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DOCUMENTS THAT YOU NEED TO ENTER,
TO STAY, TO RESIDE IN THE COUNTRY

ARRIVAL TO THE COUNTRY, PASSPORT, TRAVEL TITLE, ETC.

Entering spanish territory

It is possible to enter in transit,to reside, for tourism, to work, study or to request political asylum, this should be carried out through the authorized points and the following requirements should be met:

  • Be the holder of a passport, or validly issued travel document in force, or national identity document, or national identification card or any other valid document that certifies the person’s identity.. The passport can be individual, family or collective, validly issued and in force. Children under the age of 16 years can appear on the father, mother or guardian’s passport, provided they have the same nationality.
  • Be the holder of a visa validly issued and in force issued in the passport, travel document or in a separate document.
  • Prove sufficient economic resources for support during your stay in Spain, or be able to obtain it, as well as return to your country of origin. The requirement is 30 Euros per day, per person, with an allowed minimum of 300 Euros. It can be in cash, traveler's cheques, credit card, banking certification or any other legal document.
  • Present a medical certificate issued in the country of origin from the medical services appointed by the diplomatic mission or the Spanish Consulate Office, or upon your arrival, at the border, undergo a medical examination by the Spanish health services, to prove that you do not carry any of the susceptible quarantine diseases recorded in the International Health Regulation and the community regulations.
  • Not be subject to exclusion from admission
  • Not pose a hazard to public health, public order, national security or the international relations with other States, which Spain has, agreements with inthat sense. However, the entrance of foreigners who do not meet these requirements for exceptional reasons of humane order, public interest or fulfillment of commitments acquired by Spain can be authorized. 

In summary, entry into Spain, for any situation, whether stay, residence, work, etc, needs to: 

- Take place at the designated locations for that purpose, that is to say, by the established borders

- Be holder of a passport

- Be holder of a stamped visa in the passport

- Have sufficient economic means

- Present a medical certificate

- Not be subject to exclusion from admission, for example, having been expelled from Spanish territory and still be within the established period in the order of expulsion

- Not to be a hazard to public health, public order or national security.

Which persons have exclusion from admission:

  • Those who have been expelled from Spain and are within the period established in the expulsion order, or have obtained an expulsion, except whenthe procedure or prescription of infraction or sanction has expired.
  • Those who have been subject of a return and are within the exclusion from admission period determined in the return order.
  • If found expelled, in relation to criminal lawsuits derived from serious crimes, by the authorities of other countries, once the facts constitute crime in Spain.
  • Those who have been subject to express exclusion from admission by resolution of the Home Office (Department of the Interior)
  • Those whose entrance has been prohibited by virtue of the international agreement in which Spain takes part in, except for humanitarian cases or cases of national interest.

1. Passport and travel documents

Before buying the ticket for your trip, you must verify that your passport is in force, in case you do not hold a passport or it is expired, you will have to carry out the necessary procedures for obtaining one or renewing it.

During the flight to Spain, the airhostess will give you a form, which you will have to complete to be presented when you pass through migrations. In this form you will write your personal particulars, arrival and return flight number and the addressduring your stay in Spain.

Upon arrival at the airport you will enter the migrations control zone, if it is the only flight that has arrived, there will be a few people in line waiting to be attended. While you position yourself in one of the rows, prepare your documentation.

The officials responsible for entrance control may demand from foreigners, if thus is required, to specify the reason for their request for entrance with the presentation of documents that justify or establish the likelihood of the invoked reason for entrance, in particular:

a) For business trips:

* The invitation of a company or an authority to participate in meetings of business or industrial character linked to the service.

* Documents from which it can be inferred that business linked relations exist in the service.

* Access cards to trade fairs and conventions.

b) For trips carried out within the framework of studies, or with the purpose of training or investigation:

* Pre-inscription or admission document of a public or private institution legally recognized to participate in courses.

* Student card or certificates relating to continuous courses.

c) For tourism or private trips:

* Justificatory document of the lodging establishment.

* Confirmation of reservations of an organized trip.

* Return ticket or tourist circuit ticket.

* Invitation from an individual.

d) Trips for other motives:

* Invitations, reservations or programs.

* Certificates of participation in events related to the trip, entrance cards or receipts.

More information:

Department of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation  www.maec.es/

Department of Interior www.mir.es/

Department of Work and Social Matters www.mtas.es/

Police Headquarter www.policia.es/cged/index.htm

Department of Foreign Cooperation (Galicia) www.xunta.es/


VISA

Visa regimes

What is a visa?

A label the size of a card, glued to one of the pages in your passport issued by the country’s consulate, which indicates that you can appear before the immigration entrance in Spain.

Visa regimes

Once your passport is in force, it is necessary to inquire if you will need some type visa. If you are thinking of entering as a tourist, Spain has a visa suppression agreement with some countries of Latin America, like Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela and others like Andorra, Australia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, South Korea, Cyprus, Ecuador, Slovakia, Slovenia, the USA, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Norway, New Zealand, Panama, San Marino, the Vatican, Switzerland and the residents of the European Union.

If you belong to one of these countries you will be able to enter Spain and stay as a tourist for a maximum period of 90 consecutive days. If during the course of this time, you leave and return to Spanish territory, the missing days will be added until completing 90. Once three months have passed, you will have to leave the country or apply for an extension of stay or a residence authorization. If you decide to stay past the three months permitted, you will pass to an irregular situation.

Types of visa

Three large groups are distinguished:

1- Transit Visas

They allow you to remain in the transit zones of the Spanish airports and they are issued when the person has to remain in Spanish territory when the flight has a stop-off point. A territorial transit visa also exists, which allows you to cross Spanish territory on a less than 5 days journey, when crossing to another countryif both of these states allow it. They are for a short-term duration.

 2- Stay Visas which can be for:

  1. Tourism: with a maximum stay of 3 months extendable by three more.
  1. Multiple circulation: If you must enter and leave Spain several times for professional reasons (the maximum stay must be 3 months). It is extendable.
  1. Students: It is valid for a maximum of three months and there is a prior requirement that the person who whom the visa is issued to, requests his/her student card upon arrival into Spain. Issuing this Visa implies that the applicant has been officially admitted in a recognized centre.
  1. Special stay: It is valid for a maximum of 6 months and allows you to work or carry out studies and training without needing to request permission for residence and work or student card. This visa is issued in a shorter time in the consulates.

3- Residence Visas

It is expected that the person requesting this visa, wishes to remain in Spain for a long period:

1) To set up one’s own business or work for a company: Work & residence Visa.

2) Only residing because he/she does not need to work (non-Work residence Visa)

3) To reunite with a relative resident in Spain. (Family reunion Visa)

4) To request asylum in Spain (Residence Visa for refugees)

Visas are not needed

For a three month stay in a period of six or for transits of less than five days:

* Nationals of countries with which its suppressionhas reached an agreement. That is to say, with the ones in which an Agreementexists in this matter.

* Foreigners who have the condition of refugees and are documented as such by a signatory country of the European Agreement n. 31 on visa exemption for refugees.

* Ship and Ferry crew members with identity documents of the employed seamen, during stop-off or when in transit to embark towards another country.

* Commercial airplane crew members documented with the crew member’s card, during stop-off of the airship or between two consecutive regular flights of the same airline company.

* Holders of a residence authorization, a provisional authorization for residence or a diplomatic accreditation card of another State with whom an international agreement has been signed which contemplates this possibility. Holders of a foreign identity card, a foreign student card, a diplomatic accreditation card, or return authorization, or a cross- border worker card, do not require a visa, provided that the authorizations in accordance with these documents have been issued by the Spanish authorities and are in force at the moment to request entrance.

