The arraigo social can be your best alternative to regularize your situation, obtain residency and start working in Spain. In this article you will discover all its requirements in detail, how long does the process takes, how to apply without an employment contract, and much more. The definitive guide that will clear all your doubts!
Arraigo social is a temporary residence and work permit designed for those foreigners who have been living in Spain for 3 years under an irregular situation. It is one of the easiest ways any non-European Union has to legalize her situation in the country.
And without the need to get it from your country of origin (and therefore, being able to complete the entire process from Spain).
Why? Because you can enter Spain as a tourist, live during the required years illegally, and get the papers afterward. And that will be possible as long as you meet all the requirements we will explore in this article, basically being able to demonstrate that one has remained in Spain continuously (albeit irregularly) during these three years.
This process is regulated by law 4200 of the immigration regulation, and the Royal Decree 551/2011; and undoubtedly after the reform of the immigration regulations, it has undergone important and advantageous modifications.
You must have stayed for a minimum of 3 years in the country (and it is not possible to obtain it before those 3 years). Of the three four of arraigo, this is the one with the longest time requirement (only 2 years are required for labor arraigo and arraigo for studies, and none for the family arraigo).
In addition, within those years you can’t have left the country (i.e. do not register absences) for more than 120 days.
The requirements to apply for this type of roots procedure are different depending on the Autonomous Community in which you live. However, most of them are general, so here you will find the main ones.
- First of all, you must prove that you have resided, albeit illegally, for a total of three years in Spain.
- It is important that you are a citizen from outside the European Union
- Obtain a favorable report from the regional government from where you are living (unless you have a relative who is a legal resident in Spain)
- Pass an interview with your local council
- No criminal background records, neither in Spain nor in your country of origin, during the past 5 years.
- Obtain a job offer, with the requirements we will see below
- Demonstrate your link with Spanish society, whether at an economic, family, or social level
- If the autonomous community in which you live has a second language, you must show that you understand and speak it. In order to do this, and for example in the case of Catalonia, you will have to take a 45-hour Catalan course
In the following questions, we will resolve the main doubts about each of these requirements in greater detail.
But remember that, if due to your particular circumstances and the main requirements you cannot apply for social grounding, there are still 3 other types of arraigo that you may be able to apply for.
What type of job contract do I need?
This is undoubtedly one of the most important requirements for this procedure, and one that has been made more flexible with the entry of the new immigration regulations.
Thus, for the contract to be valid, it must comply with the following requirements:
First of all, bear in mind that there is no minimum duration required (as opposed as how things were before, in which you were required for a minimum of a 1-year contract. Hence, temporary and permanent-discontinuous contracts are also accepted.
What is important is that:
- The job offer must be of, minimum, 30 hours per week. That is unless you have a minor child, which then allows for a contract of just 20 hours
- In addition, the salary must be at least equivalent to the minimum wage or higher than that corresponding to the specific agreement
How can I prove that I have lived in Spain for three years?
The easiest and most usual way is to do it through the census and the “histórico empadronamiento”. The census is the document that shows in which city hall you are registered and where do you exactly live.
The most common is that when a foreigner enters Spain, he or she registers in the town hall of her city or town. And the immigration office takes this date as the beginning of the time lived in Spain.
However, there are alternative methods. It is probable that out of the 3 years in Spain, you have only been registered during the last two. Or perhaps you never registered. How then can you then prove that you have been in the country? In that case, any financial movement, such as payments to shops in your neighborhood, or receipts (for electricity, gas, etc.), will serve as proof.
Even your own passport, which records entries and exits, will be another valid proof.
The procedure for obtaining this type of temporary residence can be divided into the following phases:
Entry to Spain and live in the country for three years
The first step is simple. The foreigner arrives in Spain (without getting any type of tourist visa), and begins to live in the Spanish territory irregularly.
Although it seems that absolutely nothing has to be done in this step, this is not entirely true. By the time the application is made, and as we have seen in previous sections, we must be able to demonstrate that we have indeed been living in Spain.
That is why the foreigner should register her address (preferably), and begin to integrate with the country. That is to say, it will be very beneficial if you can register in centers or social clubs such as libraries, start paying rent, etc.
Appointment with the town hall
After three years in Spain you will start with the legal procedure. The first thing will be to get an appointment with the town hall. During this appointment, you will mainly submit a set of documents (we will see them in the next section), and fill a form out.
