A Guide to Obtaining Spanish Residency

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Spain, with its sun-soaked beaches, diverse culture, and rich history, is a dream destination for many aspiring expats. Residency in Spain offers the alluring prospect of living in a country with a high quality of life, exceptional healthcare and education systems, and vibrant lifestyle opportunities. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the key points of obtaining Spanish residency.

Types of Residency in Spain

There are different types of residency status that one can apply for, depending on the circumstances and intentions of the individual:

Non-Lucrative Residency

Ideal for retirees or individuals with a steady income from outside Spain, the non-lucrative residency visa does not allow you to work within the country but lets you live there full time.

When applying for Spanish residency, consider the non lucrative visa Spain taxes, which allows individuals to reside in the country without engaging in any lucrative activities. It’s essential to understand the tax implications associated with this visa, as holders may still be subject to certain taxes in Spain, depending on their income sources and residency status.

Employee Residency

If you’ve been offered a job in Spain, your employer will typically assist in acquiring an employee residence visa, which grants you the right to live and work in Spain.

Self-Employed Residency

For entrepreneurs and freelancers wishing to start their business or work independently, the self-employed residency is the go-to choice. It requires proving financial sustainability and a viable business plan.

Golden Visa

This is a fast-track option for non-EU nationals who make a significant investment in Spain, such as purchasing real estate worth at least €500,000, investing in Spanish bonds, or creating employment opportunities.

Application Process for Spanish Residency

The process for applying for Spanish residency generally involves the following steps:

  1. Determine the right type of visa for your living situation and prepare the documentation required. This may include proof of income, criminal record checks, medical insurance, and a medical certificate.
  2. Apply at the Spanish consulate or embassy in your home country. You usually need to do this in person.
  3. Await approval, which can take several months. You might be issued a visa that allows you to enter Spain.
  4. Register with the local Spanish authorities once you arrive in Spain to get your Foreigner Identity Card (TIE).
  5. Renew as necessary—most residence permits must be renewed one or two times before you can apply for long-term residency.

Requirements for Spanish Residency

Though the requirements can vary depending on the residency category, common requirements include:

  • A valid passport
  • Completed application forms
  • Passport-size photos
  • Proof of financial means to support yourself (and dependents if applicable)
  • Health insurance with coverage in Spain
  • Background check for criminal records
  • A medical certificate stating you don’t carry any public health threats


Obtaining residency in Spain is a multi-step process that can be complex, but it’s well worth it for those attracted to the Spanish way of life. It’s crucial to do thorough research or consult a legal expert to navigate the latest requirements and legislation.

Be diligent with your application, provide all documentation as accurately as possible, and you’ll be on your way to enjoying the warm Mediterranean sunsets as a resident of Spain. ¡Buena suerte!

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