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VISAS

How much money do Britons need to move to Spain in 2022?

If you're a UK citizen looking to move to Spain but realise Brexit has hampered your chances of obtaining Spanish residency easily, here’s how much money you need to show with the non-lucrative visa to be allowed to live in Spain in 2022 (an amount that’s higher than previous years).

how much money for Spain's non-lucrative visa?
How much money do you need to show in bank statements, pensions, assets or other investments to be approved for Spain's non-lucrative visa? Photo: Tibor Janosi Mozes from Pixabay

Since Brexit came into force on January 1st 2021, UK nationals wanting to move to Spain or spend part of the year here have a much harder task ahead than they used to. 

It is harder to land a job or set oneself up as self-employed in Spain as a non-EU national, and the requirements for residency are more demanding than for Britons who registered as residents before 2021 and are protected under the Withdrawal Agreement.

EXPLAINED: How Britons can live and work in Spain after Brexit

The other main pitfall for Britons in Spain is that without residency or a visa, they can only spend 90 out of 180 days in Spain (and the Schengen Zone).

However, showing you have the financial means to care for yourself and your family is one of the best ways to solve this, which can be done through Spain’s non-lucrative residency visa. 

This article is therefore geared to UK citizens who don’t want to work in Spain (at least initially) and have the financial means to do so, as well as retirees with sufficient funds and pension to cover their costs. 

What is Spain’s non-lucrative residency permit?

A non-lucrative visa is an authorisation that allows non-EU foreigners to stay in Spain for a period of more than 90 days without working or carrying out professional activities in Spain, by demonstrating that they have sufficient financial means for themselves and, if applicable, their family.

In Spanish it’s called a “visado de residencia no lucrativa” and it’s often referred to as a retirement visa, as this is the best option for retirees from non-EU countries who want to move to Spain.

It is however available to third country nationals of all ages who can prove they have the financial means, and is also a good option for UK nationals who want to first travel and get to know Spain better for a year before considering working there. 

In order to prove your sufficient economic means you’ll need to show official documentation including bank account statements, proof of pension, assets and other investments. 

You can technically work remotely for a company based abroad, as well as invest in both Spain and overseas, but you will be subject to double taxation rules, asset declaration and wealth tax. 

You’ll also need to take out comprehensive private healthcare, have no criminal record and fulfil other requirements. 

READ MORE: What you need to know about applying for Spain’s non-lucrative visa

Spain’s non-lucrative residency permit is a temporary residence visa which lasts for one year initially. Britons will still need to apply for a TIE residency card once they obtain their ‘NLV’ (non-lucrative visa).

Once they have their non-lucrative visa and temporary residency permit, Britons will also be able to travel freely throughout the Schengen Area without having the same 90-day constraints as Britons residing in the UK.

The first and second residency renewals last for two years each, after which five years of residency will have been obtained and therefore the possibility of applying for long-term residency, which lasts for ten years and doesn’t have the same financial requirements.

After ten years of residence in Spain, British citizens can obtain Spanish citizenship, although they will technically have to renounce their British nationality in the process.

how much money non lucrative visa Spain

Spain’s non-lucrative visa is one of the easiest ways for Britons to land themselves residency in Spain post-Brexit, if they can show they have enough financial cover. Photo: Oscar del Pozo/AFP

How much money do UK nationals need to show to get Spain’s non-lucrative visa?

There are some discrepancies in what constitutes “sufficient financial means” between Spain’s regions, provinces and even the Spanish consulates around the world from which foreigners apply for the visa (For UK-based applicants, you apply from the general Spanish consulates in either London, Manchester or Edinburgh, not from Spain).

But in general terms, Spain’s Royal Decree states that sufficient financial means “will not exceed the level of resources by which social subsidies are granted to Spaniards or the amount of the minimum Social Security pension”.

The Spanish government is referring to the IPREM, an indicator that in 2022 will rise to €579.02 (£485 with the current exchange rate – €1 – £0.84) per month, just under €20 more than in 2021 and €50 more than in 2020.

The standard financial requirement for non-lucrative visa applicants is 400 percent of the IPREM: €2,316 (£1,940) per month.

So for a UK national wanting to apply for the non-lucrative residency permit for Spain for the first time (it lasts one year), the amount they need to prove is €27,792 (£23,276 ), more than €600 than for those who applied in 2021.

For every family member included in the residency application it’s an extra 100 percent of the IPREM you need to prove you have: €6,948 (£5,818) for the year.

So if a British couple is applying, it’s €34,740 (£29,092) for the year in savings or a monthly income through investments, pensions or other assets, or €2,895 (£2,424) a month.

For a UK family of three it’s €41,724 (£34,945) of available income a year; for a family of four it’s €48,708 (40,795) and so on, adding €6,948 (£5,820) for each family member.

