How to get a residence permit in Spain in 2024

How to get a residence permit in Spain in 2024

Life in Spain is a cherished goal for many foreigners. However, to stay in the country for a long time, you must apply for a residence permit. Registration and obtaining a residence permit in Spain is a serious and complicated procedure. What information do applicants for a residence permit need to know?



What is a Spanish residence permit?

This is a permit for a foreigner to legally live in Spain. So, what does a residence permit in Spain provide? A stay in the country for more than 90 days. Citizens of the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) or Switzerland do not need this document to legally reside in Spain.

How to get a residence permit in Spain in 2022

Benefits of obtaining a residence permit in Spain:

  • Freedom of residence in the EU. A temporary resident can stay for an unlimited number of days in Spain and 180 days a year (90 days every 6 months) in other EU countries. Most of the programs are related to real estate investments so it will be possible to live both on your own and on a rented premise. Rental assistance is provided by real estate agencies in Spain.
  • Freedom to move within the EU. A residence permit in Spain allows you to move around the countries of the European Union and the Schengen area without a visa.
  • Education in EU schools and universities. Your children will be able to study in schools and universities in any of the EU countries. It should be noted that in Spain, they will have certain privileges like exemption from payments or tuition fees are lower than for other international students.
  • Doing business in the EU. A residence permit can help you conduct business in a stable economic zone (both in Spain and other European countries), open accounts in foreign banks, receive loans at a low-interest rate and engage in tax planning. Obtaining a document does not automatically mean a change in tax residence; you will be a tax resident in the country you are in most of the time or 183 days a year. However, a residence permit will reduce risks in the event of a threat to your business.
  • Investment and safety of invested funds. Many residency programs are associated with the purchase of real estate. Thus, buying a liquid property means you not only save your investment but also have a good chance to increase it. You can also earn passive rental income from this property. If you participate in residency programs without the obligation of lifetime ownership of real estate, you can profit from the resale of real estate 5 years after the acquisition.
  • High-quality healthcare. There are a large number of quality medical centers in Spain. Therefore, citizens who need treatment in Europe for a long time must have the resident status of one of the European countries.

Types of residence permits in Spain

There are 2 types of residence permits in Spain.

A temporary residence permit allows you to stay in Spain for more than 90 days and less than 5 years. The applicant may apply for an extension of this permit on a regular basis taking into account the reasons that served as the basis for its issue.

If the original temporary residence permit does not provide for a work permit, then this right may subsequently be granted provided that the applicant has sufficient funds for themselves and their family.

Types of temporary residence permits:

  • A temporary residence permit without the right to work provides for the absence of the right to any work or professional activity. Let us say you do not want to work in Spain - you would like to retire or you just have enough money to not do any work. In this case, a non-commercial residence permit would be the best option. You must have health insurance and prove you have sufficient funds. The legal requirement is 26 000 euros but depending on the consulate, the amount may increase.
  • Temporary residence permit for entrepreneurs. Is it possible to create your own company in Spain and obtain a residence permit at the same time? Yes. If the project that you would like to start corresponds to the socio-economic interests of the country or is recognized as innovative and high-tech (this can be demonstrated with the help of a business plan), then you can get this type of residence permit. If you just want to start a more traditional business, a self-employment permit is ideal.
  • Temporary residence permit for students. One of the ways to obtain a residence permit in Spain is through education, research work, training courses, or student exchange.

    To obtain a residence permit, students need to:

    • Get a study visa.
    • Accredit the course being performed (attach supporting documents that the course lasts at least 20 hours per week for a year).
    • Provide sufficient financial resources (bank statement with an amount of 10 000 euros).
  • A temporary residence permit in connection with family reunification is granted so that a foreigner can stay with relatives (spouse, children, etc.) who already live in Spain.
  • A temporary residence permit with a permit to conduct activities such as commercial, labor or professional.
  • An exceptional temporary residence permit is granted for reasons of international protection, humanitarian reasons, or in connection with government cooperation for security or public interest.
  • Temporary residence permit for investors.

