Non-profit residence as a non-EU national

Lawyer & Economist at Moya&Emery, Nicolás Emery, provides in-depth information and advice on non-profit residence as a non-EU national.

Lawyer & Economist at Moya&Emery, Nicolás Emery, provides in-depth information and advice on non-profit residence as a non-EU national.

Persons who do not work in Spain must provide documentation accrediting compliance with the following two conditions:

  1. Health insurance, public or private, contracted in Spain or in another country, provided that it provides coverage in Spain during their period of residence equivalent to that provided by the National Health System.
  2. Sufficient resources for themselves and their family members not to become a burden on the social assistance system of Spain during their period of residence.

Proof of sufficient resources shall be furnished by any legally admissible means of proof, such as, property deeds, certified cheques, documentary evidence of obtaining capital income or credit cards (in the latter case, providing an up-to-date bank certificate showing the amount available as credit on the card).

The assessment of the sufficiency of means must be carried out on an individual basis, and in any case, taking into account the personal and family situation of the applicant.

Sufficient accreditation for the fulfilment of this requirement will be considered to be the possession of resources that are greater than the amount established each year by the General State Budget Law to generate the right to receive a non-contributory benefit, taking into account the personal and family situation of the interested party.

Residence as a family member of a citizen of the Union (spouse).

The family members of a citizen of a Member State of the European Union, who do not hold the nationality of one of said States, when accompanying or joining him/her, may reside in Spain for a period of more than three months, being subject to the obligation to apply for and obtain a residence card as a family member of a citizen of the European Union.

The application for the residence card of a family member of a Union citizen must be presented in person by the family member within three months from the date of entry into Spain, at the Aliens Office of the province where the interested party intends to stay or take up residence or, failing that, at the corresponding Police Station.

In any case, a receipt certifying the status of legal residence will be issued immediately until the card is issued. The possession of the receipt may not be a precondition for the exercise of other rights or the completion of administrative procedures, provided that the beneficiary of the rights can prove his or her situation by any other means of proof.

Together with the application form for the residence card of a family member of a Union citizen, duly completed and signed by the family member of the Union citizen, the following documents (original and copy) must be presented in person by the family member:

  1. Valid and valid full passport. If the passport has expired, a copy of it and a copy of the renewal application.
  2. Documentation proving the existence of a family relationship with the Union or EEA (European Economic Area) citizen.
  3. In the case of a non-registered partner, documentation accrediting that they are a stable couple that attests to the existence of a lasting relationship, as well as proof of the length of time they have been living together or, if applicable, a birth certificate of the offspring they have together.
  4. DNI of the Spanish citizen or registration certificate of the Union citizen they are accompanying or with whom they are going to join.
  5. Three recent colour photographs, white background, passport size.
  6. Fees for the legally established amount.

Depending on the status of the Union/EEA citizen (spouse or non-registered partner), the following documents must also be provided:

  1. If you are an employed person, you may provide any of the following:
    1. Employer’s statement of employment or certificate of employment, including at least the name and address of the employer, tax identification number and contribution account code.
    2. Employment contract registered with the Public Employment Service or notification of the contract and its conditions through the [email protected] platform.
    3. Document of registration or situation assimilated to registration in the corresponding Social Security scheme or consent to the verification of the data in the files of the General Treasury of the Social Security.
  1. If you are self-employed, you may provide any of the following:
    1. Registration in the Census of Economic Activities.
    2. Justification of your establishment by means of registration in the Companies Register.
    3. Document of registration or situation assimilated to registration in the corresponding Social Security scheme, or consent to the verification of the data in the files of the General Treasury of the Social Security or the Tax Agency.
  1. If you do not work in Spain, you must provide:
    1. Documentation accrediting that you have public or private health insurance, contracted in Spain or in another country, as long as it provides coverage in Spain during your period of residence equivalent to that provided by the National Health System. Pensioners meet this condition by providing certification of health care provided by the State for which they receive a pension.
    2. Documentation accrediting sufficient resources for the Union citizen and his/her family members for the period of residence in Spain. This may be proven by any legally admissible means of proof, such as property deeds, certified cheques, proof of income from capital or credit cards with a bank certificate showing the amount available as credit on the card.

The residence card of a family member of a Union citizen must be issued within three months of the submission of the application. The favourable decision will have retroactive effects, with the residence status being understood to be in force from the accredited date of entry into Spain as a family member of a Union citizen.  

The residence card of a family member of a Union citizen will be valid for five years from the date of issue, or for the planned period of residence of the Union citizen or of a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, if this period is less than five years. Should it be necessary to renew the residence card before acquiring the right of permanent residence, such renewal shall be processed in accordance with the above provisions, although in the case of ascendants and descendants, documentation proving the existence of the family relationship entitling the card to be issued shall not be required.

Maintenance in a personal capacity of the right of residence of family members, in the event of death, departure from Spain, annulment of the marriage, divorce or cancellation of the registration as a registered partner, in relation to the holder of the right of residence.

The death of a citizen of a Member State of the European Union or of a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, his or her departure from Spain, or the annulment of the marriage, divorce or cancellation of registration as a registered partner, shall not affect the right of residence of his or her family members who are citizens of one of these States.

The death of a citizen of a Member State of the European Union or of a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, in the case of family members who are not citizens of one of these States, shall not affect their right of residence either, provided that they have resided in Spain, as family members, prior to the death of the holder of the right. Family members shall be obliged to notify the competent authorities of the death.

The departure from Spain or the death of the citizen of a Member State of the European Union or of a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area shall not entail the loss of the right of residence of their children or of the parent who has effective custody of them, regardless of their nationality, provided that said children reside in Spain and are enrolled in an educational establishment to study, until the completion of their studies.

In the case of annulment of the marriage, divorce or cancellation of the registration as a registered partner of a national of a Member State of the European Union or of a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, with a national of a State that is not, the latter shall be obliged to communicate this circumstance to the competent authorities. In order to retain the right of residence, proof of one of the following must be provided:

  1. Duration of at least three years of the marriage or registered partnership situation, until the start of the legal proceedings for annulment of the marriage, divorce or cancellation of the registration as a registered partner, of which it must be accredited that at least one of the years has been spent in Spain.
  2. Granting by mutual agreement or judicial decision, of custody of the children of the EU citizen, to the ex-spouse or ex-registered partner who is not a citizen of a Member State of the European Union or of a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area.
  3. Existence of particularly difficult circumstances such as:
    1. Having been a victim of gender violence during the marriage or registered partnership situation, a circumstance that will be considered accredited provisionally when there is a protection order in your favour or a report from the Public Prosecutor’s Office indicating the existence of signs of gender violence, and definitively when a court decision has been handed down from which it can be deduced that the alleged circumstances have arisen.
    2. Having been subjected to trafficking in human beings by their spouse or partner during the marriage or registered partnership situation, a circumstance that shall be considered provisionally accredited when there is a judicial process in which the spouse or partner has the status of defendant and their family member that of possible victim, and definitively when a judicial decision has been handed down from which it can be deduced that the alleged circumstances have arisen.
  1. Judicial decision or mutual agreement between the parties that determines the right of access to the minor child of the former spouse or registered ex-partner who is not a citizen of a Member State of the European Union or of a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, when said minor resides in Spain and said decision or agreement is in force.

Common to both options. Residence for tax purposes.

Whether you opt for one type of residence or the other, if you do not reside more than 183 days a year in Spain, and you file your tax return in another OECD country (such as the United Kingdom), you will be considered a non-resident for tax purposes.   


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Written by

Laura Kemp

Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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