In Spain, there are different types of arraigos. For most of them, the main requirement is to have spent a minimum period of time in the country under an illegal situation.

The most famous of these arraigos, the social arraigo, demands 3 years in Spanish territory as a key requirement.

But, is it possible to obtain and apply for arraigo in less than 3 years?

The answer is yes, and next you will discover exactly how much time of continuous residence in Spain does each type of arraigo requires to enjoy a successful application.



Is it possible to apply for social arraigo in less than 3 years?


Unfortunately, the answer is no. The most important requirement to successfully apply for the arraigo social is to have been living (albeit illegally) for at least 3 years in Spain.

If you do not reach that total, your application will be automatically rejected.

In fact, you must dedicate careful effort to demonstrate this minimum time of continuous residence.

Either by providing your empadronamiento (city hall registration), which shows how long you have been living at the same address, or any other valid proof (passport stamps, shopping receipts, electricity and/or gas bills, etc.).

Please note that in addition to these 3 years, you must also obtain¡ a job offer and a favorable integration report. You can find out more about these requirements and the rest of the details of the social roots here.

However, even though the arraigo social requires this amount of time, which for many may be quite a lot, it is still possible to get arraigo in less than that.

And that is because the Spanish immigration law in Spain offers 3 additional arraigo figures. Let’s take a look at each of them.


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How to get arraigo in less than 3 years


We have just seen that the arraigo social requires 3 years in the country for a successful application, and it is not possible to obtain it in less time. However, there are 3 other types of arraigos that can be applied for much earlier.


Family arraigo


Arraigo familiar is the residence for exceptional circumstances granted to all those foreigners who have a family relationship with a Spanish citizen.

After the immigration law update, these family ties have become even more advantageous, and additional relatives now qualify (you can access the complete list here).

We are talking about ascendants, descendants, legal representative of a minor child, spouse, and even the caregiver of a disabled Spanish national.

One of these great advantages is the possibility of applying for this “arraigo” without a minimum period of time in Spain.

That is, you can enter the country and, if you are in an illegal situation, start your application.

In addition, perhaps the most favorable point for the applicant is that this process will grant you a residence and work authorization for 5 full years (when the rest of the arraigos grant residence and work authorizations for just 1 year).


Labor arraigo


The labor arraigo is still more advantageous than the social one in terms of the time needed to apply for it since it requires just 2 years in Spain under an irregular situation.

However, the extra requirement in this procedure is that the foreigner must have worked legally for at least 6 months in order to process the application.

It is important not to confuse it with the current residency for collaboration with the administrative authorities, which before the immigration law update corresponded to labor arraigo.

It has now been relegated to those foreigners who, for example, having been holders of a work permit, were subsequently left in an irregular situation for not renewing their card.


Arraigo for studies (arraigo para la formación)


Finally, the third option to apply for the “arraigo” in less than 3 years is the “arraigo para la formación”, a figure that was recently created and that only requires 2 years in Spain in an irregular situation.

As we saw in this post, its most important requirement is the commitment to start your regulated studies in Spain (by enrolling in a course within the list of allowed courses), in order to be able to subsequently develop a profession that requires such qualification.


So, as you can see, although you cannot obtain social arraigo in less than 3 years, the rest of the residences for exceptional circumstances can be applied for in much less time. If you still have doubts or you would like our immigration lawyers to guide you step-by-step you according to your particular situation, do not hesitate to contact us. 


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