Entrance in Spain by foreigners can be authorized when exceptional reasons of humane nature, public interest or fulfillment of commitments acquired by Spain exist.

Foreigners who apply to receive the right of asylum at the time of his/her entrance in Spain, whose concession will be governed by that arranged in its specific regulation.

Application and processing

Where is the visa requested and transacted?

In the Spanish Consulate nearest to your place of residence and, if there isn’t one near to you, in the Spanish Embassy.

Requirements to apply for a Tourist Visa

For residents of the European Union and nationals of Andorra, Australia, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Czechoslovakia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Chile, Cyprus, Ecuador, El Salvador, Slovakia, Slovenia, USA, Guatemala, Honduras Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Malta, Monaco, Nicaragua, Norway, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, the Vatican, Switzerland, Uruguay and Venezuela, a VISA IS NOT NEEDED as long as the visitation period is less than 90 days. For citizens of other countries the requirements are:

1- Application form, given free of charge at the Spanish Consulate of your city. The form must be filled out and written clearly in capital letters with a fine ball-point pen. Once filled out,you must make three (3) photocopies of the same. Incomplete or badly filled out forms will be rejected and application will be refused.

2- Four (4) recent photographs, glued to each page of the form.

3- Passport, with a minimum validity of 90 days after the finalization date of the visa. Original and photocopy of the page where the photograph appears and the pages where corrections to the passport appear and parent’s names, in this case. (No visas or travel stamps). If the applicant is a woman and her married name appears in the passport, she must present her Civil Registry of Birth.

4- International medical and accidentinsurance, with total coverage during the travel period (overseas), (Original and photocopy) can be obtained tourist service companies.

5- Documentation that verifies the purpose of the trip and Transit conditions, Tourism or Family Visit to Spain, original and legible photocopy of: 

- Confirmed airline reservation, departure and return.

- Trip itinerary. Listing of cities traveled, and stay period, signed and stamped by the selling tourist company.

    - Hotel vouchers with confirmed reservations, stamped and signed by the selling tourist company.

    - Notarized letter of Invitation by a relative or friend in Spain (or in the Country of destination if transit is done in Spain), with photocopies of the national identification card or Residence Card of the person he/she is inviting and in which the following particulars appear; name, identity document and residence address of the person forwarding the invitation; Name, identity card and residence of the invited person; relationship or existing friendship, purpose and duration of the trip (This letter of invitation is only valid to justify lodging)

- Visa of the Country of destination (If transit is made through Spain)

- Closed departure and return Ticket to a third Country different to Spain (If transit is made through Spain)

6- Accreditation of economic resources in his/her country: The Applicant must present at least two (2) of the following documents, original and photocopies:

- Tax Return of the last tax year.

- Traveller’s cheques in the name of the applicant

- Credit card. Statements of the last three months, with balance and available quota.

- Bank statements of the last three months, with available balance

- Certificates of Deposit, in force, Fiduciary Deposits or sight savings.

Note: Banking certifications are not accepted without being supported by the corresponding statements or without clear indication of the available balances, as well as documentation of property assetsis nor valid, (real estate, vehicles, equipment, mortgages etc.) nor certifications of public accountants. In some cases criminal records are requested.

7- Work letter or guarantor if he/she does not work.

Requirements to request a Student Visa

1- Application form, given free of charge at the Spanish Consulate in your city. The form must be filled out and written clearly in capital letters with a fine ball-point pen. Once filled out,you must make three (3) photocopies of the same. Incomplete or badly filled out forms, will be rejected and application will be refused.

2- Four (4) recent photographs, glued to each page of the form.

3- Passport that do not expire before 4 months. Original and photocopy of the page where the photograph appears and the pages where corrections to the passport appear and parent’s names, in this case. (No visas or travel stamps). If the applicant is a woman and her married name appears in the passport, she must present her Birth Certificate.

4- Medical certificate issued in his/her country by one of the Medical Centers authorized by the Consulate. (Original and photocopy).

5-Definiteadmission or registration (Original and photocopy) for Advanced study with clear indication of the start date, total calculation of school hours which the course consists of, in a Spanish educational centre, public or private. In this last case, the official document of approval of the educative institution must be presented. (Resolution, act, etc). The admissions or pre-inscriptions that are subject to the fulfilment of other procedures or requirements are not valid without the accreditation of having fulfilled the same. Fax and emails are not accepted.

6- College degree or confirmed subjects of the studies previously carried out (photocopy authenticated).

- If non-guided studies will be carried out (cinema, photography, Fine Arts, etc,) previous knowledge on the subject should be accredited (dossier, carried out courses, diplomas, etc.)

7-Accreditation of financial resources (original and photocopy). For this effect, documents which certify the possession of savings, scholarships, education credits, incomesorfixed values that are periodically earned and serve for the financial support of the student during his/her stay in Spain must be presented. If a relative is in charge of the financial support, the kinship must be accredited through the Civil Registry of Births necessary, (certificates) or if it is on the behalf of a company or corporate body, the recent Certificate of the Chamber of Commerce of the same must be presented. In either case, it is required to demonstrate the financial support from his/her country through a commitment document signed before a notary public.

The only valid documents for financial accreditation are:

- Tax Return of the last tax year, of the applicant, family or business. 

- Proof of Payroll Payment or Pensions, with its corresponding Certificates of Income and Withholdings of the last tax year. 

      - Three last bank Statements where the available balance appears clearly.

- Certificate of deposit, Fiduciary Deposits or sight savings.

- Letters of education credits or Scholarship Certifications

Note: Banking certifications are not accepted without being supported by the corresponding statements or without clear indication of the available balances, as well as documentation of property assetsis nor valid, (real estate, vehicles, equipment, mortgages etc.) nor certifications of public accountants. In some cases criminal records are requested.

- Scholars should provide(original and photocopy) of the document issued by the Institution that grants the scholarship. Indicating the total calculation of the scholarship.

- Credits, study commissionsandremunerated licenses, should be accredited through the presentation of the respective contract, (original and photocopy), signed by the parties. Indicating the total credit, commission or license.

- Student visas for U.N.E.D (Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia)or to write entrance examsare not granted.

- Student trainingis only acceptable if there is an agreement between the University of his/her country and the corresponding Spanish institution. In this case, a photocopy of the agreement stamped by the university should be provided.

Trainingin Spanish businesses are submitted to Work-Experience Contracts. It is not possible to issue a student visa, with the presentation of these documents, the visa application process is initiated, but its granting isnot guaranteed since the approval depends on thecentral authorities in Spain. The Consulate cannot expedite the application process nor can it anticipate the time it will take to get a response from Spain.

 

Requirements to apply for an independent or endorsements residence visa to work

Read the requirements carefully, since applications that do not comply withthe established requirements will not be accepted; persons who can apply for this visa:

- Persons who will be carrying out profitable activity without being subject to a work contract.

- Wholesale Partners of Societies of Limited Responsibility or corporations.

- Community propertyand irregular civil society members (with no Work relation)

- Members of worker cooperatives, if the statutes allow it

In order for the Visa application to be valid, it must be presented before the Spanish Consulate, in your country, within the three months following the registration date of the work and residence permit presented before the Department of Works in Spain. One must not wait for thedecision of the Spanish Work Authority. The application can be presented by the holder or through a representative duly credited for this procedure by means of a power of attorney or a document designating the representative. Documents to be presented:

1- Application form, given free of charge at the Spanish Consulate in your city. The form must be filled out and written clearly in capital letters with a fine ballpoint pen. Once filled out,you must make three (3) photocopies of the same. Incomplete or badly filled out forms, will be rejected and application will be refused.

