How to renew your non lucrative visa (NLV) for Spain

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Want to renew your non-lucrative visa (NLV) for Spain? Find out how to meet the requirements

After jumping through all the hoops to be granted your non-lucrative visa (NLV) for Spain, if you want to renew it with the intention of becoming a permanent resident after five years, the last thing you’ll want to do is inadvertently scupper your chances by not knowing the rules.

The non-lucrative visa (NLV) renewal process looks like this 

First time visa award – you have 90 days to enter Spain and then 30 days from entry to register your residency card (TIE) which will last for 12 months from the visa issue date..

End of year one – you can renew the visa for 2 years (providing you still meet the requirements) This is done in Spain with central Immigration (or online) 60 days prior to the expiry date of your current TIE card.

End of year 3 – another 2 year renewal, using the same route as for the end of year one and the same criteria.

End of year 5 – final renewal and (hopefully!) permanent residency. Criteria and process are the same as the previous renewals.

What are the criteria and requirements for a successful NLV renewal?
You will need to abide by strict rules to maintain your NLV, for exmple:

  • Be living legally in Spain and able to prove it
  • You will be expected to be fiscally resident in Spain – you may be asked to provide proof of tax returns so be sure to take specialist tax advice
  • Meet the minimum income requirements – read more here – if you used savings as part of your income proof, you’ll need to show double the minimum amount if it’s a 2 year renewal
  • Demonstrate continuous suitable healthcare cover
  • If you have children with you, Immigration will want to see proof of school registration
  • Remember, you can’t work on an NLV – Immigration will review your tax returns and bank statements; they may also ask for extra documentation
  • Immigration have been known to ask for a Spanish Criminal Records check

IMPORTANT:
How much time can you spend outside Spain with a non-lucrative visa?

The non-lucrative visa is a residence visa in every sense of the word – to maintain your NLV status, you can only be away from Spain for 10 months in the first 5 years, with a maximum period of 6 months taken at any one time (which would leave you only 4 months left). If Immigration suspect that you haven’t complied with this rule, they may ask for more evidence.
This is the Spanish law that refers:
Article 162.2 of Royal Decree 557/2011.

Good to know
The Investor visa (probably better known as the Golden Visa) does not have the same strict conditions. There’s no minimum stay requirement (well, 1 day but that’s it), you can work if you want and you don’t have to become a tax resident either.  Find out more about this option here.

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