Long term EU residency in Spain

long term eu residency in spain

Without any doubt, this may be one of the residencies with the greatest advantages. A residency with a fairly simple application process that will be the first step to live and work in any country within the European Union. We are talking about the long term EU residency, and in this article you are about to learn all its advantages, requirements, application process, and other really useful tips for a successful application.

The EU long-term residency is a 5-year residence card that allows you to reside and work legally in Spain (both for a company or as a self-employed worker) under the same conditions as any other Spanish citizen.

Although it is true that generally speaking it is very similar to the long-term residency (since it also allows you to live and work for 5 years in the country), there are some important differences, especially in terms of its requirements.

In order to obtain the long-term EU residency, you must prove that you have stable means of living and health insurance (either public or private); something that does not happen in the case of permanent residency, which can be obtained without the need to be working at the time of the application.

However, these extra requirements come with a very positive counterpart.

That is, this card is the perfect bridge that many foreigners use to start living in another EU country after their residence in Spain, since, as we will now explore, it offers great facilities in the process.

Below we are about to analyze everything you need to know about one of the most recommended options to live in Spain (or in the EU) in the long term. But first, if you have any doubts, remember that our lawyers are at your complete disposal. Send us your question through the following form and get a quick answer: 

Can I work in any European country with this residency card?

One of the main benefits of this card is that it allows for easy access to a residence or residence and work permit in any country of the European Union.

Now, does this mean that the right to live and work in another European country is implicit? Will you be able to move to France or Italy (for example) and be able to legally work there straight away?

Unfortunately, the answer is no, and this is of great importance.

Because what this advantage really means is that once you move to another European country, you will have greater facilities at the administrative level to become a legal resident.

This simply means It will be easier to obtain a residence permit in any other country of the EU since this territory would change your EU long-term card obtained in Spain for the homologous one that they have there, directly (but first meeting the requirements set in that country).

But in any case, you will have to first find a job offer (or demonstrate the possession of sufficient economic means) and carry out the transition procedure, which, however easy it may be thanks to being the holder of this EU card, is still necessary.

On the other hand, our recommendation is that if you are planning to settle in another European country in the medium to long term, you should apply for the EU long term card as soon as possible (without waiting until you are unemployed in Spain or need to leave the country in search of new opportunities).

And if you currently do not meet the requirements (since you don’t have a job contract, for example) you can always apply for the long-term card first and then move on to the EU long-term card (but never the other way around, since if you get your the EU long-term residency application rejected, you will not be able to apply for the long-term card afterwards).

Main requirements

Below is a complete list of all the requirements you will need to meet in order to successfully apply for long-term EU residency:

First of all, you cannot be a citizen of any European Union country, of the European Economic Area, or from Switzerland.

One of the key requirements is to demonstrate that you have been living in Spain continuously during the 5 years prior to the application (taking into account that years as a student count half). That is, as we saw in this post, you cannot have left the Spanish territory during the last 5 years for more than 6 months in a period of 12, nor register total absences that add up to more than 10 months in total.

However, if the departure/s were for work or medical reasons (and you can duly justify it), this period could be extended to 12 months in total.

In addition, if you are the holder of an EU blue card and you have lived for at least the past 2 years in Spain, your residency years in any other EU country would also count for the 5 required years.

On the other hand, you must demonstrate the possession of regular, stable, and sufficient economic means. That is, you must be working at the time of application (either for a company or as a self-employed worker) or have a bank certificate showing the possession of sufficient savings. More specifically, we are talking about 150% of the IPREM for families of 2 members, amount to which you must add an extra 50% for each additional relative.

You must also prove that you have full health coverage in the Spanish territory. This can be done in two ways: through a private health insurance, or with public health coverage if you are registered with Social Security and paying monthly contributions through your salary.

Another crucial requirement is not having criminal or police records in the last 5 years; and if you do, you must cancel them before starting your application.

Finally, you cannot be banned from entering any Schengen country.

Everything you need to know for a successful application

One of the great advantages of this procedure is that the application can be carried out completely online, without the need to make an appointment at the immigration office.

This allows the foreigner to save a great deal of time and get a much faster and agile response.

For this application, you must submit the same form required for the long-term residence, the EX-11 form (which you can download here).

In addition to all the documents that prove the fulfillment of the requirements mentioned in the previous section, you must also add a complete copy of your passport.

And, as in any immigration procedure in Spain, all documents coming from abroad must be translated into Spanish and duly legalized.

Finally, the corresponding fee must also be paid (790-052, section 2.6), and proof of payment must be included together with your application.

After submitting all the documentation, the immigration office has 3 months to issue a response. If you have not received any notification after this period, your application will be considered approved by positive administrative silence.

You will then have to go to the immigration office to register your fingerprints and get your TIE or physical card including the new residency.

How and when to renew the EU long-term residency

Undoubtedly, once you obtain this card your residency days in Spain as a foreigner will be much more comfortable.

You will have to renew it once every five years, taking into account that in order to renew it is necessary that the card is expired (something that is crucial to know when making an appointment with the Immigration Office for this renewal).

In addition, the renewal itself is very simple.

You only have to register your fingerprint again at the police station, and that’s it!

But be careful. If during these 5 years before renewal you register absences in Spain longer than 12 consecutive months, then the validity of your authorization will expire and you will not be able to renew it.

And up till here, this has been the most relevant information about the EU long-term residence. Remember that if you need our team of immigration lawyers to guide you step by step, simply click on the following link and get in touch with us:

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long term eu residency in spain

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