Moving to Spain in 2024: Understanding Visa Application Timelines

moving to spain in 2024

The first question you need to answer, as a non EU Citizen, moving to Spain in 2024 is : 

Which Long Stay Visa is my best option?

Once you understand your long-stay visa options, the steps for a successful relocation are pretty much the same for all nationalities.

The most popular visas for non-Eu Citizens are the Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa and the Golden Visa.

As we mentioned in a previous article, the Non-Lucrative Visa continues to be the most popular option amongst retirees who can demonstrate sufficient funds to support themselves in Spain. This visa has also helped families relocate to Spain to enjoy quality time together, taking a sabbatical from their current employment. Some family business owners have relocated using this visa and live off dividends paid to them by their UK-based business, whilst no longer being employed by said business. Others have used the NLV as an entry into Spain to later switch to another type of visa.

The Golden Visa is the most popular for those who can invest 500.000€ (minimum) in Spanish property. If you have the required funds, this is your least complicated and smoothest option. There is speculation that the Spanish Golden Visa may be phased out, as has happened in other countries but nothing is yet certain. The recent introduction of the long-awaited Digital Nomad Visa together with the Highly Qualified Visa or Highly Skilled Professional Visa opens opportunities for people not wanting to invest in Spain but who want to continue working. Your employment determines which visa you require and seeking professional advice is highly recommended.

Understanding which is your best visa option, for moving to Spain in 2024, is the first step in organising your relocation timeline. If you are uncertain what this means, please continue reading …

How does your long-stay visa for Spain influence the timing of your move to Spain?

The application process for each Spanish long-stay visa is different. Some applications are processed quickly ie. within 10 -14 days. Other applications can take months. You must be well-prepared with your documentation and flexible with your travel plans.

Let’s look at an example of a Golden Visa application:

You submit your Spanish Golden Visa application once you have completed the required property investment. ie. You have completed the purchase at the notary and the house documents are in your name.

Scenario 1: You can choose to enter Spain as a tourist, without the need for a visa. Provided you submit your Golden Visa application within 90 days of your arrival, you can remain in Spain, without the need to leave. For this scenario to work, using our Property Finder service is essential. We will have worked together, before your arrival, to prepare a shortlist of ideal properties that suit your requirements. Our expert lawyer will ensure you have all the documents in place to submit your visa application as soon as possible.

Scenario 2: You conduct a scheduled viewing trip of a week or even less, with pre-agreed properties to view. Using our Property Finder service, you select your ideal property. We negotiate a purchase price on your behal. You can leave power of attorney with your carefully selected lawyer to complete the purchase. This allows you to return home and relocate at a time that is convenient for you and with no time limitations.

In neither of the above scenarios is your relocation timing fully dependent on your visa application or the date of issue of your visa. Your priority must lie with the pre-planning for viewing suitable properties.

In contrast, the Spanish Non Lucrative Visa is very time sensitive!

You must enter Spain within a maximum of three months from the issue date of your non-lucrative visa. Failure to do this will result in your visa becoming invalid. Due to the processing times of some of the required documents, accurate timing is paramount. 

The application procedure for the NLV requires a lot of planning. Official documents and translations have a shelf life and the need to reissue these papers can become costly.

Where you apply for your Digital nomad visa has a major impact on your relocation timeline.

Like the Golden Visa, you can apply for the digital nomad visa once you have entered Spain as a tourist. Alternatively, you can apply in your home country and travel to Spain once the visa has been issued. These two scenarios lead to very different relocation timelines and planning.

So what is your next step?

Moving to Spain in 2024 for UK passport holders need not be any more complicated than it was pre-Brexit. However, it does require taking extra time and seeking expert advice to answer the visa issue. Mistakes are extremely costly, both financially and mentally.

Remember, our personalised relocation services are extremely limited. We can only guarantee to assist a small number of people each year. 

We are here to help you! Contact us now and get ready to move to Spain in 2024!