How to Renew a Non Lucrative Residence Visa in Spain

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My most popular posts all begin with the phrase “How to…” so here’s another one in the Spanish Non Lucrative Residence Visa series.  The first series dealt with the initial application that is able to afford you 12-months of residency in Spain.

This is the first post of the next series related to renewing that residency.

Spain Non Lucrative Residence Visa Renewal

At the bottom of my initial approved residency paperwork was a little blurb that said if I was interested in renewing, I could do so within 60-days before or up to 90-days after my residency expiration date (which was July 1, 2015).

Because our family was planning on doing some out-of-country traveling at the end of July, I made it a goal to take care of all the renewal paperwork prior to leaving.  I didn’t want to find out what would have happened if we tried to re-enter Spain with expired residency cards.  We probably would have ended up with the one customs agent that doesn’t understand the “90-day after expiration” rule.

Anyway, I made a solo journey to the foreigner’s office with the only objective of trying to get a list of requirements for the renewal.  I waited my turn and found myself at Manolo’s desk where he promptly printed off a little pamphlet in Spanish with a succinct list of the items I needed to provide.  He also highlighted an email address that I was to write once I had all my paperwork together to request an appointment time.

Requirements

1.  Form EX-01 – Application for renewal of non-lucrative temporary residence (one per applicant).

2.  Original passport (for each applicant).

3.  Copies of *every* page of the passport (for each applicant).

My Note:  I believe this is to show how much time you’ve actually spent in Spain the past year as a “resident”.  You may not be approved if you are considered a resident, but spend very little time there.

[4/25/16 Edit:  I had heard that you need to spend a minimum of 6 months in Spain during your first year in order to be approved (180 days to be exact) and now have heard of a first rejection as a result of not spending enough time in Spain during that inaugural year.  So if you plan on renewing this type of residence visa, make sure the majority of your time is actually spent in Spain.]

4.  Proof of sufficient financial resources (one per family).

My Note:  To prove you can support yourself for another year in Spain, they require proof of recurring income.  In my little pamphlet of renewal instructions, there were the following monetary guidelines that were unchanged from a year ago.  They are a minimum of 2,130€ per month (~$2,470) plus an additional 532€ per month (~$620) for a spouse and each additional dependent.  This means 3,726€ per month (~$4,320) for our family of four (4).

For our initial application, I had simply submitted bank statements showing savings that eclipse the monthly amount extrapolated to a year.  For us, this translates to 44,712€ per year (~$52,000).  This year, I submitted one bank statement that totaled about double that amount.

5.  Proof of medical insurance with coverage in Spain (for each applicant).

My Note:  Based on the number of emails I’ve received about insurance, I know there is a lot of confusion swirling around this one.  What kind of coverage is needed?  Is repatriation required?  What about medical evacuation and deductibles?  Frankly, I have no idea.

Here is the seven-word sentence I received in my pamphlet of renewal requirements:  “Documentación acreditativa de disponer de seguro médico“.  Which I translate to “Accredited documentation arranged for medical insurance”.

As a result I went with a cheap, local Spanish company for our medical insurance this year and no one batted an eyelash.

6.  Proof of school enrollment (for each child/minor applicant).

My Note:  This was an interesting, new requirement – different from the initial application and one that I didn’t expect.  I visited our school’s secretary who whipped up a one-pager for each of our boys stating that they had been enrolled in Spanish public school for the entire scholastic year.  A quick signature by the principal made this requirement an easy one to fulfill.  I’m not sure what you’d do if you were homeschooling your kids.

Curve Balls

The pamphlet that I had went out of its way to say that all documents from other countries must be translated in Spanish (Castellano).  I wasn’t too concerned about this since out of the 6 items they were asking for, only my bank statement fell into this category.  And even then, it was only one page and contained primarily dollar amounts and dates.

Manolo informed me that I would need it translated.  Since we were now on a first name basis and I was feeling feisty, I prodded a little bit and said “come on, Manolo, it’s a half page document with nothing but dollars and dates, what is there to translate?“.

I think he understood where I was coming from, but I wanted to see what he would say because just prior to this meeting I had heard from another friend in Granada whose renewal was not accepted on the basis of an untranslated bank statement.

He said, “It isn’t up to me.  It depends on my colleague who will review your paperwork.  Look, gather up the rest of the stuff, make your follow-up appointment and let’s see what happens.”  That is just what I did.  They ended up accepting my bank statement as-is and saved me about 30€ in the process.

