This question is often asked by clients who are going through the application process for a non-lucrative visa (NLV), but it applies to anyone who is looking to live permanently in Spain.
1. Initial NLV Application and Spanish Bank Account:
Having a Spanish bank account is not essential for the initial NLV application. The Consulates understand that applicants are in the initial stages of their relocation to Spain so they do accept locally issued documents as evidence of financial stability.If you do already have a Spanish account, the major Spanish high street banks allow you to download verifiable online statements. If your Spanish banking app is in English though, make sure you get Spanish language statements
2. Acceptance of UK Bank Accounts:
The Consulates, particularly those in the UK such as Edinburgh, Manchester and London, generally don’t need financial documents to be translated for the NLV application.. While this MAY mean you won’t need translations of documents including investment portfolios, bank account statements, P60s, and evidence of pensions or rental income, it’s always good to have a summary sheet or overview of your finances and get this translated. Remember to make it as easy as you can for the Consular official to understand your financial situation and see that you meet the requirements of the visa..
3. Advantages of Possessing a Spanish Bank Account:
Although not obligatory for the initial application, a Spanish bank account is a good idea once you arrive to pay local bills like utilities and car taxes etc. It’s important to understand that most of Spain’s high street banks still offer face-to-face service in branches and this is a key part of their customer service provision.
4. NLV Renewal Process:
When it comes to renewing your NLV though, having a Spanish bank account makes the renewal process much more straightforward.. As well as providing the specific financial documents needed for renewal, Spanish banks provide these with digital codes recognised as authentic by Immigration – UK bank accounts don’t always have these.
5. Overcoming Potential Challenges:
While some people do succeed in renewing NLVs using foreign-held assets, having a Spanish bank account simplifies the process significantly.
In summary, having a Spanish bank account is not essential for the initial NLV application, for the renewal having one could potentially provide the advantage you need for a hassle-free visa renewal experience. Many extensive high-street banking operations offer their apps in English, making things even more straightforward.