Are you thinking about moving to Spain, but aren’t sure which visa you would be eligible for? Wondering what the income requirements are to immigrate to Spain?
There are many different visa options for people wanting to live and work in sunny Spain, but most of them come with minimum income floors – a certain amount of money that you must have or consistently earn to prove that you can support yourself financially.
Here’s what you should know about the minimum income requirements for several of the most popular types of Spanish visa.
Minimum income for Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa
The ‘visado de residencia no lucrativa’ – known as the Non-Lucrative Visa – grants temporary residency for a non-EU resident wanting to stay in Spain for longer than the 90 days allowed on a short-stay Schengen Visa for tourists.
A Non-Lucrative Visa allows the holder to legally live in Spain, but not to work or carry out economic activity while living there. This is why it’s also commonly known as a retirement visa, as foreign pensioners often use it.
Before allowing you to live in Spain without working, the government will need you to prove that you won’t be a financial burden to the state. You’ll need to provide evidence of sufficient capital or passive income, such as a pension or investments.
An individual applying for a Non-Lucrative Visa is required to have 400% of the IPREM (Indicador Público de Rentas de Efectos Múltiples or Public Multiple Effects Income Indicator), which is 600€ a month for 2023.
This means you would need to have a guaranteed income of 2,400€ a month or 28,800€ a year. If you brought any family members with you on this visa, you must have an additional 100% of the IPREM per person (an extra 600€ a month per family member).
Minimum income for Spanish Golden Visa
The ‘visado de residencia para inversores y emprendedores’ – known as the Investor Visa or Golden Visa – is an alternative route to residency through investment in Spain. It’s often the fastest and easiest way for non-EU residents with sufficient funds to acquire residency.
This visa allows the applicant to live and work in Spain, and for their dependent family members to experience the same benefits (including spouses, children, or parents). Everyone on the visa can also travel freely throughout the Schengen Area.
To qualify for the Spanish Golden Visa, you must make a minimum investment of:
- 500,000€ of Spanish property(can be multiple properties totalling this value)
- 1,000,000€ of shares in a Spanish company or deposits in a Spanish bank
- 2,000,000€ in Spanish Treasury Bonds (Spanish public debt)
You can also invest in a business project that will create a significant socio-economic impact in Spain, whether by creating jobs or contributing to scientific innovation. This has no minimum investment amount, but will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
These investments have to be made using your own funds, not loans or mortgages, and you cannot split the minimum investment amounts between multiple people.
Of course, you also need to prove that you can financially support yourself and any family members on the visa if you will be living in Spain. This is typically the same as the Non-Lucrative Visa – 400% of the IPREM for the original applicant, plus 100% for every family member.
Minimum income for Spanish Work Visa
There are multiple employment visas available for non-EU citizens who want to work and live in Spain. These include standard work permits, seasonal work visas, au pair visas, and visas for highly skilled workers (EU Blue Cards).
To apply for a Spanish employment visa, you will need to provide evidence of a contract with a Spanish employer, or an offer for this that you intend to finalise. Depending on the role, the contract must confirm that the salary meets or exceeds the minimum wage.
Spain’s minimum annual wage is currently 14,000€ a year, or 1,000€ a month (traditionally with an extra payment twice a year, once in July and once in December). Whatever your salary, you must prove that this is enough to cover your expected living costs in Spain.
When it comes to the EU Blue Card, which requires an invitation from a Spanish employer in a sector with an occupation shortage that hasn’t been filled by Spanish applicants, the highly-skilled job must offer a salary of 1.5 times the average wage in Spain.
As in any country, salaries in Spain vary according to the sector and seniority of the position. If the average gross salary in Spain is 2,710€ a month or 32,520€ a year, the job would therefore have to pay at least 4,065€ a month or 48,780€ a year to get a Blue Card.
Minimum income for Spanish Self-Employment Visa
If you want to work while living in Spain, but you’re self-employed, then you’ll need a different kind of work visa. This applies to self-employed workers such as freelancers, consultants, and entrepreneurs setting up their own small businesses in Spain.
To qualify for a Spanish entrepreneur visa, you must prove that you have the official qualifications and licences necessary to carry out your planned economic activities in Spain, showing evidence of investment funds and expected returns.
To become an ‘autónomo’ – a freelancer or self-employed worker – you must demonstrate that your line of work is viable in Spain and will generate enough income to cover your living expenses. If it isn’t, you must prove that you have enough savings to cover the difference.
Typically, this means earning a minimum of 2 times the IPREM in monthly income (totalling 1,200€ a month), or having a minimum of 13,000€ in savings in your personal bank account.
Spain is also introducing a new ‘digital nomad visa’ for freelancers who work remotely for non-Spanish employers or clients while living in Spain. The minimum income floor for this has yet to be announced, but it’s expected to be twice the minimum monthly wage (totalling 2,000€ a month).
Minimum income for Spanish Student Visa
If you’re temporarily moving to Spain to study in higher education or participate in a qualifying institutional research project, then you’ll apply for a Spanish student visa – but you may also want to work part-time to help you fund your stay.
First of all, obtaining a student visa requires proving that you have sufficient financial means to cover the costs of your studies and living expenses for the expected duration of your time in the country. This could include student loans and scholarships or financial support from your family.
The minimum amount considered to be sufficient for a student’s living costs in Spain is 100% of the IPREM, or 600€ a month until the expected completion of their studies in Spain.
Following recent changes to Spanish immigration law in 2022, international students are now able to work for up to 30 hours a week on their student visa, with no cap on the amount they can earn – though any contract should offer the national hourly wage as a minimum (€7.82 per hour).
How do you prove economic stability for a Spanish visa?
To successfully obtain a visa that allows you to live in Spain, whether you’ll be working or not, you’ll need to prove that you’re economically stable to the Spanish immigration office. This means that in addition to all the identity documents required in your application, you’ll also need to provide evidence of your personal finances. This could include records of:
- Pay slips from contractual employment
- State pensions and/or private pensions
- Passive income sources (e.g. rental income, dividends)
- Savings in a personal bank account (including fixed deposits)
You may be asked to provide 3-6 months of bank statements to prove that your funds are consistent. As with all other documentation, your financial evidence will need to be translated into Spanish and apostilled (legally certified and stamped).
Making sure that you’re applying for the right Spanish visa and providing the appropriate documents is a complicated process, so it can be beneficial to consult Spain immigration lawyers for professional guidance.
If you’re eligible, a Spanish immigration lawyer can help you to complete your application with all the right evidence and speed up the process, allowing you to get your finances in order and immigrate to Spain sooner.
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