Non Lucrative Visa for Spain: How I Applied in Just 1 Week

Non Lucrative Visa for Spain: How I Applied in Just 1 Week

By |2019-10-16T06:18:53-04:00July 28th, 2019|Personal Stuff, Spain, Travel Tips & Advice|200 Comments

Non Lucrative Visa for Spain - How I applied in one week

Date: July 2019

I did it. My application for the Spanish non lucrative visa has been submitted.

This non lucrative visa for Spain allows a person to:

– stay in Spain for up to 1 year
– rent a place to live and sign up for utilities
– renew your residency at the end of the year (you can apply for permanent residency after 5 years)

It does NOT allow you to work in Spain, use government healthcare or government benefits of any kind.

This visa looked like a great option for me and so I applied.

And contrary to what I had heard and read, almost all of which explains that you need a ton of time to complete this process, I managed to do it all in one simple week.

Of course, if you have more than a week, that’s a bonus and you can complete the process in a more relaxed manner. But if you don’t have much time, a week is sufficient to get your stuff together and apply.

Here’s everything I did to make this happen:

Application Location

You need to apply in your home country. And you need to apply at the Spain Embassy or Consulate that has jurisdiction over your state or province. For me, my home address is in Florida, so I had to apply at the Spanish Consulate in Miami.

Interestingly enough, each Embassy and Consulate seems to have slightly different requirements for the non lucrative visa but the core is basically the same. You can find any extra requirements on the website of the Embassy or Consulate where you need to apply. Also, some Embassies and Consulates require you to make an appointment to apply for the non lucrative visa and some don’t. Definitely check this in advance as it could take a couple of months to secure an appointment.

Luckily, for me, the Consulate of Spain in Miami does not require appointments, so as soon as I had all of my paperwork together, I simply showed up the next day and applied.

Non Lucrative Visa: Documents, Documents, Documents

The paperwork is of course the heart of the application process.

When I applied for my visa, the man at the consulate told me that I was the first person in over 6 months to apply for a non lucrative visa and to have all of the paperwork in order on their first visit. He said that most people are missing some paperwork and need to come back at least a couple of times before they have it all right.

So, presumably, if you follow everything I did, you should also have all of your paperwork in order the first time around!

*No guarantees though and you really need to find out the specific requirements of the Embassy/Consulate where you’ll apply to make sure you don’t need other items that I didn’t need.

But again, it only took me 1 week to get it all together. While that might not be realistic for everyone (I probably had a little luck on my side), you definitely don’t need months or even weeks to get this stuff done.

Here’s what you need:

1. Passport (should have 2 empty pages and be valid for at least 1 year past the date on which you’ll apply)

  • bring your actual passport
  • make a photocopy of EVERY SINGLE PAGE of your passport (this includes blank pages, personal information pages, everything!)

2. Driver’s License

  • bring your actual driver’s license
  • make a photocopy of the front and back of your driver’s license

3. National Visa Application Form

  • fill out the National Visa Application PDF on your computer and then print two copies of the completed application form
  • paste a passport photo of yourself (headshot with white background) in the upper right hand corner box on each application form

4. Form “EX-01 – Formulario”

  • This is the authorization for residency form (it’s #11 on that link)
  • Fill out the PDF version of this form on your computer
  • It needs to be filled out and printed out in one go as you cannot save this form once you enter your details
  • Fill out Section 1 and under “Domicilio en Espana“, if you don’t have an address in Spain already, simply type in the city (Localidad) and the province (Provincia) where you plan to live, leaving the rest of the address section blank
  • Do not fill out Section 2
  • For Section 3, simply fill out the “Telefono movil” and “Email” boxes and leave the rest blank
  • Print out this form and make 2 photocopies of it as well

5. Form “Tasas Extranjeria – Modelo impreso 790”

  • This Tasas Extranjeria form (it’s #12 on that link) needs to be filled out and printed out in one go as you cannot save this form once you enter your details either
  • In the upper right corner, where it says “Ejercicio“, enter the year in the four boxes
  • Fill out the section “Apellidos y nombre” in the format of Last Name, First Name, Middle Name (Smith, Johnathan Greg)
  • Fill out the “Nacionalidad” box with your nationality
  • Repeat the previous three steps on pages 2 and 3 of the form
  • On pages 1 and 2, check the box that says “Principal
  • Do not fill out any other boxes on this form
  • Print all 3 pages of the form and make 2 photocopies as well

6. Criminal Background Check

  • For US citizens, you can obtain either an FBI background check OR an official state background check (here’s an example from Florida) if your home address has been in the same state for at least 5 straight years
  • You cannot use a simple background check that you can order and print online (it needs to be one of the two official versions above)
  • When you order the background check, it needs to be a version that is notarized by the issuing authority, which is pretty standard
  • It must be translated into Spanish (some states, such as Florida, allow you to order the background check in both English and Spanish which makes it much easier; otherwise, when you receive it, you need to get it officially translated and notarized)
  • Once you have the official background check in Spanish, you need to send it off for an Apostille certification (this is a specific certification of the document, in addition to the notarization, that is done by the state government where the background check was issued)
  • Example: For me, I had to send my notarized, Spanish-language Florida background check to the Florida Secretary of State in Tallahassee; the cost of the Apostille stamp was only $10 if I got it done in person or I could have sent it to them by mail, which takes about 2-3 weeks; since I was on very limited time, I used a service that sent off my document, got the Apostille stamp from the Secretary of State and had it back in my hands all within 48 hours
  • When you have your Apostille-certified, Spanish-language background check, make a photocopy of the Apostille certificate and the background check as well as a photocopy of the English-version background check as an extra precaution

7. Medical Certificate of Good Health

  • You need your doctor to sign off that you don’t have certain communicable diseases as per the International Health Regulations of 2005
  • I simply used the template that can be found at #8 on this page, printed it out, brought it to my doctor to review and he signed and stamped it
  • The document needs to be in Spanish, so if your doctor is not willing to sign the template above (which is in both English and Spanish), you will need to get the English version officially translated

8. Proof of Spanish Health Insurance

  • This sounds tricky but it wasn’t too bad of a process in the end
  • Every non lucrative visa applicant needs to show proof of having private Spanish Health Insurance
  • You CANNOT use travel insurance or any insurance from your home country (some people get away with it but there’s a high chance you’ll be rejected if you don’t have insurance from a Spanish company)
  • It needs to be a health insurance plan without deductibles and without co-payments
  • I used the company Sanitas and ended up paying about 70 Euros per month for the required insurance
  • Sanitas was excellent, they knew exactly what was required for non lucrative visa applicants, the process was quick and I found their coverage to be one of the better deals out there
  • From the first email I sent to Sanitas, I had the official certificate/confirmation of health insurance letter in my inbox within 72 hours (they move very quickly if you need them to)
  • Make sure they send you all of the documents in Spanish
  • Print out the official health insurance certificate/letter they send you, as well as the proof of payment and a copy of your policy (what it includes and excludes), all in Spanish
  • Make a couple of photocopies of everything

9. Visa Fees – Money Orders

  • The only way to pay for your visa application is with money orders
  • You need to get two money orders from your bank or the post office
  • As of right now, the non lucrative visa fee for US citizens is $140 to apply and another $12 tax (one money order should be for $140 and the other for $12 – they need to be separate)
  • For citizens of other countries, simply find the visa fee page on your local Embassy or Consulate’s website to see what you need to pay
  • DO NOT fill out the “Pay to the order of” section of the money orders in advance
  • The staff at the Embassy/Consulate will fill that out for you

10. Proof of Financial Resources

  • To obtain this visa, you need to show proof of investment income of 2151.36 EUROS per month OR a total of 25816.32 EUROS in bank accounts, investment accounts or a combination of both (it increases by about 540 EUROS per person per month if you’re applying with a spouse or children)
  • Technically, the income you show should not be derived from actual work as the visa is designed for those who have sufficient money to spend 1 year in Spain without working
  • You should print out your bank statements and investment account statements for the past year (yes, 12 months of statements for each account!), make a photocopy of them all and bring them with you
  • Make sure the statements have your name and address listed on them so that it is very clear that they are your bank/investment accounts

11. Proof of Accommodation in Spain

  • You can use either a notarized invitation letter from family or a friend in Spain who will be responsible for your accommodation, an actual lease for an apartment/house in Spain or a deed of a property if you own a house/apartment in Spain (once I got to Spain, I contacted the excellent team at Globexs to find a great short-term apartment to get me started)
  • OR you can write a letter explaining why you chose a particular town/city in Spain to live in
  • Since I don’t have a place in Spain yet, I went with the letter option
  • Simply write a few paragraphs about why you want to move to Spain and why you chose a particular town or city to live in
  • At the bottom of the letter, include a list of everything that you’re including in your application such as application forms, medical certificate, proof of health insurance, bank statements totaling ‘x’ amount and so on
  • The letter needs to be in Spanish
  • As I have decent Spanish-language skills, I simply wrote the Spanish version myself
  • If you’re not able to do that, you’ll need to get your English letter officially translated into Spanish
  • Get the English and Spanish versions of your letter notarized
  • Make a photocopy of the notarization certificate, the Spanish letter and the English letter

Time to Apply

Once you have everything listed above, it’s time to actually apply for the non lucrative visa. Again, depending on where you need to apply, the Embassy or Consulate may or may not require you to make an appointment in advance. I did not need an appointment and so, once I had all the paperwork in order, my application process went like this…

      1. 1. Woke up at 4:15am
      1. 2. Started the drive to the Consulate of Spain in Miami at 4:45am
      1. 3. Arrived at the consulate at 6:20am
      1. 4. Got in line outside the office building where the consulate was located (There were already two people ahead of me, 2 hours before it opened!)
      1. 5. Wait, wait, wait and wait some more, until the consulate opened
      1. 6. Received a number and took a seat in the waiting area
      1. 7. Waited 5 minutes until my number was called
      1. 8. Handed over everything they asked for and within 15 minutes I was done!