The easiest way to start living in Spain is to invest € 500 000 in the local property market. It can be one object or several but of less cost. The main thing is that the total price of the property should be at least 500 000 euros. It is possible to obtain a residence permit in Spain when buying real estate quite quickly as the owner of a house in Spain is issued a "golden visa" that applies to all members of his family.

Owners of real estate in Spain can stay in the country for an unlimited period of time.

How to get a residence permit in Spain in 2022

Permanent residence permit

A permanent residence permit allows you to stay in Spain for an indefinite period and under the same conditions as those with local citizenship.

An application for this can be submitted by foreign citizens who have permanently resided in the country for 5 years and fulfill the established regulatory requirements.

In order to obtain a long-term residence permit, the previous periods of uninterrupted stay in other member states of the European Union are calculated. A foreigner has the right to temporarily leave Spain for reasons permitted by current legislation (travel on vacation, absence for up to 6 months in not more than one year, departure justified by family or medical reasons) while having a permanent place of residence.

A permanent residence permit can also be granted to migrants who can prove that they are in one of the following situations:

  • Old age pension. Citizens who receive an old-age pension and are on social security.
  • Disability pension. Residents who receive a disability or disability pension.
  • Foreigners born in Spain and adults residing in the country for 3 consecutive years.
  • Citizens of Spanish descent.
  • Adults under the care of the Spanish state for 3 consecutive years.
  • Refugees. Stateless persons or refugees who are in the territory of Spain and have received the appropriate status in Spain.
  • Foreigners who have made a significant contribution to the economic, scientific or cultural progress, and increase the prestige of Spain abroad.

A permanent residence permit is renewed every 5 years.

Documents required to obtain a residence permit

Any application for a residence permit or its extension must be accompanied by the following required documents:

  1. Passport or document valid for entry into Spain, or, where applicable, a copy of a valid registration certificate.
  2. Accreditation of the previous time of legal and uninterrupted residence in Spain or actual residence.
  3. 3 photographs in color on a white background.

Documents to obtain a residence permit in connection with a family reunion:

  1. Valid passport, official travel document or registration certificate of the applicant.
  2. Copy of a residence permit or work permit.
  3. Accreditation in the field of employment as well as sufficient financial resources to meet the needs of the family such as health care if members are not covered by social security.
  4. Confirmation of the availability of housing for the invitee and their family.
  5. For spousal reunification, a signed declaration that the other spouse does not reside in Spain.

How to obtain a residence permit in Spain for foreigners

There are certain rules to obtain a residence permit in Spain for residents of Russia. To obtain a residence permit, you must submit documents to the Spanish Consulate in Moscow or St. Petersburg.

For the initial entry into the country, a national residence visa is required for foreigner -, type D - that is subsequently reissued into a residence permit.

How to obtain a resident visa

To obtain a D visa, the following documents are submitted to the Spanish Consulate in your country:

  • Medical insurance policy issued in accordance with the established rules.
  • Application for a residence permit in Spain.
  • Certificate of a clear criminal record.
  • Documentary evidence of the minimum required financial income.
  • Valid international passport.

Insurance in Spain for a residence permit is done in Spanish or English. Only printed characters and symbols are used in this document. The insurance contract must contain the following information:

  • Full name of the insured person.
  • The term of the policy.
  • The territory of the document’s validity.
  • Amount insured.

It is allowed to provide both the original insurance policy and its copy.

How to get a residence permit in Spain in 2022

Documentation for the initial application for a temporary residence permit

Applications for a temporary residence permit submitted for the first time must be accompanied by the following documents:

  1. A valid visa. Except as provided in subparagraphs 2 (b), (c) and (d) and 3 of Article 41 of the Aliens Law and in accordance with Articles 49 and 51.5 of the Aliens Law. In the case of a visa-free regime, the application is accompanied by documents or supporting evidence that the applicant is included in one of the cases provided for in Article 49.2 of the aforementioned rules.
  2. Certificate of no criminal record for adults. A document that must be issued by the authorities of the country of origin or the country in which you have lived for the last 5 years.
  3. Official medical certificate.
  4. Finance. The applicant must have sufficient funds for the period of residence for which they are applying.

How and where to obtain a residence permit?

