Residence Permit Renewal: Make sure you spend at least 6 months in Spain!

November 22nd, 2018

One of the most common causes of rejection by the Spanish authorities when it comes to renewing a residence permit is directly related to the failure of the applicant to comply with the minimum stay requirements that Spanish law dictate.

A temporary residence permit application allows a person to stay in Spain for more than 185 days per year during a maximum period of 2 years. These temporary residence permits can be renewed once 2 year period has passed, but only if you spend at least 185 days in Spain within each year, which is the minimum stay requirement set by Spanish law for temporary residence permits.

Another important time limit to consider is the maximum period of time you can spend out of Spain when applying for permanent residence. As a temporary resident, you will be eligible to apply for a permanent residence card once you have been a legal resident in Spain on a continued basis for 5 years (provided that other financial requirements are met). During these 5 years, the sum of all the days you will have spent outside of Spain should not exceed a total of 10 months. When this is not met, we recommend our clients to apply for an extraordinary renewal of their residence permit (which is an additional two-year temporary residence permit extension), in an effort to accumulate enough days during this time to finally meet the permanent residence minimum stay requirement.

It should also be noted that once you are a permanent resident, an absence of 12 months or more will lead to the cancellation of the residence card validity.

We cannot but emphasize the importance of this minimum stay to keep your residency status or be able to apply for a new one. As a matter of fact, it is one of the main reasons for a rejection in immigration applications. Some time ago, Spanish immigration officers would have a more relaxed attitude towards the actual compliance of this requirement. However, this is no longer the case, and they will thoroughly examine all the entry and exit stamps on your passport.

Despite the above, the current Immigration regulations stipulate exceptional cases that would serve as a justification of a prolonged absence and that would not lead to a renewal rejection: Force majeure reasons, illness, natural catastrophes and accidents.

4 thoughts on “Residence Permit Renewal: Make sure you spend at least 6 months in Spain!

  1. Bill Schreiber

    Once one has a permanent residency visa (non lucrative), what is the maximum amount of time over the five-year period of the visa that one can be out of Spain and still renew the visa at the end of five years?

  2. Patricia Martin Post author

    Hello Bill

    If you are permanent resident there´s no minimum stay in order to renew the card, since the police station does not check the passports as thoroughly as they usually do for temporary residents. However, be sure you are not out of Spain for more than 12 consecutive months, as it is a reason for the loss of the resident status.

    Regards,

  3. Adam Qais

    Hello Patricia
    Thanks for your insights.

    I am married to a Spanish national and just in the process to apply for temporary residency card. Could you please advise the following:
    1. How many days will I be required to live in Spain in a year to retain my residency?
    2. Does temporary residency card get cancelled automatically if I am out of Spain for more than 180 Days?
    3. Does the immigration stamp the passports for temporary resident card holders at airports flying out of EU Zone?

  4. Patricia Martin Post author

    Hello Adam,

    Please read my answers to your questions:

    1. How many days will I be required to live in Spain in a year to retain my residency? 185 days
    2. Does temporary residency card get cancelled automatically if I am out of Spain for more than 180 Days? No, you can be fined though or allowed to try and justify the absence.
    3. Does the immigration stamp the passports for temporary resident card holders at airports flying out of EU Zone? Yes. Those entry/exit stamps are then considered at the time of calculating the amount of time out of Spain.

    Regards,

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