Skip to content

Spain Visa and Residence Information

An Overview of Spanish Visas and Residence

U.S. citizens can visit for up to 90 days without a visa. If you wish to remain in Spain for more than 90 days, you must obtain a visa/residence permit from the Spanish embassy, or your local consulate in the U.S. before you come to Spain. At certain (unspecified) times, a limited number of visa applications will be accepted each day, on a first-come, first-serve basis. You should try to be at the embassy/consulate office before 8.30 a.m.

Retirement Visa

You can apply to live in Spain as a retiree, providing you don’t intend to work. To apply for this visa, the following requirements must be submitted to the Embassy in person, and by previous appointment:

• Passport valid for a minimum of six months, along with three photocopies of the personal information and photo page

• Money order for $100 to cover processing charge

• Four recent passport-size pictures

• Original marriage certificate, and a photocopy (if applicable)

• Certificate of good conduct issued by the police department of places where you have lived for six months or more during the past five years, along with a Spanish translation, and one photocopy

• A medical certificate printed on a doctor’s letterhead, verifying that you are free from yellow fever, cholera, and the plague, and drug addiction, and mental illness, along with a translation into Spanish, plus a photocopy

• Original certificate of a public or private institution, stating that you receive a pension, and specifying its monthly amount (the cost is at the discretion of the Consulate and depends on the cost of living where you plan to live), plus one photocopy

• Proof of any other source of income and/or properties in Spain, plus one photocopy of each document.

Processing your application may take up to six weeks.

Investor/Self-employed Visa

This visa allows you to reside in Spain as a self-employed person, or as a worker in a company in which you have invested the required capital. Apply to the Spanish embassy, or to your local consulate, in person, and by previous appointment. You must submit the following documents:

• A passport valid for a minimum of six months, plus three photocopies of the personal information and photo page

• Money order for $100 to cover processing charge

• Four recent passport-size pictures

• A certificate of good conduct issued by the police department of the places where you’ve lived for six months or more during the past five years, along with a translation into Spanish

• A medical certificate printed on a doctor’s letterhead, stating that you are free from yellow fever, cholera, the plague, drug addictions, and mental illness, and fit to undertake the proposed activity in Spain, along with a Spanish translation

• A copy of the work authorization application (s olicitud de permiso de trabajo), filed with the Ministry of Labor in Spain (this document must be submitted at the consulate general within 30 days from the date stamped by the Ministry of Labor in Spain), along with one photocopy

• Proof of medical insurance coverage in Spain, plus two photocopies

• Original marriage certificate (if applicable), plus two photocopies

• Original birth certificates of children (if applicable), plus two photocopies.

Processing the application will take approximately four months.

Residence Visa for Non-lucrative Purposes

This visa program allows foreigners of means to reside in Spain, without engaging in any type of lucrative activity there. To apply for this visa, you will need to submit the following, in person, and by appointment:

• A passport valid for a minimum of six months, plus three photocopies of the personal information and photo page

• A money order for $100 to cover processing fees

• Four recent passport-size photographs

• Certificate of good conduct issued by the police department of the places where you have lived for at least six months during the past five years

• Original medical certificate printed on a doctor’s letterhead, verifying that you are free from yellow fever, cholera, and the plague, and free from drug addictions, and mental illness, along with a Spanish translation

• Proof of sufficient financial resources (bank accounts, investments, annuities, and any other source of income)

• Proof of medical insurance coverage in Spain

• If you own property in Spain, you must submit the original deed, plus a photocopy. If not, you must submit proof of sufficient financial resources to buy a house in Spain.

It will take approximately five months to process this application.

Work Permit

You can apply to the embassy or your local consulate for a work visa. This visa allows you to work as an employee in a company located in Spain. To apply for this visa, the following requirements must be submitted in person:

• A passport valid for a minimum of six months, plus three photocopies of the photo and personal information page

• Four recent passport-size pictures

• A certificate of good conduct, issued by the police department of any places where you have spent six months or more during the past five years, plus two photocopies

• Original medical certificate printed on a doctor’s letterhead, stating that you are free from yellow fever, cholera, and the plague, free from drug addictions and mental illness, and fit to undertake the proposed work in Spain, plus two photocopies

• Offer of employment, plus two photocopies

• Marriage certificate (if applicable), plus two photocopies

• Birth certificates of children (if applicable), plus two photocopies.

All documents must be submitted to the consulate within 90 days of the issue date (except for marriage and birth certificates). Processing the application will take about four months.

Some American documents such as birth and marriage certificates that need to be legalized to be accepted by the Spanish authorities must bear the Apostille of the Hague

Convention. The consulate has nothing to do with the issuing of the Hague Apostille–that’s the job of the local authorities. You can obtain it at the office of the Department of State in your own state. Spanish documents that need to be legalized to be accepted by American authorities will also be required to bear the Apostille of the Hague Convention.

The address in Spain is Ministerio de Justicia, Departamento de Legalizaciones, Registro Civil; Calle San Bernardo 45, 28015, Madrid; tel. (34)9139-02011.

Note: Your local Spanish consulate will provide information on U.S. citizenship and dual nationality. Since 1990, following a new interpretation of federal laws concerning U.S. nationality, it’s possible to become a foreign national without endangering your U.S. citizenship. As a result, you may acquire Spanish nationality without losing your U.S. citizenship.

Free Report on Spain

Learn more about Spain and other countries in our daily postcard e-letter. Simply enter your email address below and we’ll send you a FREE REPORT — Live the Good Life in Sunny, Affordable Spain.

This special guide covers real estate, retirement and more in Spain and is yours free when you sign up for our IL postcards below.

Enter your email address below


 

Your Chance to Retire Overseas Now

Sign up for our free daily Postcard e-letter and we'll immediately send you a FREE RESEARCH REPORT on the most desirable —and cheapest— retirement havens available to you today.

Each day you'll learn about the best places to retire, travel, buy real estate and enjoy life overseas.

Enter your E-mail Address Below



We Value Your Privacy.