    Non Lucrative Visa: The Next Steps

    I was told that my non lucrative visa would be ready in about 4 weeks. They will let me know by email and then, I have 30 days to pick it up in person. If I didn’t need my passport during those 4 weeks, I could have left it with the consulate and they would have mailed it back to me with the visa inside once it was ready. But I do need my passport over the next month so I’ll have to come back to pick up the visa myself once it’s ready to be collected.

    After that, you need to enter Spain within 90 days. And then, there’s a couple of final steps to the process to actually get your residency card and register yourself properly in Spain. Hopefully my visa will indeed be approved and after I complete the next steps, I’ll be sure to update this post.


    I’ve now received my residency card and I’m an official resident of Spain. Here’s my detailed blog post about the residency card (TIE) process: Spanish Residency Card – All You Need to Know

    Any questions? Just let me know!

The Travel Email - SIGN UP!

New blog posts, updates from around the world and endless inspiration to help you achieve your own travel goals. Sent once per week.


  1. Nur June 26, 2020 at 11:03 am - Reply

    Hey, thanks for the article! I just have a question.

    I was going through the questions and replies here and the remote work thing got me confused. So I have my own company (self-employed) and I have already sufficient funds in my bank account for 1+ years but will I be obliged not to work anymore in my company?

    I won’t really work in Spain, but I just receive calls/orders from my home for the business activity that will be conducted anyways outside Spain/EU. So will that be an issue? as it’s my source of income.


    • Derek June 26, 2020 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      Hey Nur – Technically, you’re not allowed to work at all while in Spain with this visa. This is open to interpretation of course, and many people who have this visa do work while there, but that is the official rule.

  2. Ella June 24, 2020 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    This page has been super helpful. It says on the consulates website that you have to appear in person no earlier than 90 days before your departure date. Did you leave right after you received your visa, or how did that work. I’m trying to leave in August and I have my appointment in July but I’m afraid I’m going to have to wait until October.

    • Derek June 25, 2020 at 5:06 am - Reply

      Hey Ella – I applied for the visa thinking it would take 6+ weeks and so I then went to Europe after applying (I didn’t leave my passport at the consulate). But I received notification that my visa was approved after 10 days so I flew back to Miami for 1 night, picked up the visa and flew straight to Spain. Once you get the visa, you need to pick it up within 1 month. And from the date you are notified that the visa is ready, you have 3 months to then enter Spain.

      • Ella June 26, 2020 at 8:16 pm - Reply

        Thank you so much! Did you end up staying there for a full year? I am a bit worried that they won’t approve visas currently due to the health concerns. Let me know if you know anything about this regarding visas and the coronavirus.

        • Derek June 26, 2020 at 10:17 pm - Reply

          Hey Ella – I got the visa in September so my first year isn’t finished yet. By this September I’ll have spent about 6.5 months in Spain. I’m not sure what they are doing now with approvals or if there are any changes due to coronavirus. The best option is to conatact the consulate.

          • Ella June 27, 2020 at 2:26 pm

            Okay, will do- thanks! One of the requirements is the form 790 code 052, and it says it requires a fee. Do you remember how much that fee was?

          • Derek June 27, 2020 at 9:37 pm

            Hey Ella – The only fees you need to pay when applying is the main application fee and the tax. When I applied, it was $140 to apply and $12 for the tax. The other fees are paid once you are in Spain and you apply for your TIE residency card.

  3. Kara G June 19, 2020 at 8:28 am - Reply

    Hi, Derek! I am a spouse and trying to find information on what I need to apply with my husband. He has all the correct documentation, thanks to you, but do you have any idea where I can get information on what I need to submit with him at the consulate in Miami, FL? We are hoping to get to Spain in July or August! Thanks for all your great information. Much appreciated!

    • Derek June 19, 2020 at 8:34 am - Reply

      Hey Kara – For this visa, as a spouse, you will need to provide the exact same documents as your husband, as well as your marriage certificate. The main difference is that you can have a shared amount of money so you don’t each need the required amount. You simply need to have about $500 per month more than if it was 1 person Apart from that, you’ll need to provide your own medical certificate, background check and all the rest as well. Hope that helps!

      • Kara Gutzwiller June 22, 2020 at 2:11 pm - Reply

        That helps a lot, thank you Derek! I figured I would have to have all the documentation also. I think we are all set and hope to go down to Miami this week! 🙂

  4. Gregg June 12, 2020 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek –
    Great Blog. I am interested in non-lucrative visa. I can prove sufficient funds to support myself but want to keep working my job remote. I have heard conflicting stories of the consulate sometimes allowing this and sometimes not. Is there any advice you can provide on how to deal with this when applying for the visa? Will I be asked about that if I everything else in order? I would be going to the Chicago consulate.

    • Derek June 13, 2020 at 5:34 am - Reply

      Hey Gregg – Technically, you are not allowed to work at all while you have this visa. From what I’ve heard, you are now required to provide a sworn statement that you will not conduct any work while in Spain on this visa and that statement needs to be notarized. So it seems they are getting stricter about this unfortunately.

    • Lisa Johnston June 17, 2020 at 6:01 am - Reply

      I hear that all of the consulates are closed now, except Miami, so it is impossible to apply for the NL Visa. I am in Spain on a tourist visa and want to get a NL Visa. I am afraid to leave Spain now since Americans are not welcome to Europe at this time due to the increase in COVID cases. Do you know anything about when the Spanish Consulates will open up?

      • Derek June 17, 2020 at 6:18 am - Reply

        Hey Lisa – I have no idea when they will open but even when they do, it might take a while before they start issuing NL visas again. It’s hard to know given the unpredictability of the situation. At this point, the only thing to do is wait and see I’m afraid.

  5. Melissa June 12, 2020 at 9:40 am - Reply

    Derek! Your blog is AWESOME! Thank you for all the deets. Just wondering how long it actually took for you to get the Visa?

    • Derek June 13, 2020 at 5:33 am - Reply

      Hey Melissa – Thanks for that! For me, it only took about 10 days for me to hear back that my visa was approved so it was quite quick. I have heard that other Consulates do take longer, but Miami was very fast!

  6. Leo P June 12, 2020 at 6:34 am - Reply

    I got a quote of 1175 Euros for a year of health insurance and it has to paid all up front. Is that around what you paid and also could you make monthly payments or it has to be a lump sum. I read your post and now getting a quote from the Insurance you posted. Have they been good so far? My main concern is i pay all this for health insurance (and for the Law firm that is helping me) and i get denied. Thoughts?

    • Derek June 12, 2020 at 8:27 am - Reply

      Hey Leo – That’s a couple of hundred Euros more than what I paid but obviously the amount changes depending on several factors. But yes, you need to pay for it all up front as the Consulate requires proof that 1 year has been paid in full. And Sanitas has been great. I haven’t had any reason to use the insurance yet but communication with them has always been quick and efficient. Unfortunately, if you get denied for the visa, I believe you do lose the insurance amount you paid.

  7. Anna Daniela June 2, 2020 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek

    Is there a way to apply from within Spain?



    • Derek June 3, 2020 at 12:48 am - Reply

      Hey Anna – This visa can only be applied for at the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in your home country unfortunately.

  8. Ari May 28, 2020 at 12:29 am - Reply

    Hi Earl, Thanks for this detailed post! It has been super helpful. Would love to see more post like this regarding having a home base in Spain. I am also applying through Miami, and when I read the financial requirements in addition to the bank statements they also say this:

    “If you are of working age, you must prove receipt of a pension or provide a letter of termination from your employer stating that you will no longer work for that company or, if you are self‐employed, you must provide a sworn statement before a Notary indicating that you agree not to work while living in Spain.”

    Was this required when you applied and what did you submit for this? I know they have been going back and forth on whether remote work is allowed in NL, so maybe this is a new requirement.

    • Derek May 28, 2020 at 5:05 am - Reply

      Hey Ari – That seems to be a new requirement as that statement was not in the instructions/details when I applied. You are right that they are going back and forth with it and seems like they decided not to make it available for remote workers at least for now.

