Residence permits in Spain

All posts Leave a comment   Published on par Jonatan Carbonell

The possibilities of a foreigner wishing to reside in Spain are open to those who can demonstrate a sufficient reason. All citizens who are foreigners and who wish to reside in Spanish territory must have been previously authorized to do so. Once they have the authorization, they must proceed to obtain the corresponding visas that will allow them to enter Spain.

People who obtain residence in Spain may be granted temporary or permanent residence. The temporary type is the one that is in charge of authorizing to remain in the Spanish territory for a period of more than 90 days and less than five years. While, those that are of authorizations of less than five years may be renewed periodically at the request of the interested parties.  Do you want to know more about residence permits in Spain? Keep reading!


What is a residence permit?

The residence permit is characterised by the fact that it is an authorisation granted by the Spanish government to all non-EU foreigners, so that they have the right to reside in Spain. But, for a period longer than 90 days; at the moment the Spanish government tends to offer two main types of residence permit. As is the case of the temporary and long term, including, have established requirements on the different situations for which the permit can be granted.

Therefore, it cannot be confused with a residence permit, as regulated in the Organic Law 4/2000. Where it has established on the right and freedoms of foreigners in the Spanish territory and social integration. According to what it establishes, those foreigners who are living in the country and who are holders of an authorization to reside will be residents. They may even opt for temporary residence or long-term residence.


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Characteristics of residence permits in Spain

These are some of the characteristics about residence permits in Spain:

  • Initial authorisations for temporary residence that entail work authorisation shall be granted to all foreigners who have sufficient means for themselves and their families.

  • According to the regulations in force, they have established the procedures and requirements necessary to obtain residence and work permits in Spanish territory. So that they can carry out lucrative activities for both employees and self-employed beneficiaries.

  • The residences that are of long duration are characterized because they offer foreigners, or authorize them to reside and work indefinitely, even sharing the same conditions that a Spaniard has.

  • The benefited foreigners will have the rights to long-term residences. But, first they had to have had temporary residence in Spain for five years continuously. In addition, they must have met the conditions that are established by regulation.

For the purpose of obtaining long-term residence, periods of previous and continuous residence in other member states are taken into account. This is the case of foreigners who are holders of the EU Blue Card. It will be taken into account that the residence has been continuous, even if the periods of holidays or other measures, which have caused foreigners to leave the Spanish territory temporarily.


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What are the types of residence permit?

As mentioned above, there are basically two types of residence permits in Spain, such as temporary and long term, formerly known by many as permanent residence. These permits are aimed at non-EU foreigners, as people coming from the states of the European Union, EEA and Switzerland will have the rights to enter, leave, move and reside freely throughout the Spanish territory.

Temporary residence permit

These are residence permits to stay in Spanish territory for a period of more than 90 days and less than 5 years. This may be renewed depending on the circumstances that motivated the authorization. Authorizations that are less than five years may be renewed, at the request of the interested parties, depending on the different circumstances that motivated their granting. The duration of this initial temporary residence permit and its renewals will be established according to the Spanish regulations.

Long-term residence permit

It authorizes citizens to reside and work in Spanish territory under the same conditions as Spaniards. Foreigners must meet several requirements, one of which is to have lived legally and continuously in Spanish territory for at least five years, although it is not the only one.


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What are the general requirements and documents required for a residence permit?

In order for foreigners to have access to residence permits, they must meet a series of general requirements that are the same for all cases:

  • They must not be citizens of the European Union, the Economic Area or even Switzerland.

  • They must not be family members of nationals of the countries mentioned in the previous paragraph to whom the Union citizenship scheme applies.

  • Be legally in the territory of Spain.

  • Applicants must not have a criminal record in Spanish territory or in previous countries where they have resided.

  • Not having been banned from entering Spanish territory.

  •  Less to have been listed as rejectable in the countries with which Spain has signed an agreement in this regard.

  • Term of the 3-year commitment of non-return to Spanish territory that foreigners tend to assume who, at any time, may return to their countries of origin within the voluntary return programmes.

In the part of the documentation, these are what foreigners must comply with:

  • Printed and signed compliance requests.

  • Complete copy of the passports, travel documents or the registration card, which is one of the documents to avoid being undocumented, where they must be registered in the central registry of foreigners. Therefore, it must be valid for at least 4 months.

  • The documentation that is responsible for accrediting the continuous stay in Spain for a minimum of 2 years. Therefore, it is preferable documents of public administration, such as proof of registration, medical consultations in public health, municipal documentation.

  • Certificate of criminal record.

  • If they have one, they must present documentation proving the employment relationship.


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How can I obtain a residence permit?

Foreigners should consider that the data and procedures are a general framework as established in Spain, as the situations are completely different for applying for residence permits. Where particular documentation and procedures will be required. They only have to comply with the following steps:

  • Submit applications and documents to the Immigration Office in the province of residence. Therefore, you must consider that the documents in languages must be translated into Spanish or into the official languages of the territory where the applications are submitted.

  • Pay the fee for temporary residences. The office of foreigners will have a period of 3 months so that the citizens can manifest themselves and expand, if necessary, the permit. If after this period there is no communication, the application must be considered to have been rejected.

According to the provisions of Organic Law 4/2000, residence permits have a duration of one year and lead to a self-employment authorization. Even if these are aliens during the period of validity, at the end of that time citizens can apply for an extension or another residence permit. After one month has passed since the residence permit was granted, foreigners may apply for an identity card at the immigration office. They can also apply at the police station in the province where the authorizations were issued.


If you are looking for some real experts in the legal, fiscal and accounting area to advise you regarding residence authorizations in Spain, in TAS Consultoría we have the best. Experts who are willing to work hand in hand with you, in order to achieve your goals. Contact our experts through our website and they will answer all your questions!

Published on par Jonatan Carbonell

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