As of time of writing, the state of alarm and subsequent lockdown due to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 crisis has been extended on six occasions, until the 21st of June, and the borders have been closed to travelers. This has had an obvious impact on Spanish immigration procedures. In order to prevent harm to current resident permit and short stay visas holders, the Spanish government has made a number of provisions to cover all the possible situations.
What if my Spanish Resident Permit Expires During Covid-19 Lockdown?
The general rule of thumb is that temporary permits have their expiring date extended six months.
- Temporary permits that expired three months before the lockdown was announced and those expiring during the lockdown are automatically extended for six months.
This extension will apply starting on the expiry date of the document.
- Example: Your residence card expired on March 30, 2020. Your new expiry date is September 30, 2020, and you can either apply for the appointment as soon as the lockdown is lifted or at any time before September 30.
- Residence cards of relatives of EU citizens are also automatically extended for six months in the same way as temporary residence cards, with the same conditions as explained above.
- Equally, the expired long-term residence cards (Larga Duracion) are extended for six months.
- Spanish residents that are currently locked out of Spain, whose visas and residence cards have expired during lockdown, can enter Spain with their valid passports and expired visa or card after the lockdown ends.
- Question: what about my expired return authorization if I already renewed my card and applied for a new TIE? According to the above, you can enter Spain with your expired card and approach the police station to collect your renewed card once you have been able to travel back.
- If during lockdown the renewal applications have been filed and approved, the validity date on the renewal will be taken back to the following day after expiry date.
What if my Spanish Stay Visa Expires During Covid-19 Lockdown?
- Short stay visas are extended for 3 months after lockdown ends.
- Example: You came on holiday on the 10th of March and were unable to return to your home country. You have stayed since then. If lockdown ends on the 22nd of June, your visa will be valid until the 22nd of September.
- This extension is limited to the Spanish territory.
- The extended period will be considered to calculate the maximum time authorized for future stays in Spain.
- Example: You came on holiday on March 10, 2020 and stayed in Spain until July 10 of the same year. You will have consumed 120 days (30 more than usually allowed) and this means you have used up to 30 days of your second allowed time; that is, you will be allowed to stay 60 instead of 90 days in your next trip.
- Students on mobility programs with visas that have a validity of less than six months, will be extended for three months if the student is in Spain.
- Long term visas leading to the TIE application once entering in Spain, are also extended for three months.
- Entrepreneurs’ residence visas based on Law 14/2013 on supporting entrepreneurs and their internationalization are also extended for three months.
- Those in the obligation to return to their countries to extend a visa based on a student’s program are allowed to stay with their expired visa during three months after the lockdown is lifted.
What Happens if I Have Been Out of Spain during Covid-19 Lockdown?
Absences from Spanish territory during lockdown won’t be taken into consideration when calculating the minimum stay in Spain (days of actual residence), required to renew subsequent authorizations.
- Example: You left Spain on the 22nd of February for a long trip of one-month duration and were suddenly locked out in your home country. You have a temporary residence permit and had already been 4 months out of Spain when you left. Your renewal date was the 30th of March and you have returned to Spain on the 25th of June, as lockdown has been lifted on the 22nd of June:
- Your card has been extended until the 30th.
- Absences between March 15 and June 22 do not count.
- You have been out of Spain for 4 months and 3 days, that means you can renew you card as soon as you like before the 30th of September.
The content of this post is based on Order SND/431/2020:
- Orden SND/421/2020, de 18 de mayo, por la que se adoptan medidas relativas a la prórroga de las autorizaciones de estancia y residencia y/o trabajo y a otras situaciones de los extranjeros en España, en aplicación del Real Decreto 463/2020, de 14 de marzo, por el que se declara el estado de alarma para la gestión de la situación de crisis sanitaria ocasionada por el COVID-19.