Americans Face Difficult Retirement Visa (Residencia de Jubilado) in Spain

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05 Oct 2016 16:13 by bhjoffe Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

We are an American couple (married) who have owned property in southern Spain (Olvera & Pruna) for 10 years now, traveling and spending a month or two each year there. We want to apply for permanent residency in Spain under the “visado de jubilado” program.
Unfortunately, we are required to apply through our designated consulate (Chicago), the only consulate of Spain in the USA with especially specific regulations: Every other consulate simply requires us to document that we have sufficient financial means to live in Spain without being a burden to the Spanish economy, but the Chicago consulate requires that we demonstrate an annual pension: “€ 25,560/annually (or its equivalent in USD) plus € 6,390/annually (or its equivalent in USD) per each additional family member.”
My annual Social Security and pensions total approx US $26,000, so we don’t meet these criteria ... although we have sufficient income from bank accounts, real estate, etc., apart from (annual) pensions, to live comfortably in our small Spanish town.
We have consulted other consulates of Spain in the USA, and several Spanish lawyers in Spain … with very different responses: We’ve been told that Spain will look at our tax returns (which DO show sufficient income to quality for a 5-year initial residency visa) … that Spain will take into consideration all of our income-producing assets (real estate, bank accounts, etc.) in addition to my pensions … and that, since we own property in Spain, we will receive special consideration. I note here that, nowhere in any of the consular requirements for visa applications are U.S. tax returns mentioned or considered.

Can anyone help us determine -- definitively -- what actually will be required, financially, to qualify for a “visado de jubilado” and Spanish residency?

Muchas gracias y unos saludos desde Wisconsin en los EE.UU.

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05 Oct 2016 22:11 by nigel188 Star rating in Estepona. 635 posts Send private message


See this website below. Hope it helps. Also might find Lawyer Maria de Castro in Cadiz could help you.

Good Luck



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05 Oct 2016 23:10 by bhjoffe Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

Thanks, Nigel. Your reply -- which is sincerely appreciated -- simply proves my point: the "visado de jubilado" residency requirements as listed by consulates of Spain in the USA other than Chicago (i.e., Miami, Los Angles, New York, etc.) are quite different from those required by the Chicago consulate. And, unfortunately, because we live in Wisconsin, we are required to submit our residency request to the consulate in Chicago. As for lawyer Mario de Castro, she is a fine and caring lawyer with whom we've been in touch. She does not take face-to-face appointments, however, with prospective clients such as us ... and would do little more than agree with our premise. If we purchase property in Portugal -- where being granted residency is far easier for US residents than Spain -- Maria agreed that our travels to and from Spain -- including the amount of time we could stay at our property in Sevilla (Pruna) -- would be governed by our Portuguese residency cards rather than our USA passports. We appreciate your interest, Nigel! :-)


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06 Oct 2016 10:18 by Destry Star rating in MYOB . 289 posts Send private message

Hi, I'm assuming that you have had a trip around the American 'expat in Spain' sites, it could actually be a blessing in disguise splitting your time between Spain and Portugal.

Good luck. 


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06 Oct 2016 14:09 by bhjoffe Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

Thanks! Yes, if there's an expat site we've been there ... knocking on doors and asking the same questions. Nobody can give us specific, all-encompassing, "universal" answer but prefer, instead, to send us here and therre. Ultimately, we've been told, the decision comes down to whatever interpretation our designated consul -- i.e., the consulate of Spain in Chicago -- decides. Increasingly, we are beginning to believe that you are quite right: for many reasons (not the least the ease and simplicity of applying for and being granted a residency visa), having homes in both Portugal and Spain may prove to be the best of both worlds for us. And it's only a five-hour drive from the door we're looking at in Castelo Branco (that also houses a cafe/small restaurant we could operate for income on the ground level and two bedrooms sharing a bathroom on one of the two upper levels for potential airbnb income) to our door in Pruna. Thanks, Destry, for your comments ... and insights! XXX


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