Is it possible to register at the city hall without a rental contract? If I do not live in a house or apartment, or I do not have the documents to prove it, can get my “empadronamiento”? The answer in these cases is yes, through what is known as resident registration with no fixed address or “empadronamiento sin domicilio fijo”.
However, there are a series of requirements that must be met, as well as important differences depending on the city in which you live.
All this and more is what we analyze in detail in this article, including the requirements to complete this process successfully.
The importance of this procedure
Resident registration is not only an obligatory procedure that any person who lives in a Spanish municipality must carry out, but it is also one of the most important procedures for immigration purposes.
We always recommend to our clients that, once they arrive in Spain, the first thing they should do is to register Spanish their address at the city hall in order to be able to complete all the procedures related to obtaining their residence card.
As we have already seen in this other article, in order to carry out your resident registration you need to prove that you are effectively living at a specific address.
That is to say, you (and possibly your family nucleus if you live with your relatives) have a house in a specific street and number, either owned or rented.
But what happens in those cases in which you do not live continuously in the same place, or you do not have the documents to prove it, and therefore cannot specify a specific apartment or house?
Then, the census without a fixed address is the solution.
What is the resident registration with no fixed address?
This is the type of town hall registration that you must request in those cases in which you cannot submit any type of document related to the address where you live, thus being able to alternatively guarantee the census registration of both you and your family nucleus.
That is to say, this type of registration will be given in those cases in which the foreigner, even if he lives in the same city or town during most of the year (municipality where he wants to register), does not do it continuously in the same house, or he cannot obtain any document that works as valid proof.
We speak of the case, for example, of people who live in:
- A rented room in an apartment but for whatever the reason, they can not get contract or proof of it
- Temporary housing of any kind, such as a camper van
- In shantytowns, or even homeless and poor people without an address
In other words, we are talking about dwellings of any type that are not registered in the land registry, of which there are no ownership documents or documents that prove that you live in them.
This specific fact of not having a home to prove, therefore, makes it impossible to register.
However, it is still necessary and indeed possible.
Requirements to register at the city hall without a fixed domicile
While it is true that it is totally possible to register in any municipality even if you do not have a fixed address, there are 3 fundamental requirements that must be met for this to finally be effective:
- In the first place, there must be a municipal Social Services figure and this must be integrated under the coordination of a Public Administration
- These Social Services must go to the place where the applicant usually lives in order to be able to report on the regularity of the residence in the municipality of the neighbor to be registered
- Finally, these same Social Services must agree to specify one of their addresses as the address that will appear on the census, and agree to pass on to the foreigner any notification received for him or her in the future
In the case that these three requirements are met, this registration without a fixed address will be fully possible (and it will be possible to apply for the document that we will see in the following section).
Hence, the problem of the lack of a habitual residence is solved, since these Social Services will establish as address the point in the municipality where the resident usually spends the night, a municipal shelter or their own address (Social Service headquarters).
The main document you will need: the ICR
In order to formalize this special type of resident registration, there is a very important previous step.
You will have to request a key document: the Residence Knowledge Report (called “Informe de Conocimiento de Residencia” or ICR).
What this document allows is to register the citizen in a municipal Social Services Center (who usually performs this procedure), thus providing her with a specific space so that the subsequent registration in the municipality is possible.
How to do it?
The first thing to keep in mind is that this procedure varies according to the Spanish city, and while in some cities, such as Barcelona, it is very common, in others that is not the case.
There are usually 2 main steps:
- First, it will be necessary to make an appointment with the corresponding Citizen Attention Office in the municipality. In the case of Barcelona, you can do it here.
- On the day of the appointment you will have to hand in a completed application form for each of the members of the family unit to be registered without a fixed address; together with your passport or residence card. You can download this document here.
This procedure does not have any cost.
It will be the interested person (above 18 years old) who will be able to request this document for herself as well as for her family unit with which she lives.
Once obtained, keep in mind that the ICR has a maximum validity of 3 months. That is to say, you will have 90 days to request your empadronamiento without a fixed address.
If you have any doubts about your immigration or nationality procedure, do not hesitate to contact our expert lawyers: