Spain Retirement Visa – How to Apply & Relocate

Spain Retirement Visa – How to Apply & Relocate

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to retire abroad and need some information about Spain retirement visa?

You are not alone hundreds of thousands have gone before you.

Here is our Spain Retirement Visa – How to Apply & Relocate we outline how to go about it.

Spain’s blend of favourable climate, affordability, quality of life, healthcare options, and cultural richness makes it an attractive destination for retirees seeking to enjoy their golden years in a beautiful and welcoming environment.

One of the other benefits of living in Spain is that it is close enough for family and friends to visit you regularly. No need to feel too homesick!

Sadly, it is not as simple as it once was.

Moving to Spain from the UK requires careful preparation, particularly in the aftermath of Brexit.

With the proper planning, it is possible, and it can be an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Here’s an overview of the process, key considerations, and tips for making your move to Spain smoother.

Remember to stay flexible and open-minded, as adapting to a new country may have its challenges.

For most of us, change can be tough, but it also offers countless rewards.

Various Visas are Available

Spain Visa Options

There are various ways to make the move to Spain. Image credit: Envato Elements

There are plenty of ways to get a Spain retirement visa when living in the UK.

UK citizens are permitted to stay in Spain for up to three months within six months without a visa.

Anything other than this requires a visa.

For UK retirees, there are two visas you can obtain to gain entry into Spain for periods longer than 90 days.

  • Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa.
  • Golden Visa

Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa

Spain Passport

Spanish Passports. Image credit: Envato Elements

This visa is specifically for those who do not work but have access to some kind of income such as a pension or investments.

As of 2024, you must prove that you have an annual income of €27,155 (£23,263) per year for an individual, or €33,893 (£29,036) for a married couple.

This visa must be obtained before arrival in Spain.

It entails a visit to one of three Spanish Consulates in the UK (London Edinburgh or Manchester).

The application process involves submission of your passport, birth certificate proof of a clean criminal record, medical insurance cover documents, and bank statements as proof of income.

The Non-Lucrative Visa is initially valid for one year. Retirees must ensure sufficient income to cover both the initial year and the subsequent renewals.

The visa can be renewed several times.

After five years of continuous residency in Spain, retirees may be eligible to apply for a long-term residence permit.

Golden Visa

This visa is aimed at non-EU nationals who intend to make a significant investment in Spain such as purchasing a property.

Alternatively, you could invest money into the country via shares, funds, or bonds.

However, most people choose to make a real estate investment by buying a property.

The caveat here is that you must spend a minimum of €500,000 (£428,350) to buy your Spanish home.

In short, the Golden Visa program gives individuals renewable temporary residence permits in exchange for investing in the country.

Not only can you obtain the visa by buying a home, investing in a Spanish company, investing funds or bank deposits, and creating Spanish job opportunities also qualify.

That said it is important to be aware of the sums involved aside from buying a home.

You would need to invest a minimum of €1,000,000 (£856,700) in shares of a Spanish company. Invest the same on a bank deposit or investment fund or have €2,000,000 (£1,713,400) in Spanish treasure bonds.

Going down the property route is the cheapest option.

If you are lucky enough to have large sums of money, the Golden Visa is a very quick process taking as little as 20 days.

Here again, you need to apply through a Spanish Embassy or Consulate directly, or through a legal representative (advisable).

There is a cost associated with this visa. The average fee is between €2,500 – €3,500. (£2,141- £2,998).

Golden Visa holders are permitted to stay in Spain for 12 months and initially, a two-year residency card is issued with the visa, renewable for five years thereafter.

It is also a pathway to permanent residency and Spanish citizenship.

Residency In Spain

If you are sure you want to emigrate permanently to Spain and have already been granted either the Golden Visa or Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa, you can then apply for residency.

It is important to note that getting permanent residency can take a number of years.

First, you must apply for Padron Registration (proof that you reside in Spain more or less permanently) and a TIE (Tarjeta de Identificacion Extranjeros) residency card within a month of arriving in Spain.

The application process can be done online, at your province’s Foreign Office or via a legal representative.

When you have had your application approved, you must visit the closest police station to your home that deals with residency applications.

Your TIE card should be issued within 4 weeks of application.

Similar to the Golden Visa and Non-Lucrative Visa, proof of financial self-sufficiency will be required.

In this case, you must show that you have between €6,000 and €9,000 (£5,141 and £7,712) in your account.

After 5 consecutive years of living in Spain, you can apply for permanent residency.

After 10 years of living in Spain, it is possible to become eligible to apply for Spanish citizenship, subject to meeting certain criteria.

NOTE: Any costs associated with Spanish visas are subject to change depending on the province you are applying in.

