We applied for and received a non-lucrative visa and associated Permiso de Residencia in Spain
. The application process is laborious but not difficult, and it's not free.
Everything you need to know is available on the Spanish Embassy's web page for your country. In the U.S. its at: Residence Visa (Non-Lucrative)
In a nutshell, you'll need:
- Copy of Passports
- Copy of the birth certificates
certificates of good health
- Marriage license
* This must be legalized with the Apostille of the Hague and translated by a "Sworn Spanish Translator."
*Because marriage licenses are issued by states and we were married in Florida
, the Apostille of the Hague was done at the state capital, Tallahassee.
- Health insurance
* Private Spanish health insurance
is preferred, but U.S. Military TRICARE was accepted for us.
- Proof of sufficient funds (minimum €26.000 per applicant)
- FBI check (requires fingerprinting)
Most of the above documents have a fee to get from their source, and then they must be notorized (for a fee) and translated into Spanish by a "Sworn Spanish Translator" (for a fee).
Submit everything in person at the Spanish Consulate that services your U.S. state of legal
residence, and pay the processing fee. We are Florida
residents, and the Consulate is in Miami
Some consulates require appointments, but in Miami
it's first come first serve, but with a limited number of slots per day. We arrived at 07:30, and the Consulate opened at 0900. We were fifth in line, and they were only seeing 15 applicants that day. They had reached their daily quota shortly after they opened. You will find out that day if everything is in order. If it is, it takes 2-4 weeks to get your visa afixed into your passport. You can pick it up in person, or they will mail it to you. But you're not done...
Within 10 days of arriving in Spain
, you need to go to an Immigration Office. Most National Police offices have one. There, you'll need to provide evidence of your domicile in Spain. We used the address of the marina where we were docked, but it's not as simple as showing a bill from the marina.
First we had to go to the ayuntamiento (town hall) and register as citizens in the town. They accepted a 1-month contract
at the marina, but it took 2 weeks for them to process our application, and put their official stamp/seal on the form we received back at the police office.
Then it was back to the National Police office to consummate the process and receive our Spanish ID cards with the heading Permiso de Residencia. Everything was submitted on 6 December; however, our ID card was not available for pickup for ~6 weeks. It's valid for one year from 6 December. We're told it is easy to renew, and the first renewal is valid for 3 years.
We orchestrated everything ourselves - my wife deserves the credit for her attention to detail - except for the Apostille of the Hague, for which we hired an agent in Miami, significantly reducing the turnaround time from a few weeks to a few days. Also, there are companies that will do everything for you, for a hefty fee of course.
Again, none of the above is difficult, but it is laborious. And the Spanish Consular Officers follow the published requirements to the letter.
We hope this helps.