  9. T Snyder May 22, 2020 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    It looks like they want a marriage certificate. We married in 1967! I’m not sure if we ever had it. Suggestions for getting around this?

    • Derek May 24, 2020 at 1:55 am - Reply

      Not sure about that actually. You might have to order a new one but your best bet is to contact the Embassy/Consulate directly and ask them.

    • Melissa June 12, 2020 at 9:38 am - Reply

      You have to go to the state website where you got married. There will be a section to request official documents. You simply request a certified copy of your marriage certificate and they will mail it to you within a few days. There will be a small fee.

  10. Ahmed May 18, 2020 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek
    Thanks for the excellent write up which was greatly appreciated.

    Question about the passport and copying all the pages – is this required only for the current (i.e. valid) passport that you use for travel? Or do the authorities need all your old passports copied too? That would be an issue as I have about 4 passports since I began travelling as a 14 year old!!!

    • Derek May 21, 2020 at 10:30 am - Reply

      It’s just for your current passport, the one where the visa will go if you receive it.

  11. Vaun May 18, 2020 at 11:03 am - Reply

    Hey Dave! Really appreciate this post, you have been so super helpful. I had a question about your banking statements. Did none of your income come from work? I’m moving to Spain to write a book and live with a friend. So I won’t be collecting money, however all of my income from the past year I’ve been saving has been from my job. It’s the right amount needed but I wasn’t sure if where it comes from will be an issue. Did that seem to make a difference or was that completely a no-no? Any insight would be appreciated. And thank you!

    • Derek May 21, 2020 at 10:31 am - Reply

      It doesn’t matter how you received your money in the past. They only look at the totals of your bank statements (at least that’s what they did for me) and now how I got that money.

  12. Gabrielle May 15, 2020 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    This article is highly informative and much appreciated – thank you! I am wondering on two things, perhaps you can help in answering:

    a) My husband is retired and while we have more than the required funds to qualify for this visa based on his pension and our savings, I still work as a Flight Attendant for a US based airline, would it still be possible to obtain this visa and maintain my position?

    b) If we were to obtain this visa, is it ok to still travel, both within Europe and back to the States to see family for short periods?

    • Derek May 21, 2020 at 10:33 am - Reply

      Hey Gabrielle – It’s not very clear in the visa rules but technically, you’re not supposed to work at all while on this visa. However, many people do have jobs outside of Spain and until now, the authorities don’t seem to mind that. So you should be okay with that job. And yes, if you have the visa you can come and go as you please. There is no obligation at all to stay in Spain for any period of time, only a requirement of 6 months if you want to renew the visa after the first year.

  13. Anthony Rivera-Rodriguez May 11, 2020 at 12:17 am - Reply

    We live in Florida and we been looking at what best visa is for us, we think this might be it. We want to do just like you.

    so for a whole year, we are unemployed in Spain when can we start to work? after the second year?

    • Derek May 11, 2020 at 4:56 am - Reply

      Hey Anthony – With the non-lucrative visa, you can’t work at all. It doesn’t matter how long you have the visa, there is no option to work. This visa is designed for people who already have passive income / online work outside of Spain or who already have enough money to support themselves and don’t need to work.

      • Ravi May 11, 2020 at 12:27 pm - Reply

        Can someone in a non lucrative visa switch to a work visa if an employee is willing to sponsor him.

        • Derek May 12, 2020 at 1:16 am - Reply

          Hey Ravi – I don’t know 100% but I don’t think that’s possible since the non-lucrative visa is for people who specifically don’t need to work in Spain.

  14. Alexis March 20, 2020 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    Hi – can you walk me through the notarization, apostille process? What would I do first, and how did you expedite the apostille step?


    • Derek March 22, 2020 at 10:02 pm - Reply

      Hey Alexis – It depends on where you are applying from and where your home state/country is as the process can be different based on those factors.

  15. A March 19, 2020 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    Awesome post! Did you find your translator in FL by chance? If so, do you have their contact info?

    • Derek March 22, 2020 at 10:02 pm - Reply

      I didn’t need a translator as Florida provides official documents in Spanish as well as English and I was able to create other documents, such as the letter of intent, using my own Spanish language skills.

    • Diana April 25, 2020 at 4:49 pm - Reply

      I am currently working with a translator in Florida (Sarasota). I got her contact information through the American Translators Association (referred by the Miami Consulate). Let me know if you are interested and I am happy to refer her to you (if that’s allowed via this forum).

  16. Lola March 9, 2020 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek,

    The Non-Lucrative Visa is good for one year. What happens after the one-year term is up? Does one need to return to the US to re-apply? Can one apply from Spain? Help!

    And thank you for all your patience and for providing such prompt responses to our questions.

  17. Diana March 8, 2020 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    Hello Derek,

    I am applying for a Spain non-lucrative visa at the Miami Consulate. Do you know if I need to provide a copy of my airline tickets (for travel to Spain after the NL visa is granted) at the same time we apply for the visa? I was planning on purchasing the ticket after I got approved.

    Thank you!

    • Derek March 9, 2020 at 3:42 am - Reply

      Hey Diana – I did not have to provide any proof of airline tickets in order to apply. Hope that helps!

  18. Kristen March 8, 2020 at 3:31 am - Reply

    I am a US resident but have been traveling and living abroad for the majority of the last four years. I technically have a NC drivers license but no longer live at that address. Do you think this will be an issue for the visa? I figured I would get the FBI check vs. State and I have adequate savings for the financial criteria. I’m just nervous about not having a current US address. Any insight would be appreciated!

    • Derek March 8, 2020 at 7:28 am - Reply

      Hey Kristen – You need a US address in order to apply as that needs to be on the application. And you can only use the FBI background check if you’ve had the same address in the US for the past 4 years. Otherwise, you need a background check from every state where you’ve had an address in the past 4 years. Hope that helps!

  19. Lola February 25, 2020 at 10:29 am - Reply

    Hi Derek,

    I wanted to circle back to my question (from yesterday), where I asked if you knew if marriage certificates issued in the US (in English) had to be translated into Spanish. I double-checked the Miami Consulate’s website again today and found my answer. YES, it would need to be translated into Spanish by a certified translator. It also needs to be Apostilled, by the way.

    The interesting thing is that I notice that the Spanish version of the website indicates that the marriage certificate does need a translation from English to Spanish: “Certificado de matrimonio, traducido y legalizado por la Embajada Española en el país donde se expidió el mismo o con la Apostilla de la Haya del Departamento de Estado correspondiente en Estados Unidos. Original y copia.”

    Meanwhile, the English version on the website does not – only requires “legalization” (Apostille) ” For spouse: Marriage certificate legalized by the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in the country where the document was issued or legalized with the Apostille Certification at the corresponding Department of State, translated into Spanish.”

    I contacted the Consulate in Miami, and they provided me with the name of a certified translator whose services are recognized by them:
    American Translators Association web:

    I wanted to contribute to your blog and provide some answers. Please note that this information pertains to the MIAMI Consulate only. I hope this helps some other folks. Thank YOU so very much for keeping up with this blog and all of our answers.

    • Ana May 23, 2020 at 6:03 pm - Reply

      Hi Lola,

      Thank you for posting this information, as I’m not clear what documents need to be translated and what needs to be Apostilled. Do you know if the marriage license must first be notarized before it can be Apostilled? I’m assuming we have the original English version Apostilles, not the translated Spanish version. Also, do you happen to know if birth certificates for dependent children must be translated and apostilled as well? Thank you so much for your help.

  20. Jaclyn February 24, 2020 at 6:17 am - Reply

    Hi Derek,

    Just wanted to say thanks for writing this post and keeping up with comments and questions! It was super helpful for my boyfriend and I when we applied for our visas last month. We had an idea of what was needed but this post and your experience really helped solidify everything for us. When we applied, our applications ended up getting tied together and the Miami consulate told us to expect them back in 5 weeks. It look 4 weeks to the day but we are now loving life in Madrid! We will be applying for residency soon so looking forward to reading and using your post on that process in the coming days. Thanks for answering all of our (and everyone else’s) questions and for helping to make this process far less stressful than it could have been!


    • Derek February 24, 2020 at 6:21 am - Reply

      Hey Jaclyn – That’s wonderful to hear and congratulations on getting the visa! I’m super happy that the post helped out and if you have any questions about getting the TIE once you read that post, just let me know! Enjoy Madrid 🙂

  21. Lola February 24, 2020 at 5:57 am - Reply

    Good morning,

    I have read through all these comments in an attempt to not place a question that has already been answered. A couple of questions: (1) I ordered a certified copy of our marriage certificate with the apostille attached to it. Does the marriage certificate need to be translated into English? (2) regarding the money that needs to be in bank accounts… I am guessing from all the comments that it can be in investments also (ex: 401k). Did I interpret that correctly, or does the money have to be in a checking or savings account at a bank? Thank you!

