Close this search box.




1.- How to obtain a residence permit in Spain

There are various ways of residing in Spain, depending on the interests that drive the migrant to come to Spain.

They are the following:

1.- Visa for studies- student
2.- Entrepreneur visa
3.- Non-Profit Visa
4.- Employed worker visa
5.- Community Card (Family of an EU citizen)
6.- Family Grouping
7- Rooting – “Arraigo”
8.- Asylum
9.- Blue Card or “Tarjeta Azul”

10.- Golden Visa

11.- Digital Nomad – Beckham Law

1. Student visa

This is a residence authorization for those students (undergraduate, master’s, doctorate, etc.) and researchers who wish to study in Spain, or develop their lines of research in any of the accredited Spanish organizations.

How to request it?

  • You can request it directly at the Spanish Consulate in your country of origin
  • In Spain, once the Tourist Visa has been obtained, and during the first 60 days from entering Spain as a tourist.


  • Criminal certificate
  • Bank certificate confirming bank balance greater than 10,000 EUR
  • Certificate from the educational center proving that the study in question will take up more than 20 hours per week during a school year.

Duration and Validity

The specific duration of the course. Once finished, the student must return to his or her country of origin. Otherwise, you will become in an irregular situation in Spanish territory.

It can be renewed in Spain (it is not necessary to do so in the country of origin) for all the courses that the degree in question consists of, as long as it is from the same University. Therefore, it is understood that a change of center will also entail the application for a new visa.

This visa will allow the student to obtain the FOREIGN IDENTIFICATION CARD (TIE) if the study and residence period is longer than 9 MONTHS. If not, the student will not receive a physical residence card.

2. Visa for business

You can come to Spain to develop/run your own business, and if you are interested in residing in Spain.

Duration: 3 years

To do this, you have two options:

a) Entrepreneur visa – Golden Visa.

This is a project that is considered “innovative” and with high use or implementation of technology.
This is a fairly privileged assumption since Spain is very interested in receiving high-level technological projects, so your business plan will be very well considered and there will be many facilities.


  • It must create jobs for the country, at least in the long term. This means that your project must create new jobs and be a positive stimulus for the overall economy.
  • It has to create both domestic and foreign investment opportunities.
  • Its operational process must involve a high level of technology (for example, the use of algorithms or machine learning) and improve the socioeconomic development of Spain.
  • Finally, having patents, letters of recommendation or clients will increase the chances of your application being accepted.

Where is it requested?

There are two possibilities:

  • Request it through the Spanish Consulate of the entrepreneur’s place of residence
  • Apply for it in Spain taking advantage of the entrepreneur’s visit with a different visa (tourist, student, non-profit, etc.).

b) Business or self-employed visa.

If the project is not so entrepreneurial, you can come to Spain, both as a freelancer or as a business (establishing your own company).

In this case, you must also present a business plan which will not have the same facilities for approval as the Entrepreneur Visa.

Among other things, the applicant must comply with the following:

  • Comply with the requirements that current legislation requires of nationals for the opening and operation of the planned activity.
  • Possess the required professional qualification or accredited experience, sufficient in the exercise of professional activity, as well as, where appropriate, membership when required.
  • Be able to prove that the planned investment is sufficient and the impact, if applicable, on job creation, including self-employment as such.
  • Prove that the investment planned for the implementation of the project is sufficient and the impact, if applicable, on job creation.
  • That the foreigner has sufficient financial resources for his or her maintenance and accommodation. In the event that the accredited resources derive from the exercise of the activity on a self-employed basis, their valuation will be carried out once those necessary for the maintenance of the activity have been deducted.
  • The amounts to be credited will be those provided in relation to requests for temporary residence authorization for family reunification, depending on the people that the interested party is responsible for.
  • Establishment project or activity to be carried out, indicating the planned investment, its expected profitability and, where appropriate, jobs whose creation is expected; as well as documentation proving that it has the necessary financial investment for the implementation of the project, or with a commitment to sufficient support from financial or other institutions.

Duration: One YEAR

The initial authorization will have a duration of one year and will be limited to a regional geographical area and a sector of activity.

Said visa will be renovated if the renewal is requested before 60 days prior to the expiration of one year from its granting, and provided that:

  • The business project continues
  • When the employer’s spouse meets the requirements for family reunification
  • When the Spanish administration has granted protection for cessation of activity, in the case of self-employed or freelance professionals.

Where is it requested?

At the Spanish Consulate of the entrepreneur’s country of residence

3. Non-profit residency – “Residencia No Lucrativa”

You can also come to Spain simply to reside, without any professional, student or business intention. This is the case of early retirees or pensioners, or those who have sufficient funds to reside in Spain without needing to carry out any professional or work activity.

