Guide to getting Spanish residency

The Complete Guide for getting residency in Spain. How to get it and how long does it last? Rules, Terms, Checklists and Application Forms. Permanent residency and Spanish citizenship. Living in Spain after Brexit. Buying Property to get Residency – all about Golden Visa and Non-Lucrative Residency.

1. How to get residency in Spain

In case you are a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you can stay in Spain for 3 months without any additional procedures. If you wish to stay longer, you should register at the local town hall, get a NIE and a foreign identity card justifying the reasons of your stay and giving you an opportunity to receive a permanent residency in 5 years. But in reality, if you are a citizen of the EU/EEA/Switzerland, you do not need any visas or work permits to reside in Spain on a permanent basis, and therefore you will not get access to social services and much more.

US citizens may enter Spain for travel or business purposes for up to 90 days without making a visa. If a US citizen wishes to stay longer, he or she needs to apply for a residency. Here you can see the full list of countries that do not need a visa for an up to 90-day stay and those, who need a visa in any case.

A long-term (temporary) residence permit can be both with the right to work or without it. This residence card allows you to officially live in Spain and freely travel on the territory of the Schengen zone. The temporary residence is usually valid for one year, and then it can be extended. Multiple extension of a temporary residence permit makes it possible to express your intention about a permanent life in Spain, and subsequently a citizenship.

A permanent residence permit expands your social rights in the Kingdom of Spain, eliminates the need to prove your solvency, gives you the right to work in Spain, and also makes it possible to obtain Spanish citizenship. You can apply for permanent residence after 5 years in Spain and subject to migration rules (stay in Spain for at least six months), as well as with the continuous extension of temporary residence permits and integration into Spanish society.

It is worth considering when choosing a way to settle in Spain that some activities are not related to any residence permits in the Kingdom, but are considered just a temporary stay. These include, for example, internships and volunteer activities.

Citizenship is the receipt of a passport of the Kingdom of Spain. It is issued after 10 years of legal stay in the country, or:

  • After 1 year of official marriage with a citizen of Spain
  • For asylum seekers after 5 years of continuous stay in the country
  • For children whose immediate family were native Spaniards (requires 1 year of legal stay in the country)
  • For children born in Spain (requires 1 year of legal stay in the country)
  • For children who have no parents and are under guardianship of the Spanish State
  • For widows and widowers of Spanish citizens based on residence in the country for at least 1 year

When obtaining the citizenship of the Kingdom of Spain, you lose the citizenship of your home country. Some exceptions apply and will be listed further.

2. Register as a resident

You need to get a resident card within 30 days after arriving in Spain if you want to stay in the country for a long period (from 90 days or more) and in this case you will receive a temporary residence permit, not a permanent one, which will be discussed in the next part. This applies to both the EU member states and the rest. We recommend making an appointment immediately upon arrival, especially in large cities, as there are usually very long queues.
Keyboard with Spanish flag
Every citizen of a Member State of the European Union or of another State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area has the right to reside in the territory of the Spanish State for a period exceeding three months if:

  • He or she is employed or self-employed in Spain, or
  • Has enough funds for himself and for his family members so as not to become a burden for social assistance in Spain. The valuation of the sufficiency of financial means will be carried out individually and, in any case, taking into account the personal and family situation of the applicant.
  • Or, be a student and be enrolled in a public or private center recognized or financed by the educational administration to pursue studies or professional training
  • Or be a national of a Member State, a family member who accompanies a citizen of the Union or of the European Economic Area

In theory, you may not register in Spain if you are an EU citizen, but then you cannot use social services, have Spanish driving license and obtain a permanent residence permit in the future, which means in the case of Brexit (if you are a British citizen), you have something to lose.

Spanish Residency Card

The residence card (tarjeta de residencia) is a plastic card that serves as an actual confirmation of the obtained residence permit in Spain and certifies the identity of a foreign citizen in Spain. To the holders of the EU passports: there are two news, bad and good. Bad - you still need to collect papers and face the Spanish bureaucracy. Good - you will get the residence right away, without leaving the office of Extranjeria or Policia.

To get this card, first you will need to make an appointment online.

Choose your province and then "Certificados UE". Decide what documents you need: based on work, availability of sufficient funds in your account, study or your own business. Consider this step in more detail!

