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Residency in Spain

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In the event that the stay in Spain of a citizen from a European Union member state, from another European Economic Area (EEA) member State, or from Switzerland, for whatever purpose, is less than three months in duration, being in possession of a valid passport or identity document will be sufficient, and this stay will not be counted for the purposes of the effects arising from their residence situation.Citizens intending to stay or fix their place of residence in Spain for more than three months will be required to apply for a certificate of registration as a European Union resident.

RESIDENCE
Citizens from another European Union member State, or from a European Economic Area (EEA) State or from Switzerland who are intending to reside in Spain for a period of more than three months are required to apply to be inscribed in the Central Register for Foreign Nationals, which, in the event that they are registered, will issue them with a Registration Certificate as proof.

HOW DO YOU OBTAIN RESIDENCE?
You must be able to prove one of the following:
1 - You are employed by someone else in Spain.

2 - You are self-employed in Spain.

3 - You have sufficient income for your own upkeep and that of your family members during your period of residence in Spain.You must also show proof that you have public or private health insurance, contracted either in Spain or in another country, which provides cover in Spain during your period of residence. You will be assessed individually to ascertain whether you have sufficient financial resources. Sufficient proof of meeting this requirement is considered to be having an income or financial resources greater than the amount set every year by the State General Budget Law [Ley de Presupuestos Generales del Estado] to qualify for the right to receive non-contributory benefit. 

4 - That you are a student enrolled at a state or private educational institution that is recognised or funded by the education authorities and that you intend to study or undertake vocational training. You must also be able to prove that you have public or private health insurance, contracted either in Spain or in another country, that provides cover in Spain, plus you must be able to state that you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself and your family members and not become a burden on Spanish social services during your period of residence.

The application for residence must be made in person by the citizen of the European Union or other EEA State or Switzerland at the appropriate Police Station. The relevant fee must be paid in full before the registry certificate can be issued.

DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED
1 - Official application form EX-18 completed in duplicate (go to website www.ciudadanosextranjeros.es to download the form).

2 - Valid and current passport or national identity document. If it has expired, you must produce a copy of the expired document plus a copy of the renewal application.

3 - No documentation is required if permanent residence is being sought because you have lived legally in Spain for a continuous period of five years. If this is not the case, you will be required to provide the following documentation:

a) If you are employed by someone else, you can provide any one of the following documents:- 
- Employment contract or certificate of employment, including the name and address of the company, tax code and social security code.
- Employment contract or notification of the contract plus terms and conditions of employment.- Proof of having been enrolled in the Social Security scheme or having similar status, or written consent to checks being carried out on your details in the Social Security General Treasury records.

b) If you are self-employed, you can provide any one of the following documents:
- Registration in the Economic Activities Census [Censo deActividades Económicas]
- Proof that your business is inscribed in the Companies Register [Registro Mercantil].
- Proof of having been enrolled in the appropriate Social Security scheme or having similar status, or written consent to checks being carried out on your details in the Social Security General Treasury [Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social] or Tax Agency [Agencia Tributaria] records.

c) If you are not currently working in Spain you should provide the following:
- Proof that you have public or private health insurance, contracted either in Spain or in another country, which provides cover in Spain during your period of residence equivalent to the level of healthcare provided by the Spanish state health care system. Pensioners can comply with this requirement by producing proof that they have healthcare cover provided by the State where they draw their pension.
- Documentation that proves you have sufficient income for you and your relatives while you are resident in Spain. This can be proved by any legally accepted method,such as property deeds, certified  cheques, certificates showing income received from capital or credit cards with a bank statement showing the available spending balance on that card.

d) If you are a student, you must provide:
- Proof that you are enrolled in a state or private education institution that is either recognised or funded by the appropriate education authority.
- Documentary evidence that you are covered by a public or private health insurance policy. You can show your European health card if it is valid for the period of residency and entitles you to receive adequate healthcare from a medical point of view, bearing in mind the nature of the cover and its duration.
- An affidavit that you have sufficient income for your own upkeep and that of your family members during your period of residence in Spain.

PERMANENT RESIDENCE
WHAT IS THE CERTIFICATE OF PERMANENT RESIDENCE OF A EUROPEAN UNION CITIZEN?
It is issued to citizens from European Union member states and other member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland who reside in Spain and who can prove one of the following circumstances:

a) That you have legally resided in Spain for a continuous period of five years.

b) That you are self-employed or employed by someone else and are leaving work because you have reached the age set by Spanish legislation for retirement with the right to draw a pension.

c) That you are employed by someone else and you are taking early retirement after having worked in Spain for at least the last twelve months and having lived in Spain for more than three years. The three-year period of residence is not required if the European Union citizen is married or is the registered partner of a Spanish citizen, or if they are a citizen who has lost their Spanish nationality after marrying or becoming the registered partner of the person employed.

d) That you are self-employed or employed by someone else and you have stopped working as a result of permanent disability,and that you have lived in Spain for more than two years without interruption. The two-year period is not required if:
- The disability is the result of a work-related accident or occupational disease that entails the right to a pension that is the full or partial responsibility of a Spanish state organisation.
- The European Union citizen is married to or is the registered partner of either a Spanish citizen or a citizen who lost their right to Spanish nationality after marrying or becoming the registered partner of the person employed.

e) You are self-employed or employed by someone else and after working and living in Spain for three consecutive years, you are working in another member State and you return to Spain on a daily basis or at least once a week.

Employment will take into account periods of involuntary unemployment duly justified by the public employment service,periods of suspension of activity for reasons outside the employee’s control, and absence from the workplace or sick leave taken as a result of illness or accident.

HOW IS IT OBTAINED?
The application must be made in person by the citizen of the European Union or other EEA State or Switzerland at the appropriate Police Station. Before the permanent certificate of residence can be issued, showing their name, nationality, address, foreign national identity number,registration date and status as permanent resident, the applicant is required to pay the appropriate fee.

DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED
1 - Official application form EX-18 completed in duplicate. (Go to web site www.ciudadanosextranjeros.es to download the form).

2 - Valid and current passport or national identity document. If it has expired, you will be required to produce a copy of the expired document plus a copy of the renewal application.

3 - Documentary evidence of the circumstances by which permanent residence is being sought. No documentation is required if permanent residence is being sought because you have lived in Spain for a continuous period of five years, as this circumstance would be verified by the Foreign Nationals’ Office [Oficina de Extranjería].

The information above was correct at 10 November 2016 and is freely available from the Foreign Citizens unit of the Hon. Provincial Government of Alicante. The information that we have displayed here is available from their website which can be found by clicking here

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