If you’re looking for an excellent way to travel throughout Europe without having to worry about the Schengen Area visa restrictions, then obtaining the Non-Lucrative Visa from Spain is an excellent choice. If you are moving to Spain from the US, this will allow Spain to be your gateway to Europe.
Visa for Spain from USA
Some common misconceptions about moving to Spain are:
- It’s expensive;
- I have to be of retirement age in order to move to Spain;
The first one is easy. The short answer is that you can absolutely live in Spain on a reasonable budget. When we started, we were a family of four with a sweet tooth for travel, and we managed to live and travel on a budget of $3000 per month. Granted we greatly simplified our lives when we relocated from the U.S., but that was part of the plan. A simpler life for us was much more rewarding in the long run.
Let’s correct the second one. You don’t have to use the Retirement Visa in order to relocate to Spain. There’s another visa that’s meant for those who are not of retirement age, and it’s called the Non-Lucrative Visa. And this visa is just the ticket if you’re looking to make Spain your home.
What is the Non Lucrative Visa Spain?
It’s very similar to the Retirement Visa, but the big thing to remember is that as the name of the visa indicates, you’re not supposed to work while in Spain. There are a number of requirements that you have to meet in order to qualify for the visa, but it’s not that difficult.
We took the plunge 8 years ago, and it worked out great for us. What was meant to be a 12 or 18-month experience turned into 8 years!
What are the requirements?
There are several, and I’ll cover them at a high level just to give you an idea.
As mentioned earlier, you will not be allowed to work in Spain, so you’ll need to provide proof that you have enough money to fund your stay.
“So what’s the magic number you ask?” The primary applicant will need to show they possess roughly €28,800 (that’s about $34,560 at the time of writing). And that’s for the entire year! Secondary and other applicants (like kids or dependents) need to show €7,200 (approximately $8,640) per person.
These are approximate calculations for $USD, using $1.20 to 1 euro. They are to be used as a guide, you will need to see what the current exchange rates are.
Criminal Background Check
This is done through either a state or federal agency such as the FBI. It’s basically a check that you don’t have a criminal background.
Medical Certificate of good health
Spain wants to be sure that people coming to Spain are not infected with serious diseases. To that end, applicants are required to see a doctor and get a medical certificate that they are healthy and free from disease.
Proof of Medical Insurance
As Spain does not want applicants to be a drain on the national healthcare system, applicants need to provide proof that they have the proper medical insurance. This type of insurance is very easy to obtain and is very inexpensive compared to rates/premiums in the U.S.
Throw in a bunch of forms, some translation, Marriage Certificate, Birth Certificates (for children), Apostilles, and don’t forget the application fees (they’re reasonable), and that’s a good approximation of what’s needed to apply for the Non-Lucrative Visa. Oh, and you’ll also need to factor in the time it takes to fill-out said forms, and gather those documents. It’s not a difficult process.
How can Wagoners Abroad help me?
We can help by covering the entire application process for you. We have the Live In Spain ebook which details all aspects of obtaining either the Non-Lucrative or Retirement Visa.
The Getting Settled In Spain ebook covers aspects before and after you obtain your long-term visa. It’s a real money-saver, with tips on US credit cards or bank accounts to save on ATM fees or finance charges in Europe, as well as many other money saving tips!
The How to Budget & Estimate the Cost of Living In Spain ebook covers our best tips, tools, and advice all in one place regarding finances! It will help you think through the standard day-to-day costs of living in Spain and also have you take a look at your natural spending habits. How often do you eat out? Will you be eating like a local or buying exported foods? Do you want a California wine or a local Spanish wine? Of course, the list goes on. We of course share our expenses for the first 19 months in Spain, as one data point for you.