In any case, you should also submit the following documents:

  • Passport with a valid resident visa. If there is a long queue, you may encounter a situation when the visa has already expired at the time of filing. In this case, the main thing is to document that the preliminary registration was made during the validity of the resident visa.
  • 2 passport size photos
  • Signed lease contract or nota simple, if you have your own home in Spain
  • Certificado de empadronamiento (read more about it in the next chapter)
  • NIE, if you already have one. If don't, you will be issued a NIE together with this card
  • Ex-17/18 application form, depending on your citizenship. You can download it here. In case you receive a residence card as a spouse/parent or a child of a EU citizen – EX-19.
  • When submitting documents, you will be given a bill to pay. Confirmation of payment must be submitted upon receipt of the card.
  • Proof of sufficient funds in case you do not work in Spain (at least 7000 EUR for a person). The bank statement for the last 3 months/employment contract or pension will also do.
  • Insurance/S1 form
  • Depending on the region of Spain, you may be required to provide additional documents, so just in case, it is better to take the originals along with certified translations of all the documents that you prepared for obtaining a resident visa.

If the officer is happy with everything, he or she will immediately print out the green paper Certificado de registro de ciudadano de la Unión.

Foreigner's Identity Number (NIE)

NIE (Numero de identidad de extranjero) stands for "foreigner identification number" and is used in Spain to carry out any financial and legal procedures related to all the paperwork when moving to Spain, filing a tax return, receiving a salary, driver's license and so on. It is issued by the migration office (usually it located at the police station) of Spain. Only a foreigner with NIE has access Spanish medical care and apply for pension, subsidies or unemployment benefits. All in all, the document serves as an identity card for a foreigner. NIE is governed by article 58 of the Spanish Foreigners Act: "All foreigners (citizens of the EU/EEA/Switzerland included!) who carry out financial activities in Spain, whether or not they are residents of Spain, must have a NIE." In other words, if you are not hiding from the law and stay in Spain legally and you plan to do business, open a bank account or buy a house, it will be impossible to do without a NIE. You can learn more about a NIE here.

Registration on the padrón

Padron, known in Spain as empadronamiento, is a certificate that proves your legal address in Spain. This allows the local town hall to know how many people live in each city, that directly affects the funding that the city gets from the government.

Under Spanish law you must register on the padrón in the Town Hall where you reside.

If you want to register your child at a local school, register at a local hospital or transport the vehicle to Spain and get Spanish plates, or buy a car, then you will probably need a certificate of empadronamiento.

First, you need to visit the local town hall (Ayuntamiento). You should bring your passport with you, the last utility bills, a copy of your escritura or rental contract and your NIE certificate. In some municipalities, they may charge you for issuing a certificate. Your escritura/rental agreement should state that you live in an address within the area of a town hall you are visiting.

You will receive a certificate stating your data on real estate, as well as the names of everyone who lives there. Usually it is a quick process and you will receive your certificate within an hour.

You may be asked to update the padron by certain services or authorities, for example, a hospital, trafic police, social services. To do it, you should just ask your town hall to reprint this certificate. Normally, it is valid for 90 days.
Spanish flag

Documents

Any foreign public document must be legalized by the Consular Office of Spain with jurisdiction in the country in which said document has been issued or, where appropriate, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs except in the case in which said document has been apostilled by the competent Authority of the issuing country under the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961 and unless said document is exempt from legalization under the International Convention.

Such documents as birth certificate, criminal record statement, diploma, marriage certificate etc have to be apostilled and then translated with a sworn translator in order to be legally binding in Spain. This should be done in your country of origin within authorized authorities (Ministries). It may take up to half a year, so make sure you follow the timing!

3. Long-Term Spanish Residence Visa

A residence permit must be obtained by all non-citizens of Spain if they want to stay in the country for more than 90 days. Residence permits are available both with the right to work and without the right to work, as well as for studies. After 5 years of living in a country with such a residence permit, you can get a permanent residence. We will describe some popular options for obtaining a residence permit for both EU / EEA / Swiss citizens and non-EU citizens.

Work and business visas

1
Work visa
A foreigner from any that is officially employed in Spain must apply for a residence permit on this basis.

In case of non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizen, before applying for a residence permit, you need to find a job and apply for an official permit. In addition, the place will have to compete not only with the Spaniards, but also with foreigners from other EU countries, to which employers are more supportive. True, if you are a specialist in a sought-after field, and even more so, from the list of scarce professions, then the search for work will not be delayed. In case you work in Spain, to receive a residency card, you need to show a contract that lists all the details of the employer, your salary and the duration of the contract.

In addition, any foreigner legally residing in Spain for three years with a student residence permit, or 1 year with a residence permit without the right to work, can also receive a residence permit with the right to work on the basis of a work contract. The criteria here are not so strict, it is important that the net salary is slightly higher than the industry average and not less than €900 per month (in 2019).

