Live In Spain How to Apply for the Non Lucrative Visa

Do you want to live or retire in Spain?  If you are an American or Canadian, or even just an English speaking resident of a non-European Union (E.U.) country and want a long term visa in Spain, then Live In Spain is what you need. This is the book that will help turn that dream into a reality. If you're interested in applying for either a Retirement or Non-Lucrative Visa, you're going to want Live In Spain. Read more on

Do you want to live in Spain?  If so, then you have found the right place.  If you are an American moving to Spain, or even just an English speaking resident of a non-European Union country, then Live In Spain could be just what you need.  Is it your dream to retire in Spain?  Live In Spain is the book that will help turn that dream into a reality.  It mainly is calling out information for Americans. If you are from another country, it will vary slightly.

If you’re interested in applying for the non lucrative visa (NLV), you’re going to want Live In Spain.  This book provides the information and tools I wish we’d have had when we applied for non-lucrative visa.  It covers all aspects of the Spain visa requirements and process in a huge amount of detail.  At over 100 pages, it is an excellent guide to help you maximize your efforts in obtaining a Spanish Visa.

“The Non Lucrative Visa? I don’t know how to apply, or where to start.”

Many people think the only way you can gain residency in Spain is with Spanish heritage, an education, or work visa.  Those are also valid ways to become a Spanish resident, but with the Non-Lucrative / Retirement Visa, you can live in Spain without requiring Spanish heritage.

That’s where Live In Spain comes in.  There are many tasks necessary to get you to the point of applying for the visa.  This book will help you navigate the tangled web of requirements, and optimize the time you spend working towards the visa.

Bull-Sunrise“Why should I listen to you?”

That is an excellent question.  We have been through the process personally, and have been Americans living in Spain for years.  And we love it!  Live In Spain has helped hundreds of others succeed in obtaining their non lucrative visa Spain.  

When we first went through the process, we made plenty of mistakes gathering documents or not having complete information.  It didn’t help that the consulate’s instructions were not always as clear they could be.  Learn from our mistakes and what we’ve heard from others; avoid the common errors that are made when pursuing the Spanish visa.  We’ve been through the process, and can help cut out the red tape!

Living in Spain as an American has some adjustments and we share it all with you in the blog as well.  

“Don’t I have to be rich?”

No, you don’t.  There are many common misconceptions about what is needed to move to Spain.  We thought:

  • That you had to be a millionaire in order to live in Spain;
  • That it was necessary to have an international job in order to live in Spain;
  • We needed to be over 60 to retire and live in Spain;
  • We needed employment sponsorship to live in Spain;
  • We needed Spanish heritage to live in Spain;

We were wrong!  We found an uncommon visa called the Non Lucrative Visa.  It is essentially a no-work visa.  Under this visa, you are not allowed to obtain Spanish employment, but it does give you residency.

It’s pretty much the Spain Retirement Visa.  

What is the cost of living in Spain?

We documented the first 18 months of living in Spain as a family of four.  Our cost of living in Spain is a data point for you, as everyone has different spending habits.


“We loved Heidi and Alan’s book and found it a great resource for getting a resident visa in Spain.  Visa applications can be incredibly frustrating, but they managed to make the process much more straightforward.  The content was really well presented, clearly written, and helpful.  Highly recommended.”
Micki and Charles Kosman

“How much does the book cost?”

You’re probably asking, “How much does it cost?”  We’ll get there.  For 2019, the book has been significantly updated, and provides some seriously useful tools to aid in project management (this is a project after all), and time management.  To prove how useful Live In Spain will be to you, here are some questions you should ask yourself if you’re planning on applying for a Retirement / Non-Lucrative Visa:

  • Do you have a high-level understanding of the entire process?  It’s a lot of work, but if the goal is to live in Spain, you’ll want to know what you’re in for.  The Overview Of The Process chapter provides an excellent 30,000 foot level overview of the entire process.  From “Let’s do it!” to “Your Spanish visa has been approved!”, this book has you covered.
  • How many types of translation are there?  There are three, but there’s an important one that you’ll want to use.  Here’s an interesting nugget of information:  The consulates have different requirements for translation.  You’ll want to know exactly which kind your consulate requires.  Luckily they are described in the Translation of Documents chapter.
  • Do you know where to obtain the necessary forms?  There are a number of forms that you’ll need to download and fill out.  The Obtaining The Required Forms and Downloading The Spanish Forms chapters give you the necessary information to find and download the proper forms from your particular Spanish consulate.
  • Do you know what an Apostille is, where to get it, and which documents need it?  Basically, the Apostille is a type of document authentication.  It’s provided by your state/federal government, and it’s necessary for those documents supplied by state/federal agencies.  The details of the Apostille are described in the Apostille — Not The Candy chapter.  I tell you exactly how to find the proper state and federal agencies (hint: Secretary of State and Department of State), the proper forms to use, and some useful tips to help with inter-agency routing of your documents.
  • Do you have a projected timeline for the visa process?  I would be surprised if you did.  With so many variables outside of your control, it’s hard to know WHERE to begin (also WHEN).  This is where the Visa Timeline tool can help you put together a timeline so you can determine when certain tasks can be done/scheduled.