    • Lola February 24, 2020 at 5:58 am - Reply

      into Spanish, sorry! 🙂

    • Derek February 24, 2020 at 6:06 am - Reply

      Hey Lola – I’m not sure about the marriage certificate. You would need to check with the specific embassy/consulate where you will apply as they seem to each have different rules about what needs to be translated. Also, I didn’t need a marriage certificate so I’m not sure about that specifically. For the money, yes, it can be any combination of bank accounts and investment accounts.

      • Lola February 24, 2020 at 6:22 pm - Reply

        Thanks, Derek… appreciate the super-fast response!!!

  22. Ali February 22, 2020 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek, thank for this article! Question for you. In the case of providing proof of monthly financial income of 2151 euros – do you know if that is gross or net (I’ve searched other articles and the Consulate of Spain in my jurisdiction and couldnt find the answer)

    • Derek February 22, 2020 at 3:41 pm - Reply

      Hey Ali – I don’t know for certain as I was told that I needed to have proof of the entire year’s worth (25000 euros), not monthly income. So I needed to show statements that showed I had that 25k euros in total at the time of application.

  23. Emma Crislip February 16, 2020 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    Hi there! I was wondering, does travel insurance count for the health insurance part?

    • Derek February 16, 2020 at 4:14 pm - Reply

      Hey Emma – Travel insurance does not work. You need to have proof that you paid for 1 year of full coverage of private Spanish health insurance (no deductibles) from an insurance company in Spain.

  24. Nancy February 9, 2020 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    Hola Derek!!

    1. Will an annuity work as proof of income?

    2. I saw the comment regarding the Houston office being strict. What was the reason for this comment? We received our NIE at the Houston office and had no problems.

    Thanks so much!!

    • Derek February 9, 2020 at 10:37 pm - Reply

      Hey Nancy – If it is more than the required monthly amount than it should work. I’m not an expert on this but from what I’ve read, it should work. As for the Houston office, it seems – based on comments and conversations with others – that they require more documents and translations than the Miami consulate and that they scrutinize the paperwork more thoroughly.

      • nancy anderson May 14, 2020 at 10:22 pm - Reply

        Thank you, Derek!! I am so nervous. Houston is not scheduling appointments due to CV and I was hoping to get this done this year. We have property in Spain and I am confused on it it is necessary to provide them with the original deed. If so, our original is in Spain and would be difficult to get with the travel restrictions.

        • Derek May 21, 2020 at 10:34 am - Reply

          Hey Nancy – From what I know, you will need the original deed for sure. Any official paperwork does need to be the original unfortunately.

          • nancy anderson May 23, 2020 at 9:23 pm

            Thank you, Derek!!

  25. marco February 7, 2020 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek…!!
    I filed my application 02 weeks ago, and the waiting time is killing me now…I was told I could check out for an update at the website: after 10 days.

    In your case, did you receive an email from the embassy? How long did it pass since you filed your application?

    Thanks !!


  26. Sharon February 6, 2020 at 9:46 am - Reply

    Hey Derek…great article …thanks so much. We are a Canadian couple in the process of gathering all our documentation to apply for non lucrative visa in Valencia! Very exciting! Maybe we will see you in Valencia this summer if all goes well!

    Question re Sanitas…we have contacted them as well…they are asking us to pay for the entire year in advance …did you have to do that?

    For financial proof …The monthly amount needed is quite high …so from your experience is it your ability to withdraw that amount OR you had to prove that you have withdrawn that amount…in our case, our bank statements differ from our investment statements as we don’t withdraw that full amount every month.

    Many thanks! Sharon

    PS Also the Ex-01 form is different than the one I downloaded…it has 2 annexes so I’ll need to verify which is the latest version.

    • Derek February 6, 2020 at 12:46 pm - Reply

      Hey Sharon – For Sanitas, you do need to pay for the entire year in advance. This is not Sanitas’ requirement. You actually need to show proof of 1 year payment for health insurance with your visa application. The Spanish consulate requires this as they want to know that your health insurance is fully taken care of when you apply.

      As for financial proof, they just need to see that you have that amount in the bank, investments, etc. So if you bring statements from bank accounts and investment accounts, and the total amount you have in all those accounts reaches the financial requirement, you’re good to go. I’m not too sure what you mean by ‘withdraw’. They just want to see that you have the required amount in any combination of bank/investments accounts under your name.

      For the EX-01 form, the one I link to is the updated version.

      • Sharon February 6, 2020 at 5:41 pm - Reply

        Awesome! Many thanks for the quick response Derek! Much appreciated! We want to arrive at consulate with all documents and be as prepared as you were! Good inspiration! Hope you are enjoying life in Valencia!

  27. Patty Lawrence January 29, 2020 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    I know you need to enter Spain within ninety days after you’ve been approved and pick up the Visa. My question is from which date does the countdown clock start? We put a date on the application that we would like to go to Spain by. Do they use that date, or The date your application is approved, or The day you pick it up at the consulate..? We are trying to time our return correctly. It’s been over two weeks since we applied in Miami. We had ever single document they required at the time we applied and the process was very smooth. We are just confused about when that clock starts. Thanks.

    • Derek January 30, 2020 at 3:36 am - Reply

      Hey Patty – From what I know, the 90 days starts the day you receive notification that your visa has been approved. That’s the actual date that’s on your visa and so that’s the date where the 90 days begins. Hope that helps!

  28. Lou January 21, 2020 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Derek, Another question: Do I need to translate my bank summary statements into Spanish?

    • Derek January 21, 2020 at 12:29 pm - Reply

      No, at least for Miami, you don’t need to translate the bank statements.

      • Lou Sbardella January 23, 2020 at 11:54 am - Reply


        One more question concerning Bank statements, investments accounts, Social Security statements, should I black out the account numbers?

        • Derek January 23, 2020 at 2:51 pm - Reply

          Hey Lou – It’s up to you I guess. I think I blacked out part of the numbers.

  29. Lou Sbardella January 21, 2020 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    Good article / Info. I am having trouble filling in the M790C052 form on the computer. Is it permissible to fill in it pen (black)?

    • Derek January 21, 2020 at 12:29 pm - Reply

      Hey Lou – I honestly don’t know. I was able to fill it out on the computer so I’m not sure the rules about filling it in with pen. Sorry!

      • Lou Sbardella January 21, 2020 at 1:20 pm - Reply

        Cool no problem. All my stuff will be going through Miami and I know they can be sticklers sometimes.
        Thanks for the info. I have my NIE and my paperwork from a House I bought in Southern Spain last June. So I’m hoping the process won’t take too long. I’m still waiting on my criminal background and then the Apostille.

  30. Marco January 12, 2020 at 11:14 am - Reply

    Hi Derek,

    I,ve finally gathered all documents as required 🙂 but I am having problems filling out the EX-01 Form. Could you please advise on how to fill out

    – ANEXO 1 : Docuemntos que autoriza consulta
    – ANEXO 2 : Documentos para los que se deniega consulta

    What are we supossed to list down here? Or just leave both of them blank?

    Muchas gracias !!

    • Derek January 12, 2020 at 2:28 pm - Reply

      Hey Marco – You might have downloaded the wrong form as I don’t see those 2 sections on the official EX-01 form.

      • Marco January 12, 2020 at 4:41 pm - Reply
        • Derek January 12, 2020 at 4:45 pm - Reply

          The first one is the correct one. The second one (with the Annex sections) seems to be an old version of the form.

          • Marco January 12, 2020 at 4:48 pm

            Thank you , so much !!

      • Marco January 12, 2020 at 4:58 pm - Reply

        Thanks again !!
        And please, would you advise what to type on:—

        1) Hijos a cargo en edad de escolarizacion en España?
        I have 2 kids attending school in PERU, not España- So, I guess thats a “NO” ?

        1) Direccion en España ?
        I read you advise just to type City and Province where we plan to live i Spain, right?

        2) Datos Presentador de la Solicitud ———– LEAVE BLANK

        Check INICIAL, thats it? nothing more?

        What about my 02 kids? Should I fill a form for each of them? Both to be checked as INICIAL (Item 4) as well?
        Is there any difference between my EX-01 and those from my kids? (btw my kids are 2 and 10 years old)

        I appreciate your help !!!


        • Derek January 13, 2020 at 9:42 pm - Reply

          Hey Marco – What I did is exactly what I wrote in the post. As for your kids, I don’t know as I didn’t apply with kids. I’m not a visa expert, just someone who explained how they got the visa 🙂

          • Marco January 17, 2020 at 11:32 am

            Thanks Derek!!
            I got my appointment for Janyary 20th !!! just around the corner…. 🙂

  31. Christopher Galla January 10, 2020 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Hey Derek – Friend of OttsWorld here – I know you don’t know the LA Consulate rules, but you mentioned you have talked with people that have dealt with every Consulate. LA now states – They need Tax Returns and no Loans/Mortgages. I assume tax returns is to see if there is interest paid on said loans/mortgages. I do have a mortgage, but also the funds to cover the mortgage above the $30K euro requirement. Anyone give you any in-site into that LA Consulate rule?
    I am also considering just coming to Spain and applying with in Spain. Do you know anyone that has done that?
    Mucho Gracias-

    • Derek January 10, 2020 at 2:59 pm - Reply

      Hey Christopher – Good to hear from you! As for your questions, first, you cannot apply for this visa inside of Spain. The only place you can apply is the consulate/embassy in your home country that has jurisdiction over your home state. That’s the only option unfortunately.

