How to make a residence permit in Spain

As in any modern state, in Spain, every resident must have a residence permit. This rule also applies to foreign residents who want to stay in the territory and gradually legalize. You do not need to engage in registration only when you are visiting the country on a short-term visit and are not going to stay here for a long time. We will tell you how to make a residence permit in Spain and how registration of citizens at the place of stay can help.  



  1. Why do I need a residence permit?
  2. Required documents
  3. What should I do if I have changed my place of residence?
  4. Registration of children in Spain
  5. Certificate of residence permit
  6. Where to get a residence permit?

Why do I need a residence permit?

The presence of a residence permit is a prerequisite for various bureaucratic procedures. You will need official registration when preparing the following documents:

  • work permit;
  • Citizenship;
  • enrolment of children in schools;
  • confirmation or exchange of driver's license and registration of the car;
  • registration of social subsidies.

If you have registration at the place of residence, you can count on free medical care. This condition is only valid in certain circumstances: calling an emergency room, treating children under 18, and helping pregnant women. Despite the fact that it will take some time to get a certificate of registration, we do not advise you to neglect this rule. Official registration also gives the right to apply for a residence permit in a few years, so most serious immigrants immediately collect everything necessary for registration.    


Required documents

To obtain registration, you must provide the following:

  • Passport;
  • a document that confirms the fact that you have a place to live – a contract of sale or a lease contract;
  • a completed form from each owner or landlord for authorization;
  • copies of documents certifying the identity of the owners or landlord.

To confirm the fact that you have a place to live in this city, you can provide other documents. For example, you can provide an extract from the property register or a house book if you have become a homeowner. In the event that you are registered by friends, you will need consent from them in writing and property documents. Other confirmations or notarized papers from property owners are not required. 


The basic set of documents also includes the NIE. This is the name of the taxpayer identification number, which is issued to foreign citizens to perform various actions with municipal authorities. So, when paying taxes or when processing documents when moving, you will have to provide this number. To get an identification number is quite simple, for this you need to contact the migration service. It is not issued for children, but adults, if available, will be able not only to confirm their identity, but also to receive social payments, pensions and medical care. 


For the registration of children, it is necessary to supplement the sets with additional documents:

  1. passport or birth certificate for minor children;
  2. written permission from the second parent when registering a minor child, if he is absent.

The owner of the apartment can submit a package of required documentation, the presence of the person who is registered, in this case is not necessary. 

Studying the question of how to get a residence permit in Spain, many people wonder whether it is possible to register if you are an illegal immigrant. According to the legislation of Spain, registration in the city is carried out without requesting confirmation of the legality of residence. The applicant's data is not sent to the migration service, so even with an illegal status of being, you can register. By the way, you can apply for a residence permit only after 3 years of residence in the country without leaving its borders, so it is better to take care of the residence permit in the first place. 


What should I do if I have changed my place of residence?

In a situation where you had to change your place of residence, do not forget about re-registration. First of all, you need to notify local authorities and submit an application to the mayor's office. By the way, you do not need to check out from the old address, since the data is updated automatically. 


Registration of children in Spain

Children should also be registered so that they can go to school. This is done only in the presence of parents, in the absence of one of them, consent from the second parent must be provided. A birth certificate is required, which must be translated into Spanish. By the way, for translation, you should contact specialized companies, since everything must be drawn up according to the rules. In general, the procedure for registering a child does not differ from registering an adult. 


Certificate of residence permit

To resolve some issues, you will be asked to have an extract indicating the address of the place of residence. It is quite simple to get it, it is issued immediately after applying, in some city halls this service is free. An extract will be needed as confirmation of your residence at the specified address, quite often it matters how long you live in Spain.  


Some large cities have introduced a rule to extend the residence permit every 2 years. A notification is sent to the address where you reside and register. The extension does not differ from the initial registration - you apply to the mayor's office and provide documents. The main thing in this set will be a lease agreement or a certificate of the owner of the property. In the event that you do not receive a notification and do not provide everything on time, you will be discharged. However, the discharge takes several months, so you will have the opportunity to correct this misunderstanding. By the way, the loss of registration will be sadly reflected in the future, since you will not be able to confirm the fact of your continuous stay in Spain to obtain a residence permit.  


If you apply for such a certificate, it is important to understand that it has two options. An extract from the register of residents is used to solve domestic and bureaucratic issues. For example, when entering school, you will be asked for this certificate. The certificate of registration is more often used to resolve legalization issues, as it confirms the duration of your stay in the country. Do not forget that there must be a seal of the official of the mayor's office.  


Where to get a residence permit?

To apply for a residence permit, you need to contact the mayor's office of the city where you decided to stay. The kit must contain an application form that is filled out by the applicant. The most important point will be the availability of real estate, and you will be registered at this address. If you have not yet managed to acquire your own house, a lease agreement will do. In the case of a lease, you will need the consent of the owners of the house that they are not against your registration at the address. This consent does not give you the right to claim a portion of the property and is for the most part nominal.


If you have collected everything you need and correctly issued an application, you will be registered on the same day, so the procedure will take a little time.

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