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Obtain Your Permanent Residency Permit in Spain With This Detailed Guide

Why are more and more people choosing to emigrate to countries like Spain in their advanced years? Among many other European nations, Spain is an expat-friendly travel destination because of its relaxed lifestyle.

You need a residency permit if you want to retire to Spain. Before that, you must obtain a Spain non-profit visa, which allows you to enter the country without having to work, provided you have the necessary funds to support your living.

Spain also provides immigrants with better employment and investment opportunities. For example, Barcelona is a hub for everything from work and business to music and vibrant nightlife.

Here is the entire residency process to kick-start your journey.

Types of Residence Permits in Spain

The following are two main types of residence permits in Spain:

  • Temporary Residence Permit
  • Permanent Residence Permit

Each permit has different perks and conditions, as summarized below:

AspectTemporary Residence Permit Permanent Residence Permit
DurationGranted for one yearGranted after five consecutive years of legal residence
PurposeTemporary stays of work, study, or family reunificationIndefinite residence in Spain
RenewalRequires annual renewalNo need for renewal
RightsLimited rightsSimilar rights to Spanish citizens

Based on your country of origin, the requirements to obtain either type of permit may vary.

Obtaining Spanish Residency As An EU Citizen

As European citizens can enter Spain with just NIC and a passport, they can easily get a residence permit with minimal conditions.

Conditions To Apply For The Permit:

  • Proof of financial stability, including having a minimum of €6,000 in a bank account.
  • Alternatively, employment in Spain with a sufficient salary is acceptable.
  • Private medical insurance coverage.

Requirements To Obtain The Permit:

  • Application for a residence certificate to stay in Spain for more than six months
  • Registration at a Foreigners’ Office within three months of arrival
  • Provide valid identification such as an ID, passport, or EU residence card (if already obtained), during registration

Obtaining Spanish Residency As A Non-EU Citizen

Spain’s passport globally ranks in the second category, making it an increasingly desirable destination for non-European citizens. Though the country allows visa-free entry to some non-EU countries as well, it is for brief stays. If your residence plan exceeds 90 days, you need to obtain a temporary residence permit first.

Conditions To Apply For The Permit:

  • A steady source of income in Spain, either through employment or pension. The amount required in your bank statement varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for.
  • Private or public health insurance with supporting documentation
  • Clean criminal record

Requirements To Obtain The Permit:

  • Current residence card
  • Passport
  • Medical certificate
  • Police clearance certificate
  • Proof of financial stability
  • Payment fee receipt
  • Complete EX-11 form

How to Get a Permanent Residence Permit in Spain?

By fulfilling the above requirements, you can apply for your temporary residence permit in Spain. It remains valid for one year initially. You can renew it for an additional two years twice by continuing to meet the financial requirements and visiting Spain for at least 183 days annually.

The renewal procedure may be started 60 days before the permit’s expiration date or 90 days following that date.

After having a temporary residence permit for five years in a row, you become eligible for permanent residency in Spain. Compliance with the previous requirements is mandatory.

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Visa Renewal: A Prerequisite For Permit Renewal

Make sure your visa has the necessary validity time before applying for a permit renewal. The non-lucrative visa is authorized for temporary residence. If your visa has expired, you can’t get your permit back.

Fortunately, you can now renew non-lucrative visa Spain online and get an extension on your residence permit.

Reasons That Can Lead To Spain Visa Refusal

Your visa application can be denied for several reasons, leading to disappointment. The most common Spain visa refusal reasons include:

  1. If you don’t have enough documentation proving you have the money to pay for your stay in Spain, your visa may be refused.
  2. Incomplete documentation leads to visa refusal.
  3. Not having a genuine purpose for the visit to Spain. Discrepancies in the application lead to rejection.
  4. Applicants with a criminal record or suspected ties to criminal activities may be refused a visa.


Getting a Spanish residency gives you access to many chances in one of Europe’s friendliest nations. Once you have the residency permit, you can use the well-known healthcare and educational systems. These advantages make the work required to obtain the permit well worth it.


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