Duration: ONE YEAR


The non-lucrative visa can be renewed only if you have actually resided in Spain for a period of more than 183 days during the calendar year. Only when this period has been exceeded can you request to renew the visa for another TWO YEARS, and subsequently for another TWO YEARS.

Where to request it:

At the Spanish Consulate of residence of the applicant


• Have sufficient financial means on a regular basis: This means having 400% of the IPREM. Taking into account that the IPREM is about 600-800 / EUR per month, the result is that the applicant must have an income between 2,400-3,200 EUR per month which they must prove that they can obtain periodically and regularly during their stay as resident in Spain.

To this 400% of the IPREM, the applicant must add another 100% of the IPREM (another 600-800 EUR/month) for each of the family members accompanying them.

  • Also, you must take out private health insurance. It is really important that you are contracted with a Spanish company that only operates in Spain, and that offers full coverage (without gaps or co-payments) throughout the national territory.
  • Health and illness insurance. Original and a copy of the public or private health insurance certificate contracted with an insurance entity authorized to operate in Spain. The insurance must cover all risks insured by the public health system in Spain. The policy must cover the entire period of stay and all types of healthcare without limitations, without co-payments or deficiencies or deductibles. Likewise, proof of payment of said insurance for the entire period of stay in Spain or for the first year of stay or residence, counting from the expected date of entry into Spain.
  • Criminal record. Applicants of legal age must present the original and a copy of the criminal record certificate issued by the country or countries of residence in the last 5 years.
    This certificate must include the Hague apostille of the issuing Government and must have been issued within the last 90 days.
    Once the non-criminal certificate has been obtained, it must be sent to this Consulate General in the form that will be indicated when submitting the visa application.
  • Medical certificate. Original and a copy of a medical certificate certifying that the applicant does not suffer from diseases that may have serious implications for public health in accordance with the International Health Regulations 2005.
    The medical certificate must have been issued within the last 90 days.
  • Proof of residence in the consular district. INE/IFE voter credential or residence card for foreigners.

You must keep in mind that these requirements are those established by the general immigration regulations, but that depending on the consulate or embassy where you apply for residency, they may vary. For example, in some cases the minimum amount to be proven is higher, and in others you may even be asked to have a rental in Spain.

4. Work Visa or Work in Spain as an employee

Once again, we are faced with a differentiation by type of employment, in relation to the position to which the applicant is called to work in Spain:

These are professionals called to work in a company based in Spain and who have the following


LARGE GROUP 1: Members of the executive branch and legislative bodies and management personnel of the public administration and companies

  • Members of the executive branch and legislative bodies and management personnel of the public administration
    o Members of the executive branch and legislative bodies
    o Management personnel of the public administration
    o Chiefs of small towns
    o Leaders and administrators of specialized organizations
  • Company directors
    o General directors and general managers of companies
    o Directors of production and operations departments
    o Other department directors
  • Company managers

LARGE GROUP 2: Scientific and intellectual professionals.

  • Professionals in the physical, chemical and mathematical sciences of engineering.
    o Physicists, chemicals and related
    o Mathematicians, statistics and related
    o IT professionals
    o Architects, engineers etc,
    o Professionals in biological sciences and other disciplines related to organic beings
    o Professionals in biological sciences and other disciplines related to organic beings.
    o Doctors and related professionals (except nursing and midwifery staff)
    o Higher level nursing and midwifery staff
  • Teaching professionals
    o Professors from universities and other higher education establishments
    o Secondary education teachers
    o Higher level teachers of primary and preschool education
    o Higher level teachers and instructors of special education
    o Other teaching professionals
  • Other scientific and intellectual professionals
    o Specialists in business organization and administration and related matters
    o Legal professionals
    o Archivists, librarians, documentary filmmakers and the like
    o Specialists in social and human sciences
    o Writers, creative artists and performers
    o Priests of different religions.

This PAC job is regulated by Law 14/2013, and in addition the salary must be:

  •  For directors or managers, the minimum annual salary required is 54,142 EUR
  • For technicians and scientific and intellectual professionals, a minimum annual salary of €40,077 is required as a starting point.

Renewal: Up to TWO MORE YEARS


  • The procedure is relatively quick and effective
  • The procedure is started and managed by the contracting company

Where it is processed:

  • From your country of origin (at the Spanish consulate of your place of legal residence, requesting a visa to enter Spain)
  • Directly in Spain (as long as you are legally in Spanish territory).

The place of presentation where it must be done will be before the Unit of Large Companies and Strategic Groups or through any Public Registry of Subdelegation or Government Delegation.


For the rest of the employees who receive a regular offer of employment, they must apply for a work permit in their country of origin.