2- Four (4) recent photographs, glued to each page of the form.

3- Passport, photocopy of the page where the photograph appears and pages where corrections made to the passport appear. (Not visas or travel stamps). If the applicant is a woman and her married name appears in the passport, she must present her Birth certificate.

4- Independent work and residence permit application, (Original and Photocopy). Presented in Spain and filled out in the official model established by the Spanish Department of Workand Social Affairs, registered, stamped and in which the Visa’s Link Number is shown.

With the presentation of these documents the procedure for the visa application begins, but itsgranting is not guaranteed since approval depends exclusively on the central authorities in Spain. The Consulate cannot expedite the application process nor can it anticipate the time it will take to get a response from Spain. If the visa is approved, the Consulate will notify you and the holder should appear personally in the Spanish consulate within two months following the date of notification, with the following documents:

1-Passport, (Original and photocopy) that does not expire before four months.

2-Criminal records.

3-Medical certificate issued in your country by one of the Medical Centre’s authorized by the Consulate.

Requirements to apply for a salaried employment work Visa

Read the requirements carefully, since the application would not be accepted if it does not comply with that established. For the visa application to be valid, the job offer must be presented in the Spanish Consulate in your country, within the three months following from the registration date before the Department of Work and Social Affairsof Spain. The holder must present the application request personally before the Consulate. With this visa, the law permits the regrouping of relatives, only when the holder has a year of legal residency in Spain and his/her resident work card has been renewed, at least once. Documents to be presented:

1- Application form, given free of charge at the Spanish Consulate in your city. The form must be filled out and written clearly in capital letters with a fine ballpoint pen. Once filled out,you must make three (3) photocopies of the same. Incomplete or badly filled out forms, will be rejected and application will be refused.

2- Four (4) recent photographs, stuck in each page of the form.

3- Passport, photocopy of the page where the photograph appears and pages where corrections made to the passport appear. (Not visas or travel stamps). If the applicant is a woman and her married name appears in the passport, she must present her Birth certificate.

4- Job offer (Original and Photocopy) processed in the official form established by the Department of Work and Social Affairs of Spain, registered, stamped and in which the Visa’s Link Number is shown).

With the presentation of these documents the procedure of the visa application begins, but granting is not guaranteed since the approval depends exclusively on the central authorities in Spain. The Consulate cannot expedite the application process nor can it anticipate the time it will take to get a response from Spain. If the visa is approved, the Consulate will notify you and the holder should appear personally in the Spanish consulate within two months following the date of notification, with the following documents:

1-Passport, (Original and photocopy) that does not expire before four months.

2-Criminal records.

3-Medical certificate issued in your country by one of the Medical Centre’s authorized by the Consulate. (Original and photocopy). After presenting these documents, the Consulate will inform you of the delivery date of the Visa.

NIE (Foreigners Identification Number)

What is it?

The Foreigners Identification Number is an exclusive, unique, and personal number of sequential character, granted by the Foreign Consular Office. It is the identification number granted when you have authorization to remain in Spain and it will appear in all documents assigned to you.

Why is the NIE needed?

This number does not qualify you to reside in Spain, but it will be necessary for all type of expedient procedures, official actions or for economic or professional interests.

The NIE is essential to carry out any financial transaction such as opening a bank account, establishing a business, buying a house or car, for income tax returns or for any administrative application inherent in the Foreign Consular Office.

Where and how can I apply for the NIE?

The foreigners’ identification number is granted byofficial notice, that is to say, automatically by the General directorate of Police to all foreigners who have been assigned an administrative record; or you can apply for it yourself once you justify the reason for your request.

1. If you are in Spain, personally present yourselfin theForeign Consular Office or Police station of the place where you reside and you must comply with two requirements:

a) Not be in an irregular situation in Spain.

b) Document presentation that justifies the reasons for the request.

The request can be presented through a representative assigned to transact for the identification number. He/she will also have to justify and document the reasons for his/her request.

2. If you are in your country of residence, you can request the identification number at the diplomatic mission or the Spanish consulate.

It is recommended that you initiate the application process for the issuance of the foreigners’ identification number soon after entering Spanish territory.

To be able to request the foreigner’s identification number you must have a regular situation in Spain.

When entering Spain, as a tourist or with a visa, you are in a regular situation of stay. That time of duration of staywill depend on: as a tourist, you have a maximum of 90 days and with a visa, the same validity period. Before ending your stay apply for the NIE justifying the reasons for the request; you will not be able to do it after, until you regularize your situation

If you apply for the NIE while you are in an irregular situation, it can be motive to initiate proceedings and sanction with consequences not desired.

Documentation that needs to be presented to apply for the NIE

* Printed application form.

* Original passport or Identity card and photocopies.

* 2 passport size photos, white background.

* Documentation supporting the reason for your request.

It is generally a simple procedure, it will take between 1 and 5 weeks and it is mandatory to withdraw it personally.

 FOREIGNER’S IDENTIFICATION CARD

 

What is a Foreigner’s Identification card?

It is the foreigner’s personal identification document (as the ID card is for Spaniards) that will accredit that you are in legal residence situation in Spain for a period over three months. In the foreigner’s identification card, the identification number of the foreigner will appear - NIE, personal particulars, photograph of the holder, fingerprint, validity and reasons for granting.

The Foreigner’s Card is personal and non-transferable, belonging to its holder who is responsible for safekeeping and conservation of the document. However, the children under the age of representation not emancipated or incapacitated will be able to appear on the Card corresponding to the father, mother or legal guardian, if thus is requested, without prejudice that they can be holders of an independent document.

Foreigners in Spanish territory have the right and obligation to conserve the documentation which verifies his/her identity, issued by the relative authorities of the country of origin. He/she cannot be deprived of their documentation except in some cases and with the requirements specifiedin the Statutory law 4/2000, of January 11th, and in the Statutory law 1/1992, of February 21st, on the Protection of Public Security.

How and where is it requested?

1. You will have to go personally into the Foreign Consular Office or Police station of the province where you reside and make payment of the fiscal rate.

2. To obtain the foreigner’s identification card you need to be in Spain legally, that is to say, have residence or work authorization, study and investigation authorizations, renewals of the authorizations or other circumstance that qualifies you for your regularization in Spanish territory. From the concession of authorization you will have a month to obtain it.

  1. Generally the procedure is resolved in a couple of weeks, but it will depend on the office where youexecuted it.

What documentation is required?

Along with the application it is necessary to present the following documentation:

* Passport or identification card in force and photocopies,

*Three passport size photos,

*Payment of established fiscal rates

* And any necessary additional documentation in force to the residence authorization appointed to you.

Validity

  • The Foreigner’s Card will have an identical validity period to that of the authorization or the recognition of the right that justifies its expedition, losing its validity when that of the cited authorization is produced, by any of the causes according to the regulations established in its application regime, or where appropriate, the loss of the right to remain in Spanish territory.
  • When the validity of the Card has expired, the renewal of the authorization has been agreed to or, where appropriate, the recognition to remain in Spanish territory, or the right that justified its expedition has been lost, the foreign holders of the same are obliged to deliver the document to the Police station or Foreign Consular Office, corresponding to the place where they reside, including those which belong to the asylum regime, unless they reside in Madrid, in which case they should do it in the Asylum Office.
  • The deviation, destruction or cancellation of the Foreigner’s Card, as well as the modification of any of the personal, work or family circumstances of the holder who determined their issuance, will carry out the issuance of a new Card that does not require renewal and will have the validity remaining to that replaced.
  • Modifications which imply alteration of theregime of legal stay in Spain of the holder of the Foreign Card as well as his/her work situation, will determine the issuance of a new Card adapted to the alteration, with the validity which determines the resolution that issues these notifications.

