Coming to Spain to Retire (Immigration/Visas)

Hundreds of foreigners retire to Spain each year. The weather is warm, the food is good and there are already many thriving communities of expats! Even better, it's really easy to do.

Video guide to retirement visas for Spain

You can get a quick overview of retirement visas in Spain by watching this video interview (below) with Spanish lawyer Miguel Manzanares. You can also scroll down and read the guide he has written with us, and see our other residency/visa guides for Spain.

Visas for retirement

Strictly speaking, this is settlement for people who are “not economically active” – i.e. people who are not working or running businesses but living off their investments, pensions and capital.

There are no age limits. For these purposes, you can “retire” at 30 or at 90!

These visas are fairly easy to obtain. You need to show that you can afford to support yourself (about €26,000 per year for a single applicant, €35,000 for a couple); that you have somewhere to live (which can be rented); that you have a clean criminal record in your own country and that you have health insurance.

What does it cost?

Visa fees are in general €60 and application fees are €10.50.

How long does it take?

Retirement visa applications take around three months to process.

Obtaining citizenship in Spain

In most cases, person who has legally been living permanently in Spain for a period of 10 years (meaning at least 183 days in each year) may apply for Spanish citizenship.

You need to prove that:

  • You speak Spanish to at least a modest/low standard
  • You have a basic understanding of Spanish history & culture
  • You are of good character: basically, you have no criminal convictions or debts and you have paid your taxes


Spain is a great place to retire, and obtaining a visa is not very difficult. Read our guide about retirement in Spain to find out what to expect!

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