Visas for Spain

Learn what papers you need to move to Spain


If you want to work in Spain then there are some new laws and its a little harder now so you need the correct papers and visas or meet the requirements first. see the visas below and decide what route is best for your needs. Then at the end we have a help page to guide you..

Here are some of the visas that are available when moving to Spain and the requirements needed for them.

non-lucrative visa

What is the non-lucrative visa?

One of the most accessible Spanish residence permits, the non-lucrative visa is:  

  • A visa that allows you and your family to live in Spain but not to work for Spanish companies. However, you can work remotely to foreign companies.
  • Europeans do not need one, only if you come from outside of the EU.
  • You can invest in Spain, like buying a property or own shares of a Spanish company.
  • It also works as a tourist visa for the rest of Europe.
  • First for one year, then renewable every 2 years.
  • If you live in Spain 5 consecutive years, you can convert it into a permanent residency permit, and can start working in Spain as well, if you like. 

Who is it for?

  • Anyone who plans to retire in Spain
  • Foreigners who want to get to know the country first before investing.
  • Foreigners who are on a sabbatical year
  • Digital nomads who want to work remotely for companies in other countries

What are the benefits of the non-lucrative residence permit?

  • You can move with your family – unlike in some visas where you have to live in Spain first for a year before you can bring your spouse and children.
  • You can study and do paid internships in companies in Spain.
  • Even if you cannot work in Spain, you will be allowed to work for foreign companies remotely.
  • There is no need to invest to obtain this permit.
  • Each year you live consecutively in Spain with the non-lucrative visa, counts towards the permanent residency permit which you can get after 5 years and if you wish its possible to apply for Spanish citizenship after 10 years.
  • If you are a Latin American citizen or from the Philippines you will only need 2 years with the non-lucrative visa to obtain citizenship.
  • The requirements are easy to fulfill.

Main Requirements

Having enough money in your bank account is the primary factor in the consideration of your application for the non-lucrative residence permit. Having enough money on your bank account. The official minimum amount of money you must have to get this residence permit is approximately 26.000 €. Nevertheless, the more you have the better for a successful application. In addition, each family member should have minimum 7.000 € on their account.

Proof of funds

For your application for the non-lucrative visa to succeed the best way to show that you meet the financial conditions is to have a your bank provide a certificate of cash on your account. This certificate should be dated as close as possible to the date of submission of your application. 

Some consulates will also allow you to submit bank certified documents regarding assets (stocks, bonds, real estate value). 

Depending on the consulate there may be a requirement to look at bank statements for the last 6 months – this is to see the normal activity and to catch ” in-and -out” funds transfers that bring you up over the funds threshold. 

And don’t forget, the name on the bank statement must match that of the main visa applicant.

Does all the money I show need to be in one bank account?

Not at all. You can have part of the money in an American bank account and the remainder in a Spanish bank account and the consulate will accept it.  

Keep in mind though, that depending on your country of origin, the Spanish Immigration Office can request you to have the exact amount in a Spanish bank account. This can happen to applicants from Russia, for example. 

Our advice is to open a bank account in Spain as soon as possible (Talenom International Mobility can help you with that), and transfer the money there.

Bringing your family requires a joint application

The retirement or non-lucrative residency allows you to do a joint application. This is simply done by including your spouse and children that are under the legal age just by adding them to your application. 

Keep in mind, if you do submit a joint application in order to bring your relatives, the minimum amount of money you are required to show as available to you increases. For each member you are bringing with you, you must demonstrate an additional 100% of the IPREM, which is currently equal to an extra 6.454,03€ annually per additional family member on your application. 

Nomad visa

The digital nomad visa is a residence permit that can be extended up to 5 years and that will allow non-EU citizens to live and work remotely from Spain (that is, legally operating as a digital nomad in the country).

Yes, to work remotely!

Finally, foreigners who wish to move to Spain and keep working for a company abroad, or who have clients spread all around the globe, will find a residence permit that is perfectly tailored to their needs (instead of applying for a non-lucrative visa which in fact that not allow them to work).

One of the great advantages of this residency is the double application option

  • On the one hand, you can apply directly from Spain with a tourist visa, getting directly your 3-year card
  • But, on the other hand, it is also possible to obtain a 1 year visa from your country of origin (in the Spanish consulate) so that you can enter Spain and modify later on to this card for 3 years

Do these years count for the nationality? 

