If you want to live in Spain for more than a few months, you need to obtain residency.
Depending on what passport you hold, there will be different requirements and procedures, but for this article I will consider an EU passport holder wanting to become a resident in Spain.
In this case, it doesn’t really matter how you obtain your residency – whether you’re working or not, have private health insurance or access the public healthcare system, the type of residency you will obtain is the same.
I can help you with all parts of obtaining residencia, from how to get the necessary papers, to filling the right forms correctly, obtaining an appointment, and attending it with you. Contact me for more information!
What are the requirements?
You will need to provide proof of two things: that you have enough money to support yourself, and that your healthcare is covered by insurance or social security.
The financial requirement
To prove that you can support your life in Spain, you will need to either show proof that you have funds, or proof of an income.
There isn’t a minimum income, but there is a minimum if you have funds in the bank, which will depend on the province you live in. For example, in the province of Zaragoza, 5000 euros should suffice for a single person.
For this, you will have to provide a bank statement, officially translated into Spanish if it is from a foreign bank.
The other way to show you can support yourself is by having a job – either a contract of employment, or registering yourself as a freelancer (autónomo).
The second main requirement is that someone is covering the costs of your healthcare while in Spain. If you don’t work (don’t pay social security) and are obtaining your residency based on money in the bank, you will need to provide proof of private health insurance.
If you work under contract, or if you are self-employed, you will be paying social security, which will entitle you to use the Spanish national healthcare system (seguridad social). Proof of your registration (alta) in the social security system will be sufficient proof that your healthcare will be covered (by Spain).
If you don’t work, and are planning to obtain residency based on a lump sum rather than income, you will need to provide proof of having paid for a year of private health insurance upfront – this needs to be a specific kind of health insurance, that has no co-pay, so that all treatments are covered. Often you will see insurance companies advertising residency-specific policies that comply with all the requirements.
Other papers you will need: empadronamiento
Another very important paper you will need is the certificado de empadronamiento, which is akin to a proof of address. You can obtain this from your local town hall (ayuntamiento), by providing a rental contract or the deeds to your property.
This certificate expires 3 months after it is issued, so it is important to time it well with your residency appointment.
Other papers you will need…
- The correct application form based on your circumstances (EX-00);
- Your passport;
- Any non-Spanish documents must be translated by a sworn translator;
- the receipt of payment for the administrative tax.
And of course, photocopies of every paper, as Spanish offices famously need copies of everything but refuse to make them.
The first appointment: the application
At the first appointment you’ll need to attend, you will present all the papers we’ve discussed so far and start your application. This appointment will be at the Extranjería office of your province.
Your documents will be scanned and you will be given a sort of receipt, with a “numero de expediente” that you can use to track your application online.
It will take less than 90 days for a decision – if they need further documents from you, you will be contacted by post.
If your application is denied (resuelto desfavorable), you can appeal or reapply with no prejudice. If you are approved (resuelto favorable), you will receive a letter called resolución.
This letter is very important and you will need to take the original with you for your next and final appointment.
The second appointment: the card
Once you have been approved by the Extranjería office, you can take the resolución letter to the office of the Cuerpo Nacional de Policia (CNP), along with:
- Another paid tax (790-012);
- Your passport and copies.
You will be issued straight away with a green card, called the Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión. This is the document that proves your residency in Spain.
And that’s it, now you can use your green card to show your NIE and proof of status when required!
Need help with any part of obtaining residencia, how to get the necessary papers, how to fill the right forms correctly, obtaining an appointment, speaking Spanish at the appointments…? Contact me for more information!