Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A quick bit of background: It's me and my partner trying to move permanently to Barcelona around October to a flat that he pays a mortgage on from back when he used to live there - we both have jobs here in the UK that are happy for us to continue working remotely in Spain.

My partner had already lived in Barcelona for 7 years, has a mortgage there as I say, so he exists in the system, but he didn't have proper residency because it was pre-Brexit back then and the advice he was given rightly or wrongly was that "he didn't need it".

Both of us speak Spanish and Catalan fluently, I grew up in Valencia myself, both of us have decided the UK isn't for us anymore and whilst it makes the most sense to go and live back there, I'm finding it impossible to see what visa/permit would suit our situation, people are saying the non-lucrative one forbids you to work altogether (in which case, who has 30k just sitting in a bank collecting dust?!?), other people say that remote work is ok with it, other advice seems to be that we need to become our own entities in Spain and invoice our UK companies.

I also want to say that we only have that house because of inheritance money, we're not rich by any means, and we stay afloat by having had friends live there and pay rent, so I'm feeling a bit stuck and unhelpfully have been told "just stay where you are and save money for the non-lucrative option", but the clock is ticking, the current person we have living there now is due to move on in October just before we would like to go, so it's definitely a cause for sleepless nights.

Any advice? I understand there are more permits and visas other than just the popular ones people normally talk about, but not sure how to find out about them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
502 Posts
A quick bit of background: It's me and my partner trying to move permanently to Barcelona around October to a flat that he pays a mortgage on from back when he used to live there - we both have jobs here in the UK that are happy for us to continue working remotely in Spain.

My partner had already lived in Barcelona for 7 years, has a mortgage there as I say, so he exists in the system, but he didn't have proper residency because it was pre-Brexit back then and the advice he was given rightly or wrongly was that "he didn't need it".

Both of us speak Spanish and Catalan fluently, I grew up in Valencia myself, both of us have decided the UK isn't for us anymore and whilst it makes the most sense to go and live back there, I'm finding it impossible to see what visa/permit would suit our situation, people are saying the non-lucrative one forbids you to work altogether (in which case, who has 30k just sitting in a bank collecting dust?!?), other people say that remote work is ok with it, other advice seems to be that we need to become our own entities in Spain and invoice our UK companies.

I also want to say that we only have that house because of inheritance money, we're not rich by any means, and we stay afloat by having had friends live there and pay rent, so I'm feeling a bit stuck and unhelpfully have been told "just stay where you are and save money for the non-lucrative option", but the clock is ticking, the current person we have living there now is due to move on in October just before we would like to go, so it's definitely a cause for sleepless nights.

Any advice? I understand there are more permits and visas other than just the popular ones people normally talk about, but not sure how to find out about them.

And Google is your friend.

London Spanish consulate.
Scroll down and you will see PDF for all the visa's


But this is the bit that conforms the no work.

NON-LUCRATIVE RESIDENCE VISA
This visa can be requested by third-country nationals who wish to reside in Spain without engaging in any work or professional activity.
It does not apply to EU citizens or to nationals of countries to whom EU law applies, for being beneficiaries of the rights of free movement and residence.

Your choice as to which other one you want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,959 Posts
You might want to check the status of your partner's residency in Spain. It's pretty unlikely that a mortgage would have been granted to somebody in an "irregular" immigration status. If he did have the green certificate and didn't de-register when he left, there is a chance he could just show up in Spain and renew the document as if he had never left. (Not suggesting that he withold the truth by the way, but maybe if the questions are not asked...)
This solution has been suggested before on here, but I'm not sure if any of the posters ever came back to confirm if it worked or not.
Failing that, you either need to get a valid visa or get EU passports.
Sadly, owning a home here doesn't grant you any additional rights or different treatment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
502 Posts
You dont need to be resident to get a mortgage, we were looking at this to finance the 'holiday home' a couple of years ago. We then went a different route.

