What happens if I am stopped by the police and I am in an irregular situation, and will I be expelled from Spanish territory? These are some of the questions that cause most concern to foreigners who are in Spain without a residence permit. Throughout this blog we will answer all these questions to clarify everything related to the current expulsion criteria. 


Can I be expelled from Spanish territory if I am in an irregular situation?


Many years ago, the criteria for the expulsion of foreigners in Spain who were in an irregular situation were very strict.

There was no possibility of applying a lighter or proportionate sanction, but rather the immediate expulsion of the foreigner from the country.

This has changed!

On 8 October 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union published a judgement in which it applies a principle of proportionality by regularising the criteria for the expulsion of foreigners from Spanish territory with a fine and not with immediate expulsion.

So the answer to our question: Can I be expelled from Spanish territory if I am in an irregular situation, is that no, as a general rule you will be subject to a lighter sanction with a fine (minimum of approximately €500) instead of expulsion.

This is as long as you do not fail to comply with the requirements that we will see below.


Criteria under which an expulsion sanctioning procedure is or is not appropriate


In the following, we will discuss the criteria to be applied by the state forces when assessing the expulsion of an irregular foreigner:

  • Firstly, the foreigner has been arrested in connection with the commission of a criminal offence or at the same time the foreigner has a criminal record
  • Secondly, the foreigner claims a false nationality instead of the nationality of his or her country of origin
  • Thirdly, the foreigner with a previous expulsion order from a previous entry and within this period re-enters Spain, will also be expelled from Spanish territory
  • Fourthly, the lack of address or documentation. In this case, it is very important to be documented (either with an expired passport or NIE) in order to be able to prove your domicile in Spain and not be expelled
  • Finally, the impossibility of proving how and when you entered Spanish territory is determined by the foreigner’s lack of documentation or the absence of an entry stamp

If you are a foreigner, your residence permit has expired and you are stopped by the police, a fine will be imposed, as mentioned above, of approximately 500 euros.

However, if, in addition to being in an irregular situation, you meet any of the five requirements mentioned in this section, you will be immediately expelled from Spanish territory.


How to avoid being expelled from Spain as a foreign national


This is undoubtedly a sensitive issue and one that requires special attention.

That is why the following advice is of the utmost importance.

Our recommendation to avoid being expelled from Spain is, first of all, to regularise your situation in the country, that is, to obtain a residence permit that allows you to reside legally in Spain.

In this way you will avoid by all means being sanctioned with a fine or expulsion.

Secondly, we know that obtaining a residence permit is a long process that can take a long time. Therefore, it is important that you take into consideration all the criteria we have explained in this blog in order to avoid being expelled from Spain.


Whether you are in an irregular situation in Spain or you wish to regularise your situation in Spain, do not hesitate to contact us. Balcells Group will help you to obtain both your residence permit and a visa to reside in Spain. 

Our lawyers will be happy to help you with your regularisation in Spain and thus avoid possible expulsion from the Spanish state!


Book a consultation with one of our lawyers and solve all your doubts:


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