apply for permanent residency spain

How to apply for permanent residency in Spain

By law, if you have lived in Spain for more than 90 days in a row and plan on living in Spain for over 183 days per year, you are required to apply for permanent Spanish residency. 

Pre-Brexit this was a fairly simple process as long as you had the relevant paper work together, but with the Brexit withdrawal agreement ending on 31st December 2020 this process had become more difficult for UK nationals wishing to relocate to Spain on a permanent basis. 

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, there are just a few more hoops to jump through as you will be applying for residency in Spain for non EU citizens. 

The main criteria to become a permanent resident in Spain is that you must be able to prove you have sufficient finances to support yourself and your family and will not become a burden on the Spanish state. 

Pre-Brexit Brits moving to Spain permanently would apply for Residencia at the local police station to receive a green credit card sized paper certificate. Since 6th July 2020 this has been replaced by the TIE card (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero) a biometric card which can be used as an official ID card as it shows your photograph and fingerprint. 

Re­quire­ments for residency vary de­pend­ing on your personal cir­cum­stances, meaning different documents will be needed for people planning to work in Spain, those registered as self-employed in Spain, and pensioners (over 65s) retiring to Spain. 

Update 1st Jan 2021: You now need to apply for a visa before moving to Spain, find out more information here.

How do I apply for permanent residency in Spain? 

To apply for permanent residency in Spain there are three steps:. 

  • Step 1 – Submit your residency application to the Immigration Office (Oficina de Extranjeria) and visit the police station with your documentation
  • Step 2 – Once your application has been approved by the immigration office, you will need to apply for your TIE biometric card 
  • Step 3 – Once your TIE is ready, you will need to visit the police station with your passport as proof of ID to collect it 

What paperwork do I need to apply for permanent residency in Spain? 

The TIE re­quire­ments and documents needed will vary de­pend­ing on your cir­cum­stances.  

Note: The proof of income required seems to vary in different areas so below we have listed the maximum amounts we have come across. For a more precise figure, the British Embassy recommends contacting your local Oficina de Extranjeria. 

If you will not be working in Spain (and are not pensioners) the documents you will need to provide are: 

  • A completed EX20 (residencia) or EX23 (TIE) application form   
  • NIE 
  • Spanish tax number (if you don’t already have one this will be done at the same time) 
  • S1 form 
  • A valid passport (plus a photocopy) 
  • Passport sized photograph 
  • Padrón (no more than 3 months old) 
  • Proof that you have €9,000 euros per annum in the bank for a single person or €12,000 euros per annum for a joint application 
  • Private health insurance policy with cover for at least 1 year 
  • Proof of payment of the €12 fee Model 790 Code 012 

If you are planning to re­tire to Spain the documents you will need to provide are: 

  • A completed EX20 (residencia) or EX23 (TIE) application form   
  • NIE 
  • Spanish tax number (if you don’t already have one this will be done at the same time) 
  • S1 form 
  • A valid passport (plus a photocopy) 
  • Passport sized photograph 
  • Padrón (no more than 3 months old) 
  • S1 form 
  • Pension letter 
  • Last 3 months bank statements to show that the pension is being paid 
  • If the pension is paid in Spain, a bank statement with proof of payment 
  • Proof of payment of the €12 fee Model 790 Code 012 

If you are planning to work in Spain the documents you will need to provide are: 

  • A completed EX20 (residencia) or EX23 (TIE) application form   
  • NIE 
  • Spanish tax number (if you don’t already have one this will be done at the same time) 
  • S1 form 
  • A valid passport (plus a photocopy) 
  • Passport sized photograph 
  • Padrón (no more than 3 months old) 
  • Proof that the main earner has a monthly income of €2,130 plus an extra €532 for each dependent, with evidence this amount has been paid into your bank account for 3 months 
  • Proof that you can maintain this income for one year 
  • A valid signed work contract or proof of autonomo if self-employed 
  • Payslips 
  • SIP card 
  • Proof of payment of the €12 fee Model 790 Code 012 

How do I make an appointment to apply for a TIE in Spain? 

If you hold a UK passport but don’t already have a residency certificate, you will need to make an appointment at the immigration office in your province. 

You will need to make a separate appointment for each family member applying, for example a family made up of 2 adults and 2 children will have to book 4 appointments. 

Do I need to be on the Padrón to apply for permanent residency? 

Being registered on the Padrón with your local town hall is not a requirement for permanent residency however, it is something you should do early on in your move anyway so is a good idea to complete this first and take along proof of registration to your appointment. 

As always, we recommend seeking professional advice before applying for residencia/TIE as information is subject to change. 

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