Once they verify that everything is correct and nothing is missing, they will schedule a personal interview with you. In this interview, they will check that you speak and understand Spanish (as well as Catalan in the case of Catalonia), and will ask a series of questions to see if you are really integrated into the Spanish society.
In the case of passing the interview, they have 30 days to issue the favourable report. And with that report we can move on to the next step.
Appointment with the immigration office
Once you have the favorable report, you will be able to get an appointment with the foreigner’s office to apply for the residency. The list of documents to provide is different in this case (we will also see them below).
To get an appointment for the social arraigo, you can do so by clicking here.
You will have to choose your region, the procedure, and see the available dates on the platform. Please note that, depending on the time of year, you may experience certain delays and may not be able to get an appointment until a few months from now.
After a maximum of 3 months of waiting for an answer, the application will be approved.
You can get to know if your arraigo social application was approved through an electronic notification. In the case you rely on our lawyer team to handle all the procedure, we will call you right afterward your application has been approved to notify you.
Finally, with the positive resolution, you will have 30 days to go to a police station, register your fingerprints, and get the TIE or identification card as a foreigner. And with that you will already have temporary residence in Spain, being able to live and work legally in the country for one year.
Which documents should I submit?
As we have seen in the previous section, each phase of the process requires different documents. So that is why we wanted to divide the answer into two different sections:
Documents to provide in the appointment with the city hall
- Passport (original and copy)
- NIE number (if the foreigner has it, otherwise there would be no problem)
- Townhall registry (census) together with the historical census
- If possible, rental contract or deed of ownership of the housing in which you are living
- Job contract
- In the case of having family ties with legal residents in Spain, documentation that proves it. This point helps enormously to achieve a successful application.
- Filling out the application form for the arraigo report, which you will be given directly there.
- If you live in Catalonia, you should take a 45-hour Catalan course and provide documentation showing that you have completed it.
- Any document or card that proves your integration with the country, such as a library card.
Documents to be provided at the appointment at the Immigration Office
- Again, copy of passport and, if you have one, NIE number
- Application form EX 10, completed and signed
- Census and historic, showing a minimum of 3 years in the country
- Favorable report from the Autonomous Community obtained after the personal interview
- Criminal records, properly legalized and translated into Spanish
- Accreditation of family ties (for example with a marriage certificate, birth or civil partnership certificate)
- Report on the work that the foreigner is going to do in the company
- Payment of the 790/052 fee
Regarding criminal records, please note that in general, they must be valid for a maximum of 6 months. And it will not be necessary to provide them in case of either being able to prove five years of continuous stay in Spain or a reiteration in a previous application (without having left Spain).
In addition, depending on whether the job offer is received from a company or from a self-employed worker, the required documentation also varies.
- If your employer is a company (natural person):
- The employment contract you received, which must be signed by both parties
- Identification number of the company, i.e. its CIF
- Report of the company’s working life
- Constitution deed of the company, a document that was signed on the notary
- Document that certifies that the company is up to date with its payments with the Tax Agency. This document is issued directly by this institution in the form of a certificate and shows that there are no debts.
- Document that demonstrates that the company up to date with its payments with Social Security and its workers. These documents are reports TC1 and TC2.
- In the case the employer is not a company, but a self-employed individual willing to hire you:
- Copy of the ID card or residence card of the employer (if he is a foreigner too)
- Again, signed employment contract
- The last income tax return of the employer who hires us
- Registration of the employer in the self-employed worker regime
- Registration with the IAE (tax on economic activities)
- Certificate that demonstrates he has no debts with the Treasury or Social Security
- The last 4 VAT declarations
- Three latest TC1 and TC2 models
- Working life report of the contribution account
- Model 100 of the IRPF (income tax) for the past 2 years
- Models of declarations of the Fractional Payments of the income tax, corresponding to the last four quarters
Thus, as you can see, it is NO LONGER necessary for the employer to provide financial means to demonstrate that it can cope (economically) with the hiring.
However, the employer must have the capacity to meet such contractual obligations. If the Immigration Office has doubts about the employer’s ability to hire you, it may require the employer to demonstrate such financial means (although it will not be necessary at first).
How long is the process?
The total time depends on different factors. However, it usually takes 3 to 4 months from beginning to end.
But everything will depend on:
- How long it takes for you to gather and prepare all the necessary documentation.
- Getting an appointment at the immigration office.
