Are you wondering how to become a Spanish citizen? One of the easiest ways, if you have sufficient resources, is to obtain a non-lucrative residence. This allows a non-Spaniard and their family to live in Spain without working. Worried that this visa is only for the super rich? Unlike other countries, the Spanish definition of sufficient resources is surprisingly attainable. Keep reading to learn if you qualify, and how to apply.


What are the main requirements to obtain a non-lucrative Spanish visa?

  • Possess sufficient financial resources to support yourself and any family members that accompany you to Spain.
  • Have external health insurance for yourself and other family members. The cheapest way to do this is to use a Spanish carrier such as Sanitas. Cigna also offers reasonable health insurance plans for expats.
  • Have a Spanish address. You can use a friend’s for the application if you don’t currently live in Spain.
  • No criminal records. If you live in the US, this can be done through the FBI although it takes up to six months. Or, you can use an external service such as Roca Authentications in a couple days. If you live in the UK, you can obtain this information in two weeks from the UK Government website. If you live in another country and are unsure where to obtain this information, email us and we will help you.
  • If you are from certain countries, you must provide a clean bill of health.
  • You cannot be in an irregular immigration situation in Spain, or any other EU country


How much is considered “sufficient financial resources”?

Spain has a relatively low cost of living. For example, you can easily buy a coffee for 1€ in the city of Madrid. This is why the monetary threshold for attaining a non-lucrative Spanish visa seems so low. The person applying for the visa only needs to demonstrate that they have €26,000 in their bank account. For each family member that accompanies them, they need to show an additional €6,500 per year.

It is important to point out that this money needs to be in a traditional bank account. The bank statements must be provided with the non-lucrative Spanish visa application. If the bulk of your assets are in the stock market, or other investment vehicle, you will need to transfer the €26,000 (or more for additional family members) into a traditional bank account before you apply.

What is the duration of the non-lucrative Spanish visa?

The non-lucrative Spanish visa is good for one year. After this, you can renew it in two year increments. After five years of continuous residence, you can apply for a long-term visa. After ten years you can apply for Spanish citizenship.

If you are from an Ibero-American country (which is most of the former Spanish speaking colonies in South America), Andorra, the Phillipines or Equatorial Guinea, you are eligible for Spanish residency after two years.


Where to apply for the non-lucrative residence?

The first visa application must be submitted to the Spanish Consulate in the applicant’s place of residence. After that, renewals are processed at the Oficina de Extranjería. There are branches of this in all major Spanish cities.

How long does it usually take to obtain a non-lucrative visa?

It typically takes three months for Consulates to approve non-lucrative Spanish visa applications.

Which are the next steps after the consulate approved the visa?

Once the Consulate notifies the approval of the visa, the applicant has 1 month to pick up the visa and 3 months to travel to Spain, where the applicant and his/her family must apply for a Spanish identity card (TIE).

Does this kind of residence count for the Spanish Nationality?

Yes. As any other residence permit, the non-lucrative counts towards obtaining Spanish citizenship by residence.


At Goy Gentile Abogados we specialize in immigration law and can advise you on how to become a Spanish citizen.

If you have questions about this, or other immigration matters, please do not hesitate to CONTACT US TODAY.