Residence permits. Stay permits

Any foreigner who is not the holder of a residence permit and is authorized to stay in Spain for no longer than 3 months within a six-month's period, is on a stay situation.


If a foreigner is granted a temporary residence he/she is authorized to stay in Spain for a period superior to ninety days and inferior to five years.
There are several cases in which, to apply for this permit, it is necessary to express, for the first time, intentions of making Spain one's place of residence.
This permit can also be applied for by foreigners who having previously lived in Spain, do not need to meet the requirements needed to obtain a permanent permit.


Permanent residence implies living and working in Spain with the same rights as Spaniards.
Permanent Residence Permits are granted to foreigners who can prove
a five (5) year legal and continuous residence in Spain, provided that there
were no irregular exits from the country. Continuity will not be interrupted by:

  • . Period of absence on holidays outside Spain.
  • . Absences for up to six (6) months, provided that such absences do not exceed the sum of one year.
  • . Justified absences for family or health reasons.

As an exception, the law establishes some criteria by which the said 5 years' residence period is not required to obtain permanent residence. They refer to foreigners who are specially linked to Spain.

Among these cases, a permanent Residence Permit will be granted to foreigners
who were originally Spanish and lost their Spanish nationality. These foreigners will not have to first apply for a temporary residence Permit.
The foreigners' law contemplates other cases for you, as a foreigner, to obtain a
residence permit in Spain.

Have you been in Spain for several years without a residence permit?

It is possible to regularize your situation by proving you have roots in the country, or even without any proofs.
Exceptional circumstances can grant a temporary residence permit to:

  • . Shifted people
  • . People in the Internal Affaires Ministry are authorized to stay in Spain once their request to obtain refugee status has been denied or their formalities have not been accepted.
  • . People with humanitarian reasons.
  • . People who co-operate with Administrative and Judicial Authorities against organized crime. A way to obtain residence is co-operation by supplying data as the victim of, a witness to, or are suffering damages as a consequence of organized crime, or by denouncing any of the authors or accomplices of those who do "Illicit trafficking of Human Beings".


When a foreigner wishes to apply for the initial grant of a residence permit and has not got the necessary visa, the foreigners' law exceptionally allows him/her to apply for an exemption from a Residence Visa.

  • . Are you married to a Spanish citizen?
  • . Have you got a Spanish underaged dependant children?
  • . Are you a Spanish citizen who lost your Spanish nationality?
  • . Do you come from an area where there are wars, political, ethnical or other kinds of conflicts'? .

And several other cases. There are specific cases in which neither a Residence Visa, nor a Visa exemption is necessary to obtain a residence permit.
For related Legislation go to (link) Foreigners' law

You can make your enquiries to lawyers.

Services and Formalities at

- ON-LINE ENQUIRIES (When you ask one of our lawyers who are specialists in foreign law) We inform you step by step of all necessary formalities to obtain a visa that may interest you, of all the documents you need to submit at your Consulate. This may show you new opportunities depending on your case. We may also write the documents you need to submit. See a sample case of our service

- INFORMATION SERVICE. We inform you of the progress of your file and of any law enforced which may concern your case (positively or negatively).

- CHECK-UP OF DOCUMENTS. Our company operates from Spain and the documents for the visa must be submitted at the Consulate. However, to make sure that you are submitting the right documents, you may send us a photocopy or fax of all the documents you are planning to submit at the consulate, to spare yourself problems in the future.

- LEGAL ASSISTANCE before the government (formalities for documents) and at the Courts. All our lawyers are members of a professional association and have many years of experience.

Residence permits, Stay permits
 Last update: 02-Jul-2009
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