How do people with a non lucrative Spain visa manage to work on the side without getting caught?


I’m wondering how one gets away with this? When you apply for a non lucrative Spain visa if you simply didn’t present them that bank account etc, is it that simple (at least the first year)? I know one aspect is they were more lenient (or it was a gray area) in the past.


These are the answers of some Facebook group members:

”I think you have to show proof you are not working like a P45”

”A non lucrative Spain visa is self-explanatory! There is a Digital Nomad Visa (I believe that’s a working visa) I don’t know anything about it as I’ve never researched it! Everyone I know on an NLV doesn’t work and has no intention of working. One thing I will say is if rules intend to be broken before getting here or getting the visa be prepared for the consequences if caught! We witnessed a man crossing the road in the wrong place last week – he was thrown up a wall by two Police Officers who took exception to his attitude and wrongdoing. He wasn’t dealt with lightly.”

”What if you have more than one job? Could you get a p45 from that until you visa is approved”

”Other than committing tax fraud and being in Spain illegally I can’t think of anything that could go wrong”

”There is always a lot of conjecture from this and people strangely get rather vitriolic, as the comments prove. It’s a fact that people were allowed to remote work on this visa in the past. As there is a new visa to cater for this now, then why would you need to, unless you don’t hit the requirements for it I suppose? But the legislation in Spanish stated no employment in Spain. So it was a legitimate path and people have used it as a source of income ‘in the past’. There is also only one stated case on this and the person who was taken to court who had a business in a separate country won. So for all the vitriol earning income remotely from abroad, the only case that was challenged officially was found on behalf of the visa holder. More than happy to dig the multiple pages in Spanish out. What I would say if you were working and not paying tax somewhere (there is a double tax agreement for the UK after all) then you are doing something that could land you in serious trouble, that is without a doubt. But people have and quite possibly are still working on the visa as long as it’s not ‘gainfully employed via Spain’. I doubt those legacy cases are being taken out and put up against a wall to face the firing squad.”

”You can receive income from a business or rent from entities you own but they are totally managed by others. You cannot be involved personally”

”This is what is wrong with society. You know what the rues are re: an NLV but want to break them. If you want to work there are other visas you can apply for, but no that’s just too hard. Piss off to a different country and break their laws. It says everything about you that you post anonymously! You haven’t even applied yet and are thinking of breaking the terms of the visa”

”Yes, some people take the risk. And before the DNV came along, lawyers would often even suggest people who wanted to work go remotely here for the NLV, in contravention of the law. I’ve been told the core issue is that the NLV law is about 20 years old, before remote work was a thing, so it’s not worded clearly about that aspect, and the original intention was probably about working physically in Spain and not taking jobs from Spaniards. However, if you mention you’re going to remote work to the consulate (or at renewal), you’ll get denied. Furthermore, a number of the people working on the NLV are actually filing their taxes in Spain; however, to date, from lawyers I’ve spoken to the tax department and immigration don’t appear to cross data. Or if they do, they’ve turned a blind eye (given they’d rather have the tax revenue, and were also aware that there really wasn’t a good route to Spain for these people who wanted to work here). However, these people aren’t paying social security, as it’s impossible to sign up for that on an NLV (because, well, you’re not supposed to work). So in that sense, they aren’t fulfilling their tax obligations completely. I wonder if there will be a crackdown on NLV workers (or at least those from after 2019 when the consulates started to change their tune) now that the DNV provides an actual route to work here remotely. Note that you can change from a NLV to a DNV – so there is also a route for people to “regularise” yourself if you’re working on an NLV. However, if you’re been here for more than 6 months, and thus are already a tax resident, the Beckham Law isn’t available.”

In conclusion, according to Spainguru Facebook group members, some individuals have worked remotely on a Non-Lucrative Visa (NLV) in Spain, despite the visa’s restrictions on employment. However, this is not recommended as it could be considered tax fraud and may have consequences if caught. It is advisable to explore legal visa options, such as the new Digital Nomad Visa (DNV) or teleworker’s visa, which provides a legitimate route for remote work from Spain. Complying with the legal requirements and applying for the appropriate visa is essential to avoid potential legal issues.