The Appointment

After a couple of days rounding up the needed paperwork, I emailed the office with days and times my wife and I were available.  Manolo had informed me that it wasn’t required that the kids show up to the initial appointment – only adults.  This was nice as we didn’t need to take our boys out of school.

We showed up early and had our paperwork ordered by applicant, which makes it easier for everyone.  Teresa was busy processing the paperwork and asking us about our first year when she came upon the bank statement.  I expected her to ask where the translated copy was but instead she asked me to write what the approximate account balance was in euros!

She confirmed that we were staying at the same address (we were) and informed us that if approved, the renewal was valid for two (2) years!  This is good news for us since we want to stay a little over one more year.

She also informed us that in order to get everything submitted, we’d have to pay the appropriate tasa (fee).  Which led to one more needed item.

7.  Form 790 Code 052 – Initial Residence Authorization (one per applicant).

At this point, I’ve pretty much learned that anytime you need to go into the foreigner’s office to process some paperwork, there is going to be a fee.  A fee that can’t be paid right there on the spot.  This is when they hand you Form 790 and hopefully have filled in the appropriate fee (15.76€ per applicant in this case).

Teresa said to pay the fees at an eligible bank (usually BBVA or Santander) and come back another day.  I think she saw the look on my face when she asked me to return and said if I hurried, I could run to the bank right then and get it all taken care of that same day.  Easy decision.

Additional Considerations

  • This information is valid as of June 2015.
  • The renewal process is significantly less strenuous than the initial application.  Note the lack of background checks, marriage and birth certificates, Apostilles, etc.  Wahoo!
  • Non-Lucrative Residence Renewals are good for two (2) years.
  • I think it helped to include everyone’s NIE numbers in all email correspondence so they knew who they were dealing with and can look up additional details as needed.
  • Children did not need to be present for the initial renewal appointment.
  • Ask the names of the people you deal with in the office.   It will take them aback, in a good way.   I did and think it made a difference in my dealings with them.
  • The biggest expense at this point of the process comes from making the needed copies (~10€ worth) and the fee associated with Form 790 (63.04€ total for our family) to submit our application.
  • There is no dealing with photos or fingerprints yet.  They aren’t needed until the renewal is indeed approved and you are beyond your initial residency’s expiration date.

This rounds out the application step of the renewal.  The next steps have been outlined in this post.

49 thoughts on “How to Renew a Non Lucrative Residence Visa in Spain”

    1. It’ll be a breeze, I’m sure. The crazy part of this residency stuff is that I have yet to hear of an example of someone being denied. Postponed or required to jump through more hoops? Yes. But flat-out denied? Nope. You?

    1. Time flies when you are having fun! Everyone’s doing great. You all? We’re currently in Italy again (Lake Como). Say ‘ciao’ to Fede for us.

  1. Hi, I’m planning to renew my visa now, but do you have information on how to make the appointment with the (foreigners’ office?) to submit the documents?
    Thanks so much, your post was so helpful!

    1. Hi Samantha. One of my letters had a link to the following online application.
      In addition, I suspect each city’s office has its own way of arranging appointments. As I mentioned in the write-up, my attendant provided me with a direct email address to him when I was ready to make an appointment. If you are renewing in Granada, hit me up and I’ll send you his email address. Otherwise I’d use the national online reservation system or visit your office in person and ask that way.

      1. Hi Jed,
        First of all, thank you for your concise explanation of the renewal process. Woo, you brought my stress level down, which is no easy task.

        So the one issue I’m confused about is the place file this paperwork. You say the foreigner’s office and when I look that up here in Gijon, Asturias, it gives me the Policia Nacional, which is where I went to submit this paperwork last year when I was living in Catalunya.

        I asked at my local town hall and of course got two separate answers.

        I’ll continue researching this myself but wanted to ask just in case you have the answer

        1. Hi Liviana. Unfortunately I don’t know the correct office for Gijon. I did a quick google search for ‘gijon españa oficina de extranjeros’ and it pointed me to the office in Oviedo. I´d just hit the street and first try the two locations you were told. You´ll stumble upon the correct place at some point! Good luck.

  2. Hello, thanks for our ebook and help on round 1. Here goes 2!! On Form 790 can you tell me what to check? Is it 1. a “Proggoga de estancia”(extend your stay?

    Thanks!

