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Apply for a Retirement Visa in Spain

Immigration advice for Non-EU nationals who want to retire in Spain

The Retirement Visa is also called the Spanish Non Lucrative Visa

You can retire and live in Spain by showing that your wealth can support your and your family’s lifestyle. You can move to Spain, whether you are a state pensioner or private pension holder, and enjoy life with your passive wealth. Get the benefit of visa-free travel in Europe’s Schengen region while enjoying a lower cost of living than many other European countries.

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How can a lawyer help with the Spanish Retirement Visa?

We can assist in completing forms, reviewing documents and getting you set up when moving to a different country.

Our lawyers will speed the process for appointments and offer support if any setbacks come up in meeting with Spain’s immigration offices. We contact the officials to track and monitor the progress of your application to ensure any delays are minimal.

We provide full assistance through our English-speaking team as well as Spanish, French, Portuguese, Greek or Italian.

We can also put you in touch with partners such as insurance companies or sworn translators.

¨We will be with you each step of the journey.¨

What is a Retirement Visa?

This visa, which is technically a Non Lucrative Residence visa, allows non-EU citizens to reside in Spain if they can support their lifestyle without a job. This is called having sufficient economic means and most show it by having a pension.

The main applicant’s family is able to join them if they have enough money. The main ask is that the individual and their spouse possess sufficient wealth. Besides this, the holder can also travel in the EU’s Schengen area visa-free. So they are able to explore Europe on a trip of their choice.

This is a Spanish residency visa which lasts for one year and can be renewed for two additional years. It provides the holder with the right to live in Spain, but they are not allowed to work there.

After five years of living in Spain, you will be able to apply for a permanent residency. This is the first step toward obtaining Spanish citizenship and this gives you the same rights as Spanish citizens.

Unlike other visa applications in Spain, there’s no need to invest money in the country.

You cannot work with the retirement visa. However, if the visa holder starts their business or a company hires them, it could be updated to a work visa. This is an easy way to get your Spanish passport and our immigration attorneys can help.

¨We will be with you each step of the journey.¨


How to Get a Spanish Retirement Visa?

The application must be made in person at the Spanish Consulate or Embassy in your country of origin or residence. It cannot be applied for from Spain, so you will need to go there personally.

It typically takes up to 90 days for the Spanish consulate to process your application.

An applicant must be able to financially provide for themselves and their families, as well as have private health coverage.

Some documentation like bank statements or marriage certificates may need to be translated into Spanish by a certified translator.

This Spanish residency visa doesn’t require applicants or residents to have parents who are of Spanish nationality. In addition, they don’t need to be born in Spain.

They can’t work but they can have pension or another source of passive income like real estate.

However, the retirement visa allows people to study or attend university.

What are the requirements?

  1. You must receive a fixed monthly amount from a permanent source of income, such as a trust fund or retirement pension. This cannot be a salary, as it could be misunderstood that you are required to work during your stay in Spain. The amount must be at least €2,200 a month, plus €550 a month for every family member that is joining you. To prove this, the applicant typically has to provide bank statements.
  2. You need to have full coverage of private health insurance. Only Spanish and EU citizens can use public healthcare in Spain. Some places, like Madrid, restrict access to their healthcare system for the first year of residency.
  3. You need to show paperwork such as your police record and a medical certificate. If you’re moving with your spouse, you may need paperwork from the civil registry in their home country.

Let us to do the work!

The Process to Get a Retirement Visa in Spain

What do I need to do?

1. Collect the documents

After filing the paperwork, the application is handled within 10 days if filed from the Spanish Consulate or Embassy. Law firms like Lexidy can help with non lucrative visas in Spain like these.

2. Apply at the Spanish Embassy or Consulate

The applicant must appear in person at their Spanish Consular Authority in their home country or where they legally reside. 

If there is no response to the visa application, it has been rejected.

3. Move to Spain

Once the application is approved, you will be granted a visa that allows you to travel to Spain. The visa is granted for one year and can last two years if renewed.

4. Apply for a Foreigner’s ID Card

Once in Spain, you must register at the local Spanish Town Hall. Here they can apply for the Foreign ID Card or residence card, known as a TIE. The applicant has 90 days to apply for the TIE. The holder can apply for Spanish citizenship after 10 years in Spain.

Some clients encounter a language barrier, so Lexidy’s immigration attorneys can accompany the applicant to the appointment.

What is Proof of Sufficient Income?

The Spanish Government requires evidence that you can support yourself financially. Usually this is confirmed with a bank certificate that displays the account bank and a recent date.

The applicant will need:

  • At least six months of bank statements
  • Proof of funds held by the main visa applicant

The funds don’t need to be in a local bank, but every person needs to have an account when moving into Spain. They are necessary for everyday transactions as well as international banking transactions.

What Documents do I need?

Most non lucrative visa applicants require the following documentation to obtain residence in Spain:

  • A valid Passport
  • Private healthcare insurance from a Spanish provider
  • National Visa Form
  • A medical certificate
  • Bank certificate showing proof of sufficient income
  • A Criminal Record Background check that is legalized

The process is much easier and faster with an immigration lawyer.

The Process of Renewing a Retirement or Non Lucrative Visa

If you want to renew your permit, all you need is to show that you:

  • have private healthcare insurance
  • can financially support yourself
  • were in Spain for at least 180 days in the year you received the permit.

