How to apply for Spanish residency

Raymundo LarraĆ­n Nesbitt, February, 1. 2019

Lawyer Raymundo Larraín explains how to attain Spanish residency.

Blog post copyrighted © 2019. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

Photo credit: Wikipaedia, CC BY-SA 4.0, Oggy afid.


By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer - Abogado
1st of February 2019


EDIT: March 2019. Due to Brexit-related issues, this procedure has become convoluted and it is strongly advised you hire our residency service: Spanish residency

The following procedure we explain below is only for registration of fellow EU nationals i.e. British national. Any national of a country outwith the EU, cannot follow what we explain below.

British nationals may enter Spanish territory without a visa as we are within the Schengen Area. However, should you remain in Spain for more than 3 consecutive months - by law - you must apply for Spanish residency (residencia, in Spanish). As a EU national, this requires you attain a Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión (Registry for citizens members of the Union). The procedure is extremely easy and straightforward.

You must make an appointment at your local the Oficina de Extranjeros (normally 2 weeks' waiting time) and bring the following with you:

  1. Passport in force.
  2. Two copies of the official form (EX-18) completed in Spanish and signed by the EU-national.
  3. Depending on your situation:
  • Employed: signed job contract & other proof.
  • Self-employed: proof of registration in the register of economic activities (Registro de Actividades Económicas), enrolled in Social Security.
  • Unemployed: prove of hiring private healthcare cover and having sufficient financial means to support yourself and your family.
  • Students: prove of being enrolled in an academic course, proof of health cover (public or private), proof you have sufficient financial means to support yourself.
  • Pensioners: proof of health cover.


If you meet all the above requirements, you will be issued shortly after with a certificate member of the Union.

So why is all this relevant you may ask? Because post-Brexit, if you did not register yourself as a member of the Union, you will be stripped off a series of rights and entitlements to which you would otherwise be entitled. You may also be regarded as an illegal alien in EU territory by the Authorities, which may even lead to your deportation to your country of origin.

After five years of continued and legal residence, you may apply for permanent residency or residencia permanente. This allows you unconditional residency in Spain.

After ten years of continued and legal residence, you may opt for Spanish nationality (optional).


We can offer you this legal service: Spanish residency

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Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in taxation, inheritance, conveyancing, and litigation. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. You can contact us by e-mail at, by telephone on 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form.


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