Visas for life in Spain and Mexico

If you're ready to take your remote job on the road or retire somewhere sunny, the next step is finding the best visas and countries for digital nomads or retirees. Finding a long term visa can be difficult, but we've rounded up the best visa options available for the Spanish speaking world.

If you want to stay in a country longer than a typical 60 or 90 day stay (depending on the country), most of the time you will either need a long term visa, or you will need to leave the country after the allotted time period. With some countries' visas, rules are slightly more lax. If you reach your max amount of days, you can exit the country, get an exit stamp on your passport, head to another country for a day or so, and then return problem free. The time limit will reset itself. In the digital nomad community, this is commonly referred to as a visa run.


Spain's Non-Lucrative Visa allows non-EU citizens to live in Spain provided they are able to support themselves financially. It is used by those planning to retire to Spain

What is the non-lucrative visa?

Spain’s Non-Lucrative Residence Visa is an option for people who would like to retire in the country as well as those non-EU citizens who would like to live in the country but work remotely from Spain.  It can also be an option for those who would like to spend a year in Spain without working before obtaining a work permit.  As the name implies it is about non-EU citizens who have the financial means to support themselves in the country without working and any accompanying family.

The visa allows you to say in Spain for one year after entering the Spanish territory.  You must spend a minimum of 183 days in the country to be able to renew.  This also means that you will become tax resident and taxable on your worldwide income (subject to double tax treaties).

The visa can be renewed every 2 years until you get permanent residency, which is available after 5 years in the country.

Although the visa does not allow you to carry out any type of economic or professional activity in Spain, it does not require you to invest in the country to obtain a visa.  You simply have to show that you have sufficient means to support yourself (and your family).   That does not mean that you cannot invest in Spain while there with this visa.  You are free to invest in any business and generate additional income.

Although you are not able to earn while staying under this visa, you can study and this includes a paid internship.  You can also work in another country and so can be a good option who want to spend time in Spain but continue working in another country.

The Non-Lucrative Visa entitles you to travel freely within the Schengen zone.

 Requirements for a Non-Lucrative Visa

The following requirements must be met in order to be eligible for the visa:

  • Demonstrating you have sufficient funds
    In the case of the non-lucrative visa, you must prove that you have 400% of the IPREM annually in your bank account.  The Public Indicator of Multiple Effects Income which is the benchmark in Spain for the allocation of aid and subsidies.   In 2020 this means that the main applicant for this visa must demonstrate he or she has at least 25.816,12€. This is, however, the minimum and a higher amount may be required.  For each dependent travelling with you will require that you have an additional amount equal to the IPREM (6.454,03€ annually).
    You will be required to provide a bank certificate or bank statements from the last six months.  The funds may be in multiple accounts.
  • Private health insurance
    Applicants must have a private health insurance policy with full coverage in Spain with no copayments provided by a Spanish insurance company for at least one year.

 Application process

The application process is divided into two parts: the initial visa application and then obtaining the residence card once you enter Spain.

 Visa application

The application must be made in your country of origin or there where you are legally resident.  You are not able to apply in Spain having entered the country as a tourist.

The application should not be made more than 90 days before your intended travel date.  You will have to send all relevant documents to the Spanish Consulate:

  • National visa form.
  • Form Ex-01.
  • Private Health insurance policy from a Spanish Company
  • Bank certificate, demonstrating the possession of required funds per year.
  • Photos, 3×4 cm with white background.
  • Original Passport.
  • A medical certificate, demonstrating that you do not suffer from any restricted diseases.
  • Criminal record translated to Spanish.

Confirmation will be within one month and the visa will be stamped in your passport and you will then be free to travel to Spain.  The visa will also include your NIE Number.

 Obtaining the TIE or foreigner’s identity card

Once you have your visa you must enter Spain freely within a maximum of 3 months. Once in Spain, you will need to register on the Padron in your local municipality and TIE (foreigner’s identity card).

Application Form PDF


Spain's Self Employment Visa

The Self Employment Visa that Spain offers is a great choice for digital nomads who are self employed – and it is pretty common for digital nomads to be self employed freelancers! Like the previously mentioned visas, this one will grant you up to a year's stay. When applying, you will need to prove you have sufficient funds to "establish and maintain employment indefinitely" and you'll have to pass a background check. Then, you can join in on the digital nomad scenes in Barcelona or Madrid!


Application Form

Guide on applying


Mexico Temporary Resident Visa

Is a hot climate calling you? A Mexico temporary resident visa allows you to stay in the country for a year on average, and after that, you can renew it annually for another 3 years! You will need to provide documents proving that you had a monthly income of over $1,620 USD over the last 6 months or a bank account balance of over $27,000. The digital nomad scene in Mexico is growing, with Mexico City being the biggest hotspot.

Foreign nationals and their families who wish to settle in Mexico may apply for a Temporary Resident visa. This visa comprises several categories such as Scientific Research, Economic Solvency, Real Estate Investment, Education, Marriage, among others.

The permit is usually issued for 1 year, but it is renewable annually for a further 3 years (3+1), provided that requirements are still met. Prior to its expiration, a temporary resident may apply for a permanent resident permit if he or she has continuously resided in the country for 4 years (i.e. has paid Mexican income taxes).

After 5 years of legal residency, a resident may be eligible for naturalization. To obtain citizenship they must have Spanish language skills and pass a test and interview about Mexican history, culture and values. Nationals of Iberia (Spain and Portugal) or Latin American countries may be eligible for citizenship after 2 years of legal residency.


Economic Solvency

You may obtain a temporary resident visa in Mexico, if you prove that during the last year you had an overall bank balance of over US$27,000 or during the last 6 months you had a monthly income of over US$1,620. Under this visa category, you may not be allowed to conduct lucrative activities, such as employment, in the country.


  • Original and a photocopy of investment receipts or bank statements showing you had an overall bank balance of over US$27,000 during the past twelve months; or -
  • Original and a photocopy of documents showing a monthly income of over US$1,620 (6 months).
  • Dual citizenship is recognized in Mexico. You are not required to renounce your previous nationality to become a citizen of Mexico

Documents Required

  • Original and photocopy of passport Proof of income
  • Proof of Net Worth
  • Bank Statement

Mexico Temporary Residence Visa Form Pdf



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