FAQs about Spain Non-Lucrative Visa (NLV)

Are you an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) dreaming of exploring the captivating beauty of Spain? If so, obtaining a non-lucrative visa might be the key to realizing your dream. A non-lucrative visa is a type of visa that allows individuals to reside in Spain without engaging in any lucrative activities. Essentially, it’s meant for those who wish to live in Spain for reasons other than work, business, or studies, such as retirees or individuals with remote income sources.

To help you through the process, we’ve compiled the essential FAQs based on a YouTube video created by two experienced OFWs who have successfully acquired their non-lucrative visas for Spain. In this comprehensive article, we’ll rephrase and delve into the transcript of their informative video to provide you with a step-by-step guide on securing your non-lucrative visa.

faqs for non lucrative visa spain
Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.

Guide to Obtaining a Non-Lucrative Visa as an OFW

In the YouTube channel “Everything is Buffalo,” the vloggers, Paul and Bea, have received lots of questions about the intricate process of obtaining a non-lucrative visa for Spain. Recognizing the significance of providing accurate information, they decided to seek the expertise of Marina from bureaucracy.es. As an authority in Spanish bureaucracy, Marina is set to answer the frequently asked questions about the visa, catering to those already navigating the process or eager to learn more about it. You can watch the full video in the link below:

Meet Marina from bureaucracy.es:

Marina Anestrosa is an expert behind bureaucracy.es. Known for her profound understanding of the intricacies in Spanish bureaucracy, Marina and her team extend their assistance to individuals from diverse backgrounds, including the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and beyond. For those considering relocating to Spain or seeking clarity about the non-lucrative visa process, Marina’s expertise becomes a valuable asset. Together, they aim to provide seamless guidance, ensuring a smooth transition to life in Spain.

Eligibility and Requirements for the Non-Lucrative Visa:

One of the primary inquiries from the vloggers’ audience revolves around eligibility for the non-lucrative visa and the specific prerequisites involved. According to Marina, the requirements and eligibility may vary depending on the applicant’s country of residence and the Spanish consulate involved. As such, the vloggers stress the importance of being well-informed about the guidelines applicable at the consulate where one intends to apply.

Nevertheless, Marina sheds light on some key requirements that apply across the board:

  1. Valid Passport: Commencing the non-lucrative visa application necessitates having a passport valid for a minimum of 12 months.
  2. Financial Means: Applicants must demonstrate sufficient financial capacity to sustain themselves during their stay in Spain. Presently, this entails having at least 28,000 Euros in the bank, stemming from savings, passive income (like pensions, property rentals, or dividends), or a combination thereof. The vloggers also emphasize that those planning to relocate with their families should be aware that the financial requirements will be adjusted accordingly.
  3. Medical Certificate: A crucial aspect involves providing a medical certificate as proof of good health.
  4. Private Health Insurance: As part of the visa application, individuals are required to possess private health insurance from companies approved by the Spanish authorities. Marina and her team are well-equipped to offer support in finding suitable options that meet the necessary criteria.

When applying for the non-lucrative visa, you must ensure that your private health insurance offers full coverage, including local payments. Additionally, the insurance should be valid for the next 12 months, and you need to present proof of this coverage at the consulate.

Regarding criminal records, it’s essential to have a clean record for at least the past five years. This is a crucial requirement for the visa application. If you plan to relocate with your family, you’ll need to provide marriage certificates and birth certificates for your children, confirming your family status.

Application Process

The non-lucrative visa application is typically submitted at the Spanish consulate or embassy in the applicant’s home country. As processing times can vary, it is essential to plan ahead and submit the application well in advance of the intended move to Spain.

Proof of Accommodation

Applicants are required to provide a fixed address in Spain as part of the visa application process. While some consulates may accept an Airbnb address in certain cases, it is advisable to secure a more permanent arrangement, such as a rented apartment or house, to strengthen the application.

