Spanish Visas & Residence
There are several different visas you can apply for depending on your circumstances and how you plan to spend your time in Spain. Some, for example, allow you to work and some do not.
Below we outline the criteria for the long stay visas you may want to look at when deciding to buy a property in Spain.
Non-Lucrative Residence Visa
A Spanish non-lucrative visa permits you to live in Spain without working or engaging in professional activities.
To be granted a non-lucrative residence visa you must be able to prove you have the economic means to live in Spain for the year (*see below for details). You must also prove you have public or private health insurance taken out by an insurance company authorised to operate in Spain.
The application process for a non-lucrative residence visa is a simple one, but note the process must begin in your home country and not after entering Spain.
Once you are granted the non-lucrative visa and you use it to enter Spain you have one month to process the TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero) at the Immigration Office or Police Station. This is a foreigner identity card. You should then begin your application for a non-lucrative residence permit. This permit is then renewable.
Some people who may apply for a non-lucrative Spanish visa include:
- Those looking to retire in Spain
- Those planning to work remotely in Spain for a non Spanish company
- Those planning to travel back and forth for work outside of Spain
- Those who have the economic means to live in Spain without working
- Anyone else who wants to spend more than 90 in any 180 days in Spain without working
Investors and Entrepreneurs Visa
The investors and entrepreneurs visa is also known as the golden visa and unlike other visas, it allows you to live and work in Spain. It also makes it very easy to bring your family to Spain with you. Your spouse, children under 18 and even parents who may be financially dependent on you are covered by this visa.
The golden visa only requires that you visit Spain at least once a year, and once granted it can be renewed. If you do live in Spain on this visa then you will be eligible for permanent residence after 5 years.
The golden visa is designed for those making an investment in Spain including purchasing a property. The property must be worth more than €500,000, and be purchased without the help of financing for you to qualify. You would also qualify if you were to purchase several properties totalling over €500,000. The property must have been purchased after 2014 and you must own 100% of the property.
You must also be able to prove you have sufficient economic means to support yourself and any family members who will also be applying for residency (*see below for details).
You must have public or private health insurance giving you full coverage in Spain covering you for the full first year as a minimum.
Digital Nomad Visa
The Spanish Digital Nomad Visa, officially known as the “Visado de Residencia para Trabajar a Distancia” or Remote Work Visa, is a relatively new and innovative immigration option introduced by the Spanish government. Launched in response to the changing landscape of work, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this visa is designed to attract digital nomads, freelancers, remote workers, and entrepreneurs from around the world.
The Spanish Nomad Visa offers several benefits, making it an appealing option for those wanting to live and work in Spain. It allows individuals to reside and work in Spain for up to five years and it is easy to take your family with you. Applicants do not need to have a job offer from a Spanish employer, making it accessible to freelancers and self-employed individuals.
One of the biggest benefits of the Spanish digital nomad visa is the tax benefits. Under this visa, you will pay a flat rate of 24% tax on your income up to €600,000. Spaniards currently pay 30% tax on earnings over €20,200 and 45% on income over €60,000, so this is a very significant saving.
To qualify for the Digital Nomad Visa, applicants must:
- Be from outside the EEA (this includes Britons)
- Work remotely for non-Spanish companies, with less than 20% of income coming from Spanish firms
- Have evidence of working remotely for at least a year prior to applying
- Have been working for at least 3 months in their current role for a company that has been set up for at least a year
- Have a permanent Spanish address when they relocate
- Have a salary of at least 200% of the Spanish SMI (minimum wage) which in 2023 equates to €2,520 per month or €30,240 per year
Highly Qualified Professionals Visa
This visa provides a work permit and therefore allows you to live and to work in Spain providing you will be working in a qualified or managerial position.
It is recommended that to apply for this Spanish long stay visa you should have a masters degree or a PhD as well as the job offer itself. The company or institution you will be working for will also be taken into consideration, as will the job description and the salary on offer. For a managerial position you will be required to be earning a minimum salary of €54,142. This is lower for intellectual professionals, such as scientists, who must be earning a minimum salary of €40,077.
The professional person can be accompanied by their spouse and children who will be expected to complete individual applications.
*Proof of Economic Means
The required economic means for the non-lucrative and golden visas is calculated using the Spanish IPREM; a Spanish index which gives an income benchmark. The IPREM for 2023 is €600 per month.
You must be able to prove that you will have 400% of the IPREM in your bank account monthly plus an additional 100% for each additional family member.
400% of this equates to a monthly income of at least €2,400 or a total of €28,400 annually. If there are two of you applying for the visa, then this increases to 500% which equates to €3,000 per month or €36,000 annually and so on.
If you have enough in your account to cover the year then there is no need to prove you have any kind of monthly income. You just have to prove that you have or will have enough to cover the whole year.
Supporting documents when applying for your visa may include bank statements, a letter of employment stating your salary, pension documents, and so on.
At Movehappy we want your experience of buying property in Spain to be a happy and stress free one. We work with a team of experienced accountants and lawyers who will assist you at every stage of your buying journey. They will help with the Spanish long stay visa application process as well as any other applications and processes you may need to complete after arriving in Spain.
If you have any questions about Spanish long stay visas or anything else at all please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always here to help!