    1. I’d leave it blank and let the admins at the office check the appropriate box and also let you know the appropriate fee. I can’t say I remember what was checked as they filled this form out for us.

  3. About to renew myself, the comparative ‘ease’ looks promising. A question – were you not asked to present an empadronamiento? It seems like no, they just asked you if you were still at same address?

    1. We’re in the process of renewing, and so far, our experience has been a bit different from Jed’s. This seems to be common, though, as every province/region/person seems to want something different. Our requirement sheet from the extranjería specifically stated that we needed an empadronamiento. We just went to the correct office for registering with our old paper, and said we needed a new copy with a new date stamp. Took about two minutes, in and out (not counting the line heh).

      I personally would suggest that you do this just in case your extranjería wants it. ¡Buena suerte!

      1. Hi Bill. No, they did not ask me for empadronamiento but as Ryan mentioned, I think that is a rarity. I would plan on having it with you, especially if you have since moved locations.

        1. Thanks you-all. I’ve not moved since the first one. I’ll try to get a fresh one just carrying in the old one, that would be grand. I always figure they’ll ask to see the lease contract – in original no copies, younger than 3 mos old, printed on proper regulation paper etc etc etc. Hope always to deal with as few spanish bureaus or bureaus anywhere in fact as possible.

  4. Thank you, thank you so much Jed. We are planning on hanging around Andalucia after our year is up. 🙂 Hope you guys are having fun wherever you are.

    1. We got our insurance from http://www.insubuy.com/ and don’t find it to be particularly expensive. It’s definitely more expensive than Mapfre, but it was very easy to do and it’s all in English. Due to the pain of using some private insurance here, we actually just pay cash for everything – unless there’s something very major, which there fortunately hasn’t been as of yet – and consider the insurance part of the cost of getting a visa and living here.

  5. Hey, does anyone know for certain if the non-lucrative visa does eventually lead to perm residency and citizenship? And if so what’s time frame and process? Thanks Liam

    1. On paper, yes. However in practice I would be very surprised if this could ever be actually managed all the way through to citizenship. Spain is very much a 3rd world country in 1st world clothing. All of the bureaucracy apparatus is in place, but very little of it functions. There is no work ethic in Spain and the people who make the various bureaus and immigration processes function have little incentive or cultural motivation to see that the whole convoluted process actually works properly.

      My own experience bears this out (I am the fellow who posted above in November asking about empadronamiento). I have been legal resident in Spain for 1.5 years. The initial application process, which is well documented here and elsewhere, was the most ridiculous, backward, difficult system I have encountered over many years of living in various places abroad. However it was eventually surmounted and I was legally resident here. One year passed, and now came the time for renewal. The renewal process, exceptionally well documented on this very page, is supposed to be very simple and straightforeward. And so it is. All of my papers were unimpeachable, I had everything required, obtained my appointment, submitted my documents, paid the fee, and was told by the official everything is in fine order. I asked when the decision would arrive, and how. The official simply shrugged in responce to my first query, and to the second she said it would come in the mail. Official law says they must give some responce within 90 days. I sat back and waited. The author of this website states he received his decision via post in 6 days’ time.

      As I type this it has been 2.5 months and I have had no reply. Two days ago I returned to the immigration office to enquire, and was simply told I would first need to make a new appointment. They could tell me nothing save that something was indeed quite amiss if I hadn’t received a responce by now. The nearest appointment is several weeks away. I have booked the appointment but have largely lost all interest at this point. Bear in mind that after this one must obtain still another appointment to apply for residence card (soonest appointment will be 2-4 weeks away at best), and then after applying for card wait a further 40 days before the card is ready. The entire renewal process will by then have taken me, in this instance, nearly six months. Six months does not pass lightheartedly when the legality of your simple existence on the earth rests in a constant state of flux and limbo.

      I am leaving Spain largely because of this, in disgust. Not simply this single incident but an overwhelming tendency, in this country, toward this sort and shade of lackadaisical attitude toward everything. There are so many ludicrous hurdles placed before you here to accomplish the absolute simplest, most basic tasks I feel finally, after some time here, that it is not worth my time and energy to remain. I do not take this viewpoint from a position of ignorance. There are places in the world in which bureaucratic processes are both warranted and operationally functional. There are other places in the world which lack both the bureaucratic processes and also the fruits such processes afford. Spain occupies some nether-place in the middle of these. It wants to display the appurtenances of the first world, yet takes little or no responsibility for making those appurtenances to function.