- The time it takes for the administration to emit a favorable response.
Out of these 3 points, the second is the one that can present greater uncertainties. Because preparing all the documents is something relatively fast, and we know that the administration has a total of 3 months to issue its response.
However, the day in which we will get the appointment will depend on the demand and availability of the immigration office at that particular time.
This is, undoubtedly, a part of the process that generates a lot of uncertainty for immigrants who want to apply for social roots.
And, in fact, this is completely normal. The interview with the city town hall is an essential part of getting your application approved.
So, what are they going to ask you?
The questions on the arraigo interview have two main purposes.
The first is to see that you really understand and speak Spanish (and Catalan if you live in Catalonia). They will discover this by asking you if you have enrolled in a language course, and by directly checking it via how you express yourself.
And the second one is to understand how you belong to the community. That is to say, these questions will be mainly about what you have been doing during the last 3 years in the country and what your current situation is. All to see if you can effectively be given arraigo or not.
If you don’t have a work contract, it will also be verified if you have sufficient economic means.
Would you like us to help you prepare for the interview so that your application can be approved? Then do not hesitate to contact us. We will provide you with the main questions that are usually asked and help you know how to answer them.
I need help preparing the interview
Can I apply for arraigo without a job contract?
Yes, it is totally possible to get social arraigo in Spain without having an employment contract or job offer. And, in that sense, you have two different paths to follow.
First of all, by demonstrating the possession of sufficient economic means, which you can possess yourself or any direct relative with whom you live (and who is a legal resident) and who must be economically in charge of you.
In this case, you must demonstrate the possession of at least 100% of the Minimum Vital Income in Spain. This criterion has been made more flexible with the entry into force of the reform of the immigration regulations, since the IPREM was previously used. Currently, this 100% of the Minimum Vital Income is equivalent to about €590 per month.
In addition, bear in mind that the residence authorization you are granted will not allow you to work in the case of applying for arraigo without a job offer.
However, the second alternative will allow you to work, but on your own account. That is to say, you can formalize the process of arraigo as long as you start your own business as a self-employed worker (as an “autónomo”) and have sufficient funds to set up and maintain that business.
You must also provide a business plan with all the required details.
Arraigo for freelancers or self-employed workers. How does it work?
As we have seen, social arraigo can become one of the ways to become a self-employed worker in Spain.
Once you have obtained this type of temporary residency due to exceptional circumstances, you will be able to begin to carry out economic activities on your behalf. That is because this residency has a work permit attached to it.
Thus, instead of submitting a job offer to carry out the procedure, you can provide a business plan detailing your business idea and your application will be approved so that you can work as an independent professional. This business plan must be sent to any of the recognized institutions, like the ATA (“Asociación de Trabajadores Autónomos”), for its validation, who would then submit a viability report.
In this case, in addition, it is no longer necessary to provide proof that you have sufficient financial means to maintain yourself in Spain during the year of arraigo.
You will simply have to provide enough money to prove that you have the financial capacity to start up the project and maintain it for the duration of the residence authorization (1 year).
Finally, in these cases, the “informe de arraigo” must also be provided.
How to renew it?
It is not possible to renew the social arraigo permit. This type of temporary residency lasts only one year.
However, it is possible to modify it towards an ordinary residence and work authorization valid for 2 years. In other words, once the first year as a legal foreigner has ended, you can continue being a legal resident if you meet the necessary requirements. In that sense, you can change to a work permit, either as a company’s worker or as a self-employed; or to a non-lucrative residency visa (if you do not want to work).
That’s why we recommend that during the last few months of your arraigo year, you start looking for a job. Otherwise, without one, you won’t be able to renew it.
However, you could also extend the arraigo social for one more year (what in Spanish is called “prórroga”); or make a new application for arraigo (of the same or different typology).
You can get arraigo for about 500€. The cost of the procedure is divided into two main parts:
- The service of the lawyer who will prepare and submit all the documents for you
- The cost of the corresponding fee to be paid to the immigration office, model 790/052, which is 15.75€
As for the legal assistance, at Balcells Group we manage the whole process for you for just 499€. This price includes preparing all the necessary documentation, guiding you step by step through the whole process, helping you to prepare the interview with the town hall, etc.
And all that while eliminating any administrative burden, so that you only need to sign and easily get the residency in Spain.
If you have any doubts about the regularization, do not hesitate to contact us. We can start now managing the entire legal application process for you step by step so that you do not worry about anything!
