HOW TO GET A RESIDENCE PERMIT IN SPAIN

A COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE SPANISH RESIDENCY + REQUIREMENTS
Everything you need to know about the Spanish ResidencyAsk Anything to Our Lawyers

HOW TO GET A RESIDENCE PERMIT IN SPAIN

If you are from a non-EU country and would like to move to Spain, you will need to get a residence permit. But, how to do it? How can you get your visa or permit exactly? There are different types of residency cards you can get. According to your specific situation one would be more suitable than the other.

It could be a lot of hassle… but we will make it easy for you. Let us be in charge!:

  • We will carefully analyze your situation and determine which is the residence permit that is right for you
  • We will guide you step-by-step into all the legal procedures required to get your permit in Spain
  • We will help you get all the documents and send them for you to the relevant authority. You will just need to sign, the rest is on us!

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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SPANISH RESIDENCY

In Spain you will find everything that you need: amazing food, perfect weather the whole year, a charming vibe, a rich culture and a landscape that will never cease to amaze you (mountain + sea). Hence the huge number of foreigners moving to the Spanish territory year after year. 

But, how to do it? Which is the exact process to get your residency card and become a legal resident? In this guide we will explain everything you need to know. We will talk about all the different alternatives and the requirements for each. 

DO YOU ACTUALLY NEED TO APPLY FOR A RESIDENCE VISA?

We need to divide the answer between the two different groups of foreigners. 

If you are a citizen from a European Union country or from the European Economic Area (EEA) or from Switzerland, you just need to get your Identification Number in Spain (NIE) and your EU registry certificate. But a visa or a residence permit won’t be required in order to stay legally in the country for the long run. EU citizens don’t need a visa to live in Spain.

But, what happens if you are not from the EU, EEA or Switzerland? Then, as a Non-European Union citizen you will need to get your visa in order to work and live legally in the country.

In that sense, there are three different types or residency cards in Spain. And you will get one or the other depending on how long you stay in the country: 

SHORT TERM VISA

The short-term visa or Schengen visa allows non-EU citizens to stay in the country for 90 days. It is also called tourist visa. Bear in mind that the vast majority of permits can’t be obtained under a tourist visa. This means that, as a general rule, you can’t come to Spain with a short-term visa and get your residence permit afterwards; you need to apply from your country of origin. Nevertheless, there are some exceptions that we will explore later on. 

TEMPORARY RESIDENCY

If you are planning to live in Spain for the long-run, this is the option you should apply to. The temporary residency encompasses all the different types of residence permits you have available. They will grant you the possibility to legally live and work in the country for 1 or 2 years. Once that period finished, and provided that you still meet the initial requirements, you can renew your temporary residence permit for an additional year or two. 

PERMANENT RESIDENCY

After 5 years of living uninterruptedly in Spain with your permit or visa, you won’t have to renew it anymore. And that is because then you will be eligible to apply for the permanent residency, a permit that will allow you to live and work in Spain indefinitely.

The requirements are really easy to meet. Just with your passport, current permit and the proper form filled you will get the long-run card. Nevertheless, even though we said you must have lived in the country for 5 years, you should bear in mind that all the years lived in Spain under the student visa count half. 

Furthermore, it is the gateway for Spanish citizenship.

 

RESIDENCY IN SPAIN FOR NON-EU CITIZENS

Let’s now explore into greater detail the different residency options any non-EU citizen has

There are different types of visas and residence permits in Spain:

NON LUCRATIVE VISA

Let’s say that you do not want to work in Spain. You would like to retire in the country, or you just have enough means so that you do not need to embark in any economic activity. Then, the retirement or non-lucrative visa will be the best option for you. Its requirements are really straightforward:

  • You need private health insurance.
  • It is also required to demonstrate the possession of sufficient economic funds. The legal requirement is 26.000€ but depending on your consulate that amount can increase.

BUSINESS RESIDENCE PERMIT IN SPAIN

Can you set up a company and get the residency at the same time? With the entrepreneur visa, you can. If the project that you would like to start in Spain is of economic interest for the country, innovative and involves a high level of technology, (demonstrated through the business plan), you can easily have access to this visa. If you just want to create a regular company, the work permit as a self-employed individual will be the best alternative. Our business lawyers will assist you in all steps to set up your business in Spain and with your tax optimization.

INVESTOR VISA

Many of the residency permit application procedures can be tough: a lot of documents and requirements. In order to solve this situation, the Golden Visa was created. You just need to invest 500.000€ in Spanish real estate and you will easily get your residency. The investor permit may be one of the easiest ways to start living in Spain.