The answer is yes. The years with this 3-year card (and its subsequent renewals) count for both Spanish nationality and permanent residence (which you can get after 5 years as a remote worker or digital nomad in Spain).

Apart from the tax advantages that we will explore later in this post, this permit will also allow you to include your spouse and children in the same application; thus being able to move with your family to Spain.

But that’s not all, because being included within the Entrepreneurs Law, you will also benefit from a fast-track resolution in just 20 days, and the applicable administrative silence is positive (so if you have no response within this period, your application is considered finally approved).

In addition, you will be able to move freely throughout the EU with this residence card.

As we mentioned, this visa is geared towards non-EU citizens, as Europeans can work remotely for up to 6 months in the country (and if they wish to prolong their stay, they just need to obtain their resident NIE).

Golden Visa

The so-called Golden Visa is a residence visa for non-EU citizens who make a real estate investment in Spain equal to or greater than 500,000 euros. The aim of the Golden Visa, approved in Spain in 2013 and also in force in other countries such as Malta, Portugal or the United Kingdom, is to attract foreign investors who want to buy a home or other properties and who, in return, are made easier to obtain a residence permit.

What are the benefits and can I apply for the golden visa Spain?

The golden visa is a visa that allows you to live and work in Spain. It can be applied for by anyone who has bought a property without a mortgage of more than 500.000€, people who have deposited 1 million euros in a Spanish bank or people who have bought shares for 1 million euros.

The so-called Golden Visa is a residence visa for non-EU citizens who make a real estate investment in Spain equal to or greater than 500,000 euros. The aim of the Golden Visa, approved in Spain in 2013 and also in force in other countries such as Malta, Portugal or the United Kingdom, is to attract foreign investors who want to buy homes or other properties and who, in return, are made easier to obtain a residence permit.

Visa NameGolden Visa
Description:Residence visa for non-EU citizens who make an investment in Spain.
Duration of the permit3 years
Payable TaxesIf you spend less than 6 months in Spain you just pay taxes on your assets in the country.
Main RequirementMinimum investment of 500.000€ in Real Estate

Working visa

How does it work?

The working visa is available to non-EU citizens who have a job offer from an employer based in Spain and meet the visa requirements. This visa will grant you a temporary residency authorisation for as long as you live and work in Spain.

Unlike other visa applications, the process to obtain a working visa is started by your employer in Spain. They will need to provide a set of documents to the Spanish Immigration Office and get an authorisation for your working visa. Once your employer submits to you the authorisation, you will have 1 month to start your visa application at the designated Spanish Consulate from the country and region you live in.

Obtaining the authorisation from the Spanish Immigration Office

Your employer will need to provide to the Immigration Office a copy of your passport and a document (degree, certificate) that certifies that you have the skills necessary to carry out your job. The employer will also need to provide a Certificado Negativo del SEPE, which is a document issued by the Spanish Employment Office that states that currently there aren’t Spanish workers available for the position you will cover. This makes the working visa limited mostly to specialised jobs or positions that are difficult to cover by Spanish nationals.

Essential requirements and documents you will need for the working visa

  • You are a non-EU national
  • You have an employment contract signed by the employer and employee that guarantees a continued professional activity period for the length of the visa.
  • You are qualified to carry out the job.
  • A recent criminal record certificate (issued less than 3 months prior the application) from the countries you have lived in during the past 5 years, translated into Spanish by a sworn translator and legalised or apostille.
  • You have no medical condition that could pose a threat to public health.

First, your employer will need to provide the following documents to the Spanish Immigration Office:

  • Copy of your passport
  • Document that certifies the professional qualifications/training required to carry out your job
  • Document that identifies the company that requests the authorisation (this might be different depending on the type of employer. For more information check the official list of requirements, in Spanish)
  • Employment contract signed by the employee. The copy will be sealed by the Immigration Office and should be returned to you for its presentation to the Consulate along with the visa application.
  • Tasa 790-062 (administrative fee)

The resolution of the process will be notified to the employer within 3 months. If the authorisation is granted, you will have a month from the notification to the employer to personally request the visa at the Spanish Consulate in your country.

