Have you been illegally in Spain for three years and would you like to regularise your situation in order to get the residency? Then, by means of the procedure of social roots or arraigo social you have it very easy. In this article we will talk about everything you need to know about this type of residence permit due to exceptional circumstances. And we will do so by resolving the most frequent asked questions. Are you ready?
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 legalizes his or her situation in the country.
And without the need to get it from your country of origin. Why? Because you can enter Spain as a tourist, live during the required years illegally, and get the papers afterwards. And that will be possible as long as you meet all the requirements we will explore in this article.
You must have stayed for a minimum of 3 years in the country. Of the three types of arraigo, this is the one with the longest time requirement (only 2 years are required for labor arraigo 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.
- 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 for 1 year (minimum). In other words, you must find a company or self-employed individual willing to hire you to work for him or her over the next 12 months.
- 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 into greater detail
But remember that, if due to your particular circumstances and the main requirements you cannot apply for social grounding, there are still 2 other types of arraigo that you may be able to apply for.
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.
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).
After a maximum of 3 months of waiting for an answer, the application will be approved.
Finally, with the positive resolution, you will have 30 days to go to a police office, register our fingerprints and get the TIE or identification card as a foreigner. And with that you will already have the 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
- Work contract for at least one year.
- 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 with foreigners
- 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
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 for at least one year, and 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 for a minimum of 1 year
- 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
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.
How can I check the results of my application?
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.
How to get an appointment with the Immigration Office?
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.
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.
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. However, this is not what we recommend.
In this case, it will be necessary to prove that you have sufficient economic means. And this implies adding an additional requirement to the list, which is often difficult to meet.
As a recommendation, it will always be better to have an employment contract. But, if this is not possible, you will have to prove, minimum, the possession of 150% of the IPREM.
Also, bear in mind that the residence permit you will be granted will not allow you to work in the event of applying for arraigo without a job offer. However, if you can justify that these economic means will be obtained due to your activity as self-employed, then you will be able to work.
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.
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. 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.
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!
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