Undocumented persons in Spain

In theevent of undocumented foreigners, we will proceed in the following manner:

  • The documentation request should take place as soon as the indocumentation or the expiration of the previous documentation is produced.
  • The request should be presented personally and in writing, at the Department Office of Immigration and Documentationof the General directorate of the Police, Provincial Police station, Local Police station, or Foreign Consular Office.
  • In the police stations in which you carry out your presentation, the interested party will exhibit the documents of any class, even if they are expired, that could constitute proof of identity, origin, nationality, where appropriate, and personal circumstances. It is with effect that said dependencies review the information which they carry out, and will accredit that it cannot be documented by the Diplomatic Mission or corresponding Consular Office, if this circumstance concurs, by means of an affidavit that will allow to record the carried out requirements not attended to.
  • In the case of temporary residence authorization, applicants by exceptional circumstances, will exempt the applicant of the notarized deed to accredit that he/she cannot be documented by the Diplomatic Mission or corresponding Consular Office, in the cases in which serious reasons were alleged that impede their court appearance, being able to successfully obtain, to these effects, reports of the Office of Asylum and Refuge.
  • *With effect of the execution of said information, the interested party should facilitate the references of which it arranges and diligently collaborate with the instructions given at police stations, to carry out its verification.
  • Once the initial information is carried out, and the foreigner is not in contempt of any of the prohibition cases in Spain or of expulsion of the territory, if he/she wishes to remain in Spain, a provisional Identification card will be issued by the Delegate or Deputy Delegate of the Government in the Independent Community where he/she is found, which will allow him /her to remain for three months, period in which the Registry offices and Provincial or local police precincts have to complete the information on his/her background
  • Once information is completed, unless the foreigner is found in contempt of some of the prohibition cases of entrance, previouscredit of fiscal rates which legally correspond, the Delegate or deputy Delegate of the Government, in case that he/she wishes to remain in Spain, will have their inscription in a special Section of the Foreigners Registry and they will equip him/her with a Certificate of Inscription in a printed document, which will have to be renewed annually.
  • The General Directorate of the Police will send off certifications or reports on the facts which appear in said special Section for its presentation before any another Spanish authority. 
  • In case of refusal of the application, once formally notified, you will be returned to your country of origin or expulsion from the Spanish territory will be carried out. 
  • Foreigners to whom the Certificate of Inscription has been granted will be able to apply for corresponding authorization of residence. 
  • The Certificate of Inscription will lose validity, without the need to express resolution, when the foreigner is documented by a country or acquires Spanish nationality or a different one.

# The Public Organization that exercises the guardianship of undocumented foreign minors will represent the minor in the necessary actions for its documentation.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do I have to apply for my Visa personally or can I send someone else in my place?

It is suitable that you apply for it personally although another person whom you authorize can do it through a power of attorney.

When the visa is requested at the consulate, do I need any documentation?

Yes, when filling out the application form, the Consulate requires that you show documents to support the information in your application. If any important document is missing, a time period of 15 days is granted to provide it from the moment in which the Consulate officially notifies you.

Is it possible that the Consulate might call to have a personal interview with the applicant?

Yes, the personal interview is anticipated as a resource of the consulates when they need additional information other than that in your application. They will be able to give you an appointment during a maximum time period of 30 days.

What happens if I do not show up for the interview?

The visa application will be filed. If some serious reason prevents you from attending, you must properly point it out

.

What proof is there that I have applied for a visa?

When the request is presented at the Consulate, a stamped copy of that request must be issued, in which the date and place of the presentation appears. In case it is not issued at that moment, they will have to send by registered mail to the address that the applicant provides or, in its defect to the one that appears in the application.

How long does it take for the visa application to be resolved?

The maximum term of resolution of a visa request is three months. Although for some visas that are transacted by the emergency procedure (asylum, visa of special stay, familiar regrouping), the term can be shorter because the procedure is preferred. If cited to present additional documentation or to have a personal interview, the time period does not run until the transaction has been realized.

How must the notifications and requirements be carried out on the consulate’s behalf?

Constancy of the realized requirements and notifications to the person applying for the visa should remain in the file found in the consulate.

If the contact takes place by telephone or fax, a telephone number should be provided by the applicant and the consulate which, in addition, will have to appear in the file.

If the applicant has not been reached at the telephone number provided, a mail will be sent. The notification or the requirement for more documentation will be sent to the address provided by the applicant and the consulate or to the address in the application form.

If there is no answer within fifteen working days (not counting Sundays or holidays) from the notification date, it will be published in the announcements board of the consulate for another fifteen days.

Once this procedure is finished and if there is no answer, the visa application is filed.

IfI am in Spain while the Visa is being processed, how I can find out that it has been granted?

You can go personally to the General directorate of Consular Affairs(C/General Pardiñas, 55 of Madrid) or call by telephone 91-3791605 or 91-3791607.

What time period do I have to pick up the Visa once it has been granted?

Two months from the notification date on the Consulate’s behalf

If the Visa is denied, can I file a claim?

The refusal of stay visas, resident visas, independent work visas, student visas and asylum does not have to be motivated reason why it is not possible to file a claim once it is not granted. Nevertheless in the case of work visas, to work for a company and to regroup relatives, it is obligatory to justifyby writing informing them why it has been denied, whom can they resort to and in what time period.

Can someone else pick up my visa?

No, you need to collect it personally.

What can happen if I am in Spain and I cannot travel to my country to pick up the visa to reside or to work?

You will have to request a visa exemption, which is only granted by humane exceptional causes of public interest and in collaboration with the law.

Once you have a Visa, can you be denied entrance at the Spanish border?

Yes, because the visa only qualifies to appear in the border and to request entrance. Therefore if the border officials understand that you do not meet the sufficient requirements, they can deny entrance.

For the nationals of countries that do not need stay visas to enter as tourists, is there any voucher for entrance in Spain?

Yes, the border officials will have to stamp a seal in the passport that will be valid for a maximum of three months, deferrable only for exceptional reasons.

If I have my visa or stamp in the passport to enter Spain as a tourist, can I freely circulate around other countries of the European Union?

The fact that there are not border controls between the countries of the European Union does not imply that you can travel freely in these countries. You must inform the Spanish police of any foreign displacement you may want to carry out from Spain, go to the nearest police station.

What happens if they do not stamp the entrance seal in my passport?

You have to demand that your passport is stamped, because if not, there will be no way to demonstrate that you are in the country. If will be sufficient to just go to the policestation at the airport with the airplane ticket and ask that they stamp your passport.

What happens if I am not allowed to enter Spain upon arrival at the border?

You will have to be notified by means of resolution why you are not allowed to enter, with information about the resources you can appeal, the time period you have and what authority should you write. You have the right to demand to be attended by a lawyer (particular or private) and if you do not speak Spanish, request an interpreter who speaks your language.

In addition, an erased seal will be stamped in your passport.

What happens if I enter Spanish territory without passing through a border and I am detained by the police?

It is possible that you will be deported to your country of origin.

In these cases: Do I have the right to a lawyer?

Yes, to a lawyer and an interpreter. In addition, you shall be given a resolution that will indicate that you are being deported to your country.

Am I officially a resident with the visa or stay stamp?

No, with the visa, while it is in force, you are in Spain legally, but you can only be called a resident if you are the holder of a residence permit with or without work.

Can I prorogue the time period of my visa or Stay stamp?

Yes, once you demonstrate that you have the means to cover your needs, you can request a prorogation of stay for another three months of your visa or stay stamp. You can request it at the Police stations, Spanish Consular Office, or other qualified dependencies.

