Renewing your residency



The visa shall be denied






If you are an EU citizen and you wish to stay in Spain for more than 3 months you must register into the Registro Central de Extranjeros (Central Register of Foreign Nationals) at your nearest National Police Station or at Oficina de Extranjeros  (Foreigners Office). If there is no Foreigner’s Office in the area in which you intend to reside then your local National Police Station will serve for such purpose. As of 2021 you can freely apply within. The same province at any Policia Nacional without having to prove that you reside in such area, as long as your address is within the same province.


Currently, EU nationals are no longer issued a Residency card, but they are given  a Registration Certificate as an EU Resident (Certificado de registro de residente comunitario). This document certifies the applicant´s residency in Spain , it states the holders name, address, nationality, and their NIE number, as well as the date of registration.

As the NIE can often be processed faster than the Residency, it might be worth to apply separately for the NIE so you get your NIE faster. We provide a NIE Application Process which allows clients to obtain the NIE number without travelling to Spain.

Residency for Eu nationals is granted for a five years period and must be renewed after that time. Non-EU applicants are granted an initial Residency for one year, which is usually extended on renewal. For EU nationals the administration does not issue identity cards for the purposes of identification, they are now issuing a residency certificate which always need to be shown with the Passport to prove identity.

How to apply for residency

The residency application process will vary depending on your nationality, if you are an EU-national you can apply at any National Police Station within your province. The estimated time to be granted the Residency varies depending on the city and province (although it is usually granted the same day). If you are a NON-EU national you will have to apply for a visa at the Spanish Consulate in your home country and once the visa is approved you can apply for the TIE card (Foreigner´s ID card) at any Police Station in the province were you will be relocating in Spain. The ID card obtention needs the physical presence of the applicant since the fingerprints will be taken the day of the appointment. Since each Foreigner´s Office processes candidates locally, the availability of appointments and the estimated time to get your Residency approved can vary tremendously.. It is therefore worth to leave the matter to an immigration lawyer who will  have experience in the procedure and this will simplify your application process, thus avoiding unnecessary stress. Our Immigration lawyers will assess you profile, indicate you which is the best documents to submit to make your case stronger thus making sure the process goes smoothly. Almost all type of residencies now, are submitted by the lawyers though the electronic platform. As the NIE can often be processed faster than the Residency, it might be worth to apply separately for the NIE so you get your NIE faster. We provide a NIE Application Process which allows clients to obtain the NIE number without travelling to Spain.


Documents needed for application

Documents needed by all applicants (EU and non-EU-citizens):
  • Current passport and one photocopy ( copy of the complete Passport in the case of NON-EU nationals)
  • 3 recent passport style photos with your name clearly written on the back (with white background) (EU nationals are exempted)
  • The completed application form (plus 2 copies)
Further documents that might be requested could include:
  • Town Hall Registration or Empadronamiento
  • Private Medical insurance
For specific circumstances, the following may apply:
  • If you will be working for someone: a contract of employment. If you will be self-employed, then you need to submit documents proving you fulfill the requirements necessary to undertake that activity, such as business plan, etc.
  • If you will not be working: documents that prove you have enough means of support to live during your time in Spain, plus medical insurance.
  • If you are studying in Spain: proof of registration in an accredited school, plus bank statements or other documentation to prove you have enough money to live during your time in Spain, plus medical insurance.

Renewing your residency

You will not be reminded when your Residency needs to be renewed, so you need to check and make sure you get this done, three months before its due. This is currently done by our lawyers by submitting the renewal application through Mercurio Platform.


Should you wish to apply for Residency in Spain, contact our office and talk to one of our immigration lawyers.


The current legislation for Supporting entrepreneurs and their internalization governing the granting of a residence visa for all those foreigners who perform a “significant investment” mainly on property acquisition, 500,000€ per applicant, which is in force since September 29th of 2013, establishes the requirements to apply for such visa.


The Article 61 of the said Law foresees the way to prove the said investment on property acquisition. The applicant must prove that he/she owns a property or properties for the said value submitting the corresponding Certificate(s) issued by the Property Registry where the property is located dated no more than 90 days prior the application day.

In the event that the property is still in the registration stage, you may be able to submit a notarized copy of the corresponding Public Deed, as well as a document proving that its filling entry has been renewed within the 60 days prior to the application day.

The applicant shall also prove that those properties are valued for 500,000€ or more, free of any charges and burdens. In the event that such investment is over the required amount, you may seek financing.

On the other hand, the Article 63 outlines the rules to authorize the residence for foreign investors. Those investors who wish to live in Spain for more than one year, shall be granted a residence permit for investors, applicable to all Spanish territory.

