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I asked this on a forum that is supposed to be only about expats in Spain, but it seems that although plenty of people ask questions there, nobody ever answers any.

I chuckle at the first sentence of Art. 25.2 of Spain's Ley Orgánica 4/2000 de 11 de enero: Granting a visa will be regulated by regulations. :-)

Anyway, that is in the left column of page five, and goes on to say that the visa process will take into consideration Spain's national interests and any international commitments Spain has made. Also, that regulations will define the reasons that allow denial. How can I find these regulations?

But in the right column of the same page, Art. 20.2 appears to say that they have to give it to me if I can prove I am able to support myself without working (or one of three other conditions). This suggests that any regulation that gives another reason is meaningless.

Now, 25.2 says "visa" and 29.2 says "temporary residency" so one might say "two different things." But Art. 23.2 says that to enter Spain, you must have a visa, unless a treaty says otherwise. But 23.2 also says you don't need a visa if you have an authorization of residence or something similar. So it's a bit confusing. It sounds like if I am not indigent, they have to grant me residency, and then I don't need a visa.

The consulate says I have to show them the contract to buy or rent a place to live (no hotels in Spain?), but a lawyer said that's not the law and if I hire their firm, they'll make sure the consulate understands that. :-) But she did not offer any similar counter to the requirements for medical insurance, certificate of good health, and lack of criminal record. (Actually, the law I cited above says that a crime cannot be used to deny residency if the sentence has already been completed).

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The Ministry of the Interior (MinInt) has a web page which lists the basic legislation regulating immigration: http://www.interior.gob.es/web/servicios-al-ciudadano/extranjeria/normativa-basica-reguladora

I think the case which 23.2 is intended to cover is EU/EEA citizens. The information about temporary residence provided by MinInt state that they are not applicable to EU/EEA citizens, and then state categorically

El extranjero que desee residir temporalmente en España sin realizar actividades laborales o profesionales, deberá solicitar, personalmente, el correspondiente visado, en la misión diplomática u oficina consular española de su demarcación de residencia.

In short, you need a visa. It goes on to say that the visa incorporates the initial authorisation to reside.

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