Where can I request this prorogation?

At the Police stations, Spanish Consular Office, other qualified dependencies.

What happens when the time of validity of the visa expires or when the prorogation in Spain is denied?

From the same day in which this occurs, you are illegally in Spain. If in addition they have denied you the prorogation of stay, you will probably receive a letter informing your obligation to leave Spain in 10 days.

What can happen if the police requests documentation and I find myself in an irregular situation?

You could be taken to the police station where an expulsion file will be open. In this proceeding you will have to be attended by a lawyer.

Can I be immediately expelled after I am detained for the first time not having valid documentation if I entered Spain legally?

No, the usually let you go once your personal particulars have been taken, until the process is concluded and there is an expulsion order. As of that moment, you can be expelled at any time. What may happen is that while the process is being dealt with you may be sent to a Foreigners Admission Centre until the order is issued. This should always be authorized by a judge.

How long can I be confined to a Foreigner Admission Centre?

40 days. Once this period has passed, you will be released.

Once the expulsion order has been notified, Can it be appealed?

Yes, at the Courts for Contentious Administrative Proceedings or at the Chamber for Contentious Administrative Proceedings at the Higher Court of Justice of the Autonomous Communities, but you will need a solicitor and an attorney. If you do not have financial means you can request a public solicitor.

Although it is common for the deportation to take place before the Court ruling has been released.

If I am expelled, can I return to Spain?

The expulsion from Spanish territory includes the prohibition of entrance for a period that oscillates between 3 and 10 years. If you attempt to enter before the period of prohibition of entrance is expired, you will be sent back to your country and the term will be counted from zero.

What do I need to be the beneficiary of medical assistance?

Be registered as residentand fill out the T-1 and T-5 Social security forms (This last form in case you are not quoting to Social Security and you do not have means)

How much does medical assistance cover?

It covers all the ambulatory and emergency assistance, whether you have papers or not. It includes pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum assistance.

More information:

Department of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation  www.maec.es/

Department of Interior www.mir.es/

Department of Work and Social Matters www.mtas.es/

Police Headquarter www.policia.es/cged/index.htm

Department of Foreign Cooperation (Galicia) www.xunta.es/

Aids to improve the social and labour integration traballo.xunta.es/loader.jsp?cont=4078


STAY AND RESIDENCE, PERMISSIONS, FAMILY REGROUPING, ETC.

FOREIGNER’S STATUS IN SPAIN

- Short stay

- Residence 

SHORT STAY

When somebody enters Spain for purposes of tourism or with a visa to look for a job. In this situation we find a foreigner authorised by means of a visa or through renewal of extension of stay in Spain for an uninterrupted period or successive periods when the total duration does not exceed ninety days per semester starting from the date of first entry.

Therefore, in order to stay in Spain foreigners must obtain a visa, which may be:

- A short duration visa: for a maximum three months with one, two or several entries.

- Multiple stay visa: allows for multiple stays, whose accumulation shall not exceed ninety days per semester, in the course of a year.

The application for visa should be done in the nearest embassy or Spanish consular office.

The application should be accompanied by the proper accredited documents:

- The applicant’s valid Passport or travel document for the whole period for which the stay is requested.

- The purpose of the trip and conditions of stay envisaged.

- Sufficient financial means of keep for the requested period.

- Medical insurance

- Accommodation during the stay.

- Guarantee of returning to the country of origin (return ticket within the maximum period authorised)

- If the resident is a minor, permission of the person who exercises the parental authority or guardianship.

When the visa is granted, the foreigner or a duly accredited representative should collect it within a month, bringing the passport or travel document with them, which should be valid for a period longer than that granted in the visa. 

There are two extraordinary stay situations:

- Those who have entered the country with faulty documentation or without it

through non authorised points, the Department of Internal Affairs or The Minister for Work and Social Matters may allow their stay for humanitarian purposes, public interest or international obligations.

- Courtesy visas granted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. This visa is granted to:

- Diplomats and consular officials and other members from embassies or accredited consular offices in Spain and their relatives.

- The representatives, delegates and other members and their relatives of International Organisations or International Conferences which are to be held in Spain.

  Officials (and their relatives) of International or Intergovernmental Organisations with a registered office in Spain. These people are excluded from the scope of the foreigners’ law.

VISITOR'S PERMIT AND RESIDENCE PERMIT

VISITOR'S PERMIT

  • A visitor's permit is for visitor's staying in Spain for a period of no more than 90 days, not including what is established for student permits. To remain in Spain after this period has expired, visitors will have to obtain either an extension of their permit or a residence permit.
  • In situations of entry with a visa, when the duration of the visa is less than three months, the stay indicated in the visa may be extended, but in no case may it exceed the maximum stay indicated in the previous section.
  • In situations of entry without a visa, in humanitarian, family, medical, or public interest circumstances or other exceptional warranting circumstances, a foreigner's stay in Spain may be authorised for longer than three months.

Permit extension

In situations of entry with a visa, when the duration of the visa is for less than three months, the visitor's permit may be extended, but in no case may it exceed three months in a six-month period. The application must be made formally on the official forms, determined by the Secretary of State for Immigration and Emigration, accompanied by the following documents:

    a) Passport or travel document, valid for longer than the extended permit being requested, which will be noted in the file and returned to the applicant.

b) Statement of reasons indicated for the request, which must be exceptional, in the case of nationals of countries that are not required to obtain visas to enter Spain.

    c) Sufficient proof that the applicant has adequate monetary resources for the period of extension requested.

    d) Traveller’s insurance with the same coverage necessary for a visitor's visa, and with the same or longer period of validity as the requested extension.

e) Guarantee of return to the departure country or, of permission to enter a third destination country, dated prior to the expiration of the requested extension. A departure ticket in the applicant's name with an exit date prior to the expiration of the extended stay permit being requested may serve as the guarantee of return.

The applicant must appear in person at the foreigner's office, police headquarters or station of the city where he is to present the application, or at any time during the process if so required by the competent authority.

The permit extension may be granted by Government Deputy Delegates, by Government Delegates in the single province autonomous communities, and by the General Commissary of Immigration and Documentation of the Police Headquarters, by request of the leadership or police commissariat, in the following circumstances:

    a) The documentation complies with what is established in this section.

    b) The applicant does not fall into any of the following causes:

   1. Prohibited entry, which was not known at the time of his entry or which happened during his presence in Spain.

   2. Expulsion or deportation.

The extension of the visitor's permit will be indicated in the traveller’s passport, travel card, or other document if the traveller entered Spain with another type of documentation, after the legally established fees are paid, and will apply to the traveller and the traveller’s family members who are indicated in said documents and are in Spain.

Denials of the visitor’s permit extension must be justified and the traveller must be formally notified, with the legally indicated guarantee of appeal, and will stipulate the departure of the traveller from national territory, which must happen before the end of the initial permit period or, if this has already passed, in the timeframe established by the denial, which may not exceed 72 hours, as stipulated in this regulation. The period for departure will be noted on the traveller’s passport or travel card, or on the corresponding form to make a record of the traveller’s departure from national territory.

Expiration of the permit extension.

The permit extension may expire for the following reasons:

a) The time granted in the extension has passed.

b) If the foreigner falls into any of the causes for prohibiting entry.

RESIDENCE

Those foreigners who are in Spain and have a residence permit are in conditions of residence. Residence may be temporary or permanent. In both cases, the foreigner must come to Spain with the corresponding visa, issued in the Spanish consulate in his country of origin. Once inside Spain, the traveller will have one month to apply for a foreigner identification card (NIE).

Temporary residence allows the foreigner to live in Spain for a period over 90 days but less than 5 years. Generally, the first concession is for one year and is renewable.

