Renewing your Spanish non-lucrative Visa (and why using a lawyer is a good idea)
Before we knew it, our non-lucrative residence Visa that we had arranged last year in Montreal was expiring. In theory that meant more Spanish bureaucracy. But this time we handled it a different way and it made our lives a lot easier (more on that below).
First, a few things you should know about renewing your non-lucrative residence Visa*.
* People will point out that, technically, it is your NIE that is expiring and not your non-lucrative Visa (NLV). That’s correct, because technically your NLV was good for 90 days and allowed you to get your TIE and NIE when you first got to Spain. But let’s keep it simple so that everyone can understand without getting a headache…
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 was 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 do you renew your Visa? This 2nd time around, you have to apply in Spain in the province in which you are domiciled. In our case this meant applying at the oficina de extranjeria (foreigner’s office) in Malaga.
How do you renew your non-lucrative residence Visa? Last time we arranged almost all the work for our non-lucrative residence Visa by ourselves. This time however we decided let our Spanish lawyer do all the work.
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 we 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.
6. Application Form EX01 (two copies).
Our lawyer took care of that.
7. Fee Form 790-052 (paid and stamped)
Our lawyer sent us the forms. We had to take them to our local bank to pay the fee of 19 Euros.
That was it.
It took a week for me to get our documents and translation done. Once I had them, I forwarded them to our lawyer.
How our Visa renewal went
I sent my documents to our lawyer on August 16th.
On August 17th she passed it on to the consulate in Malaga. That same day I received an email confirmation that it was received.
Just a few days later, August 26th, we received word that our renewals were approved! We were 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, our 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 services of a lawyer don’t come cheap (we paid 350 Euros each + 21% VAT).
But as I said, I was tired of dealing with bureaucracy, especially dealing with Spanish government offices. Unlike our initial Visa application where we were dealing with the consulate in Canada by email and in English, this time around we had to deal with offices here in Spain. Even if you’re fully proficient in Spanish, you still have to know how to navigate those government websites to submit your documentation and to make the necessary appointments.
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. We’ll be doing the same for our next renewal in late 2023.
Related: Opening a Spanish Bank Account without an NIE
Related: Why we chose Nerja as our new home in Spain
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