What documents are needed for a residence permit in Spain

Residence permit in Spain is a legal resident status, which gives many advantages. If you decide to become a citizen of this country, you must go through several stages of the registration procedure and prepare a package of documents. The European country offers several options for registering foreign citizens on its territory, and strict rules are established for each of them. We suggest considering different ways to obtain a residence permit and choose the one that suits you more than others.


  1. What is a residence permit?
  2. Why and who needs to apply for a residence permit?
  3. List of documents for obtaining a residence permit
  4. Where to apply?


What is a residence permit?

Before collecting documents for a residence permit in Spain, you need to decide which category to choose, since the list of required certificates may differ. A residence permit is the status of a foreign resident, which equates it with a citizen of the country. In other words, you have the same rights as the natives of the country, but you are not a Spanish citizen.

There are several types of residence permit:

  • Social sedentarization. The most common type of residence permit, as it gives the right to study, work or do business.
  • Working sedentary. This type of document is issued in the case when you plan to work in a Spanish company.
  • Family sedentary. As the name implies, this status is obtained by foreigners who have married citizens of the country.

For each type of residence permit, a package of documents is collected, since there are a number of strict requirements for the applicant. In the event that part of the documents or even one certificate does not correspond to the general form, the issuance of a residence permit may be refused.   


Why and who needs to apply for a residence permit?

Anyone can apply for legal status, but there are a number of requirements for applicants. First of all, a foreigner who is a citizen of an EU country can obtain a residence permit in Spain. Family members of a resident who already has a legal status will be able to apply for legal status. Further, investors who are ready to invest their funds in the country's economy can become a legal immigrant.


A separate category consists of employees who have entered into an employment contract with local companies. Members of their family will also be able to apply for a residence permit on general grounds. Students who decide to continue their studies at one of the Spanish universities receive a student visa. This document is different from a residence permit, but 2 years after the visa is issued, it becomes possible to become a legal resident with a residence permit.


List of documents for obtaining a residence permit

Now it is worth considering what documents are needed for a residence permit in Spain when applying for a certain type of visa.


Social sedentary

In addition to the basic kit, you must provide a document confirming that you have been in the country for at least 3 years. As such a document, you can use a medical certificate, a certificate of registration or even a store receipt. Next, you need to confirm the fact that you have a relative who has a residence permit in Spain. Sometimes mandatory documents for obtaining a residence permit in Spain are replaced by similar ones. For example, instead of providing a certificate of family ties, you can prepare a document that confirms the social involvement in the local community of the applicant. 


In this case, the mandatory item will be the confirmation of funds in the right amount or the presence of your own business. To confirm a stable income, you can provide a copy of the employment contract and company documents. In the case when you have opened your own business, the list of documents may be larger, since you need to provide documents on business registration, a declaration of payment of taxes and convince officials that your company operates legally and meets all the stated requirements.  


Working Sedentary

Only a document confirming that you have been living in the country for 2 years is added to the basic set. In addition to it, you will need a copy of the employment contract, which will serve as confirmation of whether you have official employment.


Family Sedentary

This category of documents is suitable only for certain persons, usually this method is used by parents of children who have received a residence permit and citizenship or vice versa. You need to provide a birth certificate that confirms the presence of Spanish citizenship.




What documents are required

For a residence permit in Spain, the list of documents necessarily includes: 

  • the applicant's application, drawn up in a general form;
  • passport and visa;
  • certificate of absence of criminal records;
  • certificate of general health;
  • documents confirming the availability of an employment contract or sufficient funds to live in the country;
  • medical insurance.

All documents must be free of blemishes, errors or typos. The absence of certificates that are indicated in the list can cause a refusal, so we advise you to check everything carefully before contacting the relevant authority.    

Where to apply?

For a residence permit in Spain, the list of documents may vary, so it is better to ask about changes before registration. Documents are submitted personally by the applicant to the consulate or to one of the migration authorities in the country. In addition to the fact that you need to collect the required certificates, you will also have to pay a state fee of 36.42 euros. The fee is paid within 10 days after the submission of documents.


The review period is 3 months, but in fact you will get a decision a little later. If a residence permit is issued, it is necessary to issue a resident card within a month. By the way, the authorities may not notify about the refusal. In the event that the answer to your appeal did not come within 3 months, most likely, you were refused.    


Do not forget that each document must correspond to the established form. Some certificates must be translated into Spanish, copies of all documents will be required. 

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