How to Get Your Visa or Residence Permit in Spain

How to Get Your Visa or Residence Permit in Spain


  1. Student Visa

This type of residence permit was created for those interested in studying or conducting research activities in Spain.

You can apply for a student visa if you are pursuing a university degree, a master's degree, a doctorate, or any other type of short-term course.

  1. Set up your own company

If you are planning to start a business in Spain and get residency, you have two different options:

  • • In the event that the project is innovative and involves a high degree of technological application in its operations, you can apply for the entrepreneur visa. Please note that in order to obtain permission through this visa, you will need prior approval from the Ministry of Economy, who are really strict and selective.
  • • If your project is not as innovative, you can also apply in your home country for a regular self-employed work permit (on your own). Although this option will also require the submission of a business plan, the institution in charge of approval is not as restrictive as in the previous case.
  1. Non-profit residence visa

But what if you don't plan to work? If you want to start living in Spain without having to drive any kind of economic or professional activity (i.e. without working), then this residence permit is designed for you.

The non-profit visa will authorize you to live in Spain for a period of more than 90 days, lasting 1 year from the time of the first concession.

This type of residence visa can be renewed only if you have lived in Spain for a period of 183 days. Once you have exceeded this time, you can be chosen for renewal?. The second grant of the non-profit visa can allow you to live in Spain for two more years.

This permit is valid only for those from a country that does not belong to the European Union.

In order to apply for the non-profit residence visa, you must do so at the Consulate of Spain in your country of origin. However, there is also the option to do so once you arrive in Spain. In this case, we recommend that you leave it in the hands of lawyers who are experts in immigration, as they will make the process much easier for you.

Non-profit visa requirements

It is really important to stop for a moment to carefully understand the main requirements for the non-profit visa. Because, although there aren't many, they're quite specific:

  • • First of all, you'll need to have more than $25,000 in a bank account. This represents 400% of the IPREM, the measure used in these situations. You can have that money divided into different bank accounts.
  • • You must have health insurance. It is really important that you are signed up with a Spanish company that only operates in Spain and is a private health company.
  1. Working in Spain for an employee

What if you want to carry out economic activity in Spain, but creating your own company is not your thing? Then, the employee work permit could be the right choice for you.  You can apply for it under two different paths:

  • • Law 14/2013 states that those who receive a job offer in a highly qualified position can obtain a visa as highly qualified professionals. What does it mean to have a job offer as a highly qualified professional? Principally, that the position is managerial or similar, and that the salary is more than 40,000 euros per year. In this case you can start the application procedure within Spain.
  • • And, for those who receive a job offer which is not for a highly qualified position, they must apply in their country of origin for a work permit. But an important warning must be made here. This option is very difficult to achieve successfully, as the specific job you apply for must be on a scarcity list that respects the national unemployment situation.
  1. Golden visa or investor visa

Due to the few requirements that characterize this residence permit, the Golden Visa is one of the most demanded visas.

We are talking about a permanent residence visa in the country, issued to individuals who invest in Spain . This investment is usually made by buying a property on a regular basis? In this instance, the permit will be granted to individuals who invest at least 500,000 euros in the real estate sector. However, there are other options to get this permission and validate the investment.

The foreigner considering moving to Spain can receive this visa too, by owning 1 million euros in shares of a Spanish company, or public debt worth 2 million euros.

In addition, you'll need to show that you have sufficient means to support yourself and your family. For this purpose, having a bank account with 30,000 euros as the main investor will suffice.

  1. Residence permit as a community family member

If you are family member of an EU citizen, then obtaining a residence and work permit in Spain is easier than you might think.

 You can get your residence permit as a family member of an EU citizen, just because of your kinship relationship. This procedure is called a community family member.

That is why many people from outside the EU who have a partner who is a national of the European Union are constituted in marriage or de facto partner; as they will be eligible for this procedure as they are now relatives of a European citizen.

  1. Family reunification

For all those foreigners who have obtained their residence in Spain; good news.

With the family reunification process you can easily bring your family members to Spain.

This applies to your spouse, children, and parents.

  1. Rooting procedure

Finally, there is the rooting procedure. What if you've been living in Spain for 3 years in an irregular situation (i.e. illegally)? Are you doomed to return to your country?

Good news: no. You can request what we call social roots. And its requirements are simple: you must have been registered with the city council for 3 years, during which period  you cannot have left the country for more than 120 days.

In addition, you will need to take a course in Catalan (if you are in Catalonia) or Spanish for 45 hours. This, plus receiving a job offer will allow you to have an interview with social services, and then continue with the rooting procedure.

From there you can jump to a different residence permit.

The roots procedure can also be accessed by employment, ideal if you have worked illegally for 6 months in Spain.

Lastly, there is the family rooting procedure, which is not so common given to its requirements. In order to apply for this residence and work authorization, you must be a parent or child of a Spanish citizen.

  1. Permanent residence

After 5 consecutive years living in Spain you will be able to obtain permanent or long-term residence.

We are talking about a card that has 5 years validity, and that can be renewed indefinitely.

There are two types of card: the Community permanent card, and the general one for non-European citizens.

Clearly, it is the gateway to obtaining citizenship, something that can be obtained after 10 years in the country (in the case of nationality by residence).

  1. Political asylum and the red card

In case you have moved to Spain because you have suffered a natural disaster or because you come from a region in conflict, you can ask for international protection.

While you wait for the asylum resolution, you'll get a red card.

This card allows you to stay in Spain for 6 months; and will be renewed as long as you don't get an answer from the immigration office.

If your goal is to stay in Spain for the long term, it is as important to get your initial card as to renew it.

Do you have any questions about any of these residence permits in Spain?

Would you like to start the process to get your visa or residence permit ?

Sandra Salvadó