The process to get a long-term non-lucrative visa for Spain is tedious. There are numerous applications to fill out which are vague and the instructions are either incomprehensible or in Spanish – which for me are 2 of the same.
Update: not only did I get this visa but I have also renewed the visa since. See this timeline below from the future:
- initial non-lucrative visa application
- getting documents together for non-lucrative visa
- non-lucrative visa interview
- non-lucrative visa approval
- getting NIE and TIE in Spain
- 1st renewal application of non-lucrative visa – online
- non-lucrative visa renewal approval
This cost me around $140 and all I needed to do is renew my passport so that I have enough time left on it when I move to Spain.
I could have done a walk-in but the mailing process was much easier and the lady at the post office was very familiar with the process and helped me do it right.
The USPS also offers money orders which makes everything easy. But they don’t offer printing services so I had to go to FedEx to do my printing and then walk over to the USPS.
2. Letter of Intent
I’m glad I got an immigration lawyer because the letter I wrote apparently wouldn’t have sat well with the immigration office. I stated that I wanted to move to Spain and obtain my medical license there in order to practice medicine part-time.
According to my lawyer it’s better to keep career aspirations on the down-low until you get there and then apply for it separately because I would run into issues with work visas.
She basically she told me what to write which is something along the lines of “I am visiting Spain for a year to immerse myself in the culture and to learn the language. I would like to take photos and experience the local people. I hope to travel within the country once I am there.”
I will be okay with just an AirBnb even though I thought I needed a 12-month lease to pass the immigration sniff test.
As long as I can rent a place for a few weeks and have the landlord give me a letter saying that they are renting this place to me then I should be okay.
Cost: pending (should be $700/month)
4. Non-lucrative Visa Applications
EX01 and M790 are confusing forms because they are in Spanish and when they ask for your address then you have to fill it out differently (apparently) depending on whether you are using a US or Spanish address.
Cost: $150 (to be paid at the consulate)
5. Medical Letter
I need a medical statement from my doctor saying that I am free of communicable diseases and it needs to be in English and Spanish.
It has to be on letterhead and stamped and of course I need an actual signed copy since everything I submit to the Spanish consulate has to be originals.
6. Medical Insurance
My insurance won’t cost me more than €60/month but I have to find a company which will accept my US address and let me pay with a US credit card.
It appears that Sanitas will let me do all that. I’m starting this process now because I don’t want to start my insurance until June which is another 4 months from now.
The actual health insurance application is really short and simple. They ask you for your name and DOB and home address. Next, they ask you if you have any medical problems – that’s it.
Cost: pending (should be $70/month)
7. Background Clearance
This took up the majority of my time and it really didn’t need to.
I went round and round to get this done. In the end I used a 3rd party company which contracts with the FBI to do background checks in 48 hours versus the 14 weeks that the FBI needs.
I was able to bypass the state background checks because I was able to get the FBI one done which involved getting fingerprints and submitting a background screening report.
I had to pay $80 for the background check and $30 for the fingerprints. I got an extra report just in case. Mailing it in cost another $10.
8. Proof of Income
We’re still working on this. My financial adviser will need to write a letter stating that I will have enough money coming in from my investments to support my lifestyle.
I have a meeting with my FA in order to get this letter written. It then has to be translated by my lawyer’s office which costs extra.
For the non-lucrative visa I can show that I am able to earn online income as long as the customers aren’t Spanish residents.
9. Apostilled Documents
I don’t exactly understand what the shit this is but apparently it’s some government agency which verifies notarized documents before they are sent to another country – not redundant at all.
So now I have to send my FBI document to the US Department of State to have it apostilled which will cost me $8 plus shipping.
I will need to have several documents translated and apostilled for this non-lucrative visa, most of which my lawyer can handle.
As I get to each next step I run it by my lawyer and send screenshots to her to make sure we have everything needed.
I just need my medical letter if clearance and I will have all my documents completed. These will be reviewed and translated by my lawyer and any more apostilling that’s needed will be done.
Finally, I’ll fly out to San Francisco in order to appear before the consulate. If it all goes well then I would pick up my Visa from the consulate 1-2 months after it’s approved.
Get Legal Help in the USA
I highly recommend the services of Debora Eizips-Dreymann, Esq. She has a set, one-time fee to help you through the entire long-term visa process for Spain.
She is wonderful over email and very resourceful. This is important because you may not end up in Seville, like myself. Other parts of Spain have different rules.
Also, I had residency in Oregon and California which created a bit of an issue with background checks. She can help you regardless of what state you live in.