This permit is for one year but can be renewed for two years. After 10 consecutive years in Spain, the visa holder can apply for Spanish citizenship.

The renewal can be submitted online. Our legal team can do it for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

The whole process of getting a new visa takes three to four months and can be longer depending on the embassy.

You must apply within three months of your planned travel date. Early applications will be rejected.

If you suggest that you will work remotely the consulates or embassies may reject it.

We also advise and support with Spanish work permit applications.

You can reapply after tweaking the application. There’s also an appeals process with Spanish courts. However, this is a multiple-year process.

A Non Lucrative residence permit or retirement visa does not allow employment in Spain.

The business activity residence permit allows you to work in Spain as:

  • a self-employed person
  • or as an administrator for your Spanish company

We can help you apply for a work and residence visa.

As part of the process, your family members will need to show that they are capable of taking care of themselves. You will also need to provide extra documentation such as marriage or birth certificates during the application process.

Unmarried partners with sufficient proof can also apply as dependants.

Most applications are rejected for failing to show sufficient personal funds. The requirements differ depending on the autonomous community or Consulate.

Our immigration attorneys will appeal and resubmit. They will even assist with court action to overcome rejections. 

We can also prepare you for any visa interviews.

This retirement visa is a residence card. The holder can live in Spain for at least 183 days a year. However, this leads to them becoming Spanish tax residents. This means you will pay income tax on your worldwide income.

Worldwide income includes rental income and profits from investments, which also attract capital gains tax. Our team of tax lawyers can help you understand your tax requirements.


We are a department formed by qualified legal experts who have been trained in the field of immigration law. We work on these requests every day and it’s our passion. For us, Lexidy is a way of life and what excites us the most is to be able to deliver the happiness and satisfaction of a successful immigration process. We want to help you achieve your goals and dreams.

Laura Fuste

Laura Fusté

Head of Immigration Europe
David Planes

David Planes

Cristina Negro Vizoso

Cristina Negro Vizoso

Mónica Isern López

Mónica Isern López

Lawyer, Head of Immigration Spain
Gabriela Baly

Gabriela Baly

Francesca Coluccio

Francesca Coluccio

Luisa Rivera

Luisa Rivera

Paola Cavalleri

Paola Cavalleri


Sandra Faura

Carolina Gimeno

Carolina Gimeno

Eli Garcia

Elizabeth Garcia

Legal Trainee


Exceptional service with exacting details. Not only were the staff friendly but also extremely exhausting to make everything simple, efficient, and clear. Whether it's about the new digital visas or retiring visas, they're your obvious choice!
Mohamed Ramy
Mohamed Ramy
09:57 29 Aug 23
A great law firm that covers anything an expat might need. I needed help with real estate initially, and they also helped me with immigration, taxes, and corporate legal matters. Fantastic people to work with. Alejandro from their real estate and immigration department is my main contact and he is an absolute pleasure to work with. Highly recommended!
Jonathan Elron
Jonathan Elron
07:37 13 Aug 23
Absolutely wonderful team that made the visa/residency application process seamless! For any Americans looking for assistance with this process, Lexidy is THE way to go. Great team to work with!!!
Michael Leggett
Michael Leggett
22:27 17 Jun 23
Poor experience to be honest. Filled out a form to obtain my NIE tax number for Spain on their website.There was a box to tick on there form that asked if I wanted help with a lawyer for buying property, I ticked “NO” the advisor “Alejandro” broke the terms and conditions of my right not to marketed to and reached out anyway multiple times. I decided to book a meeting because even though I have no intention to buy property at least I would learn about the process.Alejandro without even a email or a sorry didn’t turn up to the meeting but his colleague was sent to fill in for him. His colleague was nice and was able to learn lots from him.We agreed they could help with obtaining the NIE and later down the line probably my visa too.Alejandro was suppose to reach back out however after one week, no response. I followed up, again no response.After 33 days Alejandro reaches back out to say “ We still have no answer regarding the possibility of obtaining NIEs for our clients.”In my opinion Alejandro isn’t interested in the small commission from obtaining the NIE. He only wants the big commission from selling a property. This is why he broke the terms and conditions on their application process.My experience with Alejandro has been very poor and disappointing would avoid using him!
Arran Lake
Arran Lake
22:20 06 Jun 23
I'm an expat / tech worker from the US and have been in contact Lexidy since I moved to Barcelona roughly a year ago and have to say it's been very convenient having help centralized across tax, immigration, and labor. Want to give a shout out to Monica Lopez, Gabriela Baly, Sara Rinaldi & Sara Fraile for all being very professional / supporting me as things have come up!I've already referred a few friends in that are interested in moving to spain on nomad visas. Gracias por todo!
Blake Yu
Blake Yu
12:13 30 May 23
Alejandro was helping me navigate the process of nueva obra construction to gain Spanish golden visa. He proved to be very knowledgeable and we had a great phone call where I learned more in 20 minutes than I would have from months of internet research. Unfortunately the property I was looking at ended up not being suitable, which was discovered thanks to his due-diligence, so I was not able to go through the entire process, so I can't provide a review of the full legal process. But I'll be engaging with Lexidy again if I find a suitable property for me in the future!
10:47 24 Mar 23

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