Moving to Spain
Residency knowledge bank.
Residency Support for English Speakers moving to and living in Spain.
Obtaining a Residency Status in Spain.
In order to be able to remain in Spain legally, you must apply for residency or an appropriate visa, depending on your circumstances.
Do you already hold residency documents for Spain? Check here to make sure you still hold a valid residency document.
Depending on your circumstances, there are several routes that can be considered when considering applying for residency status in Spain:
1) Apply under the scope of the UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement, for UK Nationals who legally lived in Spain before the end of 2020,
2) Visas under the General Regime, for Non-EU nationals,
3) Through existing routes in Spain - General Regime,
4) Applying as an EU National, or a family member of an EU national.
1) Apply under the scope of the UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement (UK Nationals)
As an individual - You were living in Spain before the end of 2020
As a family member of an individual already resident in Spain under the Withdrawal Agreement:
Exchanging your old Green Residency Certificate for the new TIE
To be able to apply for residency for the first time under the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement, you must be able to demonstrate you lived legally in Spain before the end of 2020. This includes demonstrating sufficient healthcare cover within the first 90 days of the when you arrived date in Spain. Submitting an application in 2023, would mean you would also need to show continued residency throughout 2021 and 2022.
2) Visas under the General Regime - Visas
Please read our visa guides below for more details on specific visa requirements.
You need to apply for these visas before you leave the country where you reside, from your nearest Spanish consulate. The contact details for the Spanish consulates in the UK are:
3) General Regime - Through existing routes in Spain
Arraigo Social - The Arraigo Social is a route to residency, if you have been living continuously in Spain and can prove it with evidence. You must also be able to provide evidence from the Town Hall, such as an: “informe de arraigo social” report. You must be able to show you have a sufficient economic income, or provide a work pre contract for a minimum of a year from a company or employer. You can also show existing links to family here in Spain. To apply for this you will also need a clean criminal record in both Spain and other countries where you have previously lived.
Arraigo Laboral - Arrigo laboral is a route to residency if you have lived in Spain during the last two years, and you can prove it with evidence that you have been working and were, or are currently registered “alta” in the social security system for at least six months. Alternatively, you can show that you had or have been working for an employer that did not regularise your labour situation with social security and you are willing to report them to the Spanish authorities. To apply for this you will also need a clean criminal record in both Spain and other countries where you have lived.
Arraigo Familiar - Arraigo Familiar is a route to residency for children of a Spanish parent, or people who are parents of a Spanish child. To apply for you will also need a clean criminal record in both Spain and other countries where you have previously lived.
If you need help with a residency application through the routes a) to d) above and you do not have the resources to employ a specialist immigration lawyer, there might be a migration non governmental organisation in your area that you could approach, to help you decide your options. You might also be entitled to apply for legal aid from the Spanish state to help cover the costs.
4) Applying as an EU National, or a family member of an EU national
EU Family Member Card - Through an existing relationship with an EU national already resident in Spain
If none of the above routes are suitable for your specific circumstances for whatever reason, then you can still visit Spain for up to 90 days within any 180 day period on a tourist visa.
If you have any questions on any of our guides, please do not hesitate to reach out to us on our Infoline! You can call us on +34 932 20 97 41 or email us at email@example.com.
Guides - Residency in Spain.
Withdrawal Agreement Applications (UK Nationals Only)
General Regime - Visas
EU Residency Applications