In case you get a work contract (that you will need to show a migration office), you will get a of Social Seguridad (social security). Plus, you get a legal basis to apply for CAT Salut - Medical services for which you are entitled for being a law-abiding taxpayer.
2
Business visa
Any adult foreigner who is legally located in Spain does not have problems with the law, wants to develop a publicly interesting business in the country and can provide his business plan, has the opportunity to obtain a residence permit.

Under law 14/2013, you can apply for a residence permit for an entrepreneur and his family members. This is possible when conducting an innovative or strategically important type of activity, having investments in a business, and also opening jobs. It is necessary to present a business plan, as well as have experience in conducting similar projects. The possibility of obtaining a residence permit will depend on the decision of the Ministry of Economy in Madrid, which considers the ideas of entrepreneurs' projects.

Unlike the Golden Visa program, there is no mandatory minimum investment, but you must prove the availability of funds (from €900 per person) in order to live in Spain for one year (validity of the first residence permit). You can apply for a residence permit even if you intend to create a small startup with minimal investment.

This law provides for the issuance of a residence permit to highly qualified specialists, researchers and researchers, as well as employees of multinational companies moving to Spain in terms of change of the office location.

The main criterion is the usefulness of the project for the Spanish economy. And for this, you need a good business plan, approved by official organizations, which will be implemented after obtaining a residence permit. A nominally operating company will not do here.

In case you are an entrepreneur, you need to show the registration paper from Censo de Actividades Económicas or from el Registro Mercantil, or from La Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social o de la Agencia Tributaria to the migration office to receive a residence card. Some migration offices may require a bank statement.

Student visa

Student visa, which is valid for only 3 months, is a kind of "entry ticket". This visa can be issued on the basis of studies in Spanish courses or in higher education programs with an intensity of at least 20 hours a week. During this time, you need to enter the territory of Spain and apply for a student residence no later than a month from the date of arrival. In approximately a month, you will receive a plastic card, "tarjeta de estudiante", which is your student residence card. From this moment you can freely move around Schengen zone, as well as enter and leave your home country without any visas.

Benefits:

  • Student residence gives you the right to work up to 4 hours a day.
  • Student residence can be extended in Spain, unlike a regular visa, without need to leave the country.
  • Possibility to receive a 'bicing' card for using a convenient bicycle system.

When applying, a student card is issued for a maximum of one academic year, with continued education it can be extended without leaving Spain. It is not considered to be a residence permit, and the time spent with it in Spain does not count towards a permanent residence. By signing an agreement with the employer, you can additionally get a work permit, and while you stay in Spain for more than 3 years as a student, you can change your status and apply for a residence permit with the right to work.

In case you are a student, you will need to bring to the migration office a document stating that you are a student (Matrícula del centro de enseñanza público o privado) to get a residence card.

Spouse visa and family reunion

Family members of citizens of Spain and other EU countries, as well as foreigners lawfully residing in the country, can immigrate to Spain on this basis. Permission can be obtained through family reunification if one of the spouses is a citizen of the country or officially lives in Spain.

Family members entitled to reunion:

  • spouse
  • minor children and children of the spouse (s), including foster children, provided that they are supported by the applicant and have not yet created their own family.)
  • family members who are unable to independently take care of themselves because of their state of health, and are under guardianship;
  • parents and parents of the spouse, materially dependent on the applicant and over 65 years old, if they have a place of residence in Spain.

Upon simultaneous request for a residence permit for family reunification for spouse and minor children (under 18 years), the required amount of annual income increases by
€ 1,500 for each family member. It is also necessary to attach documents confirming kinship with the applicant.
Family reunion

Retirement visa

In Spain, there is a special government program that allows you to obtain a residence permit for pensioners from abroad with the possibility of further extension for an unlimited period - Pensionado. It can be used by foreigners who have reached retirement age (65 year in Spain), own or rent housing in Spain, do not have criminal records and poses a guaranteed pension in amount of at least 900 EUR per month (according to a minimum wage in 2019). Financial requirements depend on the police department of each city you are going to reside in — we recommend you contacting them before applying for this residence. In case you are a EU citizen, remember to take S1 form with you in order to access Spanish public healthcare.

Visa for medical reasons

There is no such visa for which the purpose of "medication" would be indicated. For non-EU countries the tourist visa for 90 days of validity is issued for medical treatment in Spain. In case of a EU citizen, you do not need any visas for medical stay.

