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.

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

  1. Patricia Martin Post author

    Hello Alex

    Spain only recognized your residence status in Spain. If they have no information of your residence status in another country, you still have a right to file your renewal application in Spain. However, you may have not been in Spain the minimum amount of time required for the temporary residence permit renewal ( 183 days per year) and this may jeopardize your renewal applications. You will only be able to apply for the long term residence card ( valid for 5 years ) if you spent at least 10 months per year in Spain during the last 5 years. If you only meet the temporary residence permit minimum stay requirement, you can apply for an extraordinary temporary permit renewal.

    Regards,

  2. ElenaFerreira

    I have to apply for the 3rd renewal (2nd two-year renewal) of my non-lucrative visa on February 2021 – is the minimum stay in Spain to qualify 6 or 10 months. This under normal circumstances would not have been an issue, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak I am stuck in South African and can currently not return to Spain.

  3. Patricia Martin Post author

    Hello Elena,

    The usual rule indicates you mustn´t have been out of Spain for more then 180 days per year, but in these exceptional circumstances, they will not take into consideration absences dated between March 14th and end of the lockdown, to protect your right to renew your permit next year. You can check the official announcement made by the government on the 20th May (click here to read the text) regarding consequences of the lockdown on Spanish residents stuck abroad and temporary visitors that are stuck in Spain.

    Regards

  4. Katherine

    Hi Patricia, I took a look at the BOE in regards to your comment above about being out of the country, but I can’t find the exact part of the BOE that states that time out of the country after March 14th won’t count as an absence. Would you mind pointing me in the right direction? Thank you so much for your help.

  5. Patricia Martin Post author

    Hello Katherine,

    Check article 7:

    Artículo 7. Ausencias del territorio español.
    A los efectos de considerar acreditada la continuidad de residencia, no se computarán las ausencias del territorio español como consecuencia de la imposibilidad de retornar a España por el COVID-19.

  6. Dominique

    Hi- I had to fly back to the US due to cover 19 situated things in the US and am planning to return but am getting delayed. I am counting my days and plan to renew my visa for the 3rd time (it’s my 3rd year in Spain, finishing my 2 year visa now before renewing for another 2 years) and I want to make sure do I need to be in Spain 185 days- my lawyer told me 6 months and a day- so I don’t know if that’s 186 days? Could you clarify because I want to fly back but due to the circumstance I don’t want to miss it by a day, and also I was already in Spain and had to fly out so I’m not sure if I would be covered under the recent publishings of accounting for time after lockdown. Many thanks for all of your advice!

  7. Patricia Martin Post author

    Hello Dominique,

    I understand that by visa you mean residence permit.

    Absences during the COVID-19 situation of alarm in Spain, do not count for residency purposes. This means they will not consider you were out of Spain when counting the minimum 6 months per year you are allowed to be out.

    Regards,

  8. John Sinclair

    Hi Patricia, how will the immigration know if I fly out and fly in again through a different Schengen country and pass immigration in that country ? Just wondering as I am nearly retired and planning what I was hoping could be a 7 month trip. Thank you

  9. MUHAMMAD

    i Got my first year araigo card from Madrid (salamanca) and right after got the card i have moved to barcelona since i got very good opportunity here in barcelona.and now been 6 months in barcelona and tex is going very well.only question is is there any problem at the time of renewal of card?since my padramento is here in barcelona since i moved here.pleas eguide me in this regard.

  10. Patricia Martin Post author

    Hello Muhammad,

    When the Arraigo Social residence card expires, you need to apply for an initial residence card based on your circumstance. You are actually shifting from one exceptional situation to an ordinary situation, so it is not a renewal.

    You will then be able to file the application in Barcelona as you have got there your job and naturally, provide with your new padron in Barcelona.

    Note that you were in the obligation to notify your change of address when you moved to Barcelona and that you can be sanctioned for it.

  11. Kam

    Hi Patricía,

    I began working Gran Canaría as a full time teacher on 4 November 2019. I would like to move to Andalusia in August. I might be without a new job and I might stay in temporary accommodation, such as airbnb. Can you tell me if, as a UK national, this will effect my Temporary Residence. I have an N.I.E. and social security number and have spent at least 185 days in Spain and do not wish to return to the UK.

  12. Patricia Martin Post author

    Hello Kam,

    You can move and work anywhere in Spain. There aren´t any geographical restrictions for EU and UK nationals.

    If you want to remain in Spain for more than 6 months per year, you must apply for the residence registration certificate that is being issued to UK nationals. You can apply for it now that you are in the Canary islands and when you move to Andalusia, have the address changed by visiting the corresponding police station.

    Regards,

  13. Amritpal Singh

    Hello I got permiso de residencia (temporal authoriza a trabajar)in Oct 2019 then I worked till feb2020 in one company and from feb 2020 I started new job in other but in may they r saying due to covid they can continue my contract for job .now I have no job.i want to know Is there any problem for renew my second year residency ???

  14. Patricia Martin Post author

    Mr. Sinclair,

    Your Passport is stamped every time you fly in and out of the Schengen area, and that´s how the authorities check how long you have been in the EU.

  15. Patricia Martin Post author

    Hello Amritