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Residency in Spain for Non EU Citizens

There are various routes to gain residency in Spain as a non European Union citizen. Since Brexit, citizens of the United Kingdom must also apply for Non EU Visas. There are short-term and long-term options available, and a residence card is usually valid for a minimum of one year.

There are multiple types of visas under the residency in Spain category, which can be very confusing. We know that some of you may qualify for several of the Residency Visas in Spain options depending on your work, family, or financial situations. Contact us today to chat with us about the right visa for you by calling (+44) 333 414 9244, or send us a message online.


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    What is a Residency Visa for Non EU Citizens?

    Residency Visas for non European Union citizens are visas that are specifically for those who are not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland.

    If you plan to work, live, study, invest, or reunite with family in Spain, that requires you to be there for longer than 90 days, you must apply for a residence permit. It is provided in the form of a residence card called the ‘tarjeta de residencia’, and it is considered your visa.

    In general, you will be gaining short term residency in Spain, and your visa will be valid for at least 1 year. To be eligible for permanent residence, generally you must live in Spain for five consecutive years.

    I Will Be in Spain for Less Than A Year. Do I Apply for a Short Stay Visa or Residency Visa?

    As a Non EU national, you have the right to visit and stay in Spain on a tourist visa (the Schengen Short Stay Visa) for 90 days within a 180 day timeframe. Single, double and multiple entry options are available.

    However, if you plan to live in the country for more than 90 days within the valid visa duration, a residence card must be applied for. You must do this within three months of being in Spain.

    You have the right to extend your stay whilst already in Spain and obtain a residence card called the “tarjeta de residencia”, and you can apply for this within the first month of arriving in Spain.

    How Much Do Non EU Residency Visas Cost?

    The standard processing fee for most applications is around €80 per applicant.

    However, fees may vary considerably according to your country of origin, which one of the residence visas you apply for, whether you will need legal support to apply, or if you need to appeal an application refusal. Canadians can expect to pay closer to €600 per application, and US citizens up to €300.

    Entrepreneur and Golden Visas may cost between €750-€9000 per applicant.

    Most non EU Residence Visas for Spain require you to prove that you have larger sums of money to support you during your time in the country.

    How Do I Apply for the Spanish Residency Permit as a Non EU Citizen?

    If you are in Spanish territory whilst applying for residency, you need to present yourself to the Spanish authorities at the national police station (Comisería National de Policía) or immigration office (Oficina de Extranjería).

    If you are abroad whilst applying for residency, you will need to apply through your closest Spanish embassy or consulate. If you do not have a Spanish embassy in your country of origin, you may be able to apply through another Schengen country’s embassy.

    Ready to live your dream in Spain? Apply now for your Non EU Citizen Residency Permit and make it a reality.

    What Documents Will I Need for the Application for Residence in Spain?

    For your application for residence, you will at least need the following documents. Please note each residence visa type is different and require further specific documentation than that listed below.

    • Your passport, valid for a minimum of 4 months, and at least one photocopy of the whole document
    • Three passport photos of you
    • Proof of financial stability
    • Proof of current address in Spain
    • A criminal background check spanning the past five years
    • A medical certificate confirming you do not have a disease that could endanger public health e.g. SARS
    • Medical insurance that covers the Schengen zone and covers a minimum of €30,000 worth of costs.

    You will not be offered a residence permit if you

    • Entered the country illegally, or
    • if you have committed a crime deemed criminal by Spain in any country that you have previously lived in.

    How Long Will the Application Process Take?

    It will vary according to the visa that you apply for, and could take anywhere from 15 days to 6 months or longer. Sometimes, the authorities will require further documentation or will call you in for an interview to clarify your circumstances, which could add additional weeks or months to the process.

    Make sure you apply with plenty of time to organise your move or so that your current visa doesn’t expire before you obtain your residence card.

    Which Type of Non EU Residence Visas for Spain Is Right for Me?

    There are multiple residence visa options available for citizens who are not from the EU.

    It can be confusing to figure out which Spanish Residence Visa is right for you, especially if you qualify for more than one option. Give us a call on (+44) 333 414 9244 or contact us online to discuss your options and visa eligibility, and we’ll help guide you towards the right application.

    Unlock the door to a new life in Spain! Apply for your Non EU Citizen Residency Permit today and start your adventure.

    Employed Work Spain Visa

    A Work Visa for Spain is available for those who are hired by a Spanish company to work in the country.

    Your job needs to be one that is listed as challenging to hire for within Spain and the EU. You can check this list here.

    If you are highly skilled with at least a Bachelor’s degree, or have at least five years of senior professional experience, the Work Visa may be valid for other EU countries as well, also known as the European Blue Card.

    In order to obtain a working visa, you must apply for it before you arrive in Spain and your employer is responsible for the first part of the process. Your Spanish employer must:

    • be tax and security compliant
    • be registered in the social security system
    • have sufficient financial proof that they can pay your salary for the duration of the visa period
    • prove that they have not been able to first fill your role with a Spanish or EU citizen, and are subsequently seeking to hire you as a result
    • prove your professional qualifications.

    You will need to sign a contract with your employer proving that you will be working for them for the duration of your visa validity period, and that your employment must be effective from the onset date of your residence permit. In addition to the list above, you will need to include this contract of employment with your application process.

    You have one month to apply for the Work Visa once the employer has begun the application process in Spain. You can apply at the embassy in your country of origin.