Permanent residence allows the foreigner to live indefinitely in Spain and work under the same conditions as Spanish people. Foreigners with a five year continuous residence will have the right to apply for permanent residence.

Residence for stateless persons and refugees. Undocumented foreigners who can demonstrate that their country does not recognise them as citizens, will be granted a foreigner identification card. Foreigners taken in by the Spanish government for humanitarian reasons will also be granted a residence permit.

Residence for minors. Underage foreigners who are under protective custody of the Public Administration for minors will be granted a residence permit.

Students: Foreign students entering Spain with a student visa will be granted a residence permit for the period of time indicated in the visa. The permit may be extended every year by proving that the student continues to comply with all the necessary requirements.

 

1. TEMPORARY RESIDENCE PERMIT

 

Temporary residence is a situation that authorises a foreigner to remain in Spain for a period greater than 90 days and less than five years. Authorisations for less than five years are renewable, by request of the permit holder, indicating the reasons the residence was granted.



For temporary residence to be granted to a foreigner, it is imperative that the individual not have a criminal record in Spain or in other countries of residence for crimes defined in Spanish ordinance, and does not figure as an individual denied entry into the national territory of countries with which Spain has a treaty in that regard. The possibility of renewing residence permit for foreigners who have been convicted of a crime and served their sentence, those who have been pardoned, or are in a situation of probation, will be evaluated depending on the individual circumstances of each case. Authorisation of temporary residence may be granted to foreigners who are in Spain and are in the following circumstances:

a) Those who indicate their intention to establish residence in Spain for the first time, as well as those who have resided in Spain previously but do not meet the requirements established for granting of permanent residence. This authorisation will be granted to foreigners who can prove that they have the monetary means to provide for their living expenses, including, as the case may be, the living expenses of their family during the period for which they are requesting residence, without need of seeking employment.

b) Those who have had such authorisation but were not able to renew it, having remained continuously in Spanish territory without residence permit for the previous two years.

c) Those who can prove continuous stay, without authorised residence, in Spanish territory during a minimum period of five years.

d) Those who can prove continued stay in Spain for a minimum period of three years, and can show an exceptional and proven situation of establishing roots, such as: real incorporation into the labour market, prior regular residence in Spain, or family ties to resident foreigners or Spaniards.

Similarly, authorisation for temporary residence will be granted in special circumstances such as the following:

a) To persons considered displaced, as established by Section 1 of the 1st additional provision of the Regulation for Applying Asylum Law.

b) To those persons whose asylum application was denied or not accepted, but whose stay in Spain has been authorised by the Ministry of the Interior at the request of the Interministerial Commission of Asylum and Refugees, for humanitarian reasons related to the application of international instruments that determine that the person should not be returned to his country of origin, or that, without constituting any of the assumptions of the 1951 Geneva Convention regarding recognition of Refugee Status, there is certain relation with the reasons outlined therein.

c) Persons with humanitarian reasons, in particular, having been victims of behaviour classified as crimes against race or xenophobia, which justifies the need to authorise their residence in Spain.

d) Persons who collaborate with Spanish administrative and judicial authorities or reasons of national interest or security justify the need to authorise their residence in Spain.

 I have a temporary residence permit. Can I work?

No. Temporary residence only allows you to reside in Spain, it does not authorise you to work. To work in Spain you must apply for residence and work permit. Authorisation of temporary residence is granted if you want to come to Spain with no intention of working. You will have to apply for the visa at the Spanish consulate in your country of origin. The visa includes the initial residence permit that will enter in force when you enter Spain. The initial temporary residence permit will be valid for one year.


How do I apply for residence permit?

You will have to appear in person at the Spanish diplomatic mission or consulate in your country of residence to get the official visa application. Your application must be accompanied by your passport, not due to expire for at least one year, certificate of no prior criminal record, medical certificate and demonstration of sufficient means for the duration of the authorisation without need of employment.

The consular office will notify you that your visa has been granted and you must pick it up within one month of receiving notification. While the visa is valid and during a period not to exceed three months, you must enter Spanish territory, and request your alien identification card during the first month, which will be valid for the period specified in your visa.

Renewal of initial residence permit

Authorisations for temporary residence, whatever their duration, may be renewed at the request of the permit holder if the person remains in the same circumstances that warranted granting of the visa, for successive periods of two years each. Applications for renewal of said authorisations will be resolved and notification sent within a maximum general period of three months as stipulated by law, understanding that the renewal is granted if the Administration fails to give an written answer before the expiration of the period.

Applications must be made on the official form, in person by the applicant, within sixty calendar days prior to the expiration of the valid permit, or, within three months after the date on which the prior resolution has expired (in the latter case, the applicant may find himself in violation and it is possible that sanctions will be imposed), in both cases, the validity of the initial permit up for renewal will be extended until the procedure is resolved.

The renewal application must be accompanied by the following documents:

- Valid passport or traveller’s card, and valid alien identification card.

- Documents showing sufficient economic resources for living expenses without need of employment, and medical insurance.

If the administration does not resolve the application in a period of three months, different from the first concession, it will be understood that the renewal is granted. The renewed permit will be valid for a period of two years.

2. TEMPORARY RESIDENCE FOR FAMILY REUNION

To exercise this right it is necessary to be a legal resident for at least one year and to have authorised residence for one more year.

 

Family members that the resident may reunite:

- Spouse, not separated in fact or by law, and that the marriage was not undertaken extra legally.

- Unmarried dependant children or spouse's dependant children, including adopted children, who are under eighteen years old or disabled.

Dependant minors or disabled persons over whom the resident has legal guardianship.

- The dependant parents or grandparents of the resident or spouse, when they are under the resident’s care and there are reasons to authorise their residence.

What is meant by dependant family members under the care of the resident? When the resident has transferred, at least during the last year, funds or has paid the expenses of the family that he intends to reunite, for an amount from which effective economic dependence can be inferred.

Can reunited family members reunite their family members? Yes. As long as the reunited person has obtained residence and work permit independently of the reuniting resident's permit, and meets the established requirements to exercise the right to reunite. In the case of parents/grandparents, they are required to have obtained permanent permit independently, and prove economic solvency to attend to the needs of the family member with whom they wish to reunite.


How does a reunited family member obtain independent residence permit?

- Spouse:

When a work permit has been obtained.

In all cases, the reunited spouse who is not separated, may request an independent residence permit when he or she has lived in Spain for five years.

If the marriage bond is broken by legal separation or divorce, if the reunited spouse can prove having lived in Spain with the reuniting spouse for at least two years.

When the spouse has been the victim of a sex crime, once a legal protective order has been issued in that spouse's favour.

By reasons of death of the reuniting spouse.


- The children and minors for whom the reuniting resident is legal representative:

- Upon reaching adulthood (adulthood in Spain is 18 years old) and by obtaining a work permit, or,

- having resided in Spain for five years and having reached adulthood.


- Parents/grandparents:

When a work permit has been obtained.

The application is presented by the applicant in the Foreigners Office, Government Delegations or Subdelegations, and will be accompanied by the following documents:

- Copy of the documents that prove family relationship, age and legal or economic dependencies, such as: marriage certificate (spouse), birth certificate (children), certificate of reuniting resident (parents/grandparents), receipts for deposits or money transfers.

- Copy of passport, travel document or valid registration document.

- Copy of residence permit or renewed residence and work permit, or copy of the initial permit and receipt for the renewal application.

- Proof of employment and/or sufficient economic resources to cover the needs of the family, including medical attention, if they are not covered by Social Security.

- Documentary proof of the availability of housing adequate for the applicant's needs and those of his family.