In order to get such a visa, you will need to provide, in addition to your passport, insurance/S1 form and plane tickets, confirmation of prepaid treatment and a letter from the doctor confirming the appointment. Also, approval of paid stay at the clinic.

If you need to prolong this visa, then you need to contact the migration office:

Application form in official form (EX-00).

  • Passport
  • Financial statement
  • Insurance/S1 form
  • Return tickets to the country of origin.
  • Statement with listed exceptional reasons why the extension of a visa is requested.
Important note: when documents from other countries are provided, they must be translated into Spanish or co-official language of the territory where the application is submitted.
For a EU/EEA/Swiss citizen it will be the best decision to get a private insurance if you are not a Spanish employee or a retired person, as you will not be covered by Spanish social services and have to pay for a healthcare from your pocket.

Spanish Property Visa

After the adoption of the law in 2013, the Spanish authorities introduced a residence permit for non-residents of the country via investments. New fast-track visa – Golden Visa – gives its holder a number of advantages and privileges. To get a Golden Visa, you need to make an investment in the Spanish economy. The minimum amount to invest is 500,000 EUR, and it is about buying Spanish property. Both you and your family can get this visa in case you buy a house. You can read more about it here.

Non-Lucrative Residence

Residence permit in Spain for "Financial Independent Foreigners" (Non-Lucrative Residence) is intended for those non-EU residents who do not want to make any investments. This residence permit does not provide for the opportunity to study or work. Therefore, a requirement for obtaining this residence permit is the sufficient savings and personal income.

√ No need to make investments
√ Residence permit for the whole family
√ No language proficiency requirements
√ Opportunity to obtain citizenship in 10 years

Key factors for obtaining a residence permit in Spain for financially independent foreigners:

  1. Independent income (income from outside Spain from the activities of the company, from the rental of real estate, from investments, etc.)
  2. Sufficient amount of savings;
  3. Housing in Spain (purchase or rental);
  4. Lack of criminal record and immigration violations.

4. Permanent residence in Spain

A permanent residence is the one issued by the Spanish authorities after 5 years of legal residence in Spain for citizens of all countries. In addition to this basic requirement, the applicant must make appropriate payments and contributions to the social security system in order to obtain this permit.

Permanent residence is valid for 5 years and gives the owner the right to live and work in Spain on the same conditions as Spanish citizens.

This means that the applicant can work both as a self-employed (por cuenta propia) and as an employee (por cuenta ajena).

Advantages of permanent residence in Spain:

  • Spain is one of the largest countries in Western Europe with a developed and stable economy;
  • Free movement in the EU without restrictions to stay in the EU countries.
  • The right to study at universities or colleges as a Home Student, i.e. pay for tuition at significantly lower rates compared to other foreign students.
  • Right to work, both for the applicant and his family members.
  • Next step is an opportunity to obtain a Spanish citizenship.

Requirements for the applicant for permanent residence in Spain:

  • 5 years of residence in Spain.
  • Lack of criminal record in Spain.
  • Health insurance/S1 form.
  • The availability of funds to live in Spain (both for the applicant and his dependents if required).

Draw your attention to the fact that in order to obtain permanent residence in Spain, the applicant must not be out of Spain for more than 6 months a year.

In accordance with the general Spanish legislation, if a permanent residence is issued, the applicant must not be away from the EU for more than 12 consecutive months or in Spain for more than 6 years so as not to lose this type of a residence permit. If the applicant is absent for such a long time, the law provides an opportunity to renew permanent residence, having previously gone through the procedure for submitting an application with a list of documents.

Since a foreigner who is interested in obtaining permanent residence is required to prove that he or she meets the requirements of the migration law, it is required to provide a pack of documents to the migration authorities. Based on the provisions of paragraph 2 of Art. 149 of Royal Decree No. 557/2011, this list includes:

  • Filled-in EX-11 form
  • passport and copies of every page;
  • receipt confirming the payment of state duty;
  • criminal record;
  • a confirmation issued by the autonomous bodies of the municipality, stating the periods of continuous residence;

If applicable, documents confirming:

  • the periods of residence of the EU Blue Card holder;
  • the right to a pension in Spain, including disability;
  • birth and/or residence in Spain;
  • being under the tutelage of a Spanish organization;
  • loss of Spanish citizenship;
  • refugee status or other preferential status, according to which permanent residence is granted without observing the requirement for a five-year stay;

Citizens with children additionally submit the same documents, including:

  • birth certificate or other identification document for the child;
  • report from an educational organization that provides school-age education.

