Residencia 101

Lately there has been much talk about changes in residencia applications in Spain, but what changes have taken

Lately there has been much talk about changes in residencia applications in Spain, but what changes have taken place and who is eligible to apply from now on?

The law in question is “Orden PRE/1490/2012, 9th July”, that covers the rights of European Union members to circulate freely within member states and the conditions that must be met by those who wish to reside in another state for a period of more than 3 months. The law is more extensive but basically, supervision of residencia applications has been somewhat lax which in turn has proved to be a drain on the system, particularly on the resources of the National Health System as well as people benefiting from resident travel discounts without contributing to the Spanish economy.

Now each application will be monitored carefully so that mere ownership of a property in Spain does not necessarily guarantee residency. You must still apply at the Foreigner’s office (Extranjería) where all paperwork must be provided, accompanied by your original and in-date passport or national ID. According to the new law, the applicant must fall into one of these categories:

  1. Provide a registered work contract or at least a pre-contract identifying the hiring company, the period, social security number etc.
  2. Self-employed persons must provide proof of registry and their economic activity.
  3. If the applicant does not work in Spain, private or public health insurance to cover the residency period and equivalent to the coverage provided by National Health must be shown.
  4. Confirmation of pensioner status (accrediting documents and bank statements)
  5. Confirmation of being in possession of sufficient funds to cover the entire expected residency period by means of bank statements in the applicant’s name. The necessary amount will be established annually by General State Budgetary Laws.


Remember, it is compulsory to speak sufficient Spanish to apply unassisted otherwise, you must be accompanied by a translator.

The Spanish crack-down is in effect so you can expect to see more changes and stricter policies that will actually be enforced. The worldwide recession is taking its toll and the government has no choice to but to scramble and react to the new situation; there’s nowhere to hide now but at least you can stay informed.

About Sabrina L. Williams

Although I was born in the UK, I moved to the Canary Islands, Spain at a young age and I haven't looked back. The Canaries is a fantastic place to live, I mean you can do all types of outdoor activities practically all year round because of the great weather. Horses are my poison but the islands are also a superb spot for water sports so they do attract a lot of attention from people around the world. Anyway, enough about that. Back in 2011, I made one of the biggest, scariest yet best decisions I'd ever made and set-up my own business in the middle of a recession. I love what I do as no two days are the same, plus Spanish law keeps me on my toes as it is constantly changing (often without warning!) so there is always something new to learn. As I've branched out in the world of Administrative Consultancy, I decided to create a blog to discuss topics of interest to others in my industry and my clients, share tips and experiences, to see what new ideas people have for improving their businesses and the like so I hope you'll find the time to join me on this venture...

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