The Law in Spain: Why It's a Good Idea to Apply for Spanish Residency

If you are planning to live permanently in Spain, it makes sense to apply for Spanish residency. Your presence in the country be above board but you will also be benefiting your local council. Also and most important, and will have the same rights as a naturalised Spaniard. Many ex-pats pass under the radar, by conscious choice or by not knowing the procedure.

The same applies if you intend to live in Spain for more than three months a year. You must apply by law for a Spanish residence certificate if you are an EU citizen.

Get your Spanish Residency by finding your dream home here! 

Property for sale on the Costa del Sol

Applying for Spanish Residency: Where to register

Where to Register

You must go to the Registro Central de Extranjeros. This is usually done at the local national police station (“Policia Nacional”). They will issue you with a registration certificate. That not only certifies your residence but also contains important personal information. After that, you will need to provide the authorities with various documents.

(You must register within three months of your arrival.)

Applying for Spanish Residency: documentation you need to supply

What You Need to Provide

  • Your full name
  • Proof of identity (such as a passport)
  • NIE number if you have one.
    if not, registering as a resident will also generate an NIE number. So you can effectively kill two birds with one stone by doing this.
  • A signed EX18 application form.

Applying for Spanish Residency: implications for your family

Family Members

Your residential rights in Spain extend to your most immediate family, which includes:

  • Your spouse by marriage
  • A partner by a civil partnership
  • Children under 21
  • Grown-up children
  • Your parents

You can register for a Spanish Residency Card for EU Citizen Family Members. So you can do it, at your local national police station. You will need:

  • Valid passports for each family member
  • Proof of the family membership
  • Three recent colour passport photos
  • Have them sign the EX19 application form.
Spanish Residency: Evidence of Financial and Healthcare

Evidence of Financial Means and Healthcare

In July 2012 the Spanish government fixed an administrative loophole. Millions of EU citizens moved to Spain and benefited from excellent healthcare. Moreover, many others travelled here without viable financial means to support themselves.

It should hopefully not be a concern for most people looking to buy a property or work in Spain. In either case, it is worth bearing in mind the guidelines.

All EU citizens who wish to live or remain in Spain for more than three months must provide::

  • Evidence that they have enough financial means for an initial three-month period.
  • Evidence of their public or private health insurance.
  • Clarify/declare any longstanding health issues that need regular treatment.

Why Register?

Each autonomous community in Spain (such as Andalucía) manages its own budget. This system calls upon each province (Málaga covers the Costa del Sol) to check who, and how many people, live there.

Officials find it hard to keep track of the population, due to the Costa del Sol is a transient place. In fact, by registering you are making yourself visible to them. That works in your favour in many ways. Thus Málaga can apply for more government funding when it is able to prove that more people live there. This means, for example, more money for road and infrastructure improvements.

Tax Advantages for Residents

Spanish Residency: Budgets determined by decentralised system of government for autonomous communities

Each autonomous community in Spain (such as Andalucía) manages its own budget.

Thinking about moving to Spain?

Read our complete guide

Moving to Spain

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PLEASE NOTE: Every effort was made to check the accuracy of the information contained within our “Legal Advice” articles at the time of writing, but it may have been superseded over time. VIVA cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions, nor for the authenticity of any claims or statements made by third parties. We therefore strongly recommend that readers of these articles make their own thorough checks before entering into any kind of transaction. Prices and figures were correct at the time of publication but may now vary due to circumstances beyond our control. The views and opinions of editorial contributors do not necessarily reflect those of VIVA.

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Rebecca Guemalmazian

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Spain +34 951 27 27 43
Freephone UK 0800 066 27 83

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Rebecca Guemalmazian

Rebecca Guemalmazian
Customer Services

Want to know more? Ask me

Rebecca Guemalmazian

Rebecca Guemalmazian
Customer Services

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