Obtaining a medical certificate

You need a medical certificate which states that you do not “suffer any of the illnesses which may cause grave public health risks in accordance with the International Sanitary Regulations 2005”. The certificate should be issued no later than 3 months prior to the date of the application, along with your other documents. If issued by a doctor from your country, the certificate must be translated into Spanish by a sworn translator.

To save time and money, you can also use Age in Spain’s direct link to an English-speaking doctor in Spain, who can give you the required official Spanish medical certificate which meets the Spanish Government’s Health Regulations.This certificate is a Spanish document and so does not require legalisation or translation. For more information and to request an appointment, contact

Applying for the visa in the UK

Start the process for your visa application at the Spanish consular office for your region and country. You will probably need to book an appointment by email before going in person to the office. Consult the Spanish Consulate website for your country to find the office you need.

Send an email to the consulate with the following information:

  • Subject line: the type of visa you are applying for (in this case, the working visa).

In the body text:

  • Your personal details: full name, nationality, passport number and phone number.
  • Type of visa you are applying for (working visa).
  • Reason for requesting the visa.
  • Desired date of the appointment. The consular office will confirm the date and time of your appointment taking into account your desired date.

How long does the process take?

Once you have attended the interview and submitted your documents the notification period can take up to 3 months, depending on how busy the consular office is.

Once approved, you will have 1 month after the notification to collect the visa in person. It is then valid for you to enter Spain within 3 months and register with the Spanish Social Security during this period. If you enter Spain after the expiry date, you may be refused entry.

Requesting your residency card (TIE)

After receiving the visa, you have one month from the date of entry into Spain, in which to apply for the TIE – Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero at the Immigration Office or Police Station. You will need to book an appointment at a police station to get your fingerprints taken and apply for your biometric residency card.

Study visa

​Visa for stays exceeding 90 days for studies, training, internships, or volunteer work. This visa may also be issued for au pairs and teaching assistants (auxiliares de conversación).  

Those studying in Spain for less than  90 days do not need a student visa. Depending on the applicant’s nationality, a short-stay visa may be required (see “Schengen visas”). 

The following family members may obtain a visa to accompany the student: 

  • Spouse or civil partner
  • Children who are minors or have a disability

Visas for students’ family members do not constitute a work permit.

Activities that Merit a Student Visa

  • Full-time (minimum of 20 hours per week) studies at an accredited school or educational center that will result in a degree, diploma, or certificate
  • Doctoral studies
  • Training activities
  • Secondary school (middle or high school) exchange programs with an accredited school or scientific center.
  • Internships or traineeships at public or private entities that do not qualify for an internship visa (see “Internship visa”)
  • Volunteer services for programs working in areas of general and/or public interest
  • “Au pair” programs
  • Teaching assistants (auxiliaries de conversación)

Required documents for the student

1. Visa application form.​ Each applicant must complete and sign a visa application, filling out every section. If the applicant is a minor, a parent or duly accredited representative must sign the application. In the event that the application must be signed by a duly accredited representative, said accreditation may be demonstrated by way of a notarized letter from the applicant or a letter from the applicant’s university or school.

2. Photograph. A recent, passport-size, color photograph, taken against a light background, facing forward, without dark or reflective glasses, or any garments concealing the applicant’s face.

3. Valid, unexpired passport. Original and photocopy of the biometric data page(s). The passport must be valid for at least the duration of the planned stay and contain two blank pages. Passports issued more than 10 years ago will not be accepted.     

4. Proof of acceptance for the study, training or volunteer activity or internship.

The applicant should provide an original and copy of the document proving:

  • Acceptance to an accredited school for full-time studies
  • Acceptance to a research or training center
  • Acceptance to a student exchange program, including proof of acceptance to a school, accommodations with a family or at an institution, and the organizer’s commitment to cover these expenses
  • Acceptance for an unpaid internship (signed contract)
  • Acceptance to a volunteer program (contract with the volunteering organization)

5. Proof of financial means. The applicant must provide an original and copy of documents certifying that he/she (or the legal representative or relative that supports him/her) has sufficient financial means to cover the expenses of student’s stay and return, as well as that of the family members accompanying him/her. The minimum required amount is equivalent to 100% of Spain’s Public Multiple Effects Income Indicator (IPREM). 75% of the IPREM must be added for the first accompanying family member and 50% for each additional family member.

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