If you have submitted or are about to submit your immigration application, this article is of real interest to you. Because you will have to face the possibility that the immigration office does not issue any response within the given deadline, and that will mean that your file has been automatically rejected or approved. To understand the difference this must first address the issue of administrative silence, and in this post you are about to find everything you need to know.

What is administrative silence?


Administrative silence is the conditioning factor in the resolution issued by the administration to a particular request made by a citizen, after a lack of direct response once the pre-established legal period has elapsed.

In other words, it is the favorable or negative response to a file when the administration has not issued an explicit response.

Thus, there are two types of administrative silence:

  • Positive, when the lack of response from the administration once the established period term has passed approves the application
  • Negative, if the lack of response implies the rejection of the file submitted


Types of administrative silence


If you submit your application to obtain any type of residence permit, like any type of arraigo, a family reunification visa, a work permit or a family member card, you will need to wait for a certain amount of time so that the immigration office (the administration) has time to analyze all the documentation submitted and issue a resolution (positive or negative).

According to the law, the administration has a maximum of 3 months to issue a response once you submit your application, period that starts counting the day after you submit your application. More specifically, the day after the competent body receives all the documentation.

But what happens if these 3 months have passed and you have not received any response?

Depending on the type of administrative silence applied, your application will be automatically denied or approved.

Hence, what we must first do is understand the type of administrative silence that applies according to your application type.

Let’s see it in greater detail.


Administrative silence in initial applications


If you are applying for a residence card for the first time (initial application), the type of administrative silence is negative.

That is, if after 3 months you have not received any response, your application will be automatically denied.

However, we recommend you to be patient and wait a little bit longer.

In many cases, the immigration offices experience significant delays (especially in big cities), and even if the 3 months have passed, they end up approving files weeks later.

In addition, you should keep in mind that if the file is rejected due to a negative administrative silence, not everything is lost.

From then on, you will be able to appeal through a contentious administrative appeal.

However, the extensions of residence authorizations, the internship residency, the job search visa, and the long term residency work by positive administrative silence in their initial application.


Administrative silence in renewals


In the case of residency renewals, the administrative silence is positive.

That is to say, after 3 months of submitting your application without explicit response, the file will be automatically approved.

After these 90 days, the administration must issue a certificate accrediting this positive silence; and for this, you will have to carry out an intermediate procedure to finally obtain the physical card.

This procedure consists of making a written request for the resolution due to administrative silence. If you do not receive an answer after 15 days, you will have to request the execution of a firm act through a firm document.

And if after 1 month you do not receive any news either, finally you will have to submit a contentious administrative appeal.


Administrative silence and Spanish nationality


So far we have seen how administrative silence works in applications for Spanish residency. But what happens with nationality applications?

Negative administrative silence also applies, which would be applied once the full year that the administration legally has to resolve your file has elapsed.

If you have not received a response, you can initiate a judicial proceeding so that the National Court can take the reins and evaluate your application and whether you meet all the requirements to obtain citizenship.


And so far everything you need to know about the negative and positive administrative silence for your immigration application. If you have any doubts, our expert immigration lawyers will solve all your doubts and help you out with your immigration application.

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