Renewing your Spanish non-lucrative Visa (and why using a lawyer is a good idea)
Ah, more bureaucracy.
Before we knew it, our non-lucrative residence Visa that we had arranged last year in Montreal was expiring.
When can you renew your non-lucrative residence Visa? You can renew it anywhere from 60 days before the expiry of your Visa to 90 days after the expiry date. How to determine the expiry date? Check your TIE card (your Tarjeta de Identidad Extranjero). It states the date explicitly next to “Residencia Temporal inicial”. In our case the date is October 1st 2021. So we could apply for our NLV anywhere between August 1st 2021 to January 1st 2022.
We figured we’d get it done right away so we arranged to do in in early August.
Where? This 2nd time around, you have to apply in Spain in the autonomous community in which you are domiciled. In our case this meant applying at the consulate in Malaga.
How? Last time we arranged all the work for our non-lucrative residence Visa by ourselves. This time however we decided to use a lawyer here in Spain. Why? We just felt like we had bureaucratic overload with all we’ve been through over the last year. Besides the whole NLV process, getting the TIE once back in Spain, working on getting my Spanish driver’s license and being in the middle of doing US taxes for Lissette, I just felt I wanted to have someone take care of it for us.
And I’m glad we did for reasons I’ll explain.
Requirements for a Spanish non-lucrative Visa renewal
Many of the document requirements were the same as on the initial application but needed updating. Here is everything needed:
1. Full copy of passports (including all the pages)
2. Copy of your TIE card
3. Empadronamiento (ie your padron from the local city hall)
4. Private health insurance
Note: for this, I wrote our agent at Adeslas and she sent me a letter certifying that our coverage was current
5. Bank certificate with at least 66.000€ (those requirements are for 2 years, for both of us)
Note: for this I had our bank manager in Montreal write up a letter which stated our bank and investment holdings. I had to get this letter translated by an official Spanish-government approved translator (I used the same one I used last year). Once I had that, I sent the letter and a bank statement supporting the balances to our lawyer.
In addition, there were a couple of things that the lawyer took care of:
6. Application Form EX01 (two copies)
7. Fee Form 790-052 (paid and stamped)
That was it.
It took a week for me to get our documents and translation done. Once I had them, I forwarded them to my lawyer.
How it went
I sent my documents to the lawyer on August 16th.
On August 17th she passed it on to the consulate in Malaga. That same day I received a confirmation that it was received.
Just a few days later, August 26th, we received word that our renewals were approved! We are therefore extended 2 years to October of 2023.
Note: This means that we will have one more renewal to do in 2023. Assuming it goes through, that will renew us to 2025. At that time, after a total of 5 years in Spain, we can apply for Permanent Residency.
Getting a new TIE card
Once your renewal has been approved, you have 30 days to make an appointment to get your new TIE card. Again, the lawyer arranged that.
Note: the appointment doesn’t have to be within 30 days of being approved. But the appointment should be made within 30 days.
Why we were happy we used a lawyer
The documentation isn’t hard and maybe we could have done it ourselves. After all the lawyer didn’t come cheap: 350 Euros each + 21% VAT.
But as I said, I was tired of dealing with bureaucracy, especially dealing with Spanish government offices. Even with digital certificates (which are essential here) you still have to know how to navigate those government websites.
Considering the peace of mind of using a lawyer, plus that the renewals were good for 2 years, we’re happy we used a lawyer.
Related: Opening a Spanish Bank Account without an NIE
Related: Why we chose Nerja as our new home in Spain
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