 monthly) and 100% of the IPREM for each dependent.   You will have to demonstrate that you have the funds for the first two years

You do not have to apply yourself and can use your legal representative to apply for the visa who will be able to manage all of the detailed documentation required to prove that you have met the requirements in terms of your investment and that you have sufficient financial resources.   If you are outside Spain when the application is submitted the visa application must be made at the Spanish Consulate in the country of origin or residence. Residence permit applications must be made at the Large Business and Strategic Groups Unit (Unidad de Grandes Empresas y Colectivos Estratégicos (UGE-CE)) and will require a visit to Spain.

If you are in Spain when submitting the application residence permit applications must be made at the Large Business and Strategic Groups Unit (“Unidad de Grandes Empresas y Colectivos Estratégicos” (UGE-CE).  All the documents and application can be submitted on your behalf electronically by your representative.

Like the NLV family members can be included in the application.  This includes your spouse or unmarried couple (“civil partner”), minor children or those of legal age who are financially dependent on the holder as well as parents in their charge.

If you apply outside Spain you will be granted an initial visa valid for one year but if you apply within Spain the residence permit will be valid for two years.  You can the renew the residence permit for five years.

After five years you can apply for permanent residence but only if you have met the residence requirements by spending at least six months a year in Spain and not being outside Spain for more than ten months in total in the five years.


The Visas Compared

The key differences between the NLV and the Golden Visa is that you do not have to be in a position to invest in property for an NLV, but you will have to demonstrate a higher income to support yourself.  The Golden Visa only requires you to spend one day a year in Spain giving you complete flexibility whereas the NLV requires a minimum of 183 days in Spain meaning that you will become tax resident in Spain and subject to Spanish tax on your worldwide income (subject to the terms of the tax treaties in place between Spain and your country of origin).  The Golden Visa allows you to work or run a business in Spain whereas the NLV does not.


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