How can British owners of holiday homes in Spain stay in their property for more than 90 days after Brexit?
The Spanish Government estimates that around one million British nationals own property in Spain. With around 370,000 living in Spain as full-time residents, within the Spanish tax system.
Which leaves around 700,000 British non-resident property owners coming to terms with the new post-Brexit reality of regulations which bar them from enjoying freedom of movement within the European Union and staying in their holiday homes in Spain for more than 90 days in every 180-day period.
Many of these owners will have purchased a property in Spain with a view to enjoying their retirement in the sunshine, spending long periods of time there, especially during the winter months away from the UK. Now however Brexit has thrown a spanner in the works, restricting these sojourns to a maximum of just three months at a time.
So what options are available to British holiday homeowners who would like to spend more than 90 days in Spain at a time?
Applying For A Visa To Extend Your Stay In Spain
Currently, the only way that British nationals can extend their stay in Spain beyond three months is by applying for a visa.
There are a variety of different visa types available – and of these the Golden Visa and the Non-Lucrative Visa as outlined below are likely to be most relevant to the circumstances of the majority of holiday homeowners.
Applications for all visas must be made within the UK at the Spanish Consulate in London. An application fee of €60 is normally charged for each individual application.
The Golden Visa
If your holiday home in Spain costs more than €500,000 (as stated on the deeds/escritura) then you are eligible to apply for residency under the Golden Visa Scheme. Retrospective applications can also be made for property purchased as far back as September 28th 2013.
The Golden Visa scheme applies to a number of property investments which total €500,000 or more, not just one individual property. And is also applied to land and commercial purchases as well as residential property.
Applicants must prove that they have spent the amount of €500,000 or more of their own cash on a Spanish property. And this amount must exclude mortgage monies and any of the additional costs associated with investing in a property in Spain, such as fees and taxes.
As with the Non-Lucrative Visa option below, applicants must also provide proof of funds along with private health insurance and a clean criminal record.
Successful applicants then enjoy the right to stay at their holiday home in Spain (or travel within the Schengen Area) for up to 183 consecutive days without affecting their tax status in the UK. It is also permissible to work within Spain or the EU during the period of visa validity.
It is not necessary to live in Spain or to spend a minimum amount of time there in order to retain or renew the Golden Visa. You also do not have to become a fiscal resident of Spain, so long as you spend less than 183 days in Spain per year.
The Golden Visa residency permit is initially granted for two years, after which it can be renewed one a five year basis.
You can view full information about the Golden Visa and the application process by viewing this PDF in English from the Spanish Government website.
The Non-Lucrative Visa
Non-lucrative visa applicants are not allowed to engage in any work or professional activity during their stay. This visa is normally granted for one year – and allows the applicant to spend more than 90 days at a time within Spain (and the wider EU).
It can then be renewed if the applicant has resided in Spain for more than 183 days during the course of that year (which also means that the applicant is tax resident in Spain for that period).
The renewed visa is valid for a further two years and after five years the applicant can then choose to apply for permanent Spanish residency. The Non-Lucrative Visa also provides the applicant with access to all EU countries within the Schengen Area – not just Spain alone.
What are the main application requirements?
Proof Of Funds – you will need to provide evidence that you have the funds available in order to support yourself during your stay in Spain. This currently equates to €27,000 for an individual and €6,768 for each additional dependent.
Private Health Insurance – provided by an operator that is licensed in Spain and a clean criminal record are also mandatory requirements.
You can view full details about the Non-Lucrative Visa and the application requirements by viewing this PDF in English from the Spanish Government website