Obtaining Non Lucrative Residency Permit


We all now know that the UK has now left the EU. However little has changed should you wish to buy a holiday home here in Andalusia. Nothing has changed in the process or the cost of BUYING your little piece of heaven in the sun.

What has changed however are the limits on how long you might spend enjoying it. For example, unless you posses a Visa, an Irish Passport or Spanish residency, you can now only spend a maximum of 90 days in every 180 days here.

For people who have retired, The Non-Lucrative Visa will allow people who are not working in Spain to stay there for more than 90 days. An application must be presented to the Spanish Consulates in the UK before you leave, you must meet a certain income criteria and also have private medical insurance. If you are a married couple and one of you has an EU passport, then the process can be easier, there is a possibility your spouse could piggyback on the EU citizen’s application for residency.

Should you wish to work in Spain, a different type of Visa is required. If you are going to have a Spanish employer, you could approach them to apply on your behalf; or there are entrepreneur visas and also a new remote-working (or digital nomad) visa in 2023. There is also an autonamo (self-employment) visa, but being honest with you, these are easier to obtain if you are already in Spain on another type of visa, such as the NLV. If you have a Golden Visa, you can work in Spain and there is no limit on days spent there. Each family member needs to apply.

The Golden Visa, available to those who buy a property, or more than 1 property in Spain, which amounts to over €500,000 or even better, have done so since 2013. You can work in Spain and there is no limit on days spent there. Each family member needs to apply.

If you live in Spain for more than 183 days a year, you must legally apply for Spanish residency. You must also submit a tax return on worldwide assets and income the year after you become a resident. Having Spanish residency allows British nationals to travel freely across Spain and access the healthcare system. When it comes to Britons who are over the age of 65, they can still access the healthcare system. However they must obtain an S1 form from the UK social security department. But note it maybe better to top up with private health insurance as not everything in the Spanish system is free.



1. Applicable law.

. Organic Law 4/2000 of 11 January on the rights and freedom of foreigners in Spain and their social integration.

. Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union.

. International Health Regulations of the World Health Organisation from 2005.

2. Legal status of UK citizens in Spain from the 1st of January 2021.

We must distinguish between the situation of British citizens living in Spain before the 31st of December 2020 and those citizens who were not yet living in Spain at that date.

* For British citizens who can prove that they were already living in Spain before that date, by means of a census certificate or by means of a rental contract registered with the Junta de Andalusia, the situation is the same as it was last year and therefore they can continue to apply for residence in Spain under the same conditions as before. These citizens can continue to reside in Spain as before. The community certificates that had been granted before are still valid although the authorities recommend that they are replaced by the new T.I.E. Cards that incorporate biometric parameters.

* For British citizens who were not living in Spain before the 1st of January 2021 or who cannot prove that they were living in Spain before that date, there will apply the General Foreigners Regime of Spain. These citizens may choose to stay in Spain for short stays for a maximum period of 90 consecutive or non-consecutive days within a period of six months or apply for a temporary residency permit. This legal report is referred to the requirements, procedure and documentation to be provided in order to obtain a non-profit temporary residency permit in Spain, which we set out below:

Legal Requirements to obtain the non - lucrative residency permit in Spain

The legal requirements which must be fulfilled for getting the said permit in Spain are the following ones:

  • Not to be a citizen of a State of the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland, or a family member of citizens of these countries to whom the Union citizen regime applies.
  • Not to be illegally in Spanish territory.
  • Not to have criminal records in Spain nor in their previous countries of residency (5 years before) for crimes under Spanish law.
  • Not to have been banned from entering Spain and not to be refused to enter in the territorial space of countries with which Spain has signed an agreement to this effect.
  • To have the necessary financial means to cover the costs of their stay and return and, where appropriate, those of their family members, in accordance with the following amounts

  • To have a public or private health insurance policy with an insurance company authorised to operate in Spain.
  • Not to suffer from any of the diseases that may have serious public health repercussions in accordance with the provisions of the International Health Regulations of 2005.
  • Not to be, where applicable, within the period of the commitment not to return to Spain that the foreigner has assumed when taking part in a voluntary return programme.

Procedure to get the non lucrative residency permit in Spain:

British citizens wishing to apply for a temporary non-lucrative residency permit in Spain must do so through the Spanish Consulate that corresponds to their current place of residency.

There are three Spanish Consulates in the UK, one in London, another one in Manchester and another one in Edinburgh. Depending on the county in which the applicant lives, he/she can go to one of these Consulates. Appointments are required and your Spanish solicitors can obtain an appointment for the applicant and their family members at the appropriate Spanish Consulate.