All documents should be submitted in copies with the provision of originals at the same time.

All documents issued by authorities of third countries are subject to translation into Spanish, apostille, and in some cases consular legalization.
A couple holding the Spanish flag

5. How to get Spanish citizenship

Citizenship of Spain can be obtained in various ways, the most common of which is citizenship as a result of a permanent residency in Spain. It means that Spain must be the principal place of residence of the applicant.

An application can be submitted by a foreign citizen who has lived in Spain for a following period of time:

  • General rule for all citizens: 10 years
  • For those recognized as refugees in Spain: 5 years
  • For citizens of Latin America, the Philippines, Guinea, Andorra or Portugal: 2 years
  • Those married to a Spaniard or born in Spain: 1 year

Benefits of obtaining Spanish citizenship:

  • All rights of an EU citizen are protected by the laws and regulations of the European Union: freedom of residence in any EU country, study, work, conduct business, transfer funds;
  • Free movement in the EU without restrictions to stay in the EU;
  • Right to work and all other rights on an equal basis with citizens of Spain;
  • Storage of funds in reliable banks in Europe;
  • Right to engage in state activities in Spain;
  • As a citizen, it is much easier to invite relatives from other countries to Spain, as well as to carry out the process of family reunion.

Nationality via residence

A prerequisite for obtaining permanent residence in Spain is staying in Spain with any residence permit for more than 10 years. After these 10 years, you will be able to apply for citizenship. Within 10 years, you renew the necessary documents (any of the residence permits), the required number of times.

Obtaining Spanish citizenship and the right to permanent residence on the basis of a residence permit is the most common way. Documents are considered in court. Often the applicant is invited for an interview, sometimes several times. In the case of marriage with a Spanish citizen, not only the applicant himself, but also his spouse (a) is summoned to a judge. A judgment with a positive or negative answer is sent to the applicant by mail.

By origin or birth

Article 17 of the Civil Code of Spain states that Spaniards of origin are:

  1. children born to Spanish parents;
  2. children of foreign parents born in Spain if at least one of the parents was born in Spain (excluding children of diplomats).

Those born in Spain can apply for Spanish citizenship after one year of legally residing in Spain.

Marriage

Foreigners who are legally married to Spanish citizens can apply for Spanish citizenship after one year of continuous legal residence in Spain and not be divorced at the time of applying for Spanish citizenship.

Depending on the province in which the registration of relations will take place, list of documents and terms may vary. It should also be borne in mind that before registering a marriage with a non-resident foreigner, the couple may be interviewed to identify fictitious relationships.

In addition, widows and widowers who have ever been married to Spanish citizens, if the marriage lasted until the date of the partner's death, are also entitled to Spanish citizenship.

Obtaining Citizenship and Spanish Passport

The procedure for obtaining Spanish citizenship:

  • 10 years of residence in Spain. 5 years for those recognized as refugees. 1 year for those who are married to a Spanish citizen.
  • Submission of a full package of documents in Spain.
  • Passing the state exam.
  • Obtaining a Spanish passport.
Since October 2015 it has become mandatory to pass the exam on the socio-cultural and constitutional system of Spain - CCSE prueba – to obtain a citizenship of Spain. This exam was entrusted to the Cervantes Institute, which determines the structure, content and procedure. The test consists of 25 questions divided into five thematic areas: Government, law and citizen participation, culture, history and Spanish society. For each question three answers are offered, of which only one of them is valid, and the maximum time for the test will be 45 minutes.

CCSE exam can be taken in many countries, in accredited centers around the world (check the list here). Minors and legally incompetent people are exempted from exams. The queue for the exam can be half a year long!
Depending on your place of residence in Spain, and also taking into account each specific case, the list of documents for applying for Spanish citizenship may vary significally. You should stricktly follow the list of documents issued specifically to you at your migration office. In each case, you need to get a list of documents from them and follow it.
Spanish Passport
We provide an approximate list of documents required by Spanish government for applicants who intend to obtain Spanish citizenship on the basis of legal residence in Spain for more than 10 years:

Required documents:

  • Proof of legal residence in Spain: residence card (tarjeta de residencia/ tarjeta de residencia y trabajo), ID of a citizen of the European Union or Certificate of a foreigner from the Central registry office;
  • Passport.
  • Birth Certificate. Birth certificates of all minor children – if applicable.
  • Criminal record certificates. One from the country of origin and another from the Spanish authorities.
  • Certificate of registration (empadronamiento). It should be requested from the town hall.
  • Proof of income: an employment contract.
  • Last three payroll statements, as well as their originals.
  • Tax return (declaración de renta).
  • Certificate of payment of contributions to social insurance funds (certificado de vida laboral).
  • NIE.