    You should receive a decision on the application within one month from the date of applying, but it could take longer if further documentation is required or if you are called in for an interview.

    Entrepreneur Visa

    The Entrepreneur Visa is for those who wish to invest or build a lucrative business in Spain.

    The Entrepreneur Visa allows you to reside in Spain for three consecutive years.

    Entrepreneur Visas are not easy to obtain as it involves dealing with the Ministry of Economy, who must approve your application. Spain is very selective about the entrepreneurial projects it allows to be initiated in the country by foreign citizens, therefore you will need a thorough business plan and be meticulous in your application.

    The terms that you must abide by in order to be considered for the Entrepreneur Visa are as follows:

    • your business must create new jobs
    • it should make a valuable contribution to technological and/or scientific innovations.
    • it must be inherently innovative and unusual
    • it must offer significant investment opportunities for the Spanish economy
    • you must prove yourself as the entrepreneur worthy of building a business in Spain, by including a profile about your experience in the related field and why you are a good fit for Spain
    • be able to prove significant financial means to sustain yourself and any other family member or dependent that joins you in Spain.

    You should receive a decision on the application within 10 – 45 days from the date of applying, but it could take longer. Remember, this is a hard Residence Visa to obtain, so there is a high chance that your application will be denied. Do not make any plans to reside in Spain unless you are approved.

    Golden (Investor) Visa

    The Golden Visa is for those who have made a significant financial investment into the Spanish economy in either property, shares in at least one Spanish company, or into Spanish sovereign debt.

    The Golden Visa is often a suitable option for those who have the means to purchase high value property and wish to retire in Spain.

    We have a dedicated team of immigration lawyers that can help you with any queries on how to obtain the Golden Residence Visa. Contact us online or by phone today on (+44) 333 414 9244.

    The Golden Visa allows you and your family to travel freely throughout the Schengen area as well as in Spain by including a Schengen visa, which allows you to travel for 90 days in a 180 day period.

    The residence permit is granted with two years of validity. After five years, you will be allowed to apply for permanent residency in Spain, even if you don’t live in Spain for the full five years.

    Please note that you must prove that you have already invested into the Spanish economy, and you have 60 days to apply for the visa from the day of making your investment.

    The visa will initially allow you to reside in Spain for one year, then you will need to gain residency which allows you to stay for two years.

    The minimum investment varies according to where you have made your investment:

    • A minimum of €500,000 in real estate
    • A minimum of €1,000,000 in shares in at least one Spanish company
    • A minimum of €2,000,000 in government bonds (Spanish public debt)

    Your investment in real estate can grant you the RIV (Residency Visa for Acquisition of Real Estate) , and an investment in Spanish shares or government bonds can grant you the RIC (Residency Visa for Capital Investors).

    You will need to prove you have sufficient financial means to reside in Spain, a minimum of €30,000 for the applicant. For every relative you include in the application, a further €10,000 must be proven.

    Usually, you will receive a decision on the Golden Residence Visa application within one month.

    Looking for a pathway to Spanish citizenship? Invest in your future with the Golden Visa program and apply today.

    Non-Lucrative Visa

    The Non-Lucrative Visa is for the purposes of residing in Spain without working. It will not allow you to work in the country, but you will be allowed to live in Spain assuming you meet the criteria.

    The Non-Lucrative Visa is a good option for retirees or those who wish to live in Spain but do not need to work in Spain to earn their income.

    Usually, you will receive a decision on this application within one month.

    You must ensure that you have private health insurance and that it is bought from a Spanish provider.

    Financially, you need to prove you have 400% of the IPREM (The Public Multiple Effects Income Indicator) in Spain. This equates to around €30,000 annually that you can live on. Please note that this number amount may vary according to your particular circumstances and could be subject to change, so is only a guide amount.

    We understand that this may seem complicated, and we are here to help you  figure out whether the Non-Lucrative Visa is the right visa for you. Contact us online today or give us a call on (+44) 333 414 9244.

    Student Visa

    The Student Residence Visa is for those who wish to study their bachelors, Masters, or Ph.D. in Spain.

    You must prove that you have the financial means to support yourself through the duration of your stay in Spain, proving that you have a minimum of €10,000 in your bank account. You must also prove that you have applied for a valid university course that is at least a year long and has a minimum of 20 hours of contact time per week.

    The duration of the Student Resident Visa will depend on the length of your course.

    Usually, you will receive a decision on this application within one month.

    Family Members Visa

    There are several different routes for gaining residency as a family member or spouse of a person living in Spain. The Family Residence Visa options available to you vary according to whether the person living in Spain that you wish to unify with is an EU or non-EU national, and what your relationship is to them.

    Don’t let distance keep you from your loved ones. Apply for a Family Residence Visa today and reunite with your family in Spain.

    How Can IAS Help?

    We understand that there are so many different residence card options available for Non EU citizens that it might feel overwhelming.

    You may also be concerned about a minor criminal conviction on your record and you aren’t sure whether the Spanish authorities will accept your application. Perhaps you have already received a refusal on your application and have no idea what to do next.

    Applying through IAS and having a qualified member of our team help you with your application will take the stress of the process away and equip you with the knowledge you need to take the big step of moving abroad to live in Spain. We also offer consultation and, if required, representation for those looking to appeal an application refusal.

    We are here and ready to help. Give us a call today on (+44) 333 4149244 or contact us online.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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