      As for the tax returns/loan thing, I honestly haven’t heard anyone else mention that. It wasn’t mentioned at all for my application so I’m not too sure. I’d imagine though that having a loan is okay if you can still prove that you have the funds above and beyond. That’s the main goal is to have that extra $30k available. If you can prove you do have it above the loan, that should work. But I’m not too familiar with that as it never came up with my application.

  32. Patty Lawrence January 5, 2020 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Since you wrote your letter of why and where you wanted to live in Spain yourself (without the help of a translator), did you get that notarized? You mentioned that but it was immediately after your comment about having it officially translated if you don’t or can’t write the letter yourself.

    Patty (Miami)

    • Derek January 5, 2020 at 1:06 pm - Reply

      Hey Patty – I did not get it officially translated or notarized. I was trying to cover the general rules for most consulates (from what I’ve gathered online and through others who have applied) as the rules seem to be flexible depending on which consulate you are applying at. But for me, I did not get that paper notarized. I was confident though that if they asked me, in Spanish, about what I wrote in the letter, I would be able to reply in Spanish so that’s why I didn’t get it notarized.

  33. Tellie Seford January 3, 2020 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    Excellent article! If I am looking to move to Spain in September, when should I realistically begin the application process with the Spain Consulate of Miami? (I am a Florida resident.) I’m very organized, but the timing of everything is what has me a little baffled.

    • Derek January 4, 2020 at 1:53 am - Reply

      Hey Tellie – Once you apply, it can take anywhere from 10 days to 6 weeks for the visa to be approved. You then need to enter Spain within 3 months of that approval date. So you should probably apply in late July / early August.

  34. Mike December 30, 2019 at 7:29 am - Reply

    From applying in person at Miami to getting Visa, how long was that?

    Ive read in Miami it can be a month but in Chicago two months?

    I am applying in Miami this month

    • Derek January 4, 2020 at 1:54 am - Reply

      Hey Mike – It took 10 days from when I applied until I was notified that my visa was ready. In general, they say it can take between 10 days – 6 weeks.

  35. Aykut December 29, 2019 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Hi Derek!
    We will be applying for this visa in Turkey as a family. How did you manage “Proof of accommodation”?
    Did you submit a rental lease contract?


    • Derek December 29, 2019 at 9:18 am - Reply

      You’ll need to check with the Spanish email in Turkey as they all seem to have different rules. The one I applied at allowed me to write a personal statement about why I wanted to live in Spain instead of showing proof of accommodation. But some embassies require an actual 6-12 month contract for a house or apartment in Spain.

  36. David Muir December 25, 2019 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    Hello again! We’ve gotten the quote back for the Mas Salud plan and while the coverage starts immediately, certain services including hospitalization have “qualification periods”. I read elsewhere in your comments that the consulate requires the coverage to go into effect immediately.

    Here is a PDF that lays out these qualification this consistent with the plan that you applied with?

    • Derek December 25, 2019 at 8:43 pm - Reply

      Hey David – I have the Sanitas Mas Salud plan as well and that was accepted.

  37. Jackson December 24, 2019 at 7:27 am - Reply

    Does having this visa impact your tax residency?

    From what I am reading I am seeing that if you are in Spain for greater than 6 months you will be taxed on your worldwide income and required to declare your international assets. There is a tax on dividends of 19%, and I’m reading about a Wealth tax also that can range up to 2.5%.

    How are you handling this?

    • Derek December 24, 2019 at 9:50 am - Reply

      Hey Jackson – Yes, that is correct, if you stay more than 6 months, you are liable for taxes. Most countries have a tax treaty with Spain so you simply need to figure that out and pay the proper amount to the proper countries accordingly.

  38. David Muir December 23, 2019 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for this extremely helpful write up! We’ve gotten a bunch of awesome tips from the article and the comments. Could you let us know the name of the service that you used to get the official translations as well as the one you used to expedite the apostle process? Thanks!

    • Derek December 23, 2019 at 8:22 pm - Reply

      Hey David – For the official translations, I didn’t need to use a service since you can order most of the official documents in Spanish from the Florida government. For the expedited apostille process, I used “South Florida Mobile Notary & Apostille Service” out of Hollywood, Florida.

  39. Patty Lawrence December 5, 2019 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    Hola Derek,
    Thanks for writing such a great page on the NL Visa process in Miami. The 12 months of bank statements is fairly new. Our good friends got their Visas in nine days just this past March from Miami and only needed 6 months. My question is, did you supply your entire statements or just the first page of each statement? The first page shows name, account balance, deposits, etc. I can’t imagine they would need every page. We have several regular checking/savings accounts, plus several investment accounts. Those statements are lengthy!

    We opted to go for the FBI background check, although after reading what you did, I wish we had gone the Florida State Dept like you did so we could have requested those in Spanish. Anyway, my second question is about the Apostille stamps. Do we get the appropriate documents first stamped and then translated, or vice versa?


    • Derek December 5, 2019 at 8:29 pm - Reply

      Hey Patty – I don’t think it’s new as much as the rules aren’t 100% strict. One of my friends applied last year and needed 12 months as well. I provided the main summary page for those 12 months, not every page of the statement.

      As for the Apostille stamp, once your FBI background check arrives, you’ll need to translate that into Spanish, get it notarized and then send off the English version to get the Apostille stamp from the state wherever the FBI background check came from (which won’t be Florida).

  40. Joseph December 4, 2019 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Hey there,

    This was so insightful. I wanted to ask you a question about finances. If I show I have 100,000 dollars in my account along with my Spanish bank account (I can only access 3 months) to show that I do not receive any money from work, will that suffice? I was told if you had enough money at once that it needed to be stamped by the bank and translated (maybe). I have already lived in Spain for a year on a student visa and am switching to this visa which required me to return. Any info or a guess even would be greatly appreciated!



    • Derek December 4, 2019 at 9:21 pm - Reply

      Hey Joseph – From my experience, I was told you need 12 months of bank statements no matter how much money you have but I didn’t need to translate the bank statements. However, every embassy and consulate has different rules it seems so it’s not set in stone. The rules can vary.

  41. Crix December 3, 2019 at 10:33 am - Reply

    Hello Derek

    Please can you help recommend a Spanish Based Insurance Firm for the insurance ??


    • Derek December 3, 2019 at 10:33 am - Reply

      Hey Crix – I went with Sanitas. They were great.

      • crix December 3, 2019 at 11:50 am - Reply

        Yes you did mention that somewhere in the comment section , but since you started living in Spain, have you diea of any other one ??
        Sanitas seems a little on a high side .

  42. allen December 3, 2019 at 10:05 am - Reply

    hi Derek

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Ask for help: 790-052 When filling out the form NIF / NIE How did you fill it out?

    • Derek December 3, 2019 at 10:33 am - Reply

      Hey Allen – Just leave it blank on that form.

      • allen December 3, 2019 at 10:46 am - Reply

        thank you

        Did you fill in the submission online? Is it OK to leave blank?

        Which one do you choose ?

  43. Matthew Mitchell November 30, 2019 at 7:55 am - Reply

    Hola Derek encontré todo esto muy útil! Espero que te este yendo bien en España. Yo estoy en el proceso de aplicar para la visa no lucrativa con mi familia y quería preguntarte unas cosas. I have a pension from the VA and rental property income but this does not cover the total amount required for 3 family members. Can I supplement with savings? If yes should I have more than the required amount or will the minimum suffice? My other option is to rent my apartment but I would not be showing the increment in income for a year. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Gracias Derek

    • Derek November 30, 2019 at 8:20 am - Reply

      Hey Matthew – You can use any combination of passive income/savings to reach the amount required. No problem there.

  44. Elaine Sellent November 26, 2019 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    We live in Florida. My husband is American & I have dual nationality- British & USA. Will the NLV be different fir us? Also we have a home to sell, of course not before we are accepted, but you have to travel within 90 days, how can you do this.

    • Derek November 27, 2019 at 3:27 am - Reply

      Hey Elaine – If you’re applying on your US passport, you would both have the same rules to follow. But yes, once you receive the confirmation email that your visa has been approved, you have 90 days from that day to enter Spain or else you lose the visa.

      • Elaine November 27, 2019 at 10:03 am - Reply

        If we enter within 90 days, can we come back to US to sell home? What if I apply on my UK passport?