Tax Obligations in Spain

Taxes in Spain

Taxes in Spain. Image credit: Unsplash

Retirees who spend 183 days or more per year in Spain automatically become tax residents and are required to pay income tax on their worldwide income.

Retirees need to understand their tax obligations.

If you receive a pension from your home country, it’s essential to understand how it will be taxed in Spain.

Regardless of your residence status, if you have purchased a property in Spain, you still have to pay the relevant taxes, such as municipal and rental income taxes.

Given the complexities of international tax planning, it’s advisable to seek professional advice from a tax advisor or accountant.

Choose one who specialises in cross-border taxation and understands the specific tax laws and treaties between your home country and Spain and one who speaks English.

Financial Planning Spain has a very helpful guide explaining the Spanish taxation system for those considering retirement in Spain.

By carefully planning your tax strategy and seeking expert guidance, you can minimise your tax liabilities and make the most of your retirement in Spain.

Finding a Good Lawyer in Spain

It is highly advisable to enrol the services of a good lawyer when you are planning your Spanish retirement. It is never too early to start your search for a reputable one.

Spanish lawyers have in-depth knowledge of Spanish laws and regulations related to residency, property ownership, taxation, healthcare, and other relevant matters.

Navigating the complex process of obtaining a residency visa or permit will be that much easier with a Spanish lawyer who can help you understand the various residency options available.

They can provide valuable guidance and advice tailored to your specific situation and needs and assist you in preparing and submitting the necessary documentation.

By conducting thorough research and consulting with multiple lawyers, you can find a reputable legal professional who can effectively guide you through the process of retiring in Spain.

Here are several lawyers specialising in Spanish immigration you may wish to consider:

Where are you Going to Spend Your Retirement in Spain?

Where will you retire in Spain?

Where will you retire in Spain? Image credit: Pexels

This is going to be personal to each individual. We are all searching for different criteria.

You may already have family residing in Spain and want to be near them.

You may want to be by the sea, or you have dreamt of living in a traditional finka (farmhouse) in the countryside along with some land.

Perhaps it is somewhere close to plenty of cultural events and places to visit.

No problem, because Spain is packed with all manner of beautiful locations offering something for everyone.

Popular Places to Retire in Spain

Valencia, Spain

Valencia is an excellent place to retire. Image credit: Pixabay

Once you have decided on the region that is going to suit you best, you can begin your search for your ideal location.

Here are some of the many places in Spain that are considered popular with retirees.


Sitting in Malaga on the Costa del Sol, you can spend your days soaking up the sun on one of the area’s stunning beaches. Plus, Fuengirola enjoys a bustling nighttime scene and year-round sunshine. A favourite among British expat retirees.


Another popular coastal region, the Costa Blanca stretches along the eastern coast of Spain. It also boasts stunning beaches, picturesque towns, and an enviable relaxed lifestyle.


As an alternative to coastal living, the southern region of Andalusia is renowned for its historic cities, stunning architecture, and traditional Spanish culture. This area is home to some very well-known locations such as Malaga, Marbella, Cadiz, Almeria, and Huelva.


The largest of the Balearic Islands. Mallorca offers a diverse landscape of beaches, mountains, and charming villages. The island’s capital, Palma de Mallorca, as well as towns like Soller and Pollensa, are popular choices for retirees seeking a tranquil yet cosmopolitan lifestyle.


This region in western Spain is known for its low cost of living, especially in cities like Badajoz and Cáceres. Housing is relatively affordable, and everyday expenses such as groceries and dining out tend to be lower compared to other regions.

These locations only manage to scrape the surface of wonderful locations for retirees to live in Spain.

Go Ahead and Make the Move

WACO Truck

White & Company Truck

By properly preparing for your relocation, you can ensure a smoother transition and fully enjoy your new life in Spain.

The many expat communities spread right across the country means that finding people with the same interests and outlook on life is easy.

Mingling and making friends with other expats will be invaluable to making your journey to living in Spain a permanent one.

Their insight and experience will provide you with a wealth of information and their friendship will help you settle and feel part of the local community.

If you ask most of the retirees already taking advantage of the benefits of retiring in Spain, very few will tell you it was a bad decision.

On the contrary, moving to Spain is a decision that will change your life forever and for the better.

If you want to enquire about your move with one of our moving experts be sure to get in touch with White & Company today.

We offer frequent Removals to Spain, with services to meet every need.

Our services include:

  • Full load consignments that take your belongings directly from point A to B, or
  • Part loads that are delivered shortly after your arrival.
  • Storage is available, if required, accredited to European standards.

Book your move with White & Company and let us deal with every facet of your move!

From packing all your belongings in the UK to delivering them to your new home in Spain, we’re here for you.

For more information on shipping goods to Spain give us a call on 01489 663018.

Alternatively, you can fill out a quick quote form and a member of our team will get in touch.

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