Regularising my residence

Residency in Spain is regulated by European Union legislation and Spanish legislation. EU Legal Status applies to citizens of European Union countries. For citizens of other countries Foreign Legal Status applies.

Community Residence

It applies to nationals from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cypress, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Romania and Sweden. It also applies to nationals of the European Economic Space: Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein and nationals of the Swiss Confederation.

European Union nationals or nationals of the European Economic Space shold apply to register on the Central Registry for Foreign Nationals where they will be given a registration certificate if they intend to reside in Span for a period of more than three months.


  • To the spouse as long as no proof exists of the marriage being annuled, or of divorce or legal separation.
  • To the couple that has a similiar union to that of marriage that has been entered in the public registry set up to this effect in a member state of the EU or a member state of the European Economic Space, which prevents the possibility of entry in two registers simultaneously in the member state and ensuring that the registry entry has not been removed.
  • To direct decendants and those of the registered spouse or partner as long as no marriage anulment, divorce or legal separation has been declared, minors younger than 21 years of age, those older than this age who are dependants or disabled.
  • To direct descendants and those of the registered spouse or partner who are dependant, as long as no marriage annulment, divorce or legal separation has been declared.

Relatives of European Union nationals must apply for a Residence Card for Relatives of European Union Citizens and are subject to the same entry conditions as other foreign nationals.

The permit they obtain is valid for five years.

The application grants permission to reside and work as an employee or be self-employed (except minors younger than 16 years of age, and decendants older than 21 years of age that are dependant and dependant parents).


The application is made at the National Police station, Foreign Nationals Department:

Foreign Legal Status

A foreign person can be in Spain in situation of stay or in residence situation.

Foreign Legal Staus has been established for all foreigners who are not European nationals or relatives of European nationals and do not fall within the terms for asylum and refuge.

As a general rule all the Permits under Foreign Legal Status entail a previous concession of the corresponding visa which may be applied for at the Spanish diplomatic delegation in the countries of origin.

There are two types of permits: Work and Residence Permits and Residence Permits.

Residence Permits can be of the following types:

A permit for investigation and research is also available which does not imply residence but a time of stay.


To find out how to obtain these permits, foreign nationals should contact the Socio-Legal Attention Service:

  • Phone number: 900 840 126
    Office hours: 09:00 - 14:00

This service is free of charge.

Foreign Nationals’ Identity Card

It is the actual card on which Residence and Work Authorisation appears or Residence Authorisation. The previously mentioned authorisations can be applied for once a firm ruling has been made.

The card shows the photograph, fingerprint and Foreign National Identity Number (NIE) and other data.

Fecha de la última modificación: 13/09/2010