Gaining a Non Lucrative Visa in Spain (NLV) has become the main avenue to allow you to stay in Spain for an unlimited amount of time during the year.
This blog outlines the main points about getting a NLV and Health Insurance requirements for a NLV.
What is non-lucrative residency in Spain? In essence it allows you to stay in Spain over 90 days at anyone time in the country.
Who can apply for a Spain non-lucrative visa? Anyone can apply for it. As long as you meet the requirements outlined below then you can apply!
How Long Does It Take For My Non-Lucrative Visa To Be Processed? The first thing you need to do is contact your embassy in your home country if you are applying from UK or non european country. Once you have an appointment it will take a few weeks to get the result of your aplicaiton. If you are a European citizen then usually there is no need for this type of visa.
When Should I Start The NLV Application? Once you have all the documentation ready for your application we recommend applying 1 month prior to you coming to Spain. The reason being that once the visa is issued, it will have to be renewed annually or bi annually so it makes sense not to apply until you plan on staying in the country.
The first point to mention is that before you apply for a NLV you need a NIE. This can be obtained once your application has been accepted and the process begins. Unless you already have one.
What is a NIE and why is it required to gain a non lucrative visa?
An NIE is a fiscal identification number that allows the Spanish government to coordinate your financial affairs. It is not a social security number, but the NIE number is required to get a social security number, a work contract, and is provided once you have residence.
An NIE number is also needed to buy a vehicle, property and other assets in Spain of high value. Spanish citizens also have this number however it is represented as a NIF number.
As an expat in Spain you are required to carry ID and the NIE is the best ID to carry in Spain as the authorities can quickly verify your status with this ID.
An NIE in the past was issued as a convenient ID card that slotted in your wallet. Now a green or white A4 document is provided. The NIE once issued will not change and there is no need to renew it. If you become a Permanent resident then the NIE will be transfered to what is called a TIE number.
How to apply for a NIE and do I need one for a NLV
In the past you could apply by visiting the local police station early in the morning and standing in a queue with a passport size photo and a rental contract as well as a water or electric bill.
However now days we would recommend contacting a local “gestor” who act as administrators who specialise in this area. In our opinion doing it through a gestor will save you time and money.
If you are appling from the UK or other non european country the application can be done with your NLV application in your home countries embassy using your passport. To put it simply you do not need an NIE if you apply for a NLV. The application will be processed with your passport number and once the visa is issued you will be provided with a NIE number and certificate.
Non Lucrative Visa Requirements for spain
The normal methods up until Jan 2021 where relatively easy to gain residence in Spain. However with Brexit the usual method of obtaining residence has been blocked as British citizens are no longer European citizens. Other non EU citizens also will have to apply for a NLV if they want to reside in Spain over 3 months at any one time. This is unless a golden visa is applied for or you have a work contract.
Summary of non lucrative visa income requirements
- The first requirement is a police record on any criminal history
- Secondly proof of income for one person of approx. 26000 euros a year. Each dependant must then have proof of 7000 euros of funds.
- Lastly Medical insurance with no co-payments paid annually (sin co pago).
The Non Lucrative Visa is now one of the popular ways to gain Spanish Residence
Cost for the application of the Non Lucrative Visa
The average cost for a couple applying for this visa is on average 2000 euros for the paper work and admin.
This 2000 euros includes: Criminal history cert which has an average cost of 50 pounds each, 516 euros each for the visa application, other costs involve translations and embassy visit costs. Lastly there is the cost of lawyer fees to process the visa
Health insurance is an additional cost to the above amount.
Common Questions regarding Health Insurance when apply for visa
The most common question is if the policy must be annually paid. The simple answer is yes. In some provinces such as Barcelona this is more flexible. However, most Spanish provinces require that the policy is paid on a yearly basis.
As mentioned prior, you only require a passport as an NIE can be issued once visa ir granted. If you already have an NIE from living in Spain prior to Brexit then this number can be used.
The policy must have no excess. In other words it must be set up with unlimited cover in Spain whereby you never pay for any use of the policy.
Co payment means the same as Excess. In Spanish the translation is SIN CO PAGO. Having no co payments does increase the cost of the insurance but for the visa to be accepted there is no other option. On renewal of the policy you can look to add a co payment which will reduce the cost of the insurance policy.
If you have medical preconditions will this mean the policy is invalid? No, even if the policy has medical exclusions due to health preconditions the policy will be accepted for the residence application. The only requirement is that the policy has unlimited hospitalisation. This means that if you have to be hospitalised for example 8-12 months, there will be no clause in the policy which states a maximum amount of time for hospitalisation.
What are the steps to apply for Private Health Insurance in Spain
1. Firstly you will have to find a agent or broker that can arrange the policy. We would not recommend trying to go direct to insurers as you have to understand the small print
2. Agents may only work with insurers who only accept NIE numbers. Brokers on the other hand work with insurers that will accept your passport to start the health insurance policy.
3. Once you have found a broker or agent that accepts your passport, you will have to discuss which Health insurance company best suits your needs
4. If you do not have a bank set up yet in Spain there are a few providers who accept your credit or debit card as long as they are Mastercard or Visa. There are also options for EU Ibans although UK Ibans are no longer accepted due to Brexit.
5. Policies can be set up within 24 hrs once an application has been filled in and copies of passports provided
Useful links below :
Application for residence permit = https://extranjeros.inclusion.gob.es/ficheros/Modelos_solicitudes/mod_solicitudes2/01-Formulario_residencia_no_lucrativa.pdf
Embassies and consulates = https://www.exteriores.gob.es/en/EmbajadasConsulados/Paginas/index.aspx
Police = https://www.policia.es/