        • Derek November 27, 2019 at 10:07 am - Reply

          Once you enter Spain, you then have 30 days from the day you enter to apply for your TIE residency card in Spain. Depending on where you live in Spain, whether it’s busy season (in which case the wait for appointments for the things you need to get for the card application can be a few weeks) and so on, it will take about 2-4 weeks to apply for the card. Once that’s done, you can come back to the US for sure.

  45. Crix November 25, 2019 at 6:32 am - Reply

    Thanks a million Derek you are a rose in the winter .

    On the other hand can you please confirm if the Bank Statement should be for 6 months or 1 year .

    Again can you confirm if the Insurance policy should be for 1 year or a couple of months .

    Thanking you .

    • Derek November 25, 2019 at 11:32 am - Reply

      Hey Crix – I needed 12 months of bank statements and you definitely need 1 year of Spanish private health insurance, paid in advance. You need to bring the proof of your policy and of the payment for the insurance.

      • Crix November 25, 2019 at 6:33 pm - Reply

        Tanx a million Derek.

  46. Brandy November 22, 2019 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek we live in GA and will be applying for a NL visa in Miami. The question I have has to do with the background check. We are getting an FBI background check and I’m wondering if it has to be Apostilled or does it count as an official doc? Obviously we will have it translated into Spanish. Thanks in advance.

    • Derek November 23, 2019 at 2:52 am - Reply

      Hey Brandy – From what I know, yes, it still needs to be Apostilled. It would need to be Apostilled from the state where it is issued so wherever the FBI background check comes from, that’s the state you’ll then need to send it back to in order to get Apostilled.

  47. Crix November 21, 2019 at 7:38 am - Reply

    Hello Derek can you please confirm if the Bank account statement must be translated ???

    • Derek November 21, 2019 at 2:43 pm - Reply

      Hey Crix – I did not need to translate the bank statements.

  48. Abbas November 17, 2019 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    Dear Derek,

    Thanks for information , please advice can I travel with or inter Uk with this residency’s as my passport from Non-EEA countries..

    Many thanks

    • Derek November 17, 2019 at 6:44 pm - Reply

      Hey Abbas – This visa is only for Spain and does not give you any benefits for traveling or living in other parts of Europe.

  49. Alejandra November 12, 2019 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    Hey Derek,
    Thank you for taking the time to do this. So helpful! I am in the process of getting all my paperwork ready and I have a question regarding the invitation letter. Do you know if the invitation letter from a family member can just be a simple letter notarized, or is it something that needs to be obtained from the police station? I was trying to figure this out online but it seems that, that requirement is only for short-term visas.

    Thank you!


    • Derek November 12, 2019 at 3:20 pm - Reply

      Hey Alejandra – From what I know, the letter is not an invitation letter. You need a letter stating how you are related and that the person will be providing you with accommodation at their house/apartment. The person writing the letter needs to have it notarized and you need copies of the Spanish ID of you relative (the person who wrote the letter) and possibly proof of their address as well.

  50. LD November 9, 2019 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek,
    Regarding the “Proof of Financial Resources”, the Spain official said there needs 2151.36+537.84=2689.2€/month for 2 applicants, does it mean that I need 2689.2 x 12months x 5years =161352€ for 5 years staying until I got the permanent ID of Spain?
    If I have bank saving which more than 161352€, is it available as the Proof of Financial Resources?
    Thanks and looking forward for your reply.

    • Derek November 10, 2019 at 3:42 am - Reply

      Hey LD – The residency is only for 1 year so you need to show proof of 2689 Euros x 12 months. When it comes time to renew the visa after one year, you will need to show proof of that amount again. This visa does not guarantee permanent residency. You will need to get the 1 year first, then renew a couple of times and then, if all goes well, you can apply for permanent residency (which has a different set of rules to follow).

  51. Mike November 6, 2019 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Great info application being prepared

    With regards to noterizing accommodation letter was this done same time as back ground check or by a standard notary I will write in Spanish. Advice greatly appreciated

    • Derek November 7, 2019 at 3:48 am - Reply

      Hey Mike – You can notarize the documents any time you as long as it’s done within 3 months of your appointment date I believe. The government office that provides the apostille stamp for your background check will not notarize other documents. You need to go to a regular notary to have the other documents notarized.

  52. Julie November 6, 2019 at 10:08 am - Reply

    Hi Derek,

    Thank you for all this fantastic info! Question about health insurance. Does that policy have to be in effect for your visa appointment date? or can it reflect your expected arrival data? I ask because I got a quote from Sanitas and it’s going to be $250/month. We have our visa appointment January 1, but won’t arrive in Spain until March 1. I don’t want to waste two months of insurance.


    • Derek November 6, 2019 at 10:20 am - Reply

      Hey Julie – From what I know, it can reflect your expected arrival date. It does not have to start before that. But I would check again with the insurance as that seems high. I paid about $80 per month.

  53. Angela N Alvarenga November 5, 2019 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek Thanks for all the great information! I have a question about the health insurance do you have to bring proof of payment of the whole year of insurance or can you just bring proof of the first month paid for? Our family is also choosing Sanitas I was just wondering if we should pay for the year upfront but also didn’t want to make such a big decision and not knowing if we have to.

    • Derek November 5, 2019 at 1:37 pm - Reply

      Hey Angela – From what I was told, for insurance, you need to pay for the entire year in advance in order for it to be accepted. And they did want proof of that when I went to the consulate.

      • Angela Alvarenga November 5, 2019 at 8:03 pm - Reply

        Thank you so much this has been Great Help

  54. Mutlu October 30, 2019 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    Hey Derek! Very nice of you sharing this whole application experience! Very neath! Thank you 🙂 And happy for you that you got the visa! 🙂

    So when you say ” 25816.32 EUROS in bank accounts” you think it is like all the savings including the one coming from the work wage which I would stop taking? Then, after showing the statement for that amount, would they still need to see the proof of 2151.36 EUR per month for future months?

    Thank youuuuuuu!

    • Derek October 30, 2019 at 6:07 pm - Reply

      Hey Mutlu – From what I learned, they don’t need to see proof of future income if you can show that you have 25816 Euros in your bank accounts.

      • Monica December 16, 2019 at 3:12 am - Reply

        Just to clarify, this is €25,816 in your bank account at the time of application?

        • Derek December 16, 2019 at 8:27 am - Reply

          Hey Monica – Yes, that is correct. But you need to provide bank statements for the previous 12 months as they want to make sure you didn’t just put that money in your account before you applied.

  55. Harry October 27, 2019 at 7:48 am - Reply

    Another question, Did the consulate insist in a copy of all pages in the passport? My passport is 100 pages, due to many visas

    • Derek October 27, 2019 at 11:38 am - Reply

      Yes, they do want to see the photocopies of all the pages of your passport.

      • Harry October 27, 2019 at 11:54 am - Reply

        Thank you

  56. Harry October 27, 2019 at 6:13 am - Reply

    Extremely helpful. Thanks for writing the above. Will probably have more questions, but one for now.

    Am I correct to understand that there is an option of leaving my passport or not leaving it and then having to return to get the visa placed in the passport?

  57. Nicole Leeper October 25, 2019 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek!

    Thank you so much for this information. So incredibly helpful!

    I own a house in Pego (south of Valencia) and I am going to apply for residency when I get back to Florida in January.

    Because I purchased a home in Spain, I already have an NIE. Is that something that I need to mention somewhere in the paperwork? I’m assuming it would be good to bring copies of that as well.

    Another question that I’ve been wondering about… If I leave the house for a couple of months during the year of residency, am I able to legally rent my home out through something like Airbnb, or does that count as employment of some sort and disqualify me for the non-lucrative part?

    Last question. I’m going to be in Spain for the holidays, just a few weeks before applying for residency. I’m guessing it won’t affect when I can reenter, but thought I’d ask. Do I have to wait 90 days, or is it entirely separate from other visits?

    I owe you some sangria or something when I get to Spain! Seriously, this is so helpful!



    • Derek October 26, 2019 at 5:00 pm - Reply

      Hey Nicole – Thank for reading! To be honest though, I don’t know the answers to your questions as I wasn’t in that same situation. I’m not sure the rules for renting out a house on Airbnb. But going to Spain a few weeks before you apply for residency certainly won’t affect when you can re-enter. Once you get residency, that visa allows you to enter regardless of your time in the Schengen zone up until that point.

  58. Angela Alvarenga October 25, 2019 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Great Article My Husband Daughter and I are applying in Miami. Maybe you can Answer this Question for me Do the Apostille Certifications need to be translated in Spanish also? we have quite a few since is one for each Marriage Certificate, Birth Certificates and Background Checks I know the actual documents need to be translated in Spanish but was wondering if the Apostille also needs to be? Thank you

    • Derek October 26, 2019 at 4:58 pm - Reply

      Hey Angela – From my experience, the Apostille does not need to be translated. It simply needs to be attached to the Spanish version of the certificate that it is authenticating.

      • Angela October 28, 2019 at 3:43 pm - Reply

        Thank you so Much!!