Rental Agreement vs. Cover Letter

In some instances, applicants may be asked to present a rental agreement for the next 12 months as proof of accommodation. However, for English-speaking countries, there is an alternative option. Instead of committing to a long-term rental, applicants can submit a well-crafted cover letter explaining their choice of a specific Spanish city, such as Valencia or Alicante, as their intended place of residence. This letter should convey the applicant’s enthusiasm and commitment to immersing themselves in Spanish culture, which can be a compelling way to demonstrate intent without a formal rental contract.

Financial Documentation

  • Applicants must provide bank statements as proof of financial stability.
  • Some consulates require the last three months’ statements, officially stamped by the bank.
  • Others may request a full year’s worth of bank statements to verify consistent funds availability and rule out financial gifts or loans.
  • Tax returns may be necessary, especially for applicants with investments or other sources of income.
  • Proving sufficient funds without relying on government assistance is crucial for the non-lucrative visa application.
  • Combining pension and savings can be an option, supported by a detailed justification letter in Spanish and English.
  • Clarify the sources of income, whether private or public pensions, and their equivalent currency in Euros.
  • The non-lucrative visa is also known as a non-working visa.
  • Applicants must demonstrate that they won’t engage in any work in Spain or their home country.
  • Retirees may rely on their pension, while others may need to provide a resignation letter to confirm no work engagement.
  • For business owners, selling the business is unnecessary; passive income through dividends is acceptable, as long as no active work or client communication is involved.

In addition to demonstrating sufficient financial means, applicants must provide bank statements as proof of their financial stability. Some consulates may request the last three months’ statements, officially stamped by the bank. For others, a full year’s worth of bank statements might be required to verify consistent funds availability and rule out any financial gifts or loans. Additionally, in some cases, tax returns may be necessary, particularly if the applicant has investments or other sources of income.

An essential aspect to consider when applying for the non-lucrative visa is proving that you have sufficient funds to support yourself in Spain without relying on government assistance. Combining your pension and savings can be a viable option, and providing a detailed justification letter in both Spanish and English will help the authorities understand your financial situation better. It’s important to clarify the sources of your income, whether it’s from private or public pensions, and the equivalent currency in Euros.

Regarding working remotely, the non-lucrative visa is also known as a non-working visa. As an applicant, you need to demonstrate that you won’t be engaging in any work in Spain or your home country. For retirees, their pension may be sufficient, but others may need to provide a resignation letter or a similar document confirming they won’t work in their previous job. However, if you have your own business, you don’t need to sell it. You can still receive passive income in the form of dividends, but you must ensure that you don’t actively work or communicate with clients on behalf of the company.

Does Owning Property in Spain Aid in Getting the Non-lucrative Visa?

  • Owning property in Spain does not automatically qualify for the non-lucrative visa.
  • The non-lucrative visa is not dependent on property ownership and is different from the golden visa, which requires investment.
  • Anyone, regardless of their country of origin, can purchase property in Spain.
  • However, property ownership does not directly influence the visa application process for the non-lucrative visa.

While some may wonder if owning property in Spain can aid in obtaining the non-lucrative visa, it’s important to clarify that possessing property alone does not qualify for the visa. Unlike a golden visa, where an investment is required, the non-lucrative visa is not dependent on property ownership. Regardless of the country you come from, anyone can purchase property in Spain, but having property ownership does not directly influence the visa application process.

Concerns that may affect getting a non-lucrative visa

  • Felonies or criminal records may impact visa eligibility, with timing and severity playing a significant role.
  • Offenses occurring over five years ago may not be a concern, but recent incidents require careful evaluation.
  • Authorities focus on the last five years of criminal history, and some offenses could lead to visa denial.
  • Comprehensive analysis and expertise are essential for a successful visa application, making a free consultation crucial.
  • Having a pre-existing medical condition doesn’t automatically disqualify applicants, but it must not burden Spain’s healthcare system.
  • Thorough evaluation is necessary to ensure applicants can manage their healthcare needs during their stay in Spain.

Concerning felonies or criminal records, Marina points out the significance of timing and severity. If an offense occurred more than five years ago, it may not be a concern, but recent incidents require thorough evaluation. Each case is unique, and it’s crucial to review the details to determine if it may affect visa eligibility. The authorities primarily scrutinize the last five years of criminal history, and while some offenses might be dismissed, others could lead to visa denial. To increase the chances of approval, comprehensive analysis and expertise are crucial, underscoring the importance of an honest and detailed free consultation.

