Spain Non Lucrative Visa Process in San Francisco: Email First or Mail Directly?


I am applying for a Spain Non lucrative visa. I sent a question via email to the San Francisco consulate, and got this in the auto response.

Non-lucrative (Sabbatical/ Retirement/ Reside without working) Resident Visas must provide the following information via email to to be provided with a date to submit their visa requests.

Resolution for this visas may take 3 months, please plan accordingly.

Please, send ONE email with the subject “NON.LUCRATIVE”

  1. Number of applicants
  2. Your citizenship
  3. City and State of permanent residence

I’m reading this to mean that we need to send an email first to get a date that we can then mail in our applications… is that right?? Anyone who has been through this recently, how long does that take? We have a pretty set time frame of when we want to submit (April 1) as we really need to move between July 8 and August 30, and that’s (I believe) the safest date in case it comes back super quick and starts our 90 days, or takes up to 5 months with back-and-forth if there are issues. But this new email thing could be a wrinkle.

OR is this saying we have to get a date to submit in person? Their website says it’s all via mail. Any advice from those who have recently applied in SF?


These are the answers of Spainguru’s Facebook group members:

“With the San Francisco consulate, you don’t request a date. You simply just mail in all of your documents. They don’t respond to any questions, at least they didn’t for me. My time frame was around 3 weeks from when they received all of my documents. This was the end of November 2023.”

“But now it seems they want the email first? That’s interesting. On the website it says ‘there may be times when Non Lucrative visa applicants are required to send an email.’ Going back to an email I sent months ago, the auto reply message was different. When I submitted my packet, it was at the end of November 2023. Perhaps since then there’s been an increase in applications, or a backlog from Christmas and things have changed? I wish I could provide more info to share.”

“Actually just spoke with a Spain non lucrative visa attorney who sees it as a warning for when they are busy – the operative word being ‘may’…..So until it is written as a requirement see it as a warning for the future.”

“Yes, we mailed ours. Took from Jan 12 to show ‘in process’ to Jan 25th to get the email that said ‘resolved’. Then received our passports with the visa page inside and a couple other documents within a couple days after that.”

“In Canada, the website page for NLV was changed in January 2024. Previously, it said to apply all documents to the consulate, which takes 3 months to process. Now, the new message is ATTENTION! Applications must be submitted in person or legal representation at 2 Bloor St. East, Suite 1201, Toronto, Ontario.”


The application process for a Spain non lucrative visa at the San Francisco consulate appears to be subject to changing requirements, likely due to varying application volumes or operational adjustments. Historically, applicants have been able to mail in their documents directly without needing to schedule a date or appointment.

However, recent communications suggest that there may now be a need to email first during busier times. It is advisable for applicants to stay updated by frequently checking the consulate’s official communications and, if necessary, to consult with immigration experts on non lucrative visa applications, with experience at San Francisco consulate.