Non-Lucrative Visa Requirements (Non - EU)

Good day,

I'm Kit Thornton, a lawyer and author from the United States. My wife and I intend to retire to Valencia in February 2019. We're familiar with most of the requirements regarding documentation, background checks and etc., but what we can't find solid info for is the income requirement.

Does anyone know what the income requirements are, and how we document them? We have a pension and some savings, along with an annual payment from a trust.

We've checked with the Consulate, but they haven't been helpful on this score (although they have on the rest of the requirements.)

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

I've seen this asked before by US citizens and bizarrely, it seems to vary depending on which consulate and which official you apply to.  I've even seen people claim that they get told one figure, comply with everything, go back to then get told it's not enough.  I've even read of people moving State to be able to register with a more benign Consulate!!!

A quick Google search seems to bring up different answers, so all I can advise is you might want to have a chat with one of your peers who work in immigration who might know which consulate offers the best deal.

Not sure how much I've helped, but I hope I haven't put you off emigrating. :)

If you have any more specific questions, please come back to us.

Expat Team

I would think the income requirement would be the same as that for EU citizens applying for resident status

That is based on the lowest level of income that a Spanish National has before they are entitled to apply for supplementary state assistance benefits. (If a Spaniard can live on that income then so can anyone else).

At present that is 5,136.60  €  p.a. For a single person and 8,732.22 € for a couple   These figures are available on the internet  at :- … munitaria/

Note. The amounts have not been increased sonce  2015.

I would assume almost everyone intending to set up home in Spain would have at least that income

NB I work with the Policía Nacional, which includes assisting callers and applicants applying for paperwork    We do not deal with non-EU nationals but my wife is Filipino so I have some personal knowledge re non EU resident.

Good luck.   John

Thanks, Cynic and Johncar. We've gotten answers from three different sources quoting figures from 9,000 to 40,000(!) Euros per annum. And nobody seems to know how to get proof of the income from our trust. Will a letter from the administrator suffice?

Our total income will be somewhere around 45,000 EUR per annum. We've done quite a bit of homework, and visited a few times, and that seems like a reasonable income to live in Valencia.

Fortunately, we have some time - we don't plan to move until February 2019, so we've got a year to work on it.

Thanks again, and if anyone else cares to chime in, we'll take all the ideas we can get.

Hi Kitt,

  I have now found the web page I mentioned.: … munitaria/

The Law of General Budget of the State for the year 2015 considers that to receive a non-contributory benefit it is necessary to prove that the income obtained by the interested party in annual computation must be less than 5,136.60 euros, so if the justified amount is superior should be understood as accredited, in foreign matters, the possession of sufficient economic resources.

Although that is not a Government site it quotes the official Government info.

Those are the figures which are supplied to Extranjerías by the Ministerio de la Interior and which are used in the office where I work.

NB  They have not been altered since 2015

Expat Team

NB   i am posting info about the requirenments in Spain

Johncar :

I would think the income requirement would be the same as that for EU citizens applying for resident status

That is based on the lowest level of income that a Spanish National has before they are entitled to apply for supplementary state assistance benefits. (If a Spaniard can live on that income then so can anyone else).

At present that is 5,136.60  €  p.a. For a single person and 8,732.22 € for a couple   These figures are available on the internet but I do not have the web address to hand.


Good luck.   John

It's different in the UK; if a non-EEA citizen wants to join an EU citizen, then it's £18,600 p/annum for a couple!  For a Tier 2 work permit, it's >£30k,

They don't make it easy do they? :)

Gracias otra vez!

We're working hard on our Spanish. I think I've progressed from sounding like an evil baby to speaking like a moronic hillbilly. Ah well, más esfuerzo!

Time for a public apology - for some reason, I thought I was in the Italy Forum.  Everything I posted is totally irrelevant (except the bit about Italy income and varying rates to obtain a visa in the UK).

Apologies to Kit and John.

Pobody's nerfect! :)

We applied for a 12 month Non Lucrative Visa and supplied 3 months of copies of my Pension payments and current investment statements from our IRA and 401K Plans.  I understood income requirement to be about 26000 Euros a year for 1 person and another 6000 for a second person.  As a word of caution since my wife did not have any income I had to provide an apostliled and translated Marriage certificate.