In relation to Article 63, the Article 64 states the time of such residence permit for investors, which initially would be for 2 years. Once this length of time is over, those investors interested in staying in the country, shall seek renewal of the same for another 2 years and then it shall be granted for another 5 years.

The offices entitled to carry out this proceeding are the Consulate if you are abroad, or the «Unidad de Grandes Empresas” if you are in Spain. Also, if you are in Spain you shall submit your application and the supporting documentation in any administrative registry or the Electronic Platform.

The investor´s visa is granted for one year and entitles you to come to Spain. Once granted the visa you can request the residency permit which is given for 2 years. The residency application can be done by the lawyers online after the visa obtention. One of the benefits of this type of permit is that if you are not going to reside permanently in Spain you can lease the property.

If you wish to get nationality and therefore European Passport, you will be able to do so provided that you reside in Spain on the time settled by the law.

Consider as well that the current situation of (un)employment rate in Spain, shall not affect these applications. Also, if you fulfilled an investment prior to the execution of this Law, it shall not be considered for the Law is not retroactive.

Please note that your spouse and children may be granted as well a residence permit as relative of the main applicant.

Contact our office to set up an immigration consultation with one of our attorneys. You will receive a thorough assessment on the subject, in order to plan your residence application for you and your family members.


This type of visa is applied for through the Spanish Consulate in your country. The applicant will need to show he/she fulfills the following criteria:

a) Not to have criminal records in any of the countries where she/he had resided. (for crimes foreseen in the Spanish system). b) Not to appear as rejectable in the territorial space of countries with which Spain has signed an agreement in such sense. c) Have sufficient economic means to cover their living expenses and stay, including, if applicable, those of their family, during the period of time for which they wish to reside in Spain. All this without the need to develop any labor or professional activity. This can be proven through various ways, Bank savings, tax declaration, payslips, pensions, etc. These kind of documents allows to verify the perception of periodic and sufficient income. Or the possession of a patrimony that guarantees such perception of income. d) To have a public insurance or a private health insurance arranged with an insurance company authorized to operate in Spain. The health insurance policy should be without copayment. e) Not to be irregularly in Spanish territory or to be found, if applicable, within the period of commitment not to return to Spain that the foreigner has assumed when returning voluntarily to his/her country of origin. f) Provide a medical certificate duly legalized and translated stating that the applicant does not t suffer from any of the diseases that may have serious public health repercussions in accordance with the provisions of the International Health Regulations of 2005. g) To prove that accommodation in Spain has been arranged before arrival. The applicant can submit a rental contract or an affidavit from an acquaintance who confirms that they will be providing accommodation in Spain. h) Valid passport or travel document, recognized as valid in Spain, with a minimum validity of one year.

Once the application has been submitted, it will be recorded in the visa system in accordance to the residence requested, so that the Government Delegation or Subdelegation in whose demarcation the foreigner is applying for residence has a record of the application submitted, as well as of the accompanying documentation regarding the requirements to be assessed.

The Delegation or Subdelegation of the Government, in the maximum term of one month from the reception of the request, will resolve the concession or denial of the residence authorization. It will do it previous evaluation of the fulfillment of the requirements foreseen in the paragraph f) of the article 46, as well as of the one foreseen in its paragraph b) with regard to the lack of criminal record in Spain.

The Delegation or Sub delegation of Government will register the resolution in the system, so it is acknowledged by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and by the corresponding consular office or diplomatic mission. The effectiveness of the authorization will be subject to the issuance, if applicable, of the visa and the actual entry of the foreigner into national territory.

If the resolution is unfavorable (if not communicated within one month), the diplomatic mission or consular post will notify the resolution. Likewise, the diplomatic mission or consular post will decide to close the visa procedure.
Once the authorization has been granted, if applicable, the diplomatic mission or consular post shall decide and issue the visa. It shall do so after assessing compliance with the requirements set forth in sections a), c), d), e) and g) of Article 46, as well as those set forth in section b) with respect to the absence of a criminal record in the foreigner’s previous countries of residence and those set forth in section h) with respect to the fee for the processing of the authorization procedure.

The visa shall be denied

a) When compliance with the requirements set forth in Article 46, the assessment of which corresponds to the diplomatic mission or consular post, is not accredited.
b) When, in order to support the visa application, false documents have been presented or inaccurate allegations have been made, or bad faith is involved.
c) When a legally foreseen cause of inadmissibility occurs that had not been appreciated at the moment of the reception of the application.

Notified, in its case, the concession of the visa, the applicant will have to collect it personally in the term of one month. In case of not doing so, it will be understood that the interested party has renounced the visa granted, and the procedure will be closed.