The Spanish Consulate will arrange a three month temporary visa for the applicant and their family members to apply for and obtain their residency permit in Spain. The documentation must be presented at the Spanish Consulate and they will send it to Spain so that the corresponding Foreigners Office can decide on the application. The deadline for resolving the application is three months and if the Administration does not respond within this period, it will be understood that the application has been rejected. If the residency visa is granted, the applicant has one month from the notification to collect it in person. If they fail to do so, it will be understood that they have renounced the visa granted, and the procedure will be closed.

Once the visa has been collected, the applicant must enter Spain within the period of validity of the visa, which in no case will exceed three months. The initial temporary residence permit will be valid for one year and will be valid from the date of entry into Spain. Within one month of entering Spain, the applicant must apply in person for the foreigner's identity card at the Immigration Office or Police Station in the province where the authorisation has been processed.

At the time of the fingerprinting process, the applicant must show his/her passport or travel document and provide the following documents:

  • Application for the card, on the official form
  • Proof of payment of the tax.
  • Three recent colour photographs, white background, passport size.

Documentation to provide with the application of the non - lucrative temporary residency permit.

In general, copies of the documents must be provided and the originals must be shown at the time of submitting the application. The official documents from UK must be officially translated into Spanish and they must be legalised with the Apostle of The Hague. Your lawyer can get the said legalisation and translation on documents.

The documentation to provide is the following one:

  • Residency visa application form in duplicate, duly completed and signed by the applicant, or his/her legal representative in the case of children. (We can fill in the said form in advance).
  • Passport or travel document, recognised as valid in Spain, valid for at least one year.
  • Criminal record certificate or equivalent document issued by the authorities of the country of origin or of the country or countries in which the applicant/s have resided during the last five years.
  • Documentation accrediting that they have financial means for the period for which they are applying.This may be accredited by any means of proof, including the presentation of title deeds, P60s or Tax Returns, bank statements, certified cheques or credit cards accompanied by a bank certificate accrediting the amount available as credit on the card, etc.
  • Documentation accrediting the availability of medical insurance
  • Medical certificate according to the International Health Regulation of the World Health Organisation.

General comments about the non- lucrative temporary residency permits in Spain.

The temporary permits are given for an initial period of 1 year although they can be renewed presenting the corresponding renewal application in Spain. The first renewal would be for a period of 2 years. At the end of the said renewal period, the applicant/s can apply for a second renewal in Spain. When the said period finishes, the applicant will have 5 years of residency in Spain so they can then apply for their permanent residency permit.

The non - lucrative temporary residency permit does not allow the applicant to work in Spain so in case that there are citizens who wish to work here they would need to apply for the corresponding lucrative residency permit in Spain.


You will need an official contract from your employer. This contract must confirm your hours, salary details. It will also need to confirm that you meet the minimum IPREM income requirement. Your payslips should be included.

Are you planning on working abroad?
* If the answer is yes then you will need to provide proof that you will be earning the minimum requirements, it has to be translated and in the form of a contract. You will also need at least 6 months pay slips.
* Proof you can work from Spain is also required and your employer must supply a translated contract or translated stamped and signed letter.

Are you going to be Self-employed/Autonomo?
* In Andalusia, if you have recently registered as a Autonomo, be aware you maybe asked to prove further means to support yourself.

Are you moving with a State pension?

* If you have a state pension you will need an officially translated S1 along with your latest annual pension statement letter sent to you by your Government, stating how much pension you receive.

Private pension

* You’ll need documentary proof of the amounts you receive, in the form of a translated letter from your provider(s) plus ideally, proof of payments into a bank account.

Spanish Property Choice can recommend a professional company, who provide a complete legal service for British citizens who wish to gain a residency permit in Spain, and can help in getting the corresponding appointments in the Spanish Consulate, preparing the necessary documentation in the UK and in Spain and getting the corresponding T.I.E. cards in Spain. Our recommendation is based on feedback from our clients who have used their services.

Email us on: [email protected]

Spanish Property Choice has made every effort to obtain the information regarding this information from external sources deemed reliable. However, we cannot warrant the complete accuracy thereof subject to errors, omissions, other conditions. This information was provided by a legal representative on the 12th February 2021 and is deemed correct as of this date, however it can change at any time, so we recommend you contact a legal representative to clarify any updated status. If you would like to speak with our legal representative, please email [email protected] and we will put you in touch with the people in the know.