Welcome to the wonderfully confusing visa app. Process. We just completed our 3rd renewal and have only used our 401K savings as proof of income even though we don’t draw on them. You need to get a notarized letter from the financial institution stating the amount you have. Surprisingly that process was harder than we expected. Kippy Elsemore, Arcos de la Frontera

I was able to just provide a copy of my investment statement to support my 401K holdings.  Then I did get a letter from my Employer, translated in Spanish, as to my monthly Pension benefit, supported by my monthly Pension pay stub.

Dear Kit,

Just want to add my two cents, since I'm not certain you've gotten the answer with any solidity yet. I've just gone through the non-lucrative visa application process myself.

The short of the story is that Exteriores sets the general requirement for "sufficient financial means," and each Consulate interprets it with some amount of specificity. (Lesson: if you can manage to talk with the consulate - I think email will be your best bet short of "showing up and asking - they're the only ones who are going to be able to give you a solid-solid answer.

The longer version of the story is: No one really know what's certain until you get your visa in your hand. That said, I've done a lot of research, and - I see you're from California, and I think this applies more or less generally across the US consulates - the required monthly income seems to be consistent at 2130 EUR per month (totaling 25,560 EUR for a year's funds) . Now, some of the consulates interpret this differently based on whether it comes from savings (i.e., money not generating regular income but instead expecting to deplete and disappear after being spent) or from a regular income-providing source (such as a pension). Some consulates just take the 25,560 total at face value and apply it similarly regardless of its source as savings or as pension, and some apply the 25,560 (or 2130 monthly equivalent) only in the case of regular, guaranteed incomed-providing source of income and apply a higher amount in the case of savings (since this might "deplete and disappear" with the passage of time).

In your case, I see that you have a yearly income of about 45,000. If I understand correctly, that's a regular "guaranteed" income, right? As far as I've found, *that'll be sufficient in any of the US consulates* (greater than the 25,560 that seems to set the bottom bar). Gather as much documentation as you can to demonstrate the "certainty" of that income (such as a guaranteed pension or contract), or, in the case that's not possible, to show the overwhelming likelihood of it going into the future (for example, your historic income and bank account records, pension provisions, etc.)

Bottom line: the sum is not 5,000. It's "probably" 25,560 (yearly) - but the Consulates each enforce their own rules - So check with your Consulate.

I've just been through the same process. I've figured out a lot, and there's still lots more for me to figure out as I make the transition! Anyway, please feel welcome to send me a message if you think I might be in a position to help with some info. Good luck!

Hello Kit,
A very brief answer from me that you may have had before.  Knowing the Red tape for just about everything and the varying interpretations of the regulations in different provinces and even different cities in the same province, I would advise speaking to a Spanish immigration lawyer. 

After all they deal with applications on a daily basis and whilst it maybe costly it could save a lot of heart ache and even your sanity .

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We have been looking for someone to shepherd us through this process. As a lawyer myself (and a judge) I know well what is said about a lawyer who represents himself...

...he has a fool for a client. I don't want to be that fool.

We should talk soon.


Johncar :

I would think the income requirement would be the same as that for EU citizens applying for resident status

That is based on the lowest level of income that a Spanish National has before they are entitled to apply for supplementary state assistance benefits. (If a Spaniard can live on that income then so can anyone else).

At present that is 5,136.60  €  p.a. For a single person and 8,732.22 € for a couple   These figures are available on the internet  at...

This is incorrect for non-EU citizens applying to live in Spain on a non-lucrative visa.

The minimum income for a family is just over 25,800 euros per year, plus an additional (approx) 6,400 euros per additional person.

What people need to search for is (Google has good results) "minimum income required non-lucrative visa Spain" and they will find the results.

The amount is equivalent to 400% of the IPREM for the family, and an additional 100% of the IPREM for each additional person.

In terms of how to document it, having solid documentation helps tremendously. We got our financial planner to write a one-page letter that summarized our financial situation and pension, and had that translated into Spanish; we also translated my main pension document. The various account statements, we didn't bother, because they're mostly numbers anyway.

We brought in a year's worth of bank statements and investment account statements.

Interestingly, here in Spain, once it was time to renew our residency they didn't like the same documentation. We had to repackage it and clarify things for them, and wound up incurring more translation fees, but it was worth it as we were eventually approved for the extension.

Hi Kit,

There's no "minimum income" requirement for the non-lucrative visa per se.  you just have to prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself for the duration of your stay.

