This 2023 undoubtedly started with great (and many) immigration news in Spain, both related to citizenship and residency. Changes that came into force at the end of the previous year, and many others that have become effective from this January onwards. Changes that have to do with requirements for existing permits, the creation of others, the increase of the ease and flexibility in which you can obtain some visas,…

In this article, we analyze in detail all these immigration novelties that you can’t miss. 12 key points that will make your life in Spain as a foreigner much easier.



IPREM increase and increase in the financial requirement for non-lucrative visa


The most important requirement when applying for the non-profit residency is to demonstrate possession of sufficient economic funds.

The exact amount depends on the IPREM, an income indicator used in Spain as a reference for many subsidies and grants.

Thus, this year the IPREM has risen slightly, and that means that it is now necessary to demonstrate a greater amount of resources in order to successfully obtain the non-lucrative visa.

During this 2023, the monthly IPREM is 600€, while that translates to a yearly amount of 7.200€.

This means that:

  • For the main applicant of the non-profit visa, it will be necessary to prove the possession of €28,800 (400% of the IPREM)
  • € 7,200 (100% of the IPREM) for each family member included in the application
  • € 57,600 (800% of the IPREM) at the time of renewal, since the renewal is for 2 years instead of one


Many applications for nationality under the grandchildren’s law already processed


The Law of Democratic Memory is following its course, and many foreigners are already applying for Spanish nationality as grandchildren of exiled Spaniards.

In our office, we are processing a large number of applications, many of them at the Spanish consulate located in the country of origin as well as at the Civil Registry in Spain.

In the majority of cases, public clerks have been specifically hired to receive and process these applications, so we can expect a certain speed in those resolutions (at least in the initial stages).


New questions for the citizenship test


The Instituto Cervantes updates every year (albeit partially) the official questions of the sociocultural exam (CCSE) required for Spanish nationality.

Thus, the battery of official questions for 2023 has already been published, with 25% of new questions compared to the previous year.

You can find the manual with all the questions to prepare for the exam here.


New procedure for requesting an appointment at the immigration office in Madrid


The immigration offices in Madrid have enabled a new process to request an appointment in order to submit the application for your residence permit.

This has the purpose of speeding up your options when trying to make an appointment, something that has been very saturated until now.

How does this process work?

The first thing you will have to do is to understand carefully which are all the documents that you will have to provide to complete your procedure, and scan them in pdf format; in addition to including the corresponding application form.

Then, you will have to fill in this form.

With this form completed and all the documentation, you must request your appointment by email (including these scanned documents), to the following address: [email protected]

Subsequently, the immigration office will confirm your appointment by email and sms notification.

It is important to note that this method of requesting an appointment is NOT valid for asylum procedures, procedures with the national police, extensions, renewals, or permanent cards as a family member of an EU citizen.


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Greater advantages for foreign students


Perhaps one of the groups that have benefited the most from the approval of the latest reform of the immigration law is students.

Thanks to the new measures, the visa to study in Spain has undoubtedly become one of the best ways to settle in Spain for the long-run and obtain a work permit.

More specifically, during this 2023 students will be able to benefit from:

  • Possibility of working directly with their student visa, without the need to carry out any additional administrative procedures
  • Ability to work up to 30 hours per week (instead of 20), always as long as working hours do not overlap with lecture hours
  • Modify to a work permit at the end of the studies regardless of the duration of the same (as opposed to the 3 years previously required)


The new “arraigo” for studies, among the most demanded arraigos 


The “arraigo” for training has become a great option to regularize your situation in Spain.

And this is demonstrated by the many foreigners who, after 2 years of living in Spain, commit themselves to start their studies in the country in order to obtain this residency for exceptional circumstances.

It is undoubtedly a great option, since it not only allows the foreigner to be trained for the development of a profession, but once he finishes his studies he can modify his work permit to be able to practice.


Bringing your relatives, now easier


Another of the great novelties this year brings is that, from now on, Spanish nationals will also be able to regroup their family members through the family arraigo (apart from doing it through the EU regime).

This is a great advantage since it eliminates the need to prove economic means (something that undoubtedly made the procedure very difficult).

But that is not all.

In the case of bringing parents over 65 years of age, it will not be necessary to prove that they are living under the care of the regrouped person, thus speeding up the procedure even more.


Publication of the visa for digital nomads


Non-EU foreigners wishing to work remotely from Spain can now apply for a new residence permit (for 3 years).

This is an authorization under the Entrepreneurs Law, and in addition to offering a fast-track application in just 20 days, it also allows the cardholder to enjoy great tax advantages (paying only a fixed 24% on their income).

Here you can find a complete guide about this permit for digital nomads with all its requirements.


Initial residency cards under the Entrepreneur’s Law now for 3 years


Closely related to the previous point we find a big change in the duration of the initial cards under Law 14/2013.

The recently-approved Startup Law, under which we find the digital nomad visa, has also modified the Entrepreneurs Law.

Thus, as of 2023, foreigners who obtain their visa as an investor (golden visa), highly qualified work permit, intra-company transfer residence, or residence as a researcher will get a card for 3 years (instead of 2).


New Spanish Nationality Exam Waiver Form


As we mentioned in this post, there are certain groups that do NOT have to take the CCSE exam for Spanish nationality.

We are talking about, for example, people over 70, or those who studied ESO and/or high school in Spain.

Thus, if this is the case, a specific model must be used to process this exemption.

This model has been updated, since at the end of last year a resolution was published in the BOE approving a new standardized model.

You can find all the details, as well as the new model that must now be used, here.


Increase in the self-employed quota


If you are a foreigner and also self-employed, this is of great interest to you.

Not only the monthly contribution you must pay to Social Security has increased, but also the system in which this amount is defined will change.

More specifically, from now on the contribution you will have to pay will vary according to the income you expect to receive during the year, which you will have to communicate to the Tax Agency as soon as possible.

At the end of the year, if you have received more, you will have to pay the difference; and if you have received less income than expected, you will be able to claim a refund.

You can find all the details of this new measure, as well as a simulator to find out how much you will have to pay, here.


If you need personalized legal advice as a foreigner, our team of lawyers is at your complete disposal.


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