  59. Brooke October 19, 2019 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    Great article! This really helps. We will be applying at the San Francisco Consulate but don’t live anywhere near there. Do you know of any Proxy’s we can hire to go in our place, or have you heard of doing this at all? The Consulate’s website says this is acceptable if you don’t live in the same city.

    • Derek October 19, 2019 at 4:01 pm - Reply

      Hey Brooke – I’m not too sure about that. I know that the Miami one doesn’t allow that and from what I read, most consulates don’t allow it so I’m not too sure how to find someone to do that for you. I don’t know if there are any agencies that are familiar enough with this visa to not only help but ensure that everything is in order.

  60. Bryan October 18, 2019 at 11:26 am - Reply

    Thanks for this post Derek. I live in Orlando and will be going to the Miami Miami Consulate in February to begin this process. Hopefully it is as smooth as yours.

    Your process was fairly quick. Did they ask you any questions or just review your paperwork to make sure it was intact?

    I guess my concern is that I will have the funds for the year come November planning to apply in February so I’d only have 3-4 bank statements at that time with those funds. Not sure if they will look down on that since the funds will be “fresh” in my account. I wanted to know if in Miami, they asked any questions in particular to the financial requirement.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Derek October 18, 2019 at 1:21 pm - Reply

      Hey Bryan – From my understanding, the way it works is this…when you drop off all the paperwork, the job of the staff at the consulate is to make sure you have all the correct paperwork. They don’t really assess anything at that point. Once everything is submitted, the consulate makes the decision after thoroughly reviewing your paperwork and application. So there really isn’t any way to know how they will view your funds. I do know that you need to submit 12 months of bank statements so you will still need to include those other 8-9 statements. I’m not sure how that might affect your application though and you’ll simply find out once they give you a decision a few weeks after you apply.

      • Bryan October 18, 2019 at 4:06 pm - Reply

        That makes total sense. I guess its just a hurry up and wait situation. I appreciate your reply. Thank you!

  61. Nadia October 16, 2019 at 5:49 am - Reply

    HI Derek, thank you for the info. I actually got my non lucrative visa, but have to delay my move due to work commitments.

    If you finalized the process, can you kindly advise me: how long does it take to get the residency card once you arrive and apply? and do i have to get my own address/rented place or is it enough to have a friend’s address until i find my own place?

    Also, the date of the one year visa starts from the date you get your card or the the date of the stampeded visa on the passport?

    And if I apply to move to a certain city, would it be a problem to move to another city?

    And finally, if i have to travel before receiving my card, to both Europe and out of Europe, would that be possible?

    Would highly appreciate your answers,


    • Derek October 16, 2019 at 6:10 am - Reply

      Hey Nadia – I actually just wrote a post about the residency card here:

      But in general, you can use your friend’s place but you still need to get the official certificado de empadronamiento. This will require an official form that your friend needs to fill out stating that you are living with her long-term. And then your friend will probably need to join you at the appointment for the certificado in order to prove that she is the legal resident at her address. Once you have this certificado (which you get from the City Hall), you can then apply for the residency card. And then it takes 1 month to get the residency card after you successfully apply.

      The date of the visa technically starts the day you receive the visa from the consulate/embassy in your home country. But the residency card starts the day you arrive in Spain (even if you apply for the card later). But I’m not sure which one is the official start date actually.

      No, it’s not a problem if you move while here but you need to establish residency somewhere first in order to get the card.

      Yes, you can travel before receiving your card, that’s no problem. I’m going to Morocco tomorrow for 2 weeks and will pick up my card when I get back.

  62. Brent October 14, 2019 at 11:35 pm - Reply

    Fantastic post. We are applying for a NL in Miami when we get back from Kuala Lumpur in December. Happy to see your process went smoothly. How are you finding Valencia thus far? We will be moving there as well – looking into the Mestalla area close to the Turia. 🙂

    • Derek October 15, 2019 at 3:05 am - Reply

      Hey Brent – Good luck with the process! Valencia has been great so far. I’m more of a beach guy so I’m living closer to the sea but it’s hard to find a bad neighborhood to live in here as the entire city is so accessible. Let me know when you get here!

  63. Nidal Aldabbas October 12, 2019 at 6:41 am - Reply

    Thanks for the very helpful and valuable information and if I may ask you some questions:

    1-Is it required that the family or person who gets the non lucrative visa to live in spain. Can he use the visa to spend his summer vacation in spain.
    2-If I have relatives living in spain can I use their address as my Address in Spain.
    3-IF i have an medical insurance plan in my country Do I still have to buy the spanish medical plan.

    I really appreciate if you can help me on the above


    Nidal Al Dabbas

    • Derek October 12, 2019 at 6:50 am - Reply

      Hello Nidal – Here are the answers…

      1. If you get the visa, you need to spend at least 6 months in Spain during the year you have the visa.
      2. Yes, you can use their address but you still need to have them write an official letter, get it notarized and you need proof of their IDs as well. Each consulate has different rules for this but you just need to follow the instructions for these situations.
      3. Yes, you need Spanish medical insurance. They do not accept any medical insurance from outside of Spain.

      Hope that helps!

  64. Rodrigo October 1, 2019 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    Thanks Derek, this is the best summary I’ve found anywhere.

    I have an appointment in a week and I’m finalizing the paperwork. I have a couple of questions: can you use bank statements printed from the website, and do they have to be translated? I’m traveling with my family, do I need to present a marriage certificate and a birth certificate for my child? does it need to be apostilled? The last one. Do I need to present a US tax return? Sorry about all the questions., and thanks for all good information.

    • Derek October 2, 2019 at 1:57 am - Reply

      Hey Rodrigo – You can use bank statements printed from the website. That’s exactly what I did. And you don’t need to translate these.

      If you’re traveling with your wife and she is not from the EU, she needs to apply for the visa as well. You need the marriage certificate but you also need her application, background check (with apostille), medical certificate, Spanish health insurance and so. You cannot add a spouse automatically without her applying for the visa too.

      I didn’t need to present a tax return. Doesn’t seem to be a requirement but definitely make sure you bring one year of bank statements as they do want them for that long.

  65. Shelby September 24, 2019 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek, thank you so much for such a helpful and concise blog post! Regarding “officially translating” documents, did you use one of the certified translators listed by some of the Spanish consulates? I’m reading conflicting information about who can actually translate documents, and the DC Consulate website has little to no information compared to the others. Thanks for your help!

    • Derek September 25, 2019 at 2:47 am - Reply

      Hey Shelby – I actually didn’t need to translate my documents. Since my address is in Florida, I was able to get my background check and notarizations in Spanish automatically as the government provides that service. For the medical certification, if you follow the link above, it is in both English and Spanish and you can have your doctor sign that. The health insurance company will provide you with your required letter and details in Spanish (since they’re based in Spain). As for the personal declaration of why you want to live in Spain, I simply wrote it in English and Spanish myself.

      • Shelby September 25, 2019 at 10:58 am - Reply

        Ah you certainly are a lucky duck! If only more states were more progressive. Regarding the medical cert, you said you printed it and brought it to your doctor? So it wasn’t on the Doctors letterhead? We did the same thing, but now we’re reading that it has to be on letterhead and ours is not. Wondering if we’ll have to go back again.

        • Derek September 25, 2019 at 11:04 am - Reply

          I printed out the medical certification, brought it to my doctor, they made a photocopy onto their official letterhead and then we all signed it. From what I know, it does need the letterhead of your doctor and the doctor’s official stamp too.

  66. Army @ ClimberMonkeysAbroad September 23, 2019 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    Wow – this is the most informative, concise, and well-written post I’ve read thus far about this topic! My husband and I love Spain (it has amazing rock climbing!) THANK YOU so much!

    Do you know if the Schengen rule still applies (for countries other than Spain obviously) once you receive this non-luc. 1year visa? 🙂

    • Derek September 24, 2019 at 3:02 am - Reply

      Thanks for commenting! For the Spain visa, the only benefit for the Schengen zone is that the time you spend in Spain does not count towards the 180 days you can stay in the Schengen area. But you still can only spend 180 days in the rest of the Schengen zone.

  67. Jody Edmunds September 13, 2019 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Hi Derek, I’m going through the same process but from the UK. (I’m an American with a long term residency permit in the UK). The consulate I have to go to and deal with is in Edinburgh and they have been far from helpful. When I submitted my paperwork, they gave me a receipt so that I could track the progress online. Did you have access to that as well? The reason I ask, is I’m a bit worried that they have filled out the wrong form for me even though I too filled out the national visa application. When I check online, there is a PDF of my ‘application’ that the consulate typed in based on my application that I turned in. The application does not say National Visa (Visado Nacional) but instead says Schengen Visa (solidited de visado schengen). It does not seem correct to me! Most of the 3rd country nationals that they deal with are probably applying for a Schengen Visa, but as an American, you don’t need one. I am so worried that it will only be a schengen visa and when I show up to get my residency permit in Spain they’ll tell me it is wrong and to go back and get what I need. So, I’m trying to correct it before they issue it to me! Thoughts?