      I moved here with the same idea / plan you seem to be eyeing here. Obtain legal residency with intent toward eventual permanent status and citizenship. After 2 years here I have lost all interest for fatigue with the state of things. I’ll gladly return to Mexico instead. I am an american citizen.

      To ‘answer’ though your query, the numbers on paper as far as I have come to understand are: you are given initially a 1 year residence permit. Then you renew and are given 2 years. Renew again and are given another 2 years. This makes 5 years so far total in residence. After that, you are able to renew again and obtain permanent residency. However, this still must be renewed I believe each five years. After ten years total residency in Spain, you are eligible to apply for citizenship. Eligible to apply does not mean it will be granted. There is a whole battery of tests, language and cultural etc., which stand in the way of the citizenship-seeker, and I am guessing this process would take years worth of obtaining and waiting for appointments, and chasing down papers, and still further appointments to obtain still further papers, and finding out the papers you have are no longer valid for being more than 90 days old, and beginning the process anew, etc. As I am finding out, the system here cannot seem to manage confidently my very run-of-the-mill, simple, straightforeward residency renewal without screwing it up. I would have zero confidence in seeing the process through to actual citizenship. The fact seems to be that Spain does not want you here, and these guaranteed fouls-up are the manner in which this distaste for non-refugee migrants is communicated.

      Best luck though, with your attempt.

      1. Thanks very much Bill, a lot to think about given I am risking losing my UK visa to move to Spain and already on a path to citizenship there.

        Hope it improves for you.

        Cheers,
        Liam

      2. Every experience is different. I say for those who want to stay, lean on friends in Spain, expats, do research and whatever you can to streamline the process. In Washington Dc, we were approved for our non lucrative in 30 days. Living near DC and Annapolis and making the visa a full time job, I gathered all paperwork needed in 10 days. This is rare, but the process for our family was 40 days. We submitted our renewal paper work in Valencia on October 20, 2015 with the help of an expat on FB who had just gone through the process. He gave us instructions on what to do, links on how to check things online and recommended making an appt ASAP online which we did. We picked up our cards January 15, 2016. I am not saying they are bending over backwards to help you, however, with some persistence and research you can do things in a timely manner. We came from Baltimore and as landlords in the city, I can’t say things in our government offices worked any smoother (sadly.) A fellow expat just got her residency and we were told after our next renewal we too will have our residency. Good luck to all, we love Spain and have no plans to return!

  6. Hi, My husband and I got a letter from Extranjero today asking us to show up within 10 days with paperwork to prove we still have sufficient funds, insurance and our passports ( with photocopies ). We initially submitted paperwork in L.A. April 27th, 2015, so we are nearing a year but our initial non-lucrative permit is good until Sept 1st, 2016 and we plan to renew around that time. We are in Alicante and must go to Valencia for this. Luckily enough, we just made reservations yesterday for a 4-day visit to Valencia next week ( are we psychic, don’t know … ) so it hopefully won’t be such a pain but I am curious if anyone else has experienced this and/or if this might go towards a renewal ?
    Thanks, Nancy

  7. Just an update for everyone reading this (and Jed!)…

    We applied a month before our renewal date, with all correct and complete paperwork. About 6 weeks later, we finally got a letter stating they were missing our proof of health insurance, even though it was in the first submission of paperwork for renewal. Ah well.

    So, we resubmitted that. A couple months later, we received notice that we were approved for two more years. They gave us an appointment to come in for fingerprints and to bring our paid taza and all that jazz, which we did back in March. On that day, they gave us an appointment for April to pick up our cards.

    Et voilà, we received our two-year renewal cards, nearly six months after we applied for them, and they expire in 1.5 years due to the delay haha.

    I know it’s different in every place; but in Seville, they’re now giving appointments for everything after the initial renewal submission/application. It’s nice because you know things might get done, but annoying to wait weeks just to go get some fingerprints taken or whatever. Also, at least here, one can now check the status of the renewal process online with a NIE.

    Happy renewing!

    1. Ryan;

      Congratulations for the renewal!

      Did you have to translate the medical coverage in Spanish? Thanks for the medical insurance link. I am considering getting the Insubuy “Atlas International” coverage for my renewal which is due in 3 months.

