Get useful expat articles, health and financial news, social media recommendations and more in your inbox each month - free!

We respect your privacy - we don't spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

±Compare Expat Providers

Expat Health Insurance Quotes

Foreign Currency Exchange Quotes

International Moving Quotes

We're very social! Follow Expat Focus on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+

Expat Focus Facebook PageExpat Focus on TwitterExpat Focus Pinterest PageExpat Focus Google+ Page

Notify me when new content is added about a country

±Expat Focus Partners

Residency and/or empadronamiento before/instead of visa?

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in Spain.
Subforums: Property for Sale/Rent

Reply to topicReply to topic
Forum FAQSearchView unanswered posts
Residency and/or empadronamiento before/instead of visa?

Post Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:33 am

Bill Dieterich has a long page with tons of links and quotes about Spain. One of them, from Reddit, says

In your home country you applied for residency and the Secretary of State of Public Administrations' government delegation in the province that you requested to live in made a decision as to allow you or not based on your application as presented in one of the consulates. From that point on, their decision to allow you or not into their province became an official decision to grant or not grant residency. If you were granted residency by them, the decision was then sent to your local consulate where they, noting that you had been granted residency, processed the additional paperwork to also grant you a visa. A visa in Spain is merely a sticker attached to your passport that is needed to enter the country from abroad. It grants no rights of residency, but rather is freely given when you have already previously acquired the right of residency associated with the visa type (as you already had by that point in the process).

This suggests that it may be possible to get residency approved by going direct to the “ Secretary of State of Public Administrations” (what is the official Spanish name?). Obviously a reddit post that I can’t even locate is no proof of anything! But srticle 23.2 of Ley Orgánica 4/2000 de 11 de enero implies something similar:

Salvo en los casos en que se establezca lo contrario en los convenios internacionales suscritos por España será preciso, además, un visado. No será exigible el visado cuando el extranjero sea titular de una autorización de residencia en España o documento análogo que le permita la entrada en territorio español.

In other words, if you have an authorization of residency, you don't need a visa. And why would they bother to print this if it isn't possible to get residency without a visa?

Furthermore, although I’ve been informed by several sources, one of them a lawyer, that one cannot apply for a visa in Spain, I haven't seen that in an actual law. Moreover, one person on Facebook claims to have actually applied for and received a visa in Madrid after being advised by a lawyer to apply there.

Anyone who has done it or knows someone who has, can you describe the method you/they followed?


Wes Groleau
Happy Hobo


Regular Poster
Regular Poster
Page 1 of 1

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Aetna International

Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

Bupa Global

Bupa Global is one of the world’s largest international health insurers. We offer direct access to over 1.2m medical providers worldwide, and we settle directly with them so you don’t have to pay up front for your treatment. We provide access to leading specialists without the need to see your family doctor first and ensure that you have the same level of cover wherever you might be, home or away.

Cigna International

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.