Spanish Residence Permit by Settlement

- it is the opportunity to legalise your status in the country if you stay in the country illegally.


The fear of being detained, inadequate working conditions and exploitation due to the lack of residence permit and the entitlement to work are only some of difficulties that the person who is in Spain illegally faces every day. But Spanish legal system provides for a number of procedures created to streamline illegal stay in the country, which will allow to obtain a desired residence permit.

What is the residence by settlement?

Settlement – it is existence of ties of a foreign national with his place of residence. There can be economic, social, family ties, labour ties, those ties which are indicative of the applicant’s desire to reside in this country.

What is the legal framework?

Organic Law 4/2000 of 11 January «On the Rights and Freedoms of Foreigners in Spain and their Social Integration» (Article 31.3);
Royal Decree 557/2011 of 20 April (Articles 62-66 and 123-130).

Types of settlement

- social ties;
- economic ties;
- family ties

General requirements for applicants

  • You are not a European Union, European Economic Area or Swiss national, you are not a family member of a citizen of the countries listed above who are subject to the immigration regime of the EU citizens;
  • You have a clean criminal record in Spain and other countries of your residence for the past 5 years in accordance with the Spanish law;
  • You are not subject to a ban on entry in the territory of Spain and you are not declared a persona non grata for the purpose of entering the territories of other countries with which Spain has signed the relevant agreements;
  • You are not located in the country during the period of not being allowed to return to Spain, a foreign national agreed to observe within the framework of the voluntary return home programme.

Social Ties

The minimum period of residence in Spain is at least three years. Foreign nationals who can prove that they have been living continuously in the territory of the country for the qualifying period can apply for a residence permit by settlement.
Requirements:
- You must prove family ties with a Spanish citizen or other foreign nationals who are residents in Spain (e.g. your spouse, parents, children). If you do not have any family there, you can provide a statement on the applicant’s social integration by the local authority.
- You must prove your self-sufficiency. There are 3 ways of doing it:
1 – An employment contract for the minimum period of 1 year signed by your employer. You must be employed at least 30 hours per week according to the contract. The employer must not have any tax and national insurance contribution debts, which should be confirmed by the relevant declarations. If this is a natural person, he needs to provide the proof of sufficient funds (equal to 100% IPREM at the very least), excluding the applicant’s wage. If the employer’s family consists of two members – it is 200% IPREM; more than two members – 50% IPREM for each consequent family member.
2 – Sufficient funds enabling you to reside in the country without the necessity to engage in any economic activity which is confirmed by a bank statement. If this is the case, a residence permit is issued without the entitlement to work and in the social integration report there must a note that you are exempt from providing an employment contract.
3 – Own business. You need a viable business plan, a bank statement that you have sufficient funds in your possession to start the business, and similarly to the previous case, in the social integration report there must be a note that you are exempt from providing an employment contract.

Family Ties

The status is allocated to the parents of Spanish children or the children of Spanish parents by birth. The minimum period of residence in Spain for an applicant is not set.
In order to receive this type of residence permit you need to submit documents supporting your kinship (in the first case you need to provide your child’s birth certificate, in the latter case – an applicant’s birth certificate and the birth certificate of the Spanish parent by birth).

Economic Ties

The minimum period of residence in Spain is at least two years. You will be required to provide documentary evidence of continuous living in the territory of the country for the entire qualifying period.
Grounds for it – you have been involved in an economic activity in Spain for the minimum of 6 months. In the absence of an employment contract, you may prove your engagement in the economic activity by a court judgment or an executive decision that confirms the work relationship between the parties issued by the Labour and Social Protection Inspectorate.

How to prove you’ve been living in the country?

The best proof you can produce is a registration certificate (Certificado de Empadronamiento histórico), as well as hospital statements, the proof of doctor’s appointment, the proof of taking Spanish classes, travel tickets, an employment contract, information on the family members who are permanent residents of Spain or a statement on the period of residence in Spain issued by a regional office of the municipal administration (e.g. city administration), stating the level of Spanish language proficiency, enrolment at various educational programmes, the proof of funds.

What is the validity period of it?

A residence permit is issued for the period of 1 year.

Processing Period

3 months.

Requirements for Foreign Documents

All documents issued by public authorities and official institutions must be legalised in accordance with the law.
Any documents written in foreign languages must be provided with an official translation into Spanish.

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