The requirements for that can be found here: … 202017.pdf

Basically, you need to have 2150 euros for the main applicant and 537 euros for each co-applicant for each month that you're planning to stay here.

That doesn't have to be in the form of income but it can be also savings in the bank.  So, if your applying for a 12 month visa for you and your wife, you need to have a total of 32,240 euros in either savings or income for those 12 months or a combination of the two (e.g. 20,000 savings + 1,100 monthly income is sufficient).

But please keep in mind the requirement for health insurance and I strongly recommend you sort that out and make sure you can obtain it inexpensively before anything else.

Also very important is keeping in mind that when you go to renew your non-lucrative visa, the same requirements would apply... so if in the 1st year you dipped into some savings that helped you meed the requirements, your visa may be rejected for renewal if your income hasn't increased to make up for it.


This maybe useful … rative.pdf

The question of whether an applicant needs to have income, or if simply having enough resources in the bank to prove their ability to take care of themself, is one that's never (to my knowledge) been answered definitively.

Most of the Spanish consulates have some kind of document like the link that Johncar provided; it pretty plainly says "income":

"Proof of enough periodic income (investments, annuities, sabbaticals and any other source of income) to live in Spain without working. The minimum income required is 25,560 Euros annually plus 6,390 Euros per each additional family member. All documentation must be certified translated into Spanish."

At the same time, it refers (in the statement itself) to "investments". This begs the question-if you have an investment fund that has more than the required amount (which seems to also be different depending on where you look), but not anything showing actual income, will you be approved?

The answer to this question has seemed to vary by consulate and personal experience. My family did not have the income at the time we applied, because I hadn't retired from my job yet. Instead, we showed my retirement planning estimate (a printout saying "if he retires on this date, this is how much his pension will be") as well as our investment funds.

That worked.

Yet for renewal, which in theory is based on the exact same standards, here in Spain they did NOT like the investment funds and apparently missed the income going into my bank statements, because they initially rejected our renewal application. They gave us a letter that said we were required to show actual income, and said that it had to be over the minimum amount going into our Spanish bank account over the previous year. 

(This was difficult, because we just don't spend that much money and therefore we don't put that much money into our Spanish bank- but we do meet the income requirements, and you are allowed to show income into foreign banks. We clarified the original documentation we'd provided and they approved us, which is nice.)

In any case, I have heard of people doing as BehrouG suggests and being approved; and I've heard of people being flat denied if they could not show income (even if they had considerably more than the minimum amount in a savings/bank/investment account!)

The moral of the story is- know how much money you have in both investments/savings and income, be able to document it reasonably well, and as long as it's over the minimum you should be okay- but be ready for a denial, too, and be able to adjust on the fly to provide more documentation.


The annual income requirement is roughly 25k€. That translates to a monthly requirement of about $2,400. You will need to show documented proof of pension payments of that amount or greater from the SSA or other recognized institution.

As for the differing requirements amongst the consulates, I am not sure.

What I can tell you from personal experience is that you will get approved from a consulate with a lower requirement, but you will run into problems when you try to renew your NIE/residency.

I am currently in the midst of watching this scenario play out with a friend. I am not sure what the outcome will be, as he is about 1k€ short of the requirement. He has contacted a lawyer and will try to appeal the desicion, but I am skeptical of his ability to remain in the country.

It seems unfair that they would let you in, only to turn around and kick you out a year later, after you have moved your entire household to live here.

Best of luck

Just to clarify, how exactly did you clear up the financial documentation Mixup for the renewal? When they said they need to see "actual income", was this monthly deposits to your Spanish bank account? How did you go about resolving the matter? We will be due for renewal in June and just trying to get ahead of things. I currently transfer about €3000 every month from my foreign account to my Spanish bank account. The foreign account also holds the required amount in Euros. Is that what they were asking for you to show? FYI, we are a family of 3.Any info will be much appreciated.TIA


Out of curiosity, what was the outcome of your friends renewal application? Was he approved for the renewal? Thanks

Just on the point that Papa Lima mentioned about savings as opposed to income

With EU nationals, sufficient savings equal one years income.   

In spain the calculation is monthly income multiplied by 14.  That is because the amounts are based on Spanish income and it is normal in spain for workers to get 14 payment per year,  so. 14 x monthly income

I would assume, I know that can be ‘dangerous’ in spain, that the same calculation would apply to ‘income’ for non EU nationals

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