Here is another short post, but I wanted to give you an example of the other major document that I was really stuck on during our Non Lucrative Visa Application process to move to Spain. This document is the Letter of Intent, often called the Cover Letter for Visa Application.

The Cover Letter for visa applications (aka Letter of Intent) is a personal letter required for most visa applications.

There’s not a lot of information about what the letter of intent should look like, unfortunately. So, I wanted to write about our experience with this letter for our own non lucrative Spanish visa application. (Note: In recent years this has also been called a Non Working visa, but the process and requirements seem to be the same as when we applied.)

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If you’re also going through the visa application (or even the non lucrative visa Spain) process, you’ve probably already googled a few things like:

A cover letter, or letter of intent is a personal letter, written by you. It explains why you (and your family, if you’re moving abroad with children) want to apply for a visa and live in the new country.

In many cases, the cover letter helps the visa approval process by giving the approval committee important information. It tells them about your motives, hopes, and plans for becoming part of a new country.

Never fear, this post is here to help!

The Letter of Intent is an important part of your visa application process. But I think it sometimes gets overlooked. (Hence the reason for this post!)

The purpose of the cover letter for your visa application is to explain WHY you want to move to the country you have chosen, and briefly outline your ability to do so.

Depending on how much research you’ve done (and expat groups you’ve joined) you might have already heard horror stories of families being denied because the consulate didn’t like their letter of intent.

I certainly did! And let me tell you I gained a few grey hairs stressing about what to write in our visa cover letter! This one simple letter seemed to carry so much weight!

Despite this, our Letter of Intent (and non lucrative visa application to Spain) was accepted just fine! 😅

I did a TON of research, including speaking to many other expat families who made this journey before me. In general, the cover letter for your visa application should demonstrate that you will be an asset- not a burden- on your new country if they approve your non lucrative visa.

To do this, the Letter of Intent for your visa application should include the following information:

1. Why you want to move to a new country. (Be specific but not too long.)

2. How you plan to support yourself in the new country. (Especially for a non lucrative visa, where there may be working restrictions in place.)

3. Specify that you are relatively healthy. State you have a clean background, and have obtained the proper health insurance. (In other words, you meet the requirements for your visa application.)

(Thank you again, Google Translate!)

Visa Letter of Intent EXAMPLE by LathropsGoneAWOL family travel tips blog

Feel free to use my example as a template to get started on what you want to include in your letter for your own family’s visa application. Don’t forget to update the required savings amounts to cover the current year’s minimum.

Make sure you create a letter that is UNIQUE to your situation. You really want the consulate to see you as people, and as a family. You DON’T want to be just another paper application. 🥰

It may seem repetitive since I mentioned it already. But I was surprised to hear that some visa applicants don’t do this! This is an important detail that shows you really do want to become a part of the culture and the country you are requesting to live in.

It also prevents any issues with translation errors. Sometimes translations can change the meaning of certain words or phrases. You’ll want to make sure that you are actually saying the right things.

(You can read our post about visa document translation services for more info on translating your visa documents.)

Your Letter of Intent should make a great statement about yourself and your family. Explain why you want to move abroad with family. Then detail how you will be a contribution to your new country.

FREE Visa Preparation Checklist Download by LathropsGoneAWOL Family Travel Tips Blog

Lastly, let’s talk about what NOT to include in the cover letter for your visa application.

There are some things that are unnecessary to add in, and could possibly hurt your chances of being approved.

For example, if your plan for moving overseas with kids (or without kids) is to start exploring family world travel, DON’T mention this in your letter.

Traveling the world is a very big part of why most expats move abroad. But the purpose of applying for most visa applications is to assimilate into a new country and be an asset.

The approval committee wants to hear about how you will contribute to the new country.

And it might be a bit taboo- but I’m going to just say it. I personally think that visa programs are engineered to help countries attract new residents who will PAY INTO their government programs and boost economic stability.

That means things like paying taxes, shopping locally, etc.

Frequent traveling with family could reduce what you pay in local taxes. Travellers don’t contribute to their local economy as much, either. This would make your application MUCH less appealing.

You also DON’T want to talk about moving back to your home country after a certain period of time.

(Or talk about your plans to move to another country after the visa period is over.)

This is for the same reason as above. Countries want to add valuable residents that can contribute to their country’s stability long term.

Even if your visa is only valid for 1 year, it can often be renewed. Eventually, you might even be able to apply for permanent residency!

You don’t want to give the visa approval committee ANY reason to think you are just going to jump into their country for a little while and then leave without making any real contribution to society.

So just play it safe and focus your Letter of Intent on the country you’re applying for. Do not mention any additional goals you may have outside of living in and enjoying the country itself.

It can also help to do a quick bit of research about your destination country and what their culture, economy and other lifestyle aspects are like. I love this site here, called Internations, for learning about new countries.

As you can see in the Letter of Intent example above from our Non Lucrative visa Spain application, I talked about choosing Spain because it was rich in culture and history. This was important because I am an ancient history grad.

I didn’t mention that we wanted to start traveling Europe with kids. Or talk about any other places or future plans.

I kept our letter focused on why we chose Spain, and how our financial and health circumstances were stable and strong.

(This means we would contribute to, and not be a burden on, the Spanish government and/or society.)

That’s it! That’s the main gyst of what to consider when writing your own Letter of Intent for the visa you are applying for. Hopefully it helps give you some ideas as to how to form your OWN letter.

Now you’ve just got to get busy writing! You’ve totally got this!

Check out our main Applying for A Non Lucrative Visa- What’s Needed post to see a list of the other documents that are usually required, and be sure to download our free visa prep checklist to help you stay organized! 😉

Oh! I also wanted to mention the other major document I really struggled with for our initial non lucrative Spanish visa application, in case it saves you a bit of time.

As I mentioned in the first paragraph of this post, I really pulled my hair out over the ‘Medical Health Certificate’ requirement because the information about it was quite vague and I couldn’t find many clear answers online as to what it was or how to format it. (And what the heck even was this document, anyways?!)

You can check out our medical health certificate example if you haven’t seen it already, and hopefully it will help save you a few google searches! 😅 (It’s actually the document I decided to start this entire blog over, because it stressed me out so much!)

That’s it- for real this time- but please comment below if you have any other questions or if I am not clear about anything above! I’m here to help! 🥰

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We’re a family of 7, and we decided to move abroad with family & start traveling the world when our youngest was just a little over a year old. We’ve learned so much about family travel! Now, we’re on a mission to make moving abroad with kids (and traveling with kids) easier for YOU with our family travel tips & great resources!

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  1. This is extremely well written, clear, concise, and incredibly helpful. I’m just getting started on the visa process, and really appreciate you taking the time and energy to so clearly capture many of the steps needed (this also makes the task seem a little less daunting!)

    Thank you

    D Harvey

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