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Residence Permit for non-European citizens in Spain

Updated: Feb 8

 Annalisa Clarizio is the author of the article titles:"Residence permit for non-European citizens in Spain

Date of publication: 23/07/2023

Residence Permits in Spain can be of two types: temporary stay and long-term or permanent stay. These visas are intended exclusively for non-EU citizens because citizens of EU Member States can move freely within the EU. There are also simplified procedures for obtaining residence in Spain for them.

The purpose of Residence Permits is to regulate the residence of non-EU citizens within the country according to the reasons for which they move.

These reasons can be studying, starting a business, working, etc.

Temporary Residence Permit

The Temporary Residence Permit allows non-European citizens to live and work in Spain for a period of more than ninety days and less than five years. In fact, this is a permit that authorizes them to stay for an extended period in Spain, beyond the usual 3 months period for the Tourist Visa.

Although it doesn’t require investments in Spanish territory, it has a clear disadvantage. In particular, this Residence Permit doesn’t allow people to carry out economic or professional activities in Spain. Yet it is possible to invest in Spain or even enroll in study centers and carry out professional activities under the protection of a non-profit Residence Permit.

Requirements for a Temporary Residence Permit

  • Do not be irregularly present on Spanish territory.

  • Do not have a criminal record in Spain or any other country where you have resided for the past five years.

  • Not to be registered as unacceptable in the territorial area of some countries with which Spain has an agreement.

  • Have sufficient financial means for the maintenance and stay of yourself and your family during the period of residence in Spain.

  • Have public insurance or private health insurance taken out with an insurance company authorized to operate in Spain.

  • Don’t make a commitment not to go back to Spain.

  • Do not suffer from any of the diseases that may have serious effects on public health, according to Spanish legislation.

  • Pay the necessary fees for processing the application.

The most relevant requirement is sufficient economic means to cover maintenance and stay. In fact, this type of Permit doesn’t allow people to work, so the financial support can not come from there.

Moreover, non-European citizens have to show that they have a monthly amount according to an indicator that changes every year. For example, in 2022 it was equal to 579.02 euros. This solvency can be demonstrated through bank ownership certificates, property deeds, certified cheques, or even credit cards. Finally, they must take out insurance with a private body operating in Spain.

How to obtain this kind of Residence Permit

To obtain this type of Residence Permit, the first step is to apply for a Visa in person at the diplomatic mission or consular post of the country of origin. In other words, the application must be submitted from abroad.

Requirements for a Residence Permit

  • Application for a national Visa.

  • Application form for a temporary, not-for-profit Residence Permit and children’s scheme EX-01.

  • Passport size personal photo.

  • Valid passport or travel document (valid for at least one year).

  • Criminal record certificate or equivalent.

  • Documents attesting the availability of the economic capacity described above.

  • Medical certificate attesting that the applicant does not suffer from the diseases described above.

The authorities must resolve the application within one month. Once the Visa has been granted, it must be collected at the place where it was applied for within a maximum period of one month. Then, as soon as non-European citizens have collected it, they must go to Spain within three months of the entry into force of the Visa.

Once they arrive in Spain, they will have one month to go to the Foreign Office or to the Police Station and apply for the Identity Card for foreigners. This card will indicate the duration of the temporary Residence Permit.

 obtaining Residence permit

Long-term or permanent stay

With Long-term Permit, non-European citizens can live and work under the same conditions as Spanish citizens. To get it, they will need to meet certain requirements: to have stayed in the country for at least five years.

Generally, these visas are renewable: with this type of Visa, people are free to work, study, etc. in Spain. The cost of these visas varies depending on the nationality of non-European citizens, they usually cost at least 87 euros.

Work Visa

In this case, people will first need to obtain a Work Permit before they can apply for a Work Visa. In fact, there are different types of Work Visas in Spain. Particularly, Spanish law requires that employers must use it for workers applying for a Visa on their behalf. Therefore, in order to apply for this type of Visa you must have a contract and a job offer.

Work permits are issued under the authority of the Ministry of Labour and Social Economy in Spain. Also, they are generally issued locally by the employment and immigration offices in the autonomous regions of Spain. So, if people intend to work as a freelancer they will have to apply for a self-employed Work Permit themselves.

A Work Visa in Spain is generally valid for one year and people can renew it for up to five years. After five years, they are entitled to permanent residence in Spain.

Visas for Spouse and Family Reunions

If non-European citizens have lived in Spain for a year they can have official confirmation that their Visa will be extended by a year. In this case, they can request that family members join them. This includes a spouse, a partner, children under the age of 18, or parents over the age of 65.

Non-European citizens as students may also request that family members join them. Spain offers them visas with the same duration as the Student’s Residence Permit. So, if they hold a long-term Residence Permit from another EU Member State (or an EU Blue Card), they can apply anytime.


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