Imagine that you are going to apply for Spanish citizenship or permanent residency. These are procedures whose main requirement is to be able to prove legal and continuous residence in Spain for a certain period of time. However, you do not remember very well the exact dates on which you had your different cards, the moments in which you were under a stay status… In short: you don’t know if you meet or not the continuous residence requirement.
Hence, in these cases, the best thing to do is to request a residency certificate, and in this post you will discover why this document is so useful and how to obtain it step by step.
What is the residency certificate?
The certificate of residence is a document that is easily requested from the foreigners’ documentation area of the national police, and which summarizes your residency history in the Spanish territory with exact dates.
That is to say, it is a document that certifies the different authorizations and stays of the foreigner up to the moment of the request.
Thus, you would see, for example, from what date to what date you were the holder of a student card, when did you change to a regular residence authorization and for how long you had it, when did you renew it, etc.
In other words, a detailed summary with dates of the statuses you have had legally in Spain, including how long each one lasted.
What is this certificate for?
As we have already seen in other articles, obtaining citizenship requires having lived legally and continuously for 1, 2, 5 or 10 years in Spanish territory.
In those cases in which you doubt whether or not you actually meet this requirement (for example, if you are not clear about the duration of the cards and when you renewed them), the residence certificate will solve all your doubts.
The same applies to long-term residence, which requires 5 years of residence.
On the other hand, if for example your citizenship application gets rejected for lack of continuous residence, and you do not agree with the decision, requesting this document will be key to initiating an appeal against the rejection.
In addition, the DGT may also request it in certain cases in order to be able to exchange your driving license.
Thus, it is a very useful document mainly to clear any doubts and to understand your legal status as a foreigner over time.
That is why our recommendation is simple: if you have doubts, request it.
We are talking about a very simple, fast, and cheap procedure; but one that allows you to gain absolute certainty of your times as a resident in Spain.
Main requirements to obtain it
Basically, there are the following 3 main requirements:
- You cannot be in an irregular situation in Spain at the time of the application
- You must pay the corresponding fee (you will find all the details further down in this same article)
- You will have to accredit the reasons for which you are requesting it (which must be economic, professional, or social reasons)
How to obtain the residency certificate?
To request the residence certificate you must attend in person at the police station, as always making an appointment beforehand.
However, the most positive thing is that this residency certificate is issued immediately, so you will leave the day of the appointment with your accreditation document, without the need to return back to pick it up.
How to apply for it?
The first step is to make an appointment, which you can do here.
You must select your province, and then click on the option “POLICIA – CERTIFICADOS (RESIDENCIA, DE NO RESIDENCIA Y DE CONCORDANCIA)”.
You will then be able to select a day and time from among the different slots available.
On the day of the appointment, you will need to bring with you your complete passport (or travel document or registration card) and the completed EX-15 form; checking the option Certificate – Resident.
In addition, it is necessary to have previously downloaded and paid in a bank the 790/012 fee, which you can download here.
If you are abroad, you must go to the Spanish Consulate located in the country where you are residing to complete the procedure.
What is its validity?
As we mentioned before, this certificate is very useful to accredit your residence time in Spain before with different legal institutions.
Thus, you will be able to accredit your residency time since you entered the Spanish territory and until you have requested the document.
And, its validity once requested, will be of 3 months.
If you have any doubt or you would like our immigration lawyers to help you to obtain the residence certificate, do not hesitate to contact us through the following link: