With the UK outside the EU, British nationals no longer have the automatic right to live and work in Spain. This conversion into third-country citizens has heralded the arrival of compulsory visas, of which there are many. So, post-Brexit, which visa do you need to live in Spain?
In this blog post, we answer that question by looking at the main options open to British nationals buying a property with the view to making Spain their permanent home.
Visa through property purchase
We consider this visa type to be one of the most viable for British nationals to live in Spain because it ties in perfectly with a property purchase. Known as the ‘Golden Visa’, residence in the country is automatic when you buy real estate for at least €500,000 (not including a mortgage).
This visa allows you to live in Spain with a residence permit for two years initially, extendible to five, which allows you to apply for permanent residency in Spain. However, you don’t have to live in Spain – you merely visit the country at least once a year to fulfil the visa’s requirements. Your dependents also benefit from residency.
Discover our selection of properties suitable for this visa type
Visa through investment in Spain
This visa forms part of the Golden Visa category, although to qualify you must invest in Spanish enterprises or public debt.
For example, you can obtain this residence permit and live in Spain by investing in at least €1 million in a Spanish company or depositing at least €1 million in a Spanish financial entity. You can also qualify by purchasing a minimum of €2 million in Spanish public debt.
Visa through your own funds
If you want to live in Spain but not work or carry out any professional activity, you have the option of a non-lucrative visa. We have found that this is one of the easiest options for British nationals wanting to retire to Spain, providing, of course, that you have sufficient funds.
To qualify for this visa, you must prove that you have the funds to support yourself. For example, in 2022, the minimum amount was €2,316 a month (€27,793 a year). If your visa application includes dependents (e.g. your spouse or partner), you need to prove you have at least €6,948 a year per person.
If you’re thinking of taking business in Spain one step further, this visa could be for you. To qualify, you must present a business project you wish to invest in or set up in the country.
The project itself needs to meet some stringent criteria, including the requirement that it be of ‘general interest’ to the country. It should also have an innovative aspect to its activity or carry special economic interest to Spain. As you might expect, this visa also involves significant capital investment.
Other options for visas to live in Spain
As well as the visas described above, you may also want to look at these options. All apply if you plan to work in Spain.
This type of visa is for you if a Spanish-based company or business offers you a job in Spain. You can only apply for this visa if your future employer has received authorisation to give you the job.
If you’re thinking of setting up as a freelance professional or establishing a business in Spain, this visa could be an option.
To apply, you need to submit a detailed business plan, including information about the proposed premises (if applicable) and prove you have sufficient funds to support yourself while you live in Spain. These funds are separate from those required to set up your business.
Digital nomad visa
New for 2023 and part of Spain’s ambitious start-up legislation, this visa is for you if you work remotely, as an employee or freelance from Spain. You can work remotely for Spanish companies as long as they represent no more than 20% of your workload.
This visa comes with considerable fiscal advantages, including a reduced income tax rate of 15% for four years. Your dependents can also apply to live in Spain on your visa.
Additional visa requirements
Visa and residence permit applications inevitably involve extensive paperwork and Spain is no exception. In addition to fulfilling the requirements for a specific visa, you also generally need the following:
- Proof of private health insurance, valid in Spain and usually paid upfront for a year.
- Proof of no criminal record in the country/countries you have lived in during the five years before you plan to move to Spain.
- Proof of kinship, e.g. birth and marriage certificates, if your dependents are also applying to live in Spain.
Note that all documents not in Spanish must be translated officially (known as traducción jurada in Spanish). Documents issued by a non-EU state must also be legalised by consular representatives or carry the Hague Apostille.
In addition, we would advise using a professional specialising in immigration to assist you in your application. Guidance from an expert will ensure you submit the right documentation and the correct application and increase your chances of success. If you decide to go down this route, we can point you in the direction of competent professionals to help you.
Whatever visa option you choose to allow you to stay permanently in Spain, you’ll need a house to live in. This is where the Micasamo team comes in with their professional, efficient approach to buying property in Spain.