Regularising my residence

With regard to residence in Spain there are two types of legal status.The first is EU Legal Status which applies to the majority of European Union citizens. For citizens from other countries, Foreign Legal Status is applied.

Community Residence

This applies to nationals from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Romania and Sweden. Also to nationals from Switzerland and the European Economic Space: Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

European Union or European Economic Area nationals must apply for registration on the Central Register for Foreigners. If residence is going to be longer than three months, they will be issued with a registration certificate. For this, proof of employment or of economic means must be provided.

EU legislation applies to the following relatives of the citizens of the countries mentioned:

  • To the spouse as long as the agreement or statement of the marriage or divorce being null and invalid has not lapsed.
  • To the couple that has a relationship similiar to that of a marriage registered in a public registry established to this effect in a member state of the UE or a state belonging to the European Economic Space and as long as that registration has not been cancelled.
  • To the direct descendants and those of the spouse or registered couple as long as the agreement or the statement of the marriage or divorce being null and invalid has not lapsed, minors under 21 years of age, dependent or incapable of age adults.
  • To the direct parents/grandparents and those of the spouse or registered couple as long as the agreement or statement of the marriage or divorce being null and invalid has not lapsed.

The relatives of EU nationals do have to apply for the Residence Card for Relatives of a EU Citizen, and are subject to the same entry conditions as other foreign nationals. It is likewise necessary to provide proof of employment or economic means.

The permit they obtain is valid for five years.

The application authorises residence and to work for others or to be self-employed.

Where?

The registration certificate for EU residents can be applied for at the Foreign Nationals Department in the National Police Station.

The European Union Citizen's Relative's Card can be applied for at the Foreign Nationals' Office.

Foreign Legal Status

A foreign person can be in Spain in situation of stay or in residence situation.

Foreign Legal Status pertains to all foreigners who are not EU member state nationals or relatives of EU member state nationals and those who are not applying for asylum and refuge.

As a general rule all the Permits under Foreign Legal Status entail a previous concession of the corresponding visa which may be applied for at the Spanish diplomatic delegation in the countries of origin.

There are two types of permits: Work and Residence Permits and Residence Permits.

Residence Permits can be of the following types:

A permit for investigation and research is also available which does not imply residence but a time of stay.

Where?

More information

Foreign Nationals’ Identity Card

This card shows the Work and Residence Permit and the Residence Permit. It may be applied for when the permits have actually been obtained.

The card shows the photograph, fingerprint and Foreign National Identity Number (NIE) and other data.

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