For married to a citizen or citizen of Spain:

  • Spouse's Birth Certificate (updated). Certificado lateral de nacimiento de esposa (o) - actualizado
  • Marriage certificate - updated and registered in Spain. Certificado lateral de matrimonio - actualizado e inscrito en España.
  • Certificate of Cohabitation from ayuntamiento (updated). Certificado de convivencia ayuntamiento (actualizado).

After all documents have been submitted, a day will be set for the citizenship exam. One will be on the culture, politics and history of Spain, and the second on knowledge of the Spanish language DELE. The minimum established level of knowledge of the A2 language. If you previously received a DELE certificate for level A2 and above, you will need to add it to the documents.

In addition, in certain specific cases it is necessary to provide documentation proving our situation. For example, in the case of being married to a Spaniard, the marriage certificate, the joint registration and the birth certificate of our partner. If we are children of Spanish origin, the birth certificate of our ascendants. All this makes, many times, it is easier to have the help of a lawyer who processes the papers and tells us the documents that we have to provide depending on our specific situation. Consideration of cases of citizenship is in the competence of the judge, who may present a request for other documents that are not listed here.

All documents issued in the country of origin should be translated by an authorized translator and legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country of birth. From November 7, 2015, applications for citizenship on the basis of a residence permit are accepted online on the website of the Ministry of Justice, and all required documents are attached in electronic (scanned) form.

The amount of application fee to be payed varies, it can be up to 100 EUR. 125 + 85 EUR is the sum you will have to pay for the two obligatory tests (DELE and CCSE). Plus, the costs on legalization and translation of your documents: we recommend allocating around 350 EUR. In case you need a lawyer, which is highly recommended, especially if you have an unusual scenario, it can cost you up to several thousand euros, depending on the level of involvement of a solicitor in a process.

The new resolution of November 7, 2015 established the maximum time for consideration of the application - 1 year. If after 12 months no response is received, this means that a negative decision was made on the request.

Dual Citizenship in Spain

Spain accepts dual citizenship with Portugal, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea and Latin American countries. Those who have other nationalities must give it up in order to acquire the Spanish one.

If you decide to renounce your country's citizenship in favor of Spanish, you should also bear in mind that you sign a letter of cancellation in Spain, and it is your responsibility to complete all papers in your country. Many leave their first passport and have citizenship of two countries. In this case, it should be borne in mind that in Spain there is a law that can deprive you of Spanish citizenship in case of violation of this law.

6. Brexit and residency in Spain

The latest news on the Brexit, concerning the rights of UK citizens in Spain, as for September 25, 2019 are the following: in case the UK answers with the reciprocity in terms of granting the same rights to Spanish citizens in England, as the UK citizens have in Spain, nothing will change for the Brits in Spain in a scenario of a no-deal Brexit.

In case Great Britain fails to guarantee the same rights to the Spanish citizens, that are already residing in Britain, they may lose the existing rights concerning healthcare, pensions and others. But it is the least likely scenario. As for now, 366 thousands of British citizens reside in Spain, whereas in the UK live around 180 thousands of Spaniards.

All in all, the UK residence in Spain will need to change their European Cards to the non-European resident cards. No need to worry, as the list of documents to apply with will probably be the same.

Some important steps to do before the Brexit takes place:

  1. If you still don't have a registration (certificado de registro de ciudadano de la unión) or NIE in Spain, it is time to do it unless the procedure is easier and faster for a European citizen.
  2. In case you have a permanent registration in Spain for 5 years already, we advise you to get a permanent residency before the Brexit happens, as it is impossible to predict whether it will be easy to do after the divorce.

7. Conclusion

Thus, the obtainment of Spanish citizenship most often begins with a residence permit based on the purchase of real estate or on the basis of employment. The reasons for the extension of residence permit and permanent residence must be preserved (property, income) or keeped up in order to ensure a 10-year constant stay in the country, which is the main requirement for future citizens. It is worth remembering that dual citizenship in Spain in most cases is impossible: to become a citizen of Spain, you will have to renounce your previous citizenship. Do not forget that if you are a citizen of the UK, then you urgently need to take care of your permanent residence permit in Spain until Brexit!
Thank you for your attention! For more information please contact the managers of our agency. It is our pleasure to assist you on a way to your dream!
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