Doesn’t a US citizen need a visa to live in Spain? (Spanish Resident Visa Process)
You bet! As of today, we are still waiting for our Spanish Resident Visas.
Yes, we can go to many countries for 90 days without a visa, but that just wasn’t long enough for us. We wanted to really immerse ourselves and live there for a while. Back in October of 2011, we began to research our visa options on all of the countries of interest to us.
Just FYI, this process is valid not only for US citizens, but for Non EU citizens. So, it is also valid if you are from Australia, Canada, and other countries as well.
We decided upon Spain as our top destination choice, we then began the laborious process of researching what needed to be done. Let’s just say, there isn’t a step by step guide-book out there for this. In fact, most information found isn’t geared towards someone from the United States. I stumbled upon a few expat forums and blogs, where “Americans” (US citizens) were trying to figure out the same thing. Each of these asked the question, but I couldn’t find any with the answers. How do we apply for a Spanish Resident Visa?
I then looked up the Spanish Consulate in the USA and found that there were several visa options published. Mind you none of which were an exact match for what we wanted or would be qualified for. I thought, well we could apply for the resident visa even though we don’t have “family roots” in Spain and see if they will accept us anyway. Eventually, I called the Spanish Consulate. I informed the gentleman of our plans and he suggested we apply for the “non-lucrative visa”. This of course wasn’t published on their website. If approved, this will give you a 1 yr residence in Spain, but you are not allowed to work. You can only dump money into the country and cannot take. Hey, this sounded perfect.
UPDATE September 2016
The process below remains the same, but as of 2014 once you submit your paperwork the actual approval process is much faster. It no longer takes 3 months, as they have gone digital! This means approval can be anywhere from 1-4 weeks rather than months. Great news, but be prepared and remember you have 90 days to enter Spain once you pick up your visa.
He emailed me the criteria and the application. I think we can do it. We met all of the requirements, just a short checklist of a few things:
Spanish Resident Visa – Non Lucrative Visa
(current info at the time of this writing, please refer to website for current info)
1. We will not accept incomplete applications. You must apply in person.
2. Passport valid for a minimum of 6 months. If you are not a US citizen you must show proof of legal residency in the US (Green Card or proper visa). B1/B2 holders do not qualify to apply for a visa in this Consulate Office.
3. 2 recent passport photos, passport size with white background.
4. Financial proof. This is the most important requirement for this type of visa. You must bring documents showing that you have enough money. For 1st person is 26,000 euros per year, each additional family member is 6,400 euro per year.
(so a family is roughly 45,000 euros per year) – either in bank accounts, savings or investments – to be able to live in Spain without earning money. If you are going as a dependent, you must bring a marriage certificate (spouse) and birth certificates (children). These documents need to be translated into Spanish and once translated they must have the Hague Apostille. Please contact the Secretary of State of the state you live in for further information.
5. Address in Spain – If you have already a place to live or a lease agreement, you should support your application with any documents you may have. If not, list the nearest city to your intended location.
6. Health Insurance. Proof of health insurance coverage while in Spain. We do not accept insurance cards. We need a letter from your insurance stating that you will be covered while travelling to Spain. Travel medical insurance with a minimum coverage of 30,000 Euros or its equivalent in US dollars.
7. Police Record. Certificate of good conduct issued by the police department of the city or cities in which the applicant has spent 6 months or more during the last year. This document needs to be translated into Spanish and once translated it must have the Hague Apostille.
8. Medical Certificate typed on doctors stationary verifying that the applicant is in good physical and mental health and free of any contagious illness. This document needs to be translated into Spanish and once translated it must have the Hague Apostille.
9. You must bring all original documents plus two photocopies of each.
10. The visa fee (Money Order or exact cash only):
This seemed simple enough and the process began. We will write more detail on the process in a later post.
Do you want to save hours of online research and going down the path of that paper chase? Would you like to be organized and impress the consulate with your application? Do you want to be sure you have everything on the check list complete and in the correct order?
If yes, you really need to buy our Live In Spain ebook. It will help you cut through the red tape and save you hours of time. Consulate members have been very impresses with hundreds of our clients.