Can you change from non lucrative Spain visa to long term residence card? (Updated February 2023)

There are many doubts that our users share on our Facebook group, regarding changing a non-lucrative visa or residence permit to long-term residence permit. Can you change from non lucrative Spain visa to a long-term residence card? Do you have to prove financial means?

The authorization of temporary non lucrative Spain visa is a permit that is regulated both in the Extranjería law (Aliens law) and in its regulation, and that is granted to those people who can prove that they have sufficient economic means to live in Spain without having to work (Read our blog post “Is it possible to work remotely on a non-lucrative visa?“)

The renewal of non lucrative Spain visa

Normally residence cards have a fixed duration, the first non-lucrative visa will last one year and its application must be done personally at the Spanish consulate in the country of origin. So, this first non-lucrative visa will be granted to enter Spain.

As in most residence permits, this initial authorization is temporary, which will be granted for a period of one year.

The non-lucrative residence may be renewed provided that the renewal requirements are met. The renewal would be granted for two years, and again, after those two years, it could be renewed again for another two years. Therefore, the total would be five years.

After year 5, you can apply for long duration, which is renewed at year 10. Then you could apply for citizenship if desired or just remain a long duration resident.

All the renewals must be done in Spain.

Can I switch from a non lucrative Spain visa to long term residence card?

The answer is yes, you can change your card, once you have reached five years of legal and continuous residence in Spain you have the possibility, of obtaining long-term residence. You would go from being holder of a temporary authorization, to a permanent one.

One of the most important differences is that when obtaining the long-term residence card, it is not necessary to prove economic means. Nor that you have worked during the previous five years, or that you have had economic resources the previous two or five years.

Regarding the application for a long-term residence card, the officials are going to verify that you have renewed your non-lucrative residence cards correctly in time and term, and that during those periods you have been in Spain on a regular basis without interruptions.

You must be very careful about your time outside of Spain during the five year period. You may not exceed 6 months in a year or the sum of 10 months outside Spain in the 5 years of legal and continuous residence.

With non-lucrative residence, you will be able to make the change to a long-term residence card or long-term EU card.

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