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Title: Information and advice on Spanish residency

On this page Advoco (link to Advoco services on Spanish residency) offers a fixed price
Spanish residency service, some information and an opportunity to get additional advice
by email for free.

(1) Fixed price service, excluding IVA

Spanish residency certificate for EU citizens 40€

Spanish residency card for non-EU dependents of EU citizens 50€
Family concession – additional applications on same day 10€
Spanish residency card for non-EU citizens apply*

*Apply by email with a description of your circumstances

(2) Information

Link to article “How to obtain and renew Spanish residency”

Link to application form EX16


Link to list of police stations



Do I have to get residency?

EU foreign nationals are no longer legally obliged to apply for residency. In 2007 an EU
directive forced the old system of “extranjero” residency cards to be abolished. These
cards were obligatory if you were a permanent resident and had to be produced on
demand by the holder (nowadays you should carry a passport or a copy as your ID). The
new system allows foreigners to register on the “Registro Central de Extranjeros”
(“Foreigners’ Register”) and obtain a certificate to prove it.

Should I bother?

New arrivals intending to stay for 6 months or more will not have a choice because when
they apply for their NIE, absolutely essential for anyone intending to live or own property
in Spain, they will be put on the residency registry at the same time.
Anyone who has one of the old-style “tarjetas” which is due to expire or who has lived
here with just a NIE, will have to decide whether to get a certificate of residency. It is fair
to say that living permanently in Spain and undertaking any significant level of activity
could require producing one or more of four identification documents at different times:

- passport
- residency certificate or card
- Certificado de empadronamiento (“Padron” – a certificate showing you are
registered with your local town hall)

The passport and NIE are indispensable and the in both private and public sector
situations and the padron essential in many situations, such as registering with a school or
buying a car or signing up with a doctor. The situation with the residency certificate is
fluid with the authorities perhaps still adjusting to its diminished status and there may be
regional variatons. Here are some areas where residency is still essential:

Applying for a Spanish driving licence

Obtaining pensioner benefits

There are many situations where there is a good chance the residency certificate will be
asked for:

Cashing a cheque
Local authority facilities such as health centres (more commonly will ask for padron)
Getting a loan
Starting a business

How will this affect my tax situation?

Tax residency and applying for a residency certificate are separate matters. If you spend
the majority of your time in Spain or most of your business is conducted here then you
will probably be deemed resident for tax purposes and you should register for Spanish tax
with the Agencia Tributaria (email us for further details). You can register for tax
residency without having a residency certificate and not having a residency certificate is
not a valid reason for not registering for tax.

How often do I renew my residency?

Residency certificates do not need to be renewed unlike the old cards which expire after 5
years. The residency cards issued to non EU members do expire after 5 years.

I’m not from the EU. How does that change things?
If you are part of the family of an EU member then you can apply for residency on this
basis (e.g. married, dependent child) but you will need to apply for a card not the
certificate and though the form is the same (EX16) the application process is slightly
more complicated.

Citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland can apply for a residency
certificate just as EU citizens. If you are from outside the EU and these four countries and
are not part of an EU family the situation is much more variable and you should seek
advice (see free query service below).

(3) For further advice you can contact Advoco on the “Areas” page. Here you will find
our contact details, information about our English speaking customer service in your area
and a query box. We will answer relevant questions for free – call or email and we’ll get
back to you.