STUDENT VISA

Do you want to do your masters or Ph.D. in Spain? Are you planning to conduct any kind of research in the country? Then the student visa is for you. This residence permit allows non-EU citizens to study or conduct research in Spain. You can also work and do an internship with this visa. Furthermore, another of its advantages it that you can transition towards a work permit afterwards, eliminating the complex work visa requirements.

WORK PERMIT

Depending on your situation and the job offer you have, there are different types of work visas you can apply to. Each has its own requirements and the application differs:

  • Regular work permit, which must be applied from your country of origin. It will be your employer, from Spain, the one who has to request for you the residence permit
  • If you have a job offer as a highly qualified worker, the procedure to get the residence permit can start while in Spain. This visa is granted to those who get an offer as managers or any other technical position, and who earn over 40.000€ per year.
  • Similar to the skilled professional visa you also have the EU blue card, which allows you to work in the whole Europea Union area.

FAMILY MEMBER OF AN EU CITIZEN

Under this immigration procedure, European Union citizens living in Spain can bring with them their relatives that are non-EU nationals. The residence permit as a family member of a Europea Union citizen is usually formalized after constituting a civil partnership with the non-EU national or a marriage. Furthermore, parents and children of the European Union citizen can also benefit from the right to get their residence and work authorization as relatives. 

SPANISH RESIDENCE PERMIT TROUGH MARRIAGE

Getting married with a Spanish national (or with an EU citizen) will help you get your visa in Spain easily. But not only marriage, constituting a civil partnership will also enable you to get your legal status. In that sense, you can get the residency trough marriage under two different procedures: 

  • If your spouse is from Europe, the family member of an EU citizen visa will be the go-to option.
  • Nevertheless, you can also get the residency if your spouse is from a non-EU country, but he/she has lived in Spain for year with her residence permit. Then, the procedure that will help you become a legal resident is the family reunfication process

WE WILL ANSWER ALL YOUR DOUBTS. HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?

(Fast response guaranteed, 24/7)

Cristian and his team are professionals and very knowledgeable. As a US attorney, I have recommended others to the firm as I have found them to be very efficient and without false promises. I obtained my NIE in one day and they processed my residency in a few months. Highly recommend the firm.

Babak Movahedi

Residence Permit

HOW TO GET THE SPANISH RESIDENCY STEP BY STEP

Now you have all the options you have in order to start living legally in Spain and obtaining the residency as a non-EU foreigner. The question that immediately pops up is: how to do it? Which is the required documentation I will need to provide? Which conditions do I need to fulfill in order to be eligible?

Each residence permit is different. Each type of visa has its own requirements and differ in terms of the documentation you need to send to the Spanish Immigration Office. Nevertheless, there are certain commonalities that you will need to bear in mind no matter the path you chose.

APPLICATION PROCESS

The general application process is always the same, and goes as follows:

  1. The first step is preparing all the required documents you need for your visa and submit them at the consulate of your country of origin (while you are still there).
  2. After 2-3 months, the consulate will issue its response. If it’s positive, you will get your visa stamp on your passport.
  3. Then, you will have one month to travel to Spain. Once you arrive to the country, you will need to get an appointment at the police office to register your fingerprints and finally get your residency card, the TIE.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

  • The first thing you should do is to get your NIE NUMBER. The NIE is the basic identification number every expat needs in order to start a legal procedure in Spain. Opening a bank account, buying a property, acquiring a car or even applying for a regular residence permit will require you to have this document. Both EU-citizens and non-EU citizens need to obtain the NIE.
  • Show proof that you have sufficient funds in order to sustain yourself in the country. Depending on the residency card you apply to, the amount will change. Ask our lawyers for more information.
  • Demonstrate that you don’t have criminal records in your background for the last years (not just in Spain, but in any country).
  • Documents that your concrete residence permit demands.
  • Payment of the correspoding fee.
  • Copy of all the pages of your passport. 

We will present your application online!

Our team will take care of sending the application or renewal documents for your application completely online, so you can get the residency without having to leave your home.

Frequent Asked Questions about the Spanish residence permit

Can you get the residency as a tourist?

Yes, but only under specific circumstances. As a general rule, every permit application procedure is first initiated from your country of origin, unless:

  • You want to get a student visa. You can enroll in any Spanish university as a tourist and process the application for your visa later on, without living Spain. 
  • Any permit under the Entrepreneur’s law; like the entrepreneur visa, golden visa or highly qualified work permit. 
  • The family member of an EU citizen. You can enter Spain with your tourist visa, constitute your civil partnership, and then process your application. 
  • With any arraigo procedure. 

