My non lucrative Spain visa approval process (NYC consulate)

I arrived at 9:45 am on August 16th 2021 for my 10:00 am non lucrative Spain visa appointment, and waited a few minutes before I was called by a lady who I believe is Belén. All my paperwork was arranged in the order the consulate asked for, with Post-Its indicating which document was which, and with copies in a separate pile. I ended up getting back my background checks, plus most of my copy pile.

All in all, I think my application process went well, and I was out by 10:10 am! It was very smooth, with no hitches or unexpected curveballs. I believe they appreciated me doing everything to the letter, and I hope that bides well for my visa being approved.

Now, for the important bits:

  • I was NOT asked about working remotely, nor was I pressed on it. This is despite the fact that my current job is listed on the application form AND I submitted both my stock holdings with my current employer and a 401(k) statement as proof of financial capacity. (For reference, I’m 30 years old. Way too early for me to retire now.)
  • I was not asked to prove residency; I suppose they saw the copy of my Pennsylvania state ID, but my documents had a mix of both my Pennsylvania address and my California address. I wasn’t asked to take out my Pennsylvania state ID. No complaints in that department.
  • I provided a letter of intent with my application, which they actually don’t ask for. The consulate decided to keep that and include it with the documents they kept. (I wrote in the letter that I want to explore my family history, continue studying Spanish and the shared history between Spain and the Philippines, and hopefully, really contribute to Spain while living there.)
  • I was asked when I wanted my visa to start. On my application I had indicated September 15th 2021, but I asked for September 22nd 2021 instead so I have a bit more time to get ready for the move. They gladly obliged.
  • I mentioned that I have two original copies of my background checks (with apostille, of course), so you’re free to give the originals to the consulate if you want. I chose to give the copies instead, though if you chose to get extras of your background checks, that’s always an option.”
  • I contracted Cigna for my insurance.

> Check Spainguru’s recommended health insurances for non lucrative Spain visa

At the end of the process, you’re given a stamped piece of paper where you can check on the status of your application. When I asked, I was told my application would take 4-6 weeks to process. Fingers crossed that I get it!

October 1st 2021 update

After starting this process in late May, scrambling to get paperwork done in June, traveling to Spain in July to open a bank account, submitting all my paperwork on August 16th and waiting six more weeks for a result, I FINALLY got my non-lucrative visa today!

I got the call from the NYC consulate on Tuesday that my application was ready and that I could go back, but they couldn’t tell me what the resuelto was so I was still worried that the application may have been rejected. When I consulted my lawyer, the paralegal said it’s rare for a consulate to reject you when you come back, so in all likelihood it was approved and I felt more at ease. (While I didn’t mention I was working remotely, my documents point at this: I mentioned my profession in the visa application form, and my 401(k) and stock plan financial documents indicate my employer.)

I was already scheduled to fly from LA to the East Coast on Wednesday so I did some maneuvering to get a detour in to NYC to pick up the visa, and when I went to pick it up this morning, I was so glad to see the visa stuck on my passport. No fuss, no hassle, no reminder of “you can’t work on this visa” or the like.

One thing to keep in mind is if your target date passes during your visa processing, in my case the date the visa begins is the date I picked it up. If this happens to you, it may make sense for you to pick up the visa later in the 30-day period you have to pick it up so that you can maximize the duration for when your visa is valid.

I am so excited to be making the trip to Spain soon! Thank you so much to the people here for all your advice, and I look forward to sharing more of my experiences as I make the move out to Madrid and start the next chapter of my journey.

Author: Josh Lim