U.S. Citizens and Visas

Hi!  I am very interested in living in Spain, either short-term or long-term.  I am an experienced bilingual (Spanish/English) and ESL teacher and am considering the following options:

1)  Looking for a teaching job in Spain

2)  Continuing to teach online to support myself while living in Spain

I have researched the Visa requirements, but have heard that it is nearly impossible for U.S. citizens to get Visas for Spain.  Is this true?  Any tips?  Thanks!

My husband and I have non-lucrative visas that allow us to live in Spain for a year at a time. It was a straight forward process tho it took time and planning. Under this visa we are not permitted to work for a Spanish company but I work remotely for my firm in the U.S. Check with the Spanish embassy for the state you live in for the visa requirements as they can vary (tho I don't know why).
Hope this helps!

Oh OK, thank you!  Maybe I'll send them an email.   I thought that I would need to apply for a "self-employed" Visa, but there were so many I may have been mistaken.  Thanks again!

Hi CooleyCasa. My partner and I have also applied for non-lucrative visas. What was your primary purpose for your visa application? We wanted to stay in Spain for a several months but the only purpose we had was primarily "touristic" in nature. I signed up for an intensive Spanish course for a month. The consular officer pretty much said that "long-term tourism" was not a generally accepted reason to apply for residence, so we are anticipating a rejection/denial of our application. How long did it take for the consulate to process?

Good luck CCartwright. We have applied for non-lucrative long-term stay visas too. We are currently waiting for the consulate's decision. We were told that when you arrive in Spain, you can also request to extend your stay from the local police station. We don't know if this is true but we didn't want to risk staying in Spain beyond the period allowed for tourists (90days). So we applied for a long-term non-lucrative visa. Under this visa you are allowed to reside in Spain but you cannot derive any income from Spain during the period. We were informed by the consular officer that this is quite a difficult visa to get and you have to be able to prove that you have enough income to support yourself during your stay.

Hi Armanda. On our application we had to submit a letter stating why we wanted visas. We mentioned visiting the country very briefly but were intrigued to see more. We told them that we wanted to learn more about the culture and travel to the various cities. My husband mentioned wanting to learn more about Spanish cuisine since he is a chef and I mentioned my Spanish heritage and the desire to research it. Speaking of the finances, we had to submit a year's worth of bank and investment statements showing that we could support ourselves during the year. We are in the process of collecting the same paperwork to renew our visas in July. When we originally applied we read on the Internet that it could take up to 3 months to receive notice, but they told us 3 weeks when we had our appointment. We received the call almost exactly 3 weeks later. Good luck!

Which consolate are you going through?

I live in Spain and have both a EU and US citizenship.

What cccartwright3 wants is not possible and, if he gets caught, he will be stamped as an illegal and sent back home.

Only if he could get a work visa through a Spanish school needing certified English teachers, he could get it done, but many schools nowadays prefer European teachers as they require no paper work of significance. They also need to publish teh job for 3 months. There is a great demand though for English teachers an dthey get paid very little. There are some websites which are meeting places for schools and teachesr where you could start off with then.

The alternative is that you go as a retiree, but only if you make more than EUR 25,500 plus almost EUR 7,000 per other family member. Also, you ill not get any visa without providing for your own health insurance. You need to show proof of income and insurance.

Overstaying the tourist visa is technically possible as most southern European countries are lax with enforcing EU border laws and there are plenty of cases where no border control officer ever looked at a passport or made problems if he saw here that you overstayed, even a whole year, but it is a gamble.

We were granted a "Residencia" visa which according to the visa officer is for a year but the actual visa sticker on our passports says it is only valid for 90 days. Is this possible? Also how do we find out if we were issued NIE? We weren't given the number with our visa.

My understanding is that the 90 days on the visa sticker in your passport is the amount of time you have to enter the country and start the paperwork for residence. You have to make several appointments to complete the paperwork to obtain your NIE and associated card which will show the one year time frame it is good for.

I checked my passport again. We have our NIE on the visa sticker already. Do we have to go somewhere, i.e., police, to get the card?

We had three different appointments with three different departments before we were issued our cards. Unfortunately, I don't remember who they were with or where we went. Try the website Como consulting  . com, it has a lot of helpful information (and it's in English!)

Thank you!

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