      Cheers
      John

  8. Does anyone know if I can stay in Spain for 90 days on a tourist visa after my 1 year non lucrative visa runs out? I spent 90 days here last year March-June, then traveled to the UK for the day to start my 1 year visa. They wanted me to enter the country during my long term visa time. Would it be simple enough as me leaving the last week of my eligibility of my 1 year visa, then re-entering under a 90 day tourist visa? I worry I will travel to the UK or to Morroco for a few hours, only to be told I’ve been in Spain long enough, and I can’t come back in. That would be a bad things as all my things are here and need to be moved back to the US when we plan on returning in September.

    Would it be safer to get pre-approval for a tourist visa (if that’s even possible)? If so, who do I contact for such a pre-approval. The consulate in the USA? Someone here in Spain?

    Thanks to anyone with any input.

    1. Hi Jim. I’m not sure I understand your scenario entirely, but let me offer up this anecdotal story. In short, if your extranjero office is any bit as helpful as the one here in Granada, you may be best paying them a visit and outlining your plan/need with them to see what they offer up.

      I had a friend whose family was here in Spain living for one year on a non-lucrative visa. They wanted to return back to the U.S. about 2 weeks *after* their visa expiration and were prepared to go through the renewal process just to be safe. Turns out while they were at the office trying to renew, the attendant sussed out their plan (just to stay another extra couple weeks) and offered a very easy alternative that was processed through the mail (?). I believe they had to show proof of their return by showing their airline tickets.

    2. Jim, did you get any further info on this? We are in a similar situation where we wish to leave Spain 25 days after our non-lucrative visa expires. Don’t want to stay longer than that. Anything you can share would be helpful.

      1. HI Andrew, yes you can. When your visa expires, you automatically fall back on Schengen, so 90 days. Should you change your mind and wish to renew your visa, you may do that within that 90 day window.

        1. I got the info here :

          http://extranjeros.empleo.gob.es/es/InformacionInteres/InformacionProcedimientos/Ciudadanosnocomunitarios/hoja011/index.html

          “Plazo de solicitud: durante los 60 días naturales previos a la fecha de expiración de la autorización. También se puede solicitar dentro de los 90 días posteriores a la fecha en que hubiera finalizado la vigencia de la autorización, sin perjuicio de la posibilidad de que sea incoado el correspondiente procedimiento sancionador”

  9. Hi Jed
    Great post!
    I’m about to get my non lucrative visa from the Spanish embassy here in Tel Aviv.
    Would you by any chance know about the wealth tax? If I stay less than 182 days in Spain the first year in order to avoid paying the wealth tax will I be renewed for the second year?
    Thanks
    Alan

    1. Hi Alan,
      Sorry – just seeing this now. I don’t know about the wealth tax but I do know that you’ll have trouble renewing if you stay less than a half year your first year. 183 days is the minimum.

  10. Your documentation of the process has kept me sane through the initial application and I’m looking forward to renewing!
    Question – did you need to give them your passport to be returned with your mail carrier, or just to present at the appointments?

    1. Glad to hear this helps, Rebecca. No, we did not need to give them our passports. They were for reference only and given right back. They did keep our copies of every page of all of our passports, however – ha!

    1. The office (Oficina de Extranjería) in Marbella is the (Cuerpo Nacional De Policía) CNP office on Avda. Duque de Lerma, Edif. España Local 2. This is located near the McDonalds on the traffic circle just south of La Canada shopping center.

  11. Awesome news! We arrived on non-lucrative visas at the end of October and are picking up our Tarjetas de Extranjero in a couple weeks. I’m so relieved to hear the renewal process is much easier. I have a question, though. Did you need to show empadronamiento? I ask because we will be moving around the country this year and won’t be renewing where we are receiving the Tarjeta. We’re currently in Tarragona but will most likely be in San Sebastian when we renew. Do you think that will matter?

  12. I know they need to see your passport and a copy – did they keep the passport? I am going on a short trip in the nesr future and am worried they will ask to keep it.
    Thanks for all the helpful info! The renewal is definitely proving less stressful than the original process.

  13. dear Jed :
    my second renewal for my non lucrative residence is refused due to not staying more than 180 days in Spain .
    can I apply for this visa another time from the Spain embassy at my country ?
    or what can I do because I still at Spain now ?
    thanks

    1. I’m sorry to hear that, AFAF. To answer your questions, I’m not entirely sure. I would think you could start the whole process again (from your home country) but ultimately I’m not sure. I’d ask about your options at your nearest foreigner’s office there in Spain.

Your Thoughts?