If you’re renewing your non-lucrative visa for the first and second time, bear in mind that you will have to prove you have 800 percent of the IPREM as the renewed residence permit is valid for two years.

For an individual, that amounts to €55,584 (£46,555) that they can prove they’ll have available for two years, and €13,896 (£11,638) for every family member with you in Spain. 

READ ALSO: Should I change my non-lucrative visa for another residency permit?

Remember that these figures are to be used as a reference, so if you have more assets, money or investments to strengthen your case, show them. 

“Obviously the more assets you can prove the better,” Margaret Hauschild Rey, an immigration lawyer for Madrid-based English-speaking law firm Bennet&Rey, told The Local.

Remember to also factor in changing currency exchange rates.  

If you have that plenty of capital available, you may want to consider if Spain’s golden visa is more suitable for you, and if you don’t, consider Spain’s business visa or new offering for startups, investors and digital nomads.

READ ALSO: Can I be a non-resident for tax purposes with Spain’s non-lucrative visa?

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VISAS

Worker, retiree or investor: What type of Spanish visa do I need?

If you’re from a non-EU country you will need a visa in order to stay in Spain for longer than 90 days, but knowing which type of permit is best for you can be tricky. Here's how to find the right one for you based on your circumstances.

Worker, retiree or investor: What type of Spanish visa do I need?

If you are a citizen of a non-EU country then you may benefit from the 90-day rule, allowing you to visit Spain for 90 days out of every 180 without needing a visa. Countries including the UK, USA, Canada and Australia all benefit from this rule.

Citizens of certain countries require a visa even for a short trip – find the full list here.

However, the tricky part comes when you want to move to Spain and spend longer than just those three months. What are your visa options, whether you want to move to Spain to retire, to work or even to set up your own business? 

Retirees:

The best option for retirees is to apply for the non-lucrative visa (NLV). This allows you to live in Spain for one year, but as the name suggests you are not allowed to work.

In order to apply an applicant must show they have €27,792 at their disposal for one year (€34,740 if it’s a couple), as well as comprehensive health insurance.

If you want to stay in Spain beyond this year, you can either renew it for a further two years (again proving you have the financial means) or change your visa for a work permit or a self-employed permit through the residence modification process.

The NLV is also the best option for those who want to live abroad temporarily. Those who want to stay in Spain for more than three months, but are not planning on living here permanently. It’s ideal for those on a sabbatical for example who have savings or investments and who do not need to work in Spain while here, but want to stay here for a year. It’s also the best option for those who have the financial means to do so.

READ ALSO: What are the pros and cons of Spain’s non-lucrative visa?

retiree in Spain

The NLV is the right visa for most non-EU retirees who want to live in Spain. Photo: pasja1000 / Pixabay

Workers:

If you plan on moving to Spain for work or in order to look for a job, then you will need a work permit. Unfortunately getting a work permit can be tricky because in most cases as a non-EU national, the position you apply for must be on Spain’s shortage occupation list.

Your employer will also have to prove that there were no other suitable candidates within the EU to be able to fulfill the vacancy. This means that only highly skilled workers or those that work in industries that need workers are likely to be successful. These mostly include jobs in the maritime or fishing industries or sports coaches.

If you are wanting to become self-employed, then the entrepreneur visa could be a good option, allowing you to live in Spain for one year in order to open up a business. Be aware however your business must be considered as anything of innovative character with special economic interest for Spain.

You will have to prove you have the necessary qualifications to set up your business and will also have to submit your business plan to the authorities for it to be approved. The entrepreneur visa can be extended for a further two years after your initial one has been granted.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Spain’s visa for entrepreneurs

Investors:

If money is no object and you want to invest in a Spanish property then, you’ll want to apply for Spain’s golden visa. To be eligible, you must invest €500,000 before taxes in a property here. It won’t allow you to work, but it will allow you access to the entire Schengen area. This will also allow your spouse and any dependent children to move to Spain with you.

Another option for investors is the entrepreneur visa as described above, if you want to use your investment to set up a business in Spain.

Joining family members:

If you happen to have a family member who is an EU citizen and lives in Spain or a non-EU relative that has residency in Spain, then you have another option. This is called the family reunification visa. However, in order to be eligible, you need to be a spouse or a dependent child and your relative must have the means to financially support you. 

READ ALSO:

Students:

Enrolling on a course and applying for a student visa is one way for non-EU citizens of any age can live in Spain beyond the regular length of a tourist stay. 

You will have to apply for a short-term or long-term student visa, depending on the length of their course. A student advantages can several advantages such as being able to work part-time or bringing over family members. 

READ MORE: What are the pros and cons of Spain’s student visa?

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