Could have been done here easily and we even submitted the paperwork for a 70% loan against my Uk wages from a Spanish bank. Didn't need a Spanish bank account, just the usual NIE.
Was also possible to do so from the UK but the terms were not as favourable (in fact nowhere near from memory)

The Op suggests that their partner did not bother with residency so its unlikely that they would get anything back dated. Although they may have (but I dont know how the system worked in the past)
The visa choices may be limited as reading through them earlier, its unlikely that they would qualify for any of them (again the Op has said that finances are tight)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,246 Posts
True, I had a mortgage from a Spanish bank as a non resident when I bought my first house in Spain, which we used as a holiday home until moving over permanently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,959 Posts
Yes sorry, I had understood that the OP's partner was living and working here and hence was likely to have been resident (paying tax etc.) in which case taking a non-residentos mortage would have been a silly thing to do, but it looks like I may have been wrong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,119 Posts
If the OP and their parter are working remotely then they could look into becoming freelance/autonomo in Spain or setting up a company in Spain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes sorry, I had understood that the OP's partner was living and working here and hence was likely to have been resident (paying tax etc.) in which case taking a non-residentos mortage would have been a silly thing to do, but it looks like I may have been wrong.
No, that is right, it's a mortgage whilst having lived and working there, but without doing the residency stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,959 Posts
If he was working and paying income tax in Spain then he would have been resident. AFAIK it's impossible to pay income tax in Spain without being a resident.
Certainly all the jobs I've had have required me to prove residency. Having said that, unless he left relatively recently the plan to "re-use" or continue the old residency (assuming it existed) is probably not viable anymore as he would need to change to a TIE and assuming that he wouldn't have a medical policy, would need to show recent, if not up to date Social Security contributions.
I think this is too optimistic TBH...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the advice, I think we'll probably end up having to raise the money for the non-lucrative visa and negotiate for our tenant to stay a bit longer whilst we figure stuff out, so we'll still do it, but potentially not in the original timeframe.

Many thanks again everyone ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
794 Posts
Remember that for the NLV for the subsequent 2nd and 3rd visas vou will need to acquire permanent residency you will have to show 2x the €34,000 odd you need for the first year, and BTW that really needs to be cash in the bank or be derived from relatively secure sources such as pensions etc. salaries do not cut it as jobs can be lost in the blink of an eye and rental income from a property is equally tenuous.

I strongly doubt that Autonomo is going to be an answer for you, as I understand it for that you will need to present a business plan incorporating some sort of immediate or future benefit for Spain (beyond normal taxes etc.) which working remotely for a UK employer obviously will never provide.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So we're saying that Spain really isn't letting anyone in unless they can convincingly look like they have €170,000 spare cash to cover the 5 years (as a couple) and are willing to appear idle for those 5 years, or it's the €500,000 to buy a property for the golden visa, or an amazing business plan.

Ufff, so no more young couples going over for a long time then, no one has that money unless they're rich, retirement age, or they've been left some by their relatives :confused:

It's sad that we maybe could have moved to be included in the Withdrawal Agreement, but COVID really made that impossible and now we're stuck forever paying rent here and making mortgage payments on a potentially useless empty house in Spain that we can visit for 90 days here and there.

I hope the rules evolve a bit over time, we have so many friends and family in Spain, I grew up there like I said and went to school there when I was little, and we want to just go and live there and not come back, Brexit really has mucked everything up for everyone (you can probably tell I didn't vote for it)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,857 Posts
So we're saying that Spain really isn't letting anyone in unless they can convincingly look like they have €170,000 spare cash to cover the 5 years (as a couple) and are willing to appear idle for those 5 years, or it's the €500,000 to buy a property for the golden visa, or an amazing business plan.

Ufff, so no more young couples going over for a long time then, no one has that money unless they're rich, retirement age, or they've been left some by their relatives :confused:

It's sad that we maybe could have moved to be included in the Withdrawal Agreement, but COVID really made that impossible and now we're stuck forever paying rent here and making mortgage payments on a potentially useless empty house in Spain that we can visit for 90 days here and there.

I hope the rules evolve a bit over time, we have so many friends and family in Spain, I grew up there like I said and went to school there when I was little, and we want to just go and live there and not come back, Brexit really has mucked everything up for everyone (you can probably tell I didn't vote for it)
It's sad that neither of you naturalised.

Are you skilled? Could one of you find a job that could provide sponsorship?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,173 Posts
The truth is it will be very hard for young Brits to locate to Spain now. Only quite independently wealthy will be able to afford NLV and you still cant work. Autonomo is not an option for a work Visa as you will need a fairly big plan. Only real way is a job offer and that means having a fairly in demand skill, in which case there are far more opportunities than Spain with more labour protection. So yes
...Brexit had its price and that is reduced work and lifestyle opportunities for young people. I really dont understand why so many people are against Scottish independence as this could be a way for many young people to get a backdoor entry into the EU again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,959 Posts
It's sad that neither of you naturalised.