Addressing medical concerns, having a pre-existing condition does not automatically disqualify an individual from applying for the non-lucrative visa. However, it’s essential to ensure that the medical condition will not pose a significant financial burden on the Spanish healthcare system. A thorough evaluation is necessary to determine if the applicant can adequately manage their healthcare needs during their stay in Spain.

The Non-lucrative Visa is a Great Option for Retirees

For many retirees or those planning their retirement, the non-lucrative visa provides an opportunity to live in Spain with their pension income. Despite potential medical concerns, the visa application process is designed to accommodate various circumstances. Honesty and transparency remain vital in presenting a complete picture of each applicant’s situation to increase the likelihood of a successful visa application.

On Private Health Insurance

  • Private health insurance options are available for individuals with pre-existing conditions.
  • bureaucracy.es offers a free consultation to help applicants find the best private health insurance in Spain.
  • During the consultation, eligibility and coverage for pre-existing conditions are assessed with the insurance company.
  • Some pre-existing conditions may not hinder obtaining private health insurance.
  • Thorough evaluation of criminal records, medical certificates, and insurance confirmation is necessary for the visa application.
  • Approval of criminal records, medical certificates, and private health insurance is essential before proceeding with the non-lucrative visa application.
  • While pre-existing conditions may not be covered, other health-related expenses are typically fully covered by health insurance in Spain.
  • Private health insurance does not hinder the pursuit of a non-lucrative visa, and applicants can proceed confidently with their application once they have appropriate coverage.
  • bureaucracy.es provides clear explanations to ensure applicants understand their health insurance terms and conditions in Spain.

Addressing the topic of private health insurance, there are options available even for individuals with pre-existing conditions. The team at bureaucracy.es offers a free consultation to help applicants discover the best private health insurance options in Spain. During this consultation, applicants must communicate with the insurance company to determine their eligibility and assess coverage for pre-existing conditions.

In some instances, having certain pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes or a history of cancer, might not be an obstacle to obtaining private health insurance. However, in other cases, specific conditions may not be covered. To proceed with the visa application, the team at bureaucracy.es thoroughly evaluates the criminal record, medical certificate, and private health insurance confirmation from the company. If the insurance company approves the coverage for non-pre-existing conditions, the application process can proceed smoothly.

It is essential to prioritize the approval of the criminal record and medical certificate, along with private health insurance confirmation, before moving forward with the non-lucrative visa application. Although pre-existing conditions may not be covered by standard health insurance policies in Spain, all other health-related expenses are typically covered at 100%.

To summarize, while private health insurance may not include coverage for pre-existing conditions, it does not hinder the pursuit of a non-lucrative visa. Applicants can confidently proceed with their visa application once they secure the appropriate private health insurance that meets the necessary requirements. The team at bureaucracy.es provides clear explanations to ensure applicants understand the terms and conditions of their health insurance coverage in Spain.

Starting the Non-Lucrative Visa Application

  • Starting the Application and Payment: One-Time Upfront Payment for 12 Months
  • Health insurance coverage confirmation is obtained.
  • Make a one-time upfront payment for the entire 12-month period.
  • Submit one payment upfront to cover the entire year.
  • Applying for Non-Lucrative Visa from Home Country: Not Possible on Tourist Visa
  • Return to the home country to apply for the non-lucrative visa.
  • Most consulates require an in-person interview in the home country.
  • Gather necessary documents in the country of residence.
  • Choosing the Correct Consulate: Based on Current Residence, Not Convenience
  • Apply at the consulate corresponding to the current place of residence.
  • Consider factors like address on driver’s license and current living location.
  • Select the consulate that aligns with the current residence for a successful application process.
  • Addressing Concerns: Seeking Professional Guidance is Key
  • Seek professional guidance to navigate the complexities successfully.
  • Expert assistance ensures understanding of specific requirements and avoids potential pitfalls.
  • Proceed confidently in the quest for a non-lucrative visa to Spain.