I need help getting my arraigo social
You do not talk about having 2.500. Euros in the bank for 12 months, nor do you mention about proof that you have 25.000 in bank, stock market, or bonds, need to hear back. Darrell Calvin… you have my five hundred euros.
Hi Darrell, this post it’s for information only. For this type of procedure, they also required a job contract.
If you have any questions please, write us to our email: [email protected]
I should’ve searched further and find this website earlier rather than getting the service of the rude lady lawyer in one of the law office in Gran Via.
I’m pretty sure I will be satisfied here than there.
We will make our best to really satisfy you and help with everything you need.
You just need to ask us!
I want to know , i am living here in spain from last almost three years.I having a schengen visa from Germany on my passport so please tell me do I also need a police clearence certificate from Germany ?I am from India .I shall be thankful to you .
You can get further details regarding the documentation needed for the arraigo here in this post: https://balcellsgroup.com/types-of-arraigo-in-spain/
Furthermore, for any other specific doubt, you can contact us at [email protected]
How do I get a contract of work when puting in for my resident in Spain?
You will first need to find a job offer in Spain. Then, the employer must do the initial application.
For any other doubt, do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected], we will be glad to help!
hi all my family member are now citizen of Spain by naturalization but non of them work by now for that we i was not approved for my resident for there times. now i will complete my three years stay on 3 June, hopefully start my arraigo. please if am approved can i change it to the 5 years stay based on my parents nationality in Spain. i mean comunitario. and am 24 years old
You are talking about two different processes, one is the Spanish reunification (your parents can apply for you if they already have a residence permit for the second year, meaning that they have renewed once the first one; and then the arraigo. The application process for both is completely different.
Hope we have solved your doubts. If not, you can send us an email at [email protected]
thans for reaching out to us!
Hi, My name is SUYOG PRAKASH SAWANT and I came Barcelona from Madrid airport on 10 th April this month on 45 days business visa. I want to apply for Arraigo social as soon as possible . How can I apply for that and How much total expenditure will come for this process? And when should I start working after applying for this process.
One of the main requirements of arraigo is that you must have been living in Spain for 3 years. Unfortunately, if you arrived in the country on the 10th of April, it won’t be possible to apply to this procedure.
Sorry I forgot to mention that I have NIE number too
I’m living in Spain on a student visa (since September 2017) and I want to know if arraigo social will be an option for me after having resided here for 3 years. Also, I know that it must be residing for 3 years “continuously”, or not residing outside of Spain for more than 120 days in the three year period. If I am outside of Spain for more than 120 days during this time, could I still be eligible if I wait until I’ve made up that time? For example, if I were out of Spain for 150 days during the three years, could I wait until 3 years + the additional 30 days over the maximum 120? Hope this makes sense. Ive been researching this quite a bit but I can’t find the answers to these questions. I hope you can help! Thanks in advance!
In order to apply for arraigo social is mandatory to have been living in Spain minimum of 3 years. During this period, you could only be out of the country less than 120 days since the Government will double check all the pages of your passport with all the entry/out stamps.
You should consider as well that this kind of permit is only possible if the applicant is irregular in the country. It means that while you are applying, you cannot get any other card. In case you have a residence card you must renounce to it.
So, if you have been studying in Spain for 3 years is much better to switch your permit into an ordinary work permit not to do arraigo social.
Hope we have answered your doubts,
Hi! I got my residency through arraigo social cuenta ajena and will be expiring by 3rd qtr this year. How much would it cost for me if i get your service for assistance with the procedure to modify it? Thanks!
In order to know more information regarding prices, you should send us an email at [email protected] and we will precisely define that.
thanks a lot for reaching out to us!
Hi there,i want some information that for applying arraigo social .
how much language (castallano,catalan)hours certificate we needed with new immigaraion arraigo rules?
i heard that in catalunya they ask for 90 hours od castellano and 45 hours of catalan.
is that true?
That is true, you need to complete a course consisting of 45 hours of Catalan, provided that you are in Catalonia).
I just reside in Spain here and i have registered with the fundacion Cepaim in Almeria. I have been given a medical card for which i can get a medical service. Can i be going to the hospital for every three or four month within that three years to prove that i have live in the country for that time. And how much months or years do i need to for my Empatramiento for the process too. Thanks
Yes, that can be a piece of evidence. As long as you can demonstrate a total of 3 years, being with empadronamiento or with other evidence, it will be ok.