Yes. Whenever you formalize your application you can also include your spouse and children and do a joint application. They will be granted the same residence authorization as you. But, if you would like to bring them later on, you also can do it. You will just need to wait after renewing your initial authorization and trough the family reunification process you will be allowed to bring them. 

Can my family join?

Which is the corresponding immigration law?

There are two main laws that regulate your condition as a legal foreigner in Spain: 

Depending on the type of visa you apply, you will fall under the regulations of one or the other. 

The immigration office has 3 months to issue their response when you submit your application. If, after that period you didn’t get any, it means that your application got denied trough administrative silence. So, in order to estimate the total amount it takes to get your permit, you should also consider how long it takes for you to prepare all the documents and when you can get an appointment to submit them.

That is why, in total, you can count 5-6 months as a general rule; even though it can go faster.  

How long does it take to get my visa?

Frequent Asked Questions about the Spanish residence permit

Can you get the residency as a tourist?

Yes, but only under specific circumstances. As a general rule, every permit application procedure is first initiated from your country of origin, unless:

  • You want to get a student visa. You can enroll in any Spanish university as a tourist and process the application for your visa later on, without living Spain. 
  • Any permit under the Entrepreneur’s law; like the entrepreneur visa, golden visa or highly qualified work permit. 
  • The family member of an EU citizen. You can enter Spain with your tourist visa, constitute your civil partnership, and then process your application. 
  • With any arraigo procedure. 

Can my family join?

Yes. Whenever you formalize your application you can also include your spouse and children and do a joint application. They will be granted the same residence authorization as you. But, if you would like to bring them later on, you also can do it. You will just need to wait after renewing your initial authorization and trough the family reunification process you will be allowed to bring them. 

Which is the corresponding immigration law?

There are two main laws that regulate your condition as a legal foreigner in Spain: 

Depending on the type of visa you apply, you will fall under the regulations of one or the other. 

How long does it take to get my visa?

The immigration office has 3 months to issue their response when you submit your application. If, after that period you didn’t get any, it means that your application got denied trough administrative silence. So, in order to estimate the total amount it takes to get your permit, you should also consider how long it takes for you to prepare all the documents and when you can get an appointment to submit them.

That is why, in total, you can count 5-6 months as a general rule; even though it can go faster.  

NAVIGATING THROUGH THE APPLICATION OF A RESIDENCE PERMIT CAN BE A REAL HASSLE… BUT WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Following all the steps required to get a visa in Spain can be really boring. How can you make sure that you know all the required documentation? How can you make sure that your application will be approved no matter which is your concrete situation? Where should I send the application?

The good thing is that you don’t need to worry about that. You can let us do the boring part for you.

Our specialized immigration lawyer team will help you get your residence permit, making things easy for you. Our mission? Get your visas as fast as possible, making you enjoy the process of your new life in the country. We don’t want you to be worrying about paperwork or documents. We will do that for you.

No matter which is your country of origin and your situation, we will analyze your situation and determine, not only which is the right permit for you, but also which are the required steps for you to successfully apply for a visa. Then, our lawyers will effectively prepare all documents to ensure obtaining the residency permit that best suits your needs. We will just make you sign!

We have helped over 1000 clients successfully over the years, and now we want to help you create a new life in Spain. We want to be the ones next to you throughout the whole process, assisting you in anything you may need.

Do you have any questions? We will be glad to answer them!

Based in Barcelona, with over 40 years of professional experience, Balcells Group Lawyers provides expert legal advice and services specialised in the areas of Immigration, Tax, Business and Legal

Location

Rambla de Catalunya, 124, 1-2
08008 Barcelona (Spain)
+34 936 31 51 39

HOURS

Monday - Thursday | 9:00 – 19:00
Friday | 9:00 - 17:00

© Balcells Group | All Rights Reserved | Site by INZONE

Based in Barcelona, with over 40 years of professional experience, Balcells Group Lawyers provides expert legal advice and services specialised in the areas of Immigration, Tax, Business and Legal

Location

Rambla de Catalunya, 124, 1-2
08008 Barcelona (Spain)
+34 936 31 51 39

HOURS

Monday - Thursday | 9:00 – 19:00
Friday | 9:00 - 17:00

Email

info@balcellsgroup.com

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© Balcells Group | All Rights Reserved | Site by INZONE

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