Residency in Spain – the $64,000 question …
How much money do you need in the bank?
“How much income will I need?” or “How much do I need in the bank?” have to be the single most asked questions about residency in Spain, and we do wish it was an easy one to answer – but it’s a lot more complicated than just a fixed figure.
Hopefully, this article will answer the main questions and go some way to explain this part of the new/current residency application process.
The new law published on the 4th of July which sets out British citizens rights to register as residents under the Withdrawal Agreement, states that economic stability needs to be proven as per the law 240/2007 relating to EU citizens who wish to gain residency in Spain.
This law states that each applicant should have (recursos suficientes para no convertirse en una carga para la asistencia social en España durante su período de residencia) “sufficient resources not to become a burden for social assistance in Spain during his period of residence”.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t state the exact paperwork that is required to prove this.
With our years of experience presenting EU residency applications, we have detailed information surrounding the requirements and documentation accepted to prove `sufficient resources´.
We have put this article together using this past experience, combined with the new information we are receiving from initial applications made under the new law. It’s important to understand that regional differences exist and that the ultimate decision as to whether an application is accepted (or not) is down to the Official who reviews it on the day. If for any reason they decide that the supporting documents supplied are not sufficient, they allow 10 days to produce further evidence of sufficient resources.
While the new process seems to be efficient and working quickly, unfortunately we are no longer with the Official when they review the documents. This is why we have a “belts and braces” approach, and why we ask for as much detail as possible for each application.
How is “proof of economic stability” calculated?
In Malaga, as with many other regions the income requirements are based on a system called IPREM which stands for “The Public Multiple Effects Income Indicator” which is what the Spanish Government uses to calculate the minimum income requirement and is a base for the Benefits’ system in Spain.
The 2021 IPREM :
- IPREM Mensual: €564.90 (monthly minimum income)
- IPREM Anual: – 12 pagas: €6,778.80 (annual minimum income, paid in 12 payments)
The 2022 IPREM :
- IPREM Mensual: €579.02 (monthly minimum income)
- IPREM Anual: – 12 pagas: €6,948.24 (annual minimum income, paid in 12 payments)
This is probably what all the comments and threads saying “I’ve been told I need €7k in a bank account in Spain” are based on.
So how do you prove “Economic Stability” to the Immigration Office
You need to prove you have either income or savings (or both) so let’s start with income.
Economic Stability – Income
Working in Spain
An official contract from your employer, confirming hours, salary details etc and that you meet the minimum IPREM income requirement as detailed above, is sufficient. If you have payslips (nominas), these should be included as well.
You’ll need to provide translated proof that you earn at least the minimum requirements in the form of a contract and last 6 months wage slips. We have met with fierce resistance with a couple of these cases, because part of the new law states that to become resident, you must be living in Spain and prove it .
If you are working abroad, we will also need proof you can work from Spain – specific permission must be included in a contract or a stamped and signed letter from your employer (again, translated into Spanish).
Why stamped and signed?
The Spanish authorities will not accept anything that you could have potentially fabricated yourself (in MS Word for example)
Self-employed in Spain – Autonomo
Depending on which region you live in and if you are recently registered as a Autonomo, you may be asked to prove further means to support yourself other than just being registered as self-employed. Malaga, for example has changed its criteria recently and now request further information.
You’ll need your S1 and the latest annual pension statement letter sent to you by the UK Government stating how much pension you receive, The letter will need officially translating.
You’ll need documentary proof of the amounts you receive, in the form of a translated letter from your provider(s) plus ideally, proof of payments into a bank account.
Rental income in Spain
Rental income can be presented if generated in Spain and you’ll need proof you own the property and have the contract registered with the Junta de Andalucia. If you’re renting out as a non-resident, your non-residents Tax Return (Modelo 210) can help prove income earned.
Rental income from abroad
This is extremely difficult to push through, and we try and avoid this where possible. The Spanish authorities normally won’t take into account rental income from abroad as it isn’t deemed a ‘stable income’ (they have no way of verifying the income like they do with a registered contract in Spain).
So, that’s the income aspects, now the Savings elements:
Economic Stability – Savings
Savings in a Spanish bank account
You will need to prove you have maintained a minimum of circa €7k in an account for more than 6 months by presenting an Average Balance Certificate from your Spanish bank. We also recommend 6 months stamped statements from the bank, as this has also been requested recently. (Note: statements must be stamped, online are not sufficient).
Recent deposit in bank
If you have a fixed deposit in a Spanish bank that hasn’t been there for 6 months but is over 5 times annual IPREM (this is because your residency is for 5 years), then an actual Balance Certificate can be presented. But be aware they may ask for further proof of the origin of the funds e.g. house sale, redundancy pay, transfer from savings account abroad.
Any paperwork not in Spanish needs to be translated and the same rules apply as detailed above. As the Average Balance Certificate doesn’t exist in the UK, you’ll need a letter from the bank stating the minimum balance maintained over the last 6 months, or 6 months statements.
Nota simple (property ownership) not sufficient on its own in Malaga any more
Whereas previously there was no issue using an up to date Nota Simple for proof of income/wealth, Malaga is no longer accepting this on its own, other evidence of income will be required.
Beneficiaries, spouse or children
Where a spouse and/or children up to the age of 21 are ‘beneficiaries’ of your income for a residency application, you’ll need to prove the legitimacy of the relationship. This means sworn and stamped translations* of Marriage Certificate and/or long form Birth Certificates. As from 16th February 2019, there’s no longer a requirement to have an Apostille Stamp according to European Law
*You can also arrange for a “Multilingual Standard Form” for these official documents, full information on the UK Government website here
Immigration applies an algorithm to IPREM to calculate how much is required per beneficiary.
If you are considering taking residency and unsure about the requirements, we can go through this with you (and all the other details too) when you Book a Call with us for an initial and no-obligation chat.
The information in this article was current on the date published.
Article last updated 10th January 2022.