Types of residency available in Spain
Spain offers several types of residency permits to foreign nationals who wish to live and work in the country. The available types of residency are as follows:
Temporary residency permits are available to foreign nationals who wish to stay in Spain for a period of more than 90 days but less than five years. There are several types of temporary residency permits available, including:
This permit is intended for individuals who can demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support themselves during their stay in Spain without the need to work. This permit is not available to individuals who intend to work in Spain.
Work and residence permit
This permit is for individuals who have a job offer or are self-employed in Spain. The permit is tied to the individual’s work contract or business activities and is only valid for the duration of the contract or activity.
This permit is for students who wish to study in Spain for a period of more than 90 days. To obtain a student permit, the individual must be enrolled in an accredited educational institution in Spain and have sufficient financial resources to support themselves during their stay.
Family reunification permit
This permit is for family members of Spanish citizens or individuals with Spanish residency permits. The family member must have a valid relationship with the Spanish citizen or resident and must demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support themselves during their stay.
Permanent residency permits are available to foreign nationals who have legally resided in Spain for five years or more. Permanent residents have the same rights and obligations as Spanish citizens, except for the right to vote in national elections.
Process for applying for residency in Spain
The process for obtaining residency in Spain varies depending on the type of residency permit being applied for. However, there are some general steps that all applicants must follow.
- Apply for a visa if required
Citizens of certain countries may need to apply for a visa before they can enter Spain. The visa application process is handled by the Spanish consulate in the applicant’s country of origin.
- Apply for a residency permit
Once the applicant is in Spain, they can apply for a residency permit at the Foreigners’ Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or at the local police station. The application process involves filling out a form, providing supporting documents, and paying a fee.
- Attend an appointment
After submitting the application, the applicant will be given an appointment to attend an interview at the Foreigners’ Office or local police station. During the interview, the applicant’s fingerprints will be taken and their documents will be checked.
- Wait for a decision
The application will be processed, and the applicant will be notified of the decision. If the application is approved, the applicant will be issued a residency card.
Documents required for a residency permit in Spain
The documents required for a residency permit in Spain vary depending on the type of permit being applied for. However, some of the most common documents required include:
- Valid passport or travel document
- Proof of financial resources
- Criminal record certificate
- Health insurance
- Proof of accommodation
- Work contract or business plan (for work permits)
Registering with a government department in Spain
Foreign nationals who plan to reside in Spain for more than three months are required to register with the Central Register of Foreign Nationals (Registro Central de Extranjeros) within 30 days of their arrival in the country. This can be done at the Foreigners’ Office or local police station.
Where to find reliable information on residency in Spain
- The Spanish government’s official website, www.administracion.gob.es, provides comprehensive information on the different types of residency permits available.
- Spanish government immigration portal: https://www.gob.es/dgt/es/tramites-y-multas/tramites/nacionales/permiso-residencia-y-trabajo.html
- Spanish embassy or consulate in the applicant’s home country
- Spanish government portal for foreigners: https://www.spain.info/en/
- The Spanish Association of Immigration Lawyers: https://aalite.org/