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CASE STUDY Nº 1: Non-Lucrative Residence Permit: Miami

What does a typical case look like? By writing case studies for the most common services, I hope that you can get a better idea about what the service entails and what the process is or can be in each case.

The Non-Lucrative Residence Permit

Let's start with the Non-Lucrative Residence Permit. It is also known as the Wealth Visa or the Retirement Visa. If you are thinking about applying for this permit, you do not have to be retired or have a pension. What matters most is that you want to move to Spain and you do not have to work here during the first year. You can live on income you receive from outside of Spain, this being a pension or rental income or any other income that you generate without having to register with Social Security in Spain.

In order to show you what the story of a Non-Lucrative Residence Permit application can look like, I will tell you about different clients in a series of posts. In this post, we will see a rather simple case which went without problems. Of course, I will not disclose any details or private information, this is just to give you an idea of how it can go.

The Requirements

Besides showing that you have money to live on, you will have to be covered by private health insurance, present criminal records for the countries you have lived in during the past 5 years and a medical certificate.

What is very important and sometimes makes the process more difficult is that the Consulates and Embassies have their own ideas and lists of documents they ask for.

The First Case: A couple in Miami

The first story I want to share is that of a couple I assisted in the US. They lived in Florida and had to apply at the Consulate in Miami. They were both in their early 40s at the time and they applied for the Non-Lucrative Residence permit. Since they were married, the husband applied as the main applicant and the wife as his accompanying family member. This is recommendable, since the required monthly income is lower for the family member and only the main applicant has to show the whole amount of 2.151,36 €/month or 25.816,32 €/year. If they were to apply separately, each of them would have to show that amount.

They did not need to work in Spain, since she had income from a house in Orlando that she rented out and he received dividends from being involved in different companies in the US.

When they got in touch with me I made sure that they were ok with not being able to work in the beginning (you can apply for a work permit after 1 year), and that they were aware of the legal requirements. Once they chose me as their lawyer, I prepared a list of documents required by the Consulate in Miami for them. Miami is one of the nicer Consulates. They tend to answer questions via email and assist with the process. Unfortunately, not all the Consulates offer the same support.

Gathering the Documents

The couple went about gathering their documents. One very important one was the marriage certificate. This document cannot be more than 3 months old when you present it at the Consulate. I know, the marriage certificate having to be new can be confusing. Please, see my post on this topic or contact me to clear up any doubts that you may have.

The other documents they gathered were stamped bank extracts, their medical certificates and criminal records. We assisted them with the legalisation and translation processes, which are rather straightforward in the US. In case of federal documents, such as the FBI criminal records, they have to be apostilled in Washington.

Presentation and Success

They had to attend one appointment at the Consulate in Miami and received a positive answer after only 3 weeks. Within a month they picked up their passports with the type D visas (long-term). After entering Spain a few weeks later, we got them their appointments at the police station to request their residence cards. They picked those up four weeks later.

After their first year in Spain they successfully renewed their Non-Lucrative Residence Permits. We presented their applications online and everything went smoothly.

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