How to get a Spanish Work Visa

23 April 2021 | Tags: , , ,

As of 1 January 2021 any UK passport holder wishing to stay in Spain for longer than 90 nights in a 180 night period has to apply for a visa. Or if they are married to an EU citizen, then can apply for residency under a family residency.

The most popular types of visa are the Non Lucrative Visa and the Golden Visa but what does Spanish residency mean? Well if you spend more than 3 months in Spain then you have an obligation to apply for residency. Spend more than six months here and you become a Spanish tax resident and pay tax in Spain on worldwide assets and income. The tax year in Spain runs from January to December.

Pre 2021, Brits moving to Spain had to prove they had sufficient income to live on, medical cover in place and a property that they owned or rented. Residency applications were submitted online and after a couple of trips to the local police station to have finger prints taken and a colour photo dropped off they were rewarded with a shiny new photographic identity card commonly known as the TIE (Tarjeta de Identificación de Extranjeros).

So what has changed? Well with Brexit, Brits are now only allowed to spend a maximum of 90 days in an EU country out of 180 days unless they apply for and obtain a visa to reside.

What type of visa can be applied for?

Buy a property for more than 500,000 euros or shares or a bank deposit of 1 million euros or invest in a public debt with 2 million euros and you can get a Golden Visa. This type of visa can be applied for from your home country in which case it is known as a residency visa for investors or if applied for from Spain it is known as an initial authorisation for investors residency. If you have owned a property since 27 September 2013 worth more than 500,000 euros then you can apply for the Golden Visa.

If your pockets are not deep enough for a Golden Visa then the Non Lucrative Visa may be the visa for you. It is applied for from the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in your home country. If you have a family then each of you will require an individual visa. Apart from a negative criminal record, health insurance and the completed application form with passport photos, you have to prove evidence of economic means sufficient to support your stay and that of your family. How much is that you may ask?

For the Non Lucrative & Golden Visa, the main applicant has to prove funds of 2,259.60€ per month and 564,90€ for each family member. 27,115.20€ a year for the main applicant and 6,778.80€ for each dependant. For a family of four this is 47,451.60€ for the first year. Once the first year is up or after two years in the case of the initial authorisation for investors residency, renewals are for two years and the same family has to prove resources of 94,903.20€. Compare this to pre Brexit where with up to a 850 euros a month of income and 9.000€ in a bank account you could obtain Spanish residency.**

** PLEASE NOTE these figures were accurate as at publishing namely April 2021 – to keep up to date with the changes to financial requirements download the latest edition of our free guides

Once the Non Lucrative Visa is issued, you have to collect it within one month of being notified and it has a validity of 3 months with multiple entries and 90 days of stays in Spain. Once you enter Spain you have to apply for the TIE within one month. You can use the visa to visit other Schengen States and stay for a maximum period of three months in a six month period. The Non Lucrative Visa allows you to reside in Spain only and not work however if you wish to work, then you have to apply to the authorities to be have the visa modified.

Other available visas available are work and student visas.

Unfortunately the new financial requirements will put the brakes on a lot of UK peoples dreams about spending more time in Spain. Let us hope that the respective governments can put in place arrangements to make getting Spanish residency easier.

Contact My Lawyer in Spain to help you obtain the documentation required.

Alex Radford

Written by:
Alex Radford

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13 Responses

  1. glenn Andrew yates says:

    If I want to retire in Spain for 12 months of the year I will have to pay spanish tax.could you tell me how much that would be.i would like to get my pension when in Spain thanks a lot glenn yates

  2. Steve Odonoghue says:

    Can I rent in spain for 180 days using a non lucrative visa without any tax implications or complications

    • Steve Odonoghue says:

      Just to clarify. If I got a non lucrative visa and stayed in a rented apartment for 180 days I would have to apply for residency but there would be no tax liabilities if 180 days. Please advise.thanks

      • Alex Radford says:

        Thanks for your message. Yes you can rent for 180 days. Under the non lucrative visa you can spend the whole year in Spain. If you spend more than 183 nights in a calendar year (Jan to Dec) in Spain you become a Spanish tax resident and pay tax in Spain on worldwide assets and income.
        The non lucrative visa will only be renewed if you spend 180 days in Spain.

    • Alex Radford says:

      If you spend more than 183 nights in Spain you become a Spanish tax resident and pay tax in Spain on worldwide assets and income. Less than 183 nights and you remain a tax resident in your home country.

  3. Laurence Pine says:

    Thanks for your update on residency visa requirements. Unfortunately this now puts it out of reach for me on income levels. I hope that things will become easier in the future and I will once again meet the requirements.

  4. Barrie Pennington says:

    I have a green resident card from 2018 which is my third. My home is now worth over 500,000 on the market but nit sure who decides this. I sm now retired but have means and orivate health insurance. I have lived here since 2000. Who do I apply to?

    • Alex Radford says:

      Hello Barry – thanks for commenting. As you already have a Spanish residency card there is no need for you to apply for an investors visa commonly known as a Golden Visa. Alex

  5. Philip cullinane says:

    Do EU citizens (irish) with a UK wife have to have the same amount of money to get residency ?

    • Alex Radford says:

      Hi Philip – We would suggest the EU passport holder applies for residency using their EU passport and once they have residency, then their spouse can apply and the financial requirements are less than if applying for a visa. Let us know if we can help you with the application –

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