    • Derek September 13, 2019 at 11:46 am - Reply

      Hey Jody – I saw something about tracking the progress online but I never checked since they told me that I would hear from them via email. So I just waited for the email. You could always call the consulate and explain what you see online and double check that it is correct. That’s really the only thing you can do – confirm it with them.

  68. Julissa September 9, 2019 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek, do you have any insight on if a non-lucrative visa would be possible for someone who works remotely for a US company? It wouldn’t “technically” be working in Spain, but I’ve heard some consulates have denied these, wondering if Miami would be the same. Thanks so much for the awesome article!

    • Derek September 9, 2019 at 7:56 pm - Reply

      Hey Julissa – That’s the big question that doesn’t seem to have a clear answer. I can’t speak for the Miami consulate but I’ve also heard that some people in your situation have been denied and some have been approved. Sorry I couldn’t be of more assistance.

  69. Matthew September 2, 2019 at 10:11 am - Reply

    Hey Derek, awesome news about the VISA and also can’t believe it was approved so quickly, nice!

    If you are up for it once you’re done and settled there, would you mind posting an article about your experience of getting your residency card once there? I hear you have 30 days after landing to get that all sorted out…

    I applied for my non lucrative just over a week ago so I’m holding thumbs now.

    One other thing, did you get your NIE issued with your non lucrative?

    All the best!

    • Derek September 2, 2019 at 4:26 pm - Reply

      Hey Matthew – Absolutely! I’ll be writing a post about that as soon as I’ve completed the process. My appointment is not for another 3 weeks but if all goes well, I’ll write it soon after.

      And yes, the NIE is actually printed on my visa in my passport.

      Good luck and hope you get the visa quickly too!

  70. Jim August 29, 2019 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek:

    Congrats! I envy you for being able to go through Miami. We need to go through LA and they are a LOT stricter (but not as bad as Houston!). I’m kind of dreading the LA process as you have to make an appointment online – and ONLY online – but there’s seems to be a persistent lack of appointments available. Wish I could move to Florida for a few months and take up residency!! 🙂 Still, were planning on moving to Valencia next June/July.

    • Derek August 30, 2019 at 6:50 am - Reply

      Hey Jim – Good luck over there with the process! Let me know how it goes. And yes, I have heard the same about the LA consulate being much stricter for some reason. Still worth it though!

  71. Barbie August 22, 2019 at 8:11 am - Reply

    Hi… my husband and I just turned in our application for a “residence retiree visa” I think it’s the same as a non lucrative visa. We live in Florida and are waiting to hear back. We spent a long time getting the paper work together and were fortunate to have gotten it all correct the first time. We processed the paper work a week ago in Miami. They did not tell us how long it would take and just said they’d keep us updated by email.
    Have you received your visa yet? And if so, how long did it take you to get it?
    Another thing I would like to share is we were originally going to get our health insurance with Sanitas until someone who already was living in Spain said to read the policy carefully as parts of their coverage( hospitalization) is not covered for 10 months on the policy.
    Be sure to read any policy carefully so your not taken by surprise if you need medical help.
    Love to here back from anyone as to how long a waiting time they had in receiving their visa from Florida. Thanks , Barbie

    • Derek August 22, 2019 at 4:07 pm - Reply

      Hey Barbie – I received an email 10 days after I applied telling me the visa was ready. I’m heading to Florida in a few days to pick it up. As for the insurance, that’s strange because you can’t apply for the visa unless you have insurance that covers hospitalization during the entire year. I know that my policy from Sanitas definitely covers it as it’s a full requirement of the visa. I attached the detailed coverage to my visa application and they said it had everything I needed.

  72. Markus August 16, 2019 at 3:45 am - Reply

    Can’t thank you enough for sharing your experience…will be of great help.

  73. Simon August 14, 2019 at 5:44 am - Reply

    Congratulations! Derek.
    You shared an amazing idea…very informational.

  74. Agatha Nolen August 12, 2019 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for the helpful and detailed information! I’m walking my first Camino from Madrid in October and will be wondering what happens next as I hear everyone falls in love with the people and countryside. I appreciate you taking the time to document all this to help us.

  75. Kim August 12, 2019 at 7:51 am - Reply

    Derek: thanks so much for sharing. Great information and residency in Spain is my goal!

  76. Diego August 2, 2019 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    Hey Derek,

    Great info on this post and super helpful. One question that I’m having trouble finding an answer to: in terms of your residence in the US, do they always check your driver’s license as part of the process? I’m currently traveling abroad and my driver’s license is from a different state than my mailing address so I’m wondering how that will play at the Spanish consulate when I go to drop off my documentation. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Derek August 2, 2019 at 5:13 pm - Reply

      Hey Diego – I honestly don’t know 100% but I do know that they wanted to see my driver’s license in order to confirm my address. You could always email the consulate as well and ask. I can’t speak for all of them but the Miami consulate was very quick to respond to any emails.

  77. Eduardo July 31, 2019 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    So, did you buy your flight ticket to Spain before the interview? how did you calculate when to travel if you didn’t know how long the process would take?

    • Derek August 1, 2019 at 8:58 am - Reply

      Hey Eduardo – I didn’t buy my flight ticket to Spain yet. You have to choose a date that you plan to enter Spain and generally, it should be 2-3 months in the future. But once the visa is ready, you have 90 days to enter Spain. So if the visa is ready before the date you entered, you can head to Spain early.

  78. David July 31, 2019 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    Hey Earl,
    Congratulations on your application. My wife and I have been looking at Italy or Spain for the last 5 years and it’s time to get on with it. It should be fairly straightforward for us, we appreciate the extra boost you’ve given us.
    Simply being able to fill in a department or town makes things a lot easier.
    Thank you again and have a great time in Spain!

    • Derek August 1, 2019 at 8:59 am - Reply

      Hey David – Glad it gave you the boost and I wish you all the best with your own application!

  79. Sara July 31, 2019 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Wow, congrats! Not gonna work with Houston consulate as they require proof of a lease for a year..or they did when I got mine in 2016.

    • Derek July 31, 2019 at 4:53 pm - Reply

      Hey Sara – From what I’ve heard, that’s no longer needed at most consulates. I’ve talked to people who’ve applied at pretty much every consulate in the US and a letter explaining why they want to move to a particular city in Spain seems to have been sufficient. Certainly makes more sense than having to provide proof of a lease!

  80. Maria July 30, 2019 at 11:12 am - Reply

    How exciting! I was wondering how this affects the limitations of Americans to travel within Schengen region? You’ll be carrying an American passport, so what saves you from the restrictions of only being in Schengen region for 90 our of 180 days….without your Spain days counting? Or, even flying between EU zones? Do you stand in the ‘Citizen’ immigration line or the ‘tourist’ immigration line? This visa is great and simple if you only intend to stay in Spain, but can you expand on the ramifications or benefits outside Spain’s borders? Thanks.

    • Derek July 31, 2019 at 4:57 pm - Reply

      Hey Maria – The visa doesn’t really help with the Schengen area apart from having your days in Spain not being counted towards the 90 days.

      As for which line you stand in when entering Spain, to be honest, I’m not sure. But I’ll guess that it’s still the line for non-EU citizens (if you have a passport from outside the EU) and then you would hand over the residency card when at the desk. In the end, the visa is indeed designed for those who want to spend more time in Spain. It’s not designed to help foreigners spend more time in the Schengen zone. For that, you would need to look at other visa options if you simply wanted to stay in the Schengen zone for more than 90 days.

      • Maria August 12, 2019 at 7:47 am - Reply

        Thanks Derek. I was thinking more about what the impact would be for those who do get the Spanish visa but want to pop up to France or Germany for a few days. If Spanish dates don’t count, then that is advantageous. Thanks for clarifying.

  81. Christine July 29, 2019 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Earl – thank you thank you thank you. I have been procrastinating on getting a Visa forever. Both my husband, I and little dog are ready and your post came at just the right time. Thank you Earl!!!!

    • Derek July 29, 2019 at 3:48 pm - Reply

      Hey Christine – My pleasure and let me know if any questions arise as you begin the process!

  82. Robert Rogina July 29, 2019 at 9:50 am - Reply

    Earl – you wrote – “Sanitas and ended up paying about 70 Euros per month” – instead of me asking what does it cover, Ill ask, what to your knowledge does it not cover?. We are both in very good health ” no issues” no meds at all.

    • Derek July 29, 2019 at 3:47 pm - Reply

      Hey Robert – It’s quite comprehensive actually. If you go to the Sanitas websit, it’s the “Mas Salud” plan. In your case, you should be covered for pretty much anything that might happen as you’ll see.

  83. Kelly July 28, 2019 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    I’ve been looking at this Visa for sometime –this breakdown was so extremely helpful! Thanks for sharing your experiance; figure it’s time to start procrastinating. 🙂

    • Derek July 29, 2019 at 3:46 pm - Reply

      Sure thing Kelly! Good luck with applying and definitely time to make it happen!

Leave A Comment