A very specific question,When applying for arriago social, I have been living in Spain for last 3 years have copy of enpadrenamento for that time frame, however my original passport was stolen, have a denunciation for the same from police station with the old passport number, I have been issued a new passport and it has the new passport number and also mentioned the old passport number that was lost.would I have any problem I have the copy of the front and back pages of the old passport and also a police clearance certificate from my home country notarized from ministry of external affairs and translated in Spanish etc. that shouldn’t be a problem right? as enpadrenamento has old passport number for 2.4 years and new passport number for the last 8 months, I am willing to provide a affidavit along with police report for the loss of old passport while applying.
No, you shouldn’t have any problem with that!
Hello there. Sir and ma’am.. I’m …….from Pakistan I’m stay in Barcelona Spain from 2 years and 3 months I have padron also Same time.. but I take asylum last year and I have working permit witch renew every 6 month my I know after 9 months I can apply my arraigo in Spain or I have to cancel my asylum application? And if I need to cancel then when I can cancel or no need to cancel I can apply arraigo and I’m working also I’m paying Tex and I can apply behoof of this job or I need other 1 year work contract? How much your fees I can pay you and u can tell me this all and I can come your office?thanks very much
Yes, you need to cancel your asylum in order to apply for arraigo social. Send us an email at [email protected] so we can start helping you out and answering all your specific questions! 🙂
dear sir if person can speak good catalan language can he must also need to Finishing a Catalan course of 45 hours of duration.
my second question pl. my son is living in Barcelona since june1918 as he registered him at asylum centre but he also gone for padronament February this year.
which time is acceptable for proof of living in Spain for arraigo ;padronament or asylum registering time. best regards
Yes, the Catalan course will be necessary if you live in Catalonia. In regards to the acceptable proof of living, as we have discussed in this article, the census + any other proof such as payments to local stores, for example.
Hi, can you find me the contract or just processing my file.
As lawyers, we just manage the application procedure.
Hi I already applied for the residence with arrigo certificate on 13th February but still I have heart any from them wheather my papers is favorable or no not though i am checkingmy my status online it says inproces.
I made i mistake i think when i apply for the arrigo certificate with a tourism related company.
Then i submit my paper works with a restaurant contract with same arrigo certificate which I have been taken from tourism based company. Do you think does it make any impact on my papers please let me know . Because it’s been now more than 3 months from the time I submitted the application on 13th February 2020. Thank you
You should check the status of your application online. Usually it takes about 1 month or 1 month and a half to receive the resolution.
What is the minimum amount required by pre-employment contract for the presentation of papers for arraigo social, considering the pandemic if locutorio cun mobile repair shop is giving me a contract of € 1200 / month and 40 hours / week pre contrato de trabajo, is it good? or if I have 4 hours / day and from an employer and another 4 hours / day from another employer,is it also fine for the presentation of the pre contrato de trabajo. If rejected, what are the other options for me?
Please note I have my father who is legally living here for 11 years and has his 5 years larga duracion card, unfortunately I have crossed the 21 age so i am not coming under minor rule of under 21 age. My father’s monthly income isn’t much as well to show he can support me and himself his basic salary is 1200/month.
So please advise what is the way forward as to get a clean pre contrato de trabajo now a days is difficult due to the pandemia,as most of the employers or empressarios are on Erte or have not paid their IVA. So to get a pre contrato de trabajo is difficult. Also what is the Minimum amount is it €950 per month, still.
In order to be able to assess what would be the best option for you, ideally we would like to have a consultation with you so that one of the lawyers can advise you on your case. You can send an email to [email protected].
During the 1st year of arraigo social permit being issued for 1 year, can you change your job in case you get a better job in another company.
Hello, first of all, thanks a lot for the very comprehensive information.
I am confused about my case as I am eligible for this arraigo or not?
I am going to complete my 3 years in Spain this September 2021. but my 3 years were not completely illegal. In my first year, I was a student, second-year I posses Residencia temporal no lucrative and in 3rd year, I am illegal. So my last year Is illegal out of 3 years, Can I still be able to apply for Arraigo?
I would really appreciate it if you could resolve my query.
Thanks in advance.
In order to assess what would be your best option, it would be ideal to have a consultation with you so that one of the lawyers can advise you taking into account your case. You can send an email to [email protected]