The Spanish Consulates in both Houston and Chicago have a “proof of housing” requirement to apply for the Spanish Non Lucrative Visa.
Yes, you read that correctly. You must have already secured housing for your intended stay in Spain just to apply for a visa to live there with no guarantee you’ll actually receive one.
As a blogger about moving to Spain from the US, I regularly get asked about this requirement. And I’m sorry to report, there’s no work around. If you’re applying for your Spanish Non Lucrative Visa in Chicago or Houston, you must provide proof of housing at the time of your visa application appointment.
Naturally, if you already own property in Spain, meeting this requirement is a no brainer. Print a copy of your “nota simple” from this website and you’ll be good to go.
But if you’re planning on renting, things get trickier. In all likelihood, you want to do some scouting around before committing to a lease.
Note that denial of your visa would not unto itself be grounds for breaking your lease before it even begins. You could ask the landlord if they would let you break it before it even starts, but that would be up to them. However, know that tenants in Spain have the right to break a lease contract after six months by giving one month’s written notice to the landlord.
Proof of Housing Options for Your Spanish Non Lucrative Visa Application
Do you know anyone in Spain with property in the area in which you wish to live? Ask if they would write a notarized letter stating they will be hosting you. They should also provide you with a copy of their “nota simple.”
Call upon any networks you have in the area you wish to live. Perhaps your personal connection knows a friend or co-worker with rental property or even a second home.
See if your local contacts will view properties on your behalf. Yes, this would require taking a place site unseen. Choose wisely.
If you lack any local contacts, scour the internet for local relocation agents. You won’t find such service providers everywhere in Spain, but Spain’s bigger cities do boast a few.
Do a scouting trip in advance of your visa application appointment. The timing will be tricky. You apply 90 days before your desired departure date in Spain. Therefore, you’ll need to ask the landlord if they’re willing to write a lease start date several months out.
Finally, long term renting of tourist flats, like those on AirBnB or VRBO. I see a lot of conflicting information on this topic. The general consensus is yes, you can use these dwellings for your proof of housing requirement. BUT, and this is important, the rental must be backed by an actual lease. In other words, you can’t just the AirBnB website as your proof. The consulate won’t accept that. The AirBnB owner would need to write a lease and provide a copy of their nota simple. Yes, this will still mean you’re taking a place site unseen. But, you’ll have the benefit of the reviews on the apartment and the landlord. Hopefully that will make you feel more comfortable.
Do you have more questions on the housing requirement or other concerns about how to order documents for your Spanish Non Lucrative Visa? Moving to Spain from the US isn’t easy. Especially if you’re moving to Spain as a family. But it’s doable.
I help would be American expats figure out how to move to Spain. I have a host of information and many personal contacts on:
- How to DIY your Spanish Non Lucrative Visa Application
- Education in Spain and finding schools for your kids
- General settling in practicalities like securing housing, mobile phone and internet services in Spain
- Helping children adapt emotionally to their move to Spain
- And much more