On Being Self-Employed

Proving Non-Working Status for Self-Employed or Business Owners

Addressing the concern of proving non-working status for self-employed individuals or business owners is an essential aspect of the visa application. Let’s explore two examples, one from the UK and the other from the US, which can also be applied to other countries.

Example 1: UK

In the UK, applicants need an authorized letter confirming that they will cease working for their own company and will no longer engage in any business activities. Additionally, a report from the British office, HMC R, is required, which can be obtained by contacting them and explaining that the applicant will no longer be operating their company. This report will then be translated for submission.

Example 2: US

For applicants from the US, the process is relatively straightforward. A written letter in both languages, stating the intent to stop working, will suffice. Alternatively, in some cases, the tax return, indicating no recent activity in the business, can serve as supporting evidence.

Notarization of such letters is often recommended, depending on the consulate’s specific requirements. Some consulates may not necessitate an intention letter, while others may require it. Thus, it’s essential to follow the guidelines of the respective consulate and provide the necessary documentation accordingly.

Rental Contract Requirement during the Non-Lucrative Visa Application

As part of the non-lucrative visa application process, obtaining a genuine rental contract is a crucial step. Applicants need to secure a lease agreement for a property in Spain before proceeding with their visa application. This rental contract serves as proof of accommodation and demonstrates that the applicant has a place to reside during their stay in Spain. Ensuring the authenticity of the rental contract is of utmost importance, as it plays a significant role in the visa approval process.

Paying Taxes

Paying taxes in Spain as a resident is a complex matter, and the specifics depend on each individual’s unique circumstances. To avoid double taxation and navigate the tax system efficiently, it’s advisable to seek tax consultations. Our tax advisors can help you manage this process, considering the laws of your home country, the UK, the US, and Spain. Remember that understanding the tax regulations is crucial to making a smooth move to Spain.

Leaving Spain During the Non-Lucrative Visa Period

  • During the non-lucrative visa period, you can leave Spain for up to six months in the first year. However, for permanent residency, limit total time outside to 10 months within five years.
  • Renewing the visa is usually straightforward with high approval rates, requiring fewer documents.
  • Ensure you meet financial requirements, like sufficient funds in a Spanish bank account or a valid pension, for a successful renewal.
  • Official translations are needed for documents issued in English, and some, like marriage certificates, require an Apostille.
  • Have all required passport stamps and valid private health insurance.
  • Moving to Spain with family requires additional documentation for children, such as birth certificates.
  • Seek guidance for a smooth visa application and renewal process, with support and information provided for your transition to Spain.

When it comes to leaving Spain during the non-lucrative visa period, you have the freedom to be outside the country for up to six months in the first year. However, if your ultimate goal is to obtain permanent residency, it’s crucial to keep in mind that you should limit your total time outside of Spain to 10 months within a five-year period. Strategically planning your trips will help you meet the residency requirements.

Renewing the non-lucrative visa is generally a straightforward process with high approval odds. Unlike the initial application, renewals typically require fewer documents. It’s essential to ensure you meet the financial requirements, such as having sufficient funds in a Spanish bank account or a valid pension, to secure a successful renewal.

For documents issued in English, official translations will be necessary. Additionally, specific documents, such as marriage certificates, will require an Apostille and an official translation. Ensure your passport contains all the required stamps, and have a valid private health insurance policy in place.

If you are moving to Spain with your family, be prepared for additional documentation requirements for your children, including birth certificates and other relevant paperwork.

Throughout the visa application and renewal process, you can seek guidance to make it as smooth as possible. Assistance is available to provide you with all the necessary information and support during this transition to your new life in Spain.


The non-lucrative visa presents an enticing opportunity for individuals seeking to live and experience life in Spain without engaging in employment. Through this article, we have addressed various frequently asked questions (FAQs) surrounding the non-lucrative visa application process and renewal. From understanding the financial requirements to demonstrating sufficient funds and financial stability, we’ve highlighted the importance of thorough preparation and documentation. Obtaining private health insurance that meets the necessary criteria is essential, and we’ve emphasized the significance of addressing pre-existing conditions to ensure a successful visa application.