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Residence Permit for non EU citizens

The Residence permit for non-EU foreigners

The non EU-foreigners need the residence permit to live in Spanish territory.
To enter the Spanish territory the foreigner would be required to show his valid passport and the corresponding visa

After a period of time exceeding 90 days, in order to remain in Spain it is necessary to obtain either an extension or a residence permit.

There are different types of residence permits:
1. Temporary residence permit: It allows you to remain in Spain for a period of time between 90 days and 5 years, your residence permit may be renewed up after that limit.

2. Permanent residency permit: It is available to all foreigners who have held a normal residence permit for a continuous period of 5 years, it should be renewed every 5 years.

3. Residency permit for special circumstances such as for non-EU foreigners «moved considered»; for non EU-foreigners whose asylum application had been rejected and whom the Spanish Ministry of Interior had authorised them remaining in Spain…

4. Residency permit for reuniting families: this permit entitles the non-EU foreigner residing in Spain to apply for the Spanish residence of his closest family. The applicant shall have been legally residing in Spain for at least 1 year and he must have authorization for another year residing in Spain.

The residency permits applications shall be made in person to the Foreigners’ Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or to the National Police Station with a foreigners’ department nearest the city or town where you are going to live, you will be required to present some documentation depending on the type of residence permit applied.

You must present the following documentation:
• Valid passport.
• Residence visa in force.
• Proof of previous legal residence of the foreigner in Spain e.g. a long-term rental contract or receipts for rent;
• Certificate of criminal record issued by the authorities of the foreigner’s home country.
• Some passport-size photographs.
• Medical certificate (certificado medico), in the cases that the applicant had not presented it when obtained his visa residence.
• Proof of financial income to support you during the period of residence in Spain, such as pensions, work salaries…
• Proof that your health assistance is guaranteed during your residence in Spain.
• Marriage or divorce certificate or other papers relating to your marital status, plus a Spanish translation will be required when applying for reuniting your family.
• Renewals of residency permits are available, provided that neither personal nor economic situations of the non-EU foreigner have changed, these shall be made at least a month before the residence permit has expired, otherwise the foreigner could be fined.

Residence permits are issued by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior (Ministerio del Interior). You should carry your residence card with you at all times as it constitutes a mandatory identity card for foreign residents in Spain, it shows your fiscal registration number (NIE).

These are only general guidelines and not definitive statements of the law, all questions about the law’s applications to individual cases shall be directed to a Spanish Lawyer.

If you have any question please email