- In the case of reunion with the spouse, sworn declaration that applicant does not live with another spouse in Spain.

During the two month period after the applicant is notified that the permit is granted, the family member to be reunited should apply in person for a visa at the diplomatic mission or consular office in the jurisdiction where family member lives, as the permit can be denied if the foreigner is in Spain illegally.

Validity of the residence permit for reunited family members:

- If the reuniting family member has a temporary residency authorisation: for the same period of validity as the reuniting family member’s authorisation.

- If the reuniting family member has a permanent residency authorisation: for the period of validity of the alien identification card of the reuniting family member. When the reunited family member proceeds to renew his residency authorisation, he will be a granted permanent residency authorisation.

Getting a visa for the family

The visa application for the reunited family member is presented at the Spanish diplomatic mission or consular office in the place of residency and is accompanied by:

- Ordinary passport or travel card, recognised as valid in Spain with a minimum validity of four months.

- Certificates of no prior criminal record or equivalent document issued by the authorities of the country of origin or country in which the applicant has resided for the last five years, which show no convictions for crimes that exist in the Spanish criminal ordinance.

- Notarised copy of the reuniting family member's residency authorisation.

- Original documents proving the family relationship, and if applicable, age and legal or economic dependency.

- Medical certificate.

Notification will be issued within a maximum of two months and must be picked up in person by the applicant, except for minors, in which case their representative can pick up the paperwork. Entry into Spanish territory will take place during the three months after the concession, and within one month of entering the foreigner must apply for his alien identity card.


3. PERMANENT RESIDENCE permit

In this case the person is authorised to live in Spain indefinitely and to work in

the same conditions as Spanish people.

Who can get a permanent residence permit?

-People who can prove that they have lived legally and continuously in Spanish territory for the last five years. Departures from Spanish territory for up to six months will not affect this residency, as long as the time does not exceed a total of one year during the five.

- Residents that are recipients of a contributory retirement pension, included under the protective action of the Spanish Social Security system.

- Residents that are recipients of a contributory permanent complete or severe disability pension, included under the protective action of the Spanish Social Security system or of similar benefits obtained in Spain and consistent with a lifetime non- capitalisable income, sufficient for the person to live on.

- People born in Spain who, upon reaching adulthood, can prove that they have lived in Spain legally and continuously for at least the three consecutive years immediately prior to their application.

- Spaniards by birth who have lost their Spanish nationality.

- Those who, upon reaching adulthood, have been under the care of a Spanish public entity during the five years immediately prior and consecutively.

- Stateless persons and refugees

- Foreigners who have contributed significantly to the economic, scientific or cultural progress of Spain, or to the projection of Spain abroad.

Where can I apply for a residence permit?

To apply for permanent residence authorisation, you have to go to the Foreigners' Office where you plan to establish your home

Renewal

Renewal should be applied for every five years, and the applicant must present his alien identification card and pay the taxes, and as in other renewal situations, it should be applied for sixty days before the expiration date, or three months after the expiration (in which case an infraction subject to sanction). In both cases, the validity will be extended until the renewal procedure is resolved.

Renewal cannot be granted in any case if more than three months have passed since the authorisation expired. Nor if the applicant has resided outside Spain for six consecutive months.

Documents to present

 To renew the permanent residency authorisation card, the applicant must present a copy of his passport or valid document to enter, or valid identity document, three recent passport size colour photographs with a white background, and a copy of the alien identification document.

Applications will be made with form number EX-01. Upon presenting the application, the applicant will receive a stamped copy as proof of submission of the same to the corresponding agency. And at the same time, the receipt in order to appeal in the event of a problem.

Presentation of the renewal application within the legally authorised time frames (60 days prior to or within three months after expiration) automatically extends the validity of the permit to be renewed, applicable for employment as well as for Social Security.

More information:

Department of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation  www.maec.es/

Department of Interior www.mir.es/

Department of Work and Social Matters www.mtas.es/

Police Headquarter www.policia.es/cged/index.htm

Department of Foreign Cooperation (Galicia) www.xunta.es/


ACCESS TO THE NATIONALITY

REGISTRATION IN THE LOCAL CENSUS OFFICE

What is registration?

The public registry is the government file which includes all the residentswho live or generally reside in a municipality. Their data are proof of residence in the municipality.

According to law, all individuals living in Spain are required to register in the municipality where they reside.

Why register?

By registering, you will obtain the document that records the time you have been in the territory of Spain, regardless of your nationality or legal status, that is, whether or not you have or are in the process of obtaining residency. When you are recorded in the Local Registry, this certifies that you are a resident of the municipality.

In order to register, you need to establish a residence, which does not need to be your own property, but can be rented, or be the home of a family member or acquaintance.

It is recommended that you register as soon as you come to Spain. The procedure is done in the government offices of the locality where you reside. It is a very simple formality and this document is necessary for the following:

- To apply for the authorisation or permission to reside and work,

- It grants you the right to apply for a medical health card,

- Will be required to validate your driving licence in cases where an agreement with your country of birth exists,

- Is indispensable for enrolling your children in school,

·     And for any other formality required of foreigners.

One of the most important reasons for being registered is that this registration is the proof of being established in one place that is required for getting final documentation, as well as to have access to social services and other public benefits.

There is a constitutional law dating from 2003 which provides for the renewal of the Registry every two years for all European foreign nationals without a permanent residence permit, and which becomes void after two years.

Can I register even though I don’t have my papers?

If your papers are not in order, you need not worry about registering in the local government offices near your home. These local offices do not exercise any control over the legality or illegality of the individuals residing in the territory of Spain. These offices just keep a record, “The Census”, of the people living in the jurisdiction and verify their conditions.

Documents required in order to register

Apply in the corresponding Local Government Office according to where you live:

  • individual or Group Sign-Up Form
  • A photocopy and original passport.
  • A photocopy and original lease contract or authorization signed by the landlord of the place where you live. If this applies, it must be included in the form to be able to register at your residence. Likewise, the landlord will have to renew his or her registration in order to include you.
  • If you have children, you will need to present a photocopy and original passports and family record.

What if I change my residence to a new municipality?

If you change your residence, you must request in writing to be signed-up in the municipality where you establish your new residence. Within the first ten days of the following month, the municipality will notify your former municipality to request your removal from the local register.

What are a registration receipt and a registration certificate?

The registration receipt: is the proof which your municipality will give you which certifies your registration. You must request it in order to carry out official transactions where strict proof is not required, such as applying for school grants, social services, transport costs, etc.

Registration certificate: you will need this when it is necessary to prove your registration in dealings with courts, foreign institutions, etc. The certificate must have the hand-written signatures of the Registrar and the Mayor or of their delegated representatives.

 NATIONALITY

Who can apply for Spanish nationality?

  • Any applicant of age or older than 18 years.
  • Those individuals over 14 years of age accompanied by their Legal Representative.
  • The Legal Representative of individuals of less than 14 years of age.
  • The Representative of incompetent individuals.

The legal representation of the minor is awarded to the individual who has parental authority over the minor; in other words, the authority which must be decided according to the particular legal situation of the minor. The application for nationality is made in person in the respective Spanish Consulate.

There is a period of between 18 and 24 months from when the application for nationality is made, until it is granted.

Documents required in order to apply for Spanish nationality

  • Birth certificate of applicant.
  • Birth certificate of spouse (in case you are married to a Spanish national).
  • Marriage certificate of applicant (in case you are married to a Spanish national).
  • Cohabitation certificate (in case you are married to a Spanish national).
  • Consular certification which verifies:
    • Criminal record, Good conduct.
    • Military status in relation to your country, nationality of applicant. The documents must be authenticated by the Spanish Consulate.

