Tapas Forever

Helping make the dream of moving to Spain a reality

The Completed Non-Lucrative Visa Process

Yesterday I received my passport back from the Spanish consulate in Toronto – inside was my non-lucrative visa, which contains my NIE number that I’ll need in Spain. It’s possible to obtain a NIE without getting a visa (for example to buy a house), but they are issued automatically with your visa as well.

My completed non-lucrative visa

I started assembling my documents In May, and mailed my application at the end of June. It took roughly six weeks for them to process the application, and approximately one more week to send them my passport and for them to mail it back.

When I received the email saying my visa was approved and that they needed my passport, they also asked me to forward along my flight confirmation. I had a flight already in October, but decided to move it backwards and send the new flight information in. I’m glad I did since they used the date of my flight to set the start date of the visa. Had I not done that, my visa would have started in October, which meant I wouldn’t be able to fly to Spain early. So if you are doing this process, pay attention to when your flights are since your visa will likely be dated to that.

In just one week, I’ll be heading to Valencia. It would be nice to say this process is over, but there are still things I need to do in Spain upon arriving, and not all of them are easy. As you can see from the photo, the visa is only valid for a few months. What is supposed to happen is that I have to make an appointment within one month and apply for the TIE (Spanish Foreigner Card) which is what will ultimately let me stay in Spain for a year or longer. One of the requirements for the TIE though is that you have a permanent place to stay – that doesn’t really work for me since I plan to bounce around for a few months at first. I’ve been told you have to show at least a six month rental contract, which I won’t have. So this is still a problem I’m working to solve. I do know a few people in Spain, so I may see if one of them would be willing to state I’m living (i.e. couchsurfing) at their house for a while, just so I can complete the registration at the town hall.

Also, since I’m flying into London and will receive my entry stamp there, I’ve read I have to make sure I keep my boarding pass stubs for my flight to Spain to prove when I arrived there (since I won’t receive an entry stamp there). Without that they have no idea of when I actually showed up in Spain, and apparently that can cause a problem.

But I’m definitely excited to have the non-lucrative process behind me – it ended up being fairly straightforward, and despite some complaints I read online about the Toronto consulate, my experience with them was really quite good .


  1. Hello Duane,
    Congratulations on your receiving the non-lucrative visa for Spain! I wish you the best on processing the follow-up residency documents, and for having a great time in Valencia.
    My wife and I are one year behind you as we want to start this process in June 2019 in Toronto. I will very much appreciate it if you could provide the following information:
    1. How much time does it take to get an appointment to submit the application to the Toronto Spanish Consulate?
    2. Is just the name of the city/province in Spain acceptable on the application?
    3. Do you think it would strengthen our application if we were to first visit Spain in May 2019 to obtain a long-term contract for renting an apartment there?
    4. As I am retired, I have CPP, OAS and company pension to cover the 25k +6 k Euros annual income. Do they still need to see certain amount in my bank saving/checking accounts? If so, how much?
    Any information on your experience or tips with dealing with the consulate in Toronto will be very much appreciated.
    Thank you for your time, Duane.

    • Hi Hussein,

      I suggest you join our FB group so you can benefit from the collective wisdom of me and a few others who have done this process. You can find it here – https://www.facebook.com/groups/tapasforever/.

      1. Are you in the Toronto area? If not, you won’t need an appointment. I handled all of mine via mail from the Vancouver area. You only need an appointment if you are local.
      2. Yes, I didn’t put anything other there. I may have even just put my Canadian address there for now. I don’t believe it was important.
      3. You’ll need accommodation of at least three months when you arrive in order to get your padron (register at the town hall), and then your TIE (residency card). You don’t need to have it set up ahead of time, but it may help. I just found something when I arrived. You will need your health insurance ahead of time though, and I had to pay for three months while I was in Canada even though I couldn’t use it.
      4. I’m not sure – I had everything in my bank account. I think if you can provide a few month’s bank statements and something from the government showing that level of income going forward, then that would probably be enough. But I’m not certain.

      The Toronto consulate used to have a lot of horror stories, but there’s someone new working these applications there now as of May, and she was really quite nice to work with.

  2. Hi, great info! I received my passpot back today..same as your photo for RESDIDENCIA. my question is..once i get the TIE card, how long is it valid? i pan in living there fulltime. I have a residence. I read you have to apply for visa , then renewal more time for 2year..tham apply for residency.

    So i am confused.

    I have my passport and flight there.

    I go and register and TIE card within the month.

    How long does the TIE LAST? what is next steps.


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