Spain Visa Requirements & Residency Options

Over the past few years, there have been many Americans moving to Spain.  We will share with you information for Spain visa requirements and residency options available to you depending on your scenario.

Spain Visa Requirements & Residency Options. We review various Spain visa requirements and options for you to live in Spain and sometimes work in Spain too. Read more on

Visiting Spain

For US citizens, the tourist visa (maximum 90 days out of each 180) is automatic upon entry to a country within the Schengen area.  So you don’t need to apply for a special visa to visit Spain from the USA for 90 days or less.  Spain is part of the Schengen agreement.  Some people refer to it as a Spain Schengen visa, but that isn’t really accurate. 

The Schengen visa is…..
90 days in / 90 days out and then do it again.  Basically, you will move every few months.  You can think of it as seasonal living.  Why not try the option to come each Spring and Fall to catch the seasons avoiding the coldest of winter and the hottest of the summer.  You will not be allowed to work with this scenario. 

Schengen visa requirements for US citizens

You must have a valid passport for at least three months following the projected exit from the territory of the Members States (Schengen Area).  The passport must have been issued within the last ten years. 

map of schengen area 2020

Spain immigration

If you are looking to actually move to Spain for a year or more, then we are looking at various Spanish residency options.  It will all depend on your circumstances and what you want to accomplish.  

Spain Visa / Spanish Residency

Spain has various types of visas and residency.  It all depends on how long you are planning to stay in Spain and what you plan to do there.  Do you plan to work, study, retire and will you be in Spain for a few months, a year, or long-term?  We will cover some of the most common Spain visas for you.   

Spain has various types of visas and residency.  It all depends on how long you are planning to stay in Spain and what you plan to do there.  Do you plan to work, study, retire and will you be in Spain for a few months, a year or long-term?  We will cover some of the most common Spain visas for you. Read more on

Spain Retirement Visa / Non-Lucrative Visa Spain

This is a long stay temporary visa and it is what we used to move to Spain.  It allows you to apply for [temporary] residency, which then is renewed every 1 or 2 years.  When you reach the 5-year mark, you would apply for the long duration or [permanent] residency, but you need to state you have not been out of Spain for more than 10 months in total over your first 5 years. 

The difference between a retiree vs a non-retiree would be how you show your proof of income.  For the standard non-lucrative visa, you would show a lump sum of money that meets the requirements.  For the retirement non-lucrative visa, you would instead show a monthly pension or income meeting the requirements, as opposed to a lump sum of money. 

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

The entire Spain visa process for retirement or non-lucrative is detailed out in our guide book.  Everything you need to know with timing, background checks, finances, health insurance, and more are included.  You will not be allowed to work in Spain with this scenario. 

Golden visa for Spain

Spain launched the Golden Visa program in 2013.  By investing in one of a number of different options (of varying euro amounts) for a minimum of 5 years, Spanish residency will be granted.  As with the Non-Lucrative and Retirement Visas, the Golden Visa allows the holder to travel freely throughout all of the Schengen member countries.  You will be able to work right away and you don’t have set time limits to be in or out of the country.  Read more about the Golden visa for Spain residency.

The Golden Visa Spain, provides you with fast and easy access to residency in Spain! Visa details, including the option of buying a property in Spain. Read more on

Digital Nomad Visa Spain

Finally the digital nomad visa Spain in 2023! This option will allow foreigners to work remotely in Spain, with some tax breaks too. Even dependent family members should be able to come along.

Finally the digital nomad visa Spain is on the way! This option will allow foreigners to work remotely in Spain, with some tax breaks too. Read more on

Spain student visa

Foreigners wishing to study in Spain to study must request the appropriate visa.  This is also true to carry out research, training, unpaid internship activities, participate in student exchanges, or perform volunteer services.  We have a couple of posts about studying in Spain as well as options for universities in Europe.

For further information, you may visit the ministry website to see the various student visa options. 