However, this is a very complicated and difficult way to obtain a residence permit in Spain since IT WILL ONLY BE APPROVED IN THE CASE OF A SHORTAGE OF THIS TYPE OF JOBS.

That is, according to the official website of the Government of Spain,

• When the occupation is included in the catalog of occupations that are difficult to cover published by the Public Employment Service on a quarterly basis. You can consult the list updated as of August 2023 here.
• In occupations not classified as difficult to cover when the employer proves to the Immigration Office the difficulty of filling vacant jobs with workers already incorporated into the internal labor market. For these purposes, the Immigration Office will take into consideration the report presented by the competent Public Employment Services on the insufficient number of job seekers to fill the position and the job offer presented, as well as the urgency of the hiring accredited by the company. , in your case.
• When the contract is directed to nationals of States with which Spain has signed International Agreements (Chile and Peru).
• When it is a case included in article 40 of Organic Law 4/2000External link to the portal. It will open in a new tab. They are as follows:
o Family members reunited of working age or the spouse or child of a foreigner residing in Spain with renewed authorization, or the child of a nationalized Spaniard, or a citizen of the European Union who has been residing in Spain for at least one year.

It is requested to supply:

 Marriage certificate, if you are a spouse, or birth certificate, if you are a child.
 TIE, DNI or Registration Certificate of the family member that confers the preference.
o Worker necessary for the assembly for renovation of a production facility or equipment.
 It is accredited with a company certificate.

Foreigner who had enjoyed refugee status during the year following the cessation of the application of the Geneva Convention, or who had been recognized as stateless in the year following the termination of the status.
 It is accredited by presenting a certificate from the competent body proving the date of extinction as a refugee or stateless person.
o Foreigners who are responsible for ascendants or descendants of Spanish nationality. You must provide:
 Certificate of kinship.
 Documentation proving that you are in charge (in the case of ascendants or descendants over 18 years of age).
o Be a son or grandson of Spanish origin. You must provide:
 Documentation proving relationship.
 Documentation proving that the father/mother or grandfather is Spanish by origin.
o Worker who has held work authorizations for seasonal activities for two calendar years and has returned to the country of origin.
 A certificate from the Spanish Consulate in the country of origin must be provided that certifies the corresponding returns.
o Worker who has renounced residence and work authorization under a voluntary return program once the non-return period has elapsed.
o Coverage of positions of trust and company directors. They are those workers who only carry out senior management activities based on mutual trust and who legally represent the company or have a general power of attorney extended in their favor.
 A certificate from the company and, if applicable, a general power of attorney must be provided.
o Worker who is hired based on the procedure to authorize the entry, residence and work in Spain of foreigners whose professional activity involves reasons of economic, social or labor interest or whose purpose is the performance of research or development or teaching work, that require high qualifications, or artistic performances of special cultural interest.
o Workers on the staff of a company or group of companies in another country who intend to carry out their work activity for the same company or group in Spain, provided that it is proven that the worker’s activity requires direct and reliable knowledge of the company.
 Documentation must be provided proving belonging to the company and the activity that the worker is going to carry out.

Source: Inclusion Government of Spain

5. Community Family Card

If you are a family member of a citizen of the European Union, it is also possible to obtain residency in Spain. This authorization is called a COMMUNITY CARD.

We have already explained the procedure in the section on Relatives of EU Citizens.

6. Family reunification

In addition to the relatives of EU citizens, the relatives of those non-EU citizens who have obtained residence in Spain by any of the means detailed in this article, and who have been living in Spain for at least ONE YEAR, can apply for residence in Spain through of the procedure called “Family Reunification”.

7. Residence in Spain through “Arraigo”

– The “Social Rooting – Arraigo” – The “Social Rooting” is the way to access residency in Spain for all those who have been living in Spain for more than THREE YEARS, and who have not left the country for more than 120 days.
To do this, the applicant must demonstrate that she has actually lived in Spain for more than THREE YEARS. The most effective way to do this is through the registry at the local Town Hall, but also through rental contracts, etc.
– The “Labor Root-Arraigo” allows access to the Spanish labor market to foreigners who can prove continuous stay in Spain for at least TWO YEARS, and who can prove that they have worked in Spain for at least SIX MONTHS.

– “Family roots-Arraigo” allows legal residence in Spain for citizens of non-EU countries who are in the following situations:

  • In the case of the father or mother of a minor of Spanish nationality, as long as the requesting parent is responsible for the minor and lives with the minor or is aware of the parent-child obligations with respect to the minor.
  • When they are children of a father or mother who had originally been Spanish.

