Have you been living in Spain for a while without a residence permit? Do you suffer some fear due to that? You should stop worrying about it because we have the solution. With the process of arraigo in Spain, you will be able to get your temporary residence permit. And, with it, start working and living with it for a year. Would you like to learn more about this topic? Then make sure you get paper and a pen and start taking notes!

Content of the article:

  1. What the process is all about
  2. Main requirements
  3. The 3 types of arraigo
    1. Familiar
    2. Laboral
    3. Social





As we have mentioned, this is the ideal situation for illegal individuals in Spain. Arraigo is a process that consists of the authorization for those foreigners in an irregular situation to live and work in Spain during a year (with the possibility of a subsequent renewal in the form of an actual residence permit) for exceptional circumstances.

Through the procedure of arraigo, you will be able to reside legally in Spain. Furthermore, you will also be able to work both as a self-employed worker (por cuenta propia) or being hired (por cuenta ajena) anywhere in the country.

But, what are we referring to when we mention exceptional circumstances? Which are the requirements that the applicant should fulfill in order to solicit the arraigo in Spain?




There are three different types of arraigo: arraigo familiar, arraigo social and arraigo laboral. Each of them has certain specific requirements associated with, which we must fulfill if what we want is to carry out the application procedure.

Nevertheless, there are some generalizations we can extract.

First of all, the concept of arraigo is designed just for those individuals that are not originative citizens of a country member of the European Union. If you are living in Spain and come from a Latinoamerican country, for example, you can apply for arraigo.

Besides, and as we will see next, arraigo demands the contribution of any type of document that accredits the link between the applicant and Spain (and its society). This can take place at a more cultural degree as well as a personal relations one.

A copy of the passport of the origin country and the lack of criminal records (both in Spain and in the origin country) are documents that will also be completely necessary for each of the three types of arraigo.

The official application form to get the residency in Spain for exceptional circumstances is the EX-10 model.




Nowadays, 3 are the existing types of arraigo: social, familiar and laboral. Each of them have different natures. They have different conditions and associated requirements that we should take into consideration.

When it comes to immigration concerns, it is highly probable that the arraigo is your best alternative in order to live and work legally in Spain. But before getting the temporary residence via arraigo, you should clearly know what each of the three types consists of in order to choose the one that best fits your case.




The residency via arraigo familiar will be granted to those foreign citizens which parents are originative from Spain. Also, to those whose children aged under 18 do have Spanish nationality.

The main upside of arraigo familiar is that, opposed to the other two types, it does not have tied to itself any kind of temporary requirement. That is, although arraigo social or arraigo laboral require having been residing in Spain for a certain period of time and the need to prove it, arraigo familiar does not.

On the contrary, what arraigo familiar requires is to demonstrate the kinship bond. The proof that shows the link with Spain will be:

  • The birth certificate of the Spanish child if we are the father or mother of him or her.
  • The birth certificate of the Spanish originating father or mother together with the one of the applicant, for the alternate case.




With the arraigo laboral, we do find a temporary requirement. It will be granted only to those individuals who can accredit labor relations in Spain for at least 6 months. That in addition to having lived in Spain continuously for 2 years.

During the months that the applicant has not been employed, he or she must have been enrolled in the INEM (National Employment Institute).


Proof of the continued residence in Spain


In what way can we prove that we have been living in Spain for 2 years continuously?

Documents such as the census will be an effective proof, this being the probative document par excellence. However, there is freedom as to how we can demonstrate the duration of the residence.

And what if we cannot present the census? Well, in that case, we can make up for its absence with other alternative documents.

The existence of a bank account with some transactions, a rental contract or medical certificates (if we had to go to the emergency department for example) are equally valid documents for that purpose.

The ideal at this point (in the absence of the census) would be to provide an alternative probative document for each of the corresponding months of residency.




Finally, the last type of arraigo: arraigo social. This is, without any doubt, the most demanded procedure within the 3 existing ones.

Let’s see the main requirements for arraigo social during 2019

With the arraigo social we find again a temporary requirement: we must have stayed continuously in Spain for 3 years.

What do we mean by the term “continuously”? For the duration of the residence to be considered as continuous, the applicant must not have been outside of the country for more than 120 days.

In this way, it is necessary to prove that you have lived in Spain for at least the last three years. Therefore, you must provide the “Historic Census” of each location where you have resided during all this time.

In addition, a work contract of at least 1 year must be submitted in order to be able to obtain temporary residence via arraigo social.

Another of the valid but not essential documents to achieve this type of arraigo is that which demonstrates the existence of family ties with foreigners residing legally in Spain. We refer to children, parents or partners.

The arraigo social has certain peculiarities. In the case of not having those family members, we will need a certificate of social integration to demonstrate the link with the Spanish society.

In what way can we prove it? Through a favorable report.


Favorable report to achieve the arraigo social


The demonstration of social insertion in Spain and its community is achieved through this report. And it is, without any doubt, one of the most important requirements in order to achieve arraigo in Spain.

First of all, you will go through an interview with the town council of the pertinent locality. There it is necessary that the person requesting the arraigo demonstrates its connection and integration to the Spanish State (knowledge of the language, culture, etc.), that institution issues its assessment and proceeds to validate the report.

The understanding and speaking of the Spanish language are one of the main points to analyze in the meeting. In the case of the Autonomous Communities with their own language, as its the case of Catalonia, it is also important to understand and/or speak Catalan.

Other Requirements


Another requirement will be the accreditation of the existence of a company or freelancer willing to hire us. In relation to this employer or company, it will be essential that its economic activity has been operating for at least one year. We must present the documentation that proves its identity (ID or CIF) and its solvency, among others.

Depending on the Autonomous Community in which the applicant is located, it is very likely that certain requirements will arise in order to obtain the arraigo social.

For example, in the case of residing in Catalonia, it will be necessary to take a 45-hour Catalan course in order to demonstrate the understanding of that language.

That is why we must consult in detail what are the exact requirements according to our place of residence, to make sure we do not forget anything.


Apostille and Legal Translation of the documents


There is something we must bear in mind regarding the documentation to be presented. All documents that are submitted for the arraigo procedure and that come from the applicant’s country of origin (among others, criminal records) must be legalized/apostilled and translated into Spanish.

If you have any problem with the apostille or the legal translation, our lawyers will take care of all these necessary procedures for you.


Life after the arraigo


Once we have achieved the temporary residence through the arraigo, whether social, familiar or laboral; we can reside and work freely and legally in the Spanish territory.

But just for a period equivalent to one year. And then? Can we renew or extend this permit? The answer is no.

However, although we can not renew it, we can modify the residence permit for exceptional circumstances and convert it into a permanent one.

To continue residing and working legally in the Spanish territory, we can then apply for a work visa, and thus continue working either on our own as an autonomous (permiso de residencia por cuenta propia), or on behalf of another person (permiso de residencia por cuenta ajena).



Would you like starting to carry out all the required steps for arraigo and solicit your residence permit in Spain? If the answer is YES, and you want to do it FAST…

Then do not hesitate to contact our lawyer team, we will be in charge of everything!



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