There are many colleges in Europe for Americans! Have an experience of a lifetime, with diversity, culture and a degree, study abroad! topics: - Americans going to college in Europe - Universities in Europe for International Students - Tuition Costs - Scholarships - When to Apply for European Universities & Residency - Erasmus+ Program - Countries in Europe that speak English - Study Abroad Programs - Student Visas and Residency - Cost of living Calculators.  Read more on

Spain visa application forms

There are about 24 different Spain visa forms or request forms, depending on what you choose to solicit.  They may all be found on the Spanish ministry website, but you may not know what to do with them.  That is why our guides or consulting can help you out.

Travel in the Schengen Area with a resident visa

Foreigners holding a valid residence permit or a long-term visa issued by another Schengen State may travel through the other Schengen areas for a maximum of 90 days within any 180-day period.  You would need to be in possession of a valid passport or travel document and your residence permit.  

FIRE movement – Financial Independence Retire Early

We’ve noticed we keep receiving blog viewers from a website called  Mr. Money Mustache.  I thought it was odd, but people just kept coming.  So, I checked out the site and it seems we’ve been mentioned a couple of times in the chat forum, as a reference for moving to Spain.  How cool is that? 

Anyway, people kept mentioning FIRE in the conversation and said that the Wagoners weren’t FIRE, but they are good sources of info.  Of course, I then had to research what the heck FIRE meant!  I found out it was an acronym!  It stands for Financial Independence Retire Early and in a few places, it was listed as Financially Independent Retire Early.

So for the young at heart FIRE crowd, this all can apply to you too!  We totally agree with your approach and core values of a debt-free lifestyle, good savings rates, smart investing, cut unnecessary spending, and quality of life over money and things.  No, we aren’t FIRE, but we think that way. 

To us, retirement or retiring early doesn’t necessarily mean never working a day in your life again.  We make the interpretation that you are set free from the hamster wheel of the typical 9-5 work schedule.  You allow yourself to think out of the box and work as you wish, with your passions, when you need to, or even for something social to do.  Kudos to you all. Just in case you decide to work remotely, check out the Spain digital nomad visa.

Mallorca Spain. FIRE movement - Financial Independence Retire Early spain visa options. Read more on

Spain Residency in relation to taxes

There is so much confusion about residency in Spain.  People often don’t understand if they are a Resident, Tax Resident, or Non-Tax Resident.  This is especially true for those citizens within the EU.  They may travel and reside in the EU countries freely and sometimes for the Non-EU citizens too.  Read our post on Spain residency.

Okay, that should get you started with researching your Spain visa requirements and options for residency.  Of course, we have several hundred blog posts all about Spain.  Feel free to dig into the blog a bit more and see how we can help you with your dream. 

Retire in Spain

We have been amazed over the years at how many of our readers are looking to retire in Spain.  I think it is great that our family of four has not only been an inspiration to other families, but also to people wanting to retire.  This includes families, singles and couples, so it is nice to know we have helped so many people. 

This is our master guide to retire in Spain. With tips and advice for your Spain visa, best places to live in Spain and more. Read more on

Live in Spain for a Year

Dreaming of something different?  Do you want to live in Spain for a year?  Perhaps a gap year in Spain is what you need?  Does this sound like you?

Family Gap Year In Spain - A gap year can now mean a family can travel or immerse in a new culture for a year.  It could mean your family can live a year in Spain!  It's just one year to take a break from your normal day to day life, to experience something completely different.  Try new foods, a new language, new routines, a different way of doing things.  It is the perfect way to give the gift of experience, culture and the world to your kids. Read more on

Options to live in Spain for 6 months

So you are thinking you want to retire and live in Spain for 6 months or spend the winter in Spain.  If you are an American citizen, there isn’t a visa to do exactly this, but you do have some options available. 

Live In Spain For 6 Months! If you want to live in Spain for 6 months, we provide you with options, information, and tips to make it work for you. Read more on

Moving to Spain services

If you are dreaming of moving to Spain, we can help. We allow you to build your own custom package or choose the services you want! You may bundle our eBooks with consulting, and add bespoke services for moves to the Costa Tropical.

Come on and tell us what you think!

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