8.- Political Asylum and International Protection

A residence permit, with authorization to work, may be granted for reasons of international protection to the following people, foreigners who are not nationals of community countries:

  • To those who the Minister of the Interior, at the proposal of the Interministerial Commission on Asylum and Refuge, has authorized the permanence in Spain for humanitarian reasons, after inadmissibility for processing or denial of the application for international protection.
  • To those who the Minister of the Interior, at the proposal of the Interministerial Commission on Asylum and Refuge, has authorized the permanence in Spain for humanitarian reasons other than those indicated in the statute of subsidiary protection for vulnerable people.
  • Displaced persons who have been granted the temporary protection regime (nationals of a third State or stateless persons forced to leave their country or region of origin or evacuated and those covered by a general declaration adopted by the Council of the EU or agreement of the Council of Spanish Ministers).
  • Other cases that may be provided for by regulations regarding international protection.

10. Blue card

This is a mechanism created by the European Union to attract talent from non-EU countries, with high technical and professional value.

It has served as an entry into EU territory for professions such as doctors, nurses, computer scientists, scientists, researchers, etc.

This is a residence permit for Highly Qualified Personnel (PAC), very similar to the Spanish PAC residence visa, but with the advantage that, unlike the Spanish PAC Visa which only enables you to reside in Spain, this card allows you to reside in ANY EU MEMBER COUNTRY.

Advantages of the Blue Card with respect to the Spanish Visa PAC

– Allows you to work throughout Europe. So it is a great option for all those people who do not want to limit themselves to living in Spain long term (or in any other country in the European area).

– Validity from ONE to FOUR YEARS

– Free movement between EU countries

Who can apply for the Blue Card?

• Those who prove at least 5 YEARS of professional experience in the same sector of the activity that they will carry out as a professional in Spain.
• They have a higher education degree of a minimum of 3 years. In addition, these qualifications must provide the knowledge or qualifications necessary to practice a highly trained profession, or to be able to participate in a research program.
• The job must include an employment contract of at least one year, with a gross annual salary 1.5 times higher than the average for the profession to be developed.

How do you obtain the Blue Card?

The procedure consists of several phases:

• Application requested by the employer in Spain through the UGE (Unit of Large Companies and Strategic Groups)
• Visa application by the worker in his or her country of origin.
• Entry to Spain and obtaining a residence card. Once in Spain, you will need to obtain your residence card (the physical document, called TIE), on which your NIE number will be printed.

11. Residence for researchers

If you are hired by a university or company (whether public or private) to carry out research or IT or R&D tasks, the work permit for research will be the most appropriate option.

This is an authorization valid for 3 years or equivalent to the duration of the research.


So far in this post we have explored all the different alternatives available, and the specific requirements for each of them (which, as you can see, vary).

However, there are also general requirements that must be met regardless of the residence permit you apply for.

Which are?

  • First of all, you will always have to present your passport (which must be valid) and a copy of it.
  • You must also include your criminal record, which must be without records in the last 5 years.
  • 3 photos (passport format).
  • Private medical insurance in case you do not work in a Spanish company.
  • Specific application form corresponding to the chosen permit. Here you can find the different forms.


The law requires foreigners to provide proof of having covered a health system, public or private, contracted in Spain or another country, that will provide that health coverage during the time of residence for it to be legal.

Here is the crux of the matter: if to have legal residence, proof of having health care covered through another means is required and to have the right to free health care there should be no such obligation; The foreign person with legal residence must maintain private or public insurance and will not have the right to free healthcare from public funds.

The health care protection regime in these cases depends on the insured not having mandatory coverage of the benefit, regardless of the means by which it is established.

This circumstance must also be duly accredited.

Foreigners with a residence permit who do not work or are covered by Social Security must maintain private or public insurance that covers health care during their residence and precisely because of this obligation they will not have the right to health care.


Once the temporary card is obtained, the following renewal deadlines apply:

– ONE YEAR: One year has elapsed since obtaining the visa (with the exceptions indicated in this article for some type of visa).
– TWO YEARS: Once the visa has been renewed for one year, a period of two years of validity of the card is granted.
– TWO YEARS: After two years, if you wish to remain in Spain, you can obtain the renewal of the residence card for another two years.

Having reached the maximum number of renewals, we reach FIVE YEARS of residence in Spain. It is at this time when you can apply for PERMANENT OR LONG-TERM RESIDENCE in Spain.

The Long Term card will be valid for FIVE YEARS and can be renewed indefinitely.

There are two types:

  • Permanent community card – For EU citizens
  • Long-term card – For non-EU citizens.

Once the card has been granted, and after TEN YEARS of permanent residence in Spain, the citizen can opt for SPANISH NATIONALITY. But it is not a mandatory requirement.