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Obtain Residency in Spain

Obtain Residency in Spain

Updated on Monday 18th April 2016

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In order to become an official Spanish resident, you need to be aware of a couple of aspects related to residency in this country and the steps through which you can become a legal resident in Spain.

General Residency Rules in Spain for Non-EU Citizens 

Citizens from some non-EU countries need to acquire a visa before travelling to the Schengen area.

If the stay is under 90 days, you may require a tourist visa (valid for Schengen area countries), usually obtained from the Spanish Embassy in your country. Even though your country is visa-exempt (under specific conditions), like Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine etc., if your intention is to stay for longer, a residence visa will be required. For complete details of the process of applying for residencyour lawyers in Spain can be of help.

Spanish Residency Options for Non-EU Citizens

The residence visa must be requested from the Spanish Embassy in the applicant’s country, before traveling to Spain. This type of visa is not the same as the 90-days Schengen visa, as it allows the visa holder to start the residency application procedure.

The residence card (tarjeta de residencia) is for those who wish to stay longer than 90 days in Spain and they have to apply for this permit within a month of their arrival in the country. This can be done either at the Foreigner’s Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or at the local police station. Some of the documents needed for this process are:

- a valid passport and a photocopy;

- a proof of address in Spain and a receipt for the administration fee payment;

- medical certificate, proof of medical insurance cover in Spain and a letter from your consulate;

- copy of a certificate of employment (if it is the case);

- proof of financial resources (if you do not intend to work).

To find out the complete list of the requirements for this procedure or other residency issues, please contact our law firm in Spain.

The foreign identity card (tarjeta de identidad de extranjero) has to be obtained by non-EU nationals holding an authorization to stay in Spain for more than six months, within the first month of their arrival.

Obtaining Spanish Residency by EU Citizens

Starting 2007, an EU citizen no longer needs an EU Residence Card as this was replaced with the residence certificate (for those who want to stay for more than six months in Spain). However, if they already hold an EU residence card, they are not required to re-register until the expiration of the card. 

Under Spanish law, within the first three months of your arrival, you need to register at a Foreigners’ Office in order to be added to the Central Register of Foreign Nationals. The residence certificate includes your name, address, your tax identification number (NIE) and your nationality. If changes appear in the certificate’s statement, such as a divorce, a marriage etc., then you have to re-apply.

Our attorneys in Spain can help you in every step of the residency certificate registration process or other legal matters in Spain, therefore, do not hesitate to contact our team.

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