Are you skilled? Could one of you find a job that could provide sponsorship?
The OP and partner want to continue working for their UK employers so a "real" work visa is impossible unless the company(ies) have Spanish branches.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,857 Posts
The OP and partner want to continue working for their UK employers so a "real" work visa is impossible unless the company(ies) have Spanish branches.
I agree that the scenario the OP wishes for is not going to happen.

I was just throwing this out in response to the 'we are stuck paying rent for ever and a mortgage for a useless home' - maybe a job in Spain for at least one of them now looks a bit more attractive? Subject to having transferable, needed skills.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm a senior full-stack web developer (15 years in the making), so for me, even though my skills could be sought after, ditching the current high job security that's not wavered during the pandemic in favour of a Spanish unknown alternative, with all the upheaval that brings doesn't seem attractive...

Maybe my partner might be able to pursue the Spanish job offer route, and I can later join based on our relationship, or I'll have to set up as autonomo and be the Spanish representative office for the company I work for and in time take on a member of staff or two to make it seem like I'm not just employing myself.

In the meantime, we're just going to have to give it a few more years I fear to make a move, it feels like because it's month 4 of the first year of this disaster, COVID is still out there, and there seem to be very few example success stories to get some hope from. I'll try and post if we have any positive changes to offer some encouragement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,173 Posts
I'm a senior full-stack web developer (15 years in the making), so for me, even though my skills could be sought after, ditching the current high job security that's not wavered during the pandemic in favour of a Spanish unknown alternative, with all the upheaval that brings doesn't seem attractive...

Maybe my partner might be able to pursue the Spanish job offer route, and I can later join based on our relationship, or I'll have to set up as autonomo and be the Spanish representative office for the company I work for and in time take on a member of staff or two to make it seem like I'm not just employing myself.

In the meantime, we're just going to have to give it a few more years I fear to make a move, it feels like because it's month 4 of the first year of this disaster, COVID is still out there, and there seem to be very few example success stories to get some hope from. I'll try and post if we have any positive changes to offer some encouragement.
My personal opinion on this is: if you are young educated and have sought after skills you should pursue a path that will give you the greatest opportunity to develop those skills further. The happiest people I know are those who had jobs they liked, were given opportunities to further their skills, and were reasonably well paid. It has become a bit of a cliche to say that money isn't everything and a dangerous philosophy to subscribe to when you are young. The world has changed considerably since I was young. Manual low skilled jobs were plentiful, apprentices were available, housing was cheap. In short you could survive quite happily on the hippy ideal. Unfortunately that has gone. The world is hugely competitive on a global scale and those who fail to acquire knowledge and skills will suffer terribly. It is already evident in the UK and very much so in Spain. Technology is a huge market area but requires specialised skills which mean hard work and a determined mind set to learn. My time in Spain has shown me that many people swapped the challenges of learning and working for a belief that sunshine and cheap entertainment would suffice. Many seem to lead rather empty lives repeatedly boasting about the weather, the beach, the drink etc. Do yourself a favour. Spain will always be there for holidays. Keep yourself focused on improving yourself in a way that will allow you to enjoy the good things in life but with a modicum of balance
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,119 Posts
I'm a senior full-stack web developer (15 years in the making), so for me, even though my skills could be sought after, ditching the current high job security that's not wavered during the pandemic in favour of a Spanish unknown alternative, with all the upheaval that brings doesn't seem attractive...

Maybe my partner might be able to pursue the Spanish job offer route, and I can later join based on our relationship, or I'll have to set up as autonomo and be the Spanish representative office for the company I work for and in time take on a member of staff or two to make it seem like I'm not just employing myself.

In the meantime, we're just going to have to give it a few more years I fear to make a move, it feels like because it's month 4 of the first year of this disaster, COVID is still out there, and there seem to be very few example success stories to get some hope from. I'll try and post if we have any positive changes to offer some encouragement.
As a full stack developer you wouldn't have any trouble finding permanent work in Madrid paying over €50k a year. I guess it would be similar in Barcelona. It's not as much as you'd earn in say London, but it goes a lot further. Of course if you work remotely as a freelancer then you wouldn't be restricted to the Spanish job market anyway. However there'd be plenty of demand for you. That said, I think you're right to hold off for the time being. There are other issues with becoming an autonomo that you'd need to think through as well (pensions come to mind).

In the mean time, I guess another option could be to spend up to 3 months a year in the property in Barcelona, and maybe holiday let it during the summer?
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top