Be honest…Do you have answers to all of the above questions?  If not, you should, and that’s why Live In Spain is so helpful.  Still not convinced, let me give you some more reasons why having Live In Spain will be extremely helpful.

“Overall, this was a surprisingly comprehensive guide that includes lots of detail that would be difficult for someone to find online on their own.  And the resources at the back are like the cherry on the sundae.  So useful!”
Shawna N.


Spain Non Lucrative Visa Requirements Tools For The Application Process

There are so many tools to talk about.  Let’s talk about the new Consulate Requirements Matrix.  This will point out the normal requirements that your Consulate may have, and it also details those non-standard requirements as well.  All of these tools (and more) are at your disposal to download and use for your visa application process.  When you purchase Live In Spain, you’ll be given a link that includes not only the eBook, but a location where all of the tools, forms, and documents are available for download:



“Great job.  This is definitely a needed service.  Hopefully those that follow will buy it like hot cakes.”
– T.W.

The crown jewel of the Tools included with the purchase of Live In Spain is the Visa Requirements Checklist.  Read on for more information about this fantastic tool!

Do you find Spain visa requirements overwhelming?

We can help!  The Gathering What You Need chapter discusses those requirements, and provides you with specific guidance for each.  You will be tracking forms, documents, and other requirements, and you should have a system to help keep you organized.

What you need is the Visa Requirements Checklist!  What is it?  It is the tool to help you keep track of which documents you have, which ones you need, and the various states of those documents.  As I mention in the Live In Spain, having this tool would have made our application process so much easier and less stressful.

This invaluable tool is described in Appendix C.  Visa Requirements Checklist.  For 2019, I’ve updated it, and it’s available online.  It’s pretty slick!

“Just wanted to let you know we received our Non-lucrative Visas! … They were really nice to us.  I think they were surprised we were so prepared and organized… I went in w/a positive attitude, which helped me stay calm.  Thank-you so much for taking the time to write Live in Spain, it was a Big help.”
– Kathy B.

The Live In Spain eBook is packed full of useful, specific information including the Spain visa requirements and getting that Spanish residency!  The cost of applying for a visa is not cheap.  Now back to the question you asked at the beginning.  If I were to tell you that the cost is $99, you might say that that’s a bit pricey.  But let’s put this in perspective.  If you are planning on applying for a Spanish visa, there will be costs associated with gathering all of the documents, and submitting your application.

I’m going to bet though that it’s not the hard dollar cost that concerns you.  It’s the TIME!  “Time is money”, as the old saying goes, and you will be spending a lot of time in the preparation of your visa documents.  By purchasing Live In Spain, you will save yourself hours in managing your visa project, and you’ll walk into the consulate confident that you’ve got exactly what you need.  At $99, Live In Spain would be an incredible value given the amount of time you’ll save.  But Live In Spain isn’t $99 !

If you were to hire an attorney or company to assist in the visa process, you would probably spend upwards of $700, and and you would still have to gather all of the documentation yourself.  The Spain visa experts will charge anywhere from $75 – $200 per hour!  So at $99, Live In Spain would be a huge savings in cold, hard cash.  But Live In Spain isn’t $99. The price of Live In Spain is:


With the savings in time and money, Live In Spain represents a very small investment in furthering the pursuit of your goal of obtaining that visa, and living in Spain!

Buy Live In Spain Now!

** This book is intended to provide you with the tools you need to guide you through the non lucrative or retirement visa process in Spain. It doesn’t guarantee you will be approved and you must always check with your aligned consulate for the latest requirements and regulations.  We update this book about every 1-2 years, but requirements can often change all of the sudden and can be different per consulate.

For example: As of March 2022, some of the consulates are publishing this (confirmed at LA and Boston):
“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.”

Preparing for the move and Getting Settled in Spain

If you want to save some money and read all about our tips to prep you for the move.  This may include ATM fees, credit cards, money transfers and more.  In addition, all of the information you need to complete your residency upon arrival is included!  We have so much information to ease the transition and make Getting settled in Spain a bit easier.   

Cost of living in Spain

If you’re interested in the price of things in Spain, Heidi has written an excellent post which covers the cost of living In Spain.  We share all of the details with you on the costs of everyday things and what our expenses are.  This is all just data to help you determine what you might expect to spend.

We can help with your Move to Spain – Consulting Services

Due to popular demand, we also provide consulting services for those individuals who need an extra level of assistance.  We can discuss any aspect of moving to Spain, from starting the visa process to the steps necessary once you arrive in Spain.

We offer hourly consulting to help you with your relocation and we also offer move to Spain services.  Learn more about a family gap year in Spain! Try new foods, language, routines, & different way of doing things. Give the gift of experience, culture and the world to your kids.

Remember that you CAN make your travel dreams a reality!  We’re here to help you.

Live In Spain - Logo

Live In Spain – Apply for the Non Lucrative Visa, Cost of Living in Spain, Driving In Spain, Getting Settled in Spain, Residency/Visa Renewal, Education In Spain, Almuñécar Walking Guides

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. Privacy Policy

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.