Nationality

Updates

Law 36/2002, of 8th October, modifying the civil law (C.L.) on nationality, which took effect on the 9th January 2003, contains numerous new provisions, of which the following are worthy of note:

1- CHOICE (Art. 20, C.L.).- Those persons whose father or mother may have been originally a Spaniard and born in Spain can opt for Spanish nationality, without any age or time restriction. However, they must give up their previous nationality, except when their nationality is from a Latin American country, Andorra, The Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, or Portugal (art. 24.1, C.L.).

2- LOSS AND RETENTION (art. 24, C.L.).- Spanish nationals residing abroad who voluntarily acquire the nationality of another country can avoid the loss of Spanish nationality if they state their intention to retain it for a period of three years from the said acquisition in a Consular Bureau of Vital Statistics. This statement of retention will remain unnecessary for those countries indicated in article 24.1 of the Civil Law.

Those persons born abroad, of parents who were also born abroad, lose their Spanish nationality if they do not state their intention to retain it in a Consular Bureau of Vital Statistics within a period of three years starting from when they come of age. If this is not done, they will lose their Spanish nationality, even if the nationality they have is from one of the countries listed in art. 24.1 of the Civil Law. This rule will only apply to those who come of age on or after January 9, 2003 (Second Additional Provision).

3- RECOVERY (art. 26, C.L.).- Those people who have lost their Spanish nationality can now recover it without giving up their previous nationality.

4- GRANDCHILDREN OF SPANISH PEOPLE (art. 22.2. f, C.L.).- The individuals who have a grandfather or grandmother who was originally a Spanish national can apply for Spanish nationality after having legally resided for one year in Spain. This file is drawn up by the person in charge of the nearest Bureau of Vital Statistics to their residence in Spain and is granted by the Department of Justice.

Consult the full text of the law at: http://www.maec.es/es/MenuPpal/Consulares/
Servicios+Consulares/A+Extranjer os/Nacionalidad

How to obtain Spanish nationality

Who is considered of Spanish origin?

  • Those born to a Spanish father or mother.
  • Grandchildren of a Spanish national.
  • Those born in Spain, but of foreign parents, when one of their parents was born in Spain (except for the children of diplomats).
  • Those born in Spain of unknown descent.
  • Those who have obtained and continually used Spanish nationality for 10 years, in good faith and based on registration in the Bureau of Vital Statistics. This proceeding is for purposes of nationality consolidation, even if the section of the law that gave rise to it has been annulled.
  • The foreigner married to a Spanish national acquires Spanish nationality after a year of legal and continued residence in Spain.
  • Those born in Spain of foreign parents if both lack nationality (stateless persons), or, if no legislation of any of the countries of origin of the parents confers nationality to the child (this usually happens when, in the countries of origin of the parents, the principle “IUS SOLIS” —land of birth— applies). A point to be very clear on is that no child born in Spain can become a stateless person.

In the cases of the last point mentioned, a declaration of nationality must be filed in the Bureau of Vital Statistics with prima facie value, in which the birth in Spain must be certified (registration in the Bureau of Vital Statistics), by providing a certificate from the consulate of the parent’s country, stating that the nationality of the parents does not extend to the child.

Derived Nationality

By option, those who have been subject to the parental authority of a Spanish citizen (the option expires at 20 years of age, or 2 years after coming of age and always bearing in mind the particular status of the applicant).

By letter of naturalization (these are individuals who have been granted Spanish nationality by and with the help of the Spanish Government).

Nationality by Residence

If you have resided legally in Spain continuously for ten years, that is, with a residence permit, you will have a right to acquire Spanish nationality.

The time required will be less if you meet any of these requirements:

1. All those individuals who were born in Spain can apply for Spanish nationality upon completing one year of residence.

2. Those foreigners married to a Spanish citizen, provided they are not actually or legally separated, may apply for Spanish nationality on completion of one year of legal and continuous residence.

3. The political refugees or those who have obtained asylum can apply for Spanish nationality if they have resided legally and continuously for 5 years.

4. For those foreigners, natives of one of the following Latin American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, or Portugal, or Sephardim, will have to have two years of legal residence in Spain in order to apply for Spanish nationality.

5. All those foreigners born outside Spain of a parent or grandparent who was Spanish by origin, may apply for Spanish nationality after a year of legal residence.

6. Those foreigners whose child was born in Spanish territory and who have been residing here for one year may apply for Spanish nationality for their child.

7. Those foreigners who have been under the legal guardianship, custody or care of a Spanish citizen or by a Spanish institution continuously for two years or who will continue to be in this situation at the time of applying for Spanish nationality.

8. The widowers or widows of a Spanish citizen, whenever at the time of death there was no physical or legal separation and who have legally resided in Spain for one year may apply for Spanish nationality.

It should be noted in all the nationality applications that the granting of nationality by letter of naturalization or by residence expires as of 180 days from its being granted if article 224 of the Bureau of Vital Statistics regulations has not been observed.

Furthermore, natives of the Latin American countries are not required to give up their nationality of their country of origin, since they are granted double nationality.

Where do you apply for nationality?

You begin by making a written application to the Minister of Justice. The application is presented to the respective Bureau of Vital Statistics in the locality where the applicant resides, along with the following documents:

  • Applicant’s original birth certificate (it is recommended that it be authenticated).
  • Certificate of criminal record from the country of origin.
  • Certificate of criminal record issued in Spain.
  • Certificate of registration in the local census.
  • Document that verifies the time of legal residence in Spain.

If you are married to a Spanish person, you need to provide a marriage certificate issued by the respective Bureau of Vital Statistics in the locality where the applicant resides and the Spanish spouse’s birth certificate.

It can also be sent by registered mail to the aforementioned Bureau of Vital Statistics in the locality where the applicant resides. Furthermore, it can be presented through an Agency which specialises in dealing with legal and administrative work ("gestoría"). The registration will be undertaken by a judge, who may ask for other documents in order to process the application, aside from those mentioned above.

There is a model application that serves as a guide to fill out the form.

By internet, at www.mju.es/modelo.htm.

At the Nationality Section of the Department of Justice, located at Calle Ríos Rosas, 24, Madrid, or its branch offices.

In person during office hours: Monday to Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.; Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. During the summer, between July 1 and August 31, the hours will be between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

By post or telephone: Nationality Section of the Department of Justice, Calle Ríos Rosas, 24 28003-Madrid, Telephone 91 390 48 39.

Recovery of Spanish nationality

The Spanish person who has lost his or her nationality may recover it in the following way:

a) It is possible if you meet the following requirements:

  • To be a legal resident in Spain. (This requirement can be dispensed with.)
  • To declare your intention to recover Spanish nationality before the person in charge of the Bureau of Vital Statistics.
  • To file the intention of recovery in the Bureau of Vital Statistics.

b) To recover nationality, the approval of the Government is required in the following cases:

 

  • Those persons who for a period of three years have used exclusively the nationality which they may have declared to have given up upon acquiring Spanish nationality.
  • Those who voluntarily join the armed forces or occupy a political post in a foreign state against the expressed will of the government.
  • When the loss was due to an irreversible judgment.
  • Those who have lost the nationality without having carried out Spanish military service or the substitute social service. However, the authorization will not be required when the declaration of recovery is made by a male older than 50 years.

More information:

Department of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation  www.maec.es/

http://www.maec.es/es/MenuPpal/Consulares/Servicios+Consulares
/A+Extranjeros/Nacionalidad

Department of Interior www.mir.es/

Department of Work and Social Matters www.mtas.es/

Police Headquarter www.policia.es/cged/index.htm

Department of Foreign Cooperation (Galicia) www.xunta.es/