To obtain a residence permit in Spain, you must follow the rules under which this procedure is carried out. One of the main requirements is regular residence in Spain.

The grounds for obtaining a residence permit depend on the type of residence permit.

Permanent residence permit:

The applicant must contact the Aliens Authority of the region where they live or the appropriate police station.

Temporary residence permit:

  • A temporary residence permit without the right to work: a visa application is submitted at the diplomatic mission or consular office corresponding to the area in which you intend to reside.
  • A temporary residence permit in connection with family reunification: a citizen eligible for this type of residence permit must apply to the government authority of their area (according to article 18.1 of Organic Law 4/2000 and amendments 8/2000). Relatives who have lived for a long time in another member state of the European Union can submit an application on their own.
  • A temporary residence permit with a permit for commercial, labor or professional activities.
    • Non-residents of Spain who work in Spain for more than 90 days: you must contact the Spanish Consulate of your place of residence with the supporting documents.
    • Non-residents of Spain who have been engaged in activities for no more than 90 days: you must apply for a visa at the Spanish diplomatic mission or consular office in the area of residence.
    • Residents of Spain: you must contact the Aliens Authority.
  • Temporary residence in exceptional circumstances: the applicant must personally apply to the Aliens Authority.

Rights of foreigners in Spain

The rights of non-residents are governed by Articles 3 ff. of Organic Law 4/2000 of 11 January on the rights and freedoms of foreigners in Spain and their social integration.

In accordance with the legal regulation, foreigners have the same rights as local residents under section 1 of the Spanish Constitution.

In particular, in Spain, foreigners have the following rights and freedoms:

  • The right to documentation (Article 4 of the Aliens Act).
  • The right to freedom of movement (Art. 5 of the Aliens Act).
  • Suffrage (Art. 6 of the Aliens Act).
  • Freedom of assembly and demonstration (Article 7 of the Aliens Act).
  • Freedom of association (Article 8 of the Aliens Act).
  • The right to education (Article 9 of the Aliens Act).
  • The right to work and social security (article 10 of the Aliens Act).
  • The right to form trade unions and strikes (article 11 of the Aliens Act).
  • The right to healthcare (Article 12 of the Aliens Act).
  • Housing rights (Article 13 of the Aliens Act).
  • The right to social security and social services (Article 14 of the Aliens Act).
  • The right to family life confidentiality (Article 16 of the Aliens Act).

The rights of foreigners in Spain are in contrast to the situation in other countries. So, for example, foreigners in the United States do not have the right to vote. Here however, you cannot vote if you are not a citizen.

How long does it take to obtain a residence permit?

After submitting a request, a response must be received within 3 months. At the end of this time, it is advisable to check if there are any delays as otherwise it should be understood that the permit was rejected due to “administrative silence”.

How often is the residence permit renewed?

A permanent residence permit does not require renewal; it is unlimited, unlike a temporary permit.

You need to know how much time residence permits are valid in order to legalize your stay in Spanish territory through the timely renewal of the residence permit and the provision of documents.

Duration of temporary residence permits

  • Residence permits without the right to work: 1 year from the date of receipt.
  • Residence permits in connection with family reunification: the same period as the permit for a person invited for family reunification. If the latter has a permanent permit, it is extended until the expiration of the foreigner's identity card.
  • Residence permits with permission to conduct commercial, labor or professional activities: a duration with a maximum limit of 1 year.
  • Residence permits for students: depends on the exact duration of study (from 3 to 9 months or even from 2 to 4 years, depending on the university and the degree).
  • Residence permits for exceptional circumstances: 1 year.

Cancellation of a residence permit

All residence permits are canceled without any administrative decision in the following cases:

  1. Expiration date.
  2. Failure to appear at the Aliens Authority Office within 3 months from the date of the legal claim.
  3. Non-extension of the validity period.
  4. Staying outside Spain on a permanent basis.
  5. Entry bans.

Cancellation of a temporary residence permit

Reasons for canceling a temporary residence permit:

  1. Lack of economic resources. If the foreign resident does not have sufficient finances, health insurance or adequate housing.
  2. Loss of citizenship.
  3. Absence of circumstances for obtaining a temporary residence permit.
  4. Lack of passport.

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