Once the visa has been collected, the applicant must enter Spanish territory, in accordance with the provisions of Title I, within the period of validity of the visa, which in no case shall exceed three months.

Once the entry has been made, he/she must apply in person, within one month, at the Foreigner’s Office or National Police Station, for the Foreigner’s Identity Card. This card will be issued for the period of validity of the temporary residence authorization and will be withdrawn by the foreigner.

The visa issued will incorporate the initial residence authorization. Its validity will begin from the date of entry into Spain. This must be included in the passport or travel document.

The initial temporary residence authorization will be valid for one year and its renewal for 2 years.


What is Nationality through Residence?

Spanish Nationality through Residence is one of the ways of acquiring Spanish citizenship contemplated in the Spanish Civil Code. Through this procedure, a foreigner who has been residing in Spain legally and continuously for some time can apply for and acquire Spanish nationality. Nationality through residence is the most common way to obtain Spanish nationality and the one used by the majority of foreigners residing in Spain, proving a previous legal residence time, good civic conduct and integration.


The acquisition of Nationality through Residence is mainly regulated in Article 22 of the Spanish Civil Code.

Minimum time of legal residence to acquire Spanish nationality by residence.
In order to acquire Spanish nationality by residence, the foreigner applicant must have resided legally in Spain continuously for at least 10 years prior to the application.

There are several cases in which the 10-year period of residence can be reduced:
Five years of legal residence: for the granting of Spanish nationality to those persons who have obtained refugee status.
Two years: for nationals of Latin American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal or persons of Sephardic origin.
One year:

  • The one who was born in Spanish territory.
  • The one who did not duly exercise his right to acquire the Spanish nationality by option.
  • The one who has been legally subject to the guardianship (under the supervision of a guardian), guardianship or foster care (the foster care that allows the reduction of legal residence to one year is the one in which there is a resolution of the public entity that has in each territory entrusted the protection of minors and the foster care that are judicially recognized) of a Spanish citizen or institution for two consecutive years, even if it continues in this situation at the time of the application.
  • The one who, at the time of the application, has been married to a Spanish citizen or institution for one year and is not legally or de facto separated.
  • The widow or widower of a Spaniard, if at the moment of the death of the spouse they were not separated, in fact or judicially.
  • The one born outside Spain of father or mother, (born also outside Spain), grandfather or grandmother, as long as all of them had been originally Spanish.

Requirements for acquiring Spanish nationality by Residence
The main requirements to acquire the nationality are three:

  • Continuous residence in Spain immediately prior to the application.
  • Good Civic Conduct.
  • Integration.
  • Lack of criminal record, both in your country of origin and in Spain.
  • Your documentation must be in force.

CCSE and/or DELE exams

All persons who are interested in beginning the process of Spanish nationality by residence, must accredit the passing of two exams, the DELE exam, minimum level A2, which is the diploma of Spanish as a foreign language, and the CCSE exam, on constitutional and sociocultural knowledge of Spain.
These two exams are designed and administered by the Instituto Cervantes.


Passing the DELE exam grants an official diploma that accredits the degree of competence and proficiency in the Spanish language and is awarded by the Instituto Cervantes. This exam must be taken and passed by all applicants over the age of eighteen and persons whose capacity has not been judicially modified. Nationals of the following countries are exempt from passing this test:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Puerto Rico
  • Dominican Republic
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

In order to benefit from this exemption, in case one of these nationalities is not the main nationality with which the application for Spanish nationality through residence is being made, a valid passport of the country or consular certificate of recognition of the nationality that is not the main nationality must also be provided. This is the case, for example, of an Italian citizen who also has Argentine nationality.

The DELE A2 level exam consists of four tests:

  • Reading comprehension and use of the language.
  • Integrated skills: listening comprehension and written expression and interaction.
  • Listening comprehension and use of the language.
  • Integrated skills: reading comprehension and oral expression and interaction.

In case you have to take the DELE exam, as we have mentioned, this must be at least level A2 and it is a diploma that does not expire.

CCSE Examination

The examination of constitutional and sociocultural knowledge of Spain, the CCSE, must be taken and passed by all those interested in applying for Spanish nationality by residence. The CCSE exam is administered and managed by the Instituto Cervantes.

There are exams every month of the year, except in August and December. It is a test of 25 questions, true or false and multiple-choice multiple-choice questions (three closed answer options).

Through this test the knowledge of the Constitution and the Spanish social and cultural reality are evaluated.

This exam has a cost of 85 euros.
Unlike the DELE diploma, the CCSE certificate is valid for four years.