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Home > Embracing the Spanish Dream: A Guide to the Non-Lucrative Visa

Embracing the Spanish Dream: A Guide to the Non-Lucrative Visa

Spain, with its rich culture, beautiful landscapes, and enviable climate, has been a favored destination for many looking to reside, retire, or simply take an extended break. For those not aiming to work or undertake profitable activities in Spain but wishing to stay longer than the typical tourist visa permits, the Non-Lucrative Visa comes into the picture. Let’s delve into the specifics of this visa and understand its significance.

1. What is the Non-Lucrative Visa?

The Non Lucrative Visa Spain, often referred to as the “Spanish Retirement Visa” or “Income Visa”, is a type of long-term visa that allows non-EU citizens to reside in Spain without undertaking employment or any business activities that generate income within the country. This visa is particularly popular among retirees, digital nomads (working for companies outside Spain), or those simply wanting a sabbatical.

2. Key Requirements:

  • Proof of Financial Means: Applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to support themselves (and their dependents, if applicable) without working in Spain. As of the last update, this amount is roughly the annual Spanish minimum wage for the main applicant, plus a percentage for each dependent. The exact amount can vary, so it’s essential to check current regulations.
  • Medical Insurance: Comprehensive medical insurance with no co-payments is required. The policy must be contracted with an insurance company operating in Spain.
  • Medical Certificate: A certificate from your doctor confirming that you don’t have any infectious diseases as per international health regulations is essential.
  • No Criminal Record: A certificate from authorities in your home country (and any other country you’ve lived in the past five years) confirming you have no criminal record.

3. Duration and Renewal:

The initial Non-Lucrative Visa is valid for one year. After the first year, it can be renewed for two subsequent periods of two years each. Following the fifth year, one may apply for permanent residency. It’s crucial to remember that during the initial year, you should not be outside Spain for more than six months, and for the subsequent periods, not more than ten months in total to qualify for renewals and eventual permanent residency.

4. Benefits:

  • Gateway to Residency: For those eyeing long-term or permanent residence in Spain, the Non-Lucrative Visa offers a clear pathway without the need for employment or investment in the country.
  • Freedom to Travel: While you can’t work in Spain, you can travel freely within the Schengen Area, making it perfect for those who want to explore Europe extensively.
  • Integration: Living in Spain under this visa gives you the chance to integrate into Spanish society, learn the language, and immerse yourself in the culture.

5. Points to Consider:

  • No Work Allowed: This visa strictly prohibits any gainful employment or business activity within Spain. Those who wish to work in Spain should consider other visa categories.
  • Tax Implications: Living in Spain for more than 183 days a year makes you a tax resident. This means worldwide income could be subject to Spanish taxes. It’s advisable to consult a tax professional to understand the nuances.
  • Application Process: Like any visa, the process involves paperwork and understanding specific requirements. Applicants can start the process in their home country through the Spanish Consulate. Detailed documentation proving financial self-sufficiency, health insurance, a clean bill of health, and a lack of a criminal record are typically required. Patience is crucial, as the processing can take several months.

6. Why Choose the Non-Lucrative Visa?

For many, the allure of Spain — its world-class cities, quaint villages, beaches, and mountains — is irresistible. If you have the means to support yourself without working locally, this visa provides an excellent opportunity to savor Spain and its way of life. It’s a chance to live the Spanish dream, whether you’re retiring, taking a gap year, or a digital nomad with clientele outside Spain.


The Non-Lucrative Visa offers a unique proposition for those wishing to experience Spain in-depth, without the ties of employment or business activities in the country. As with any visa, the key lies in understanding the requirements, staying updated with regulations, and meticulous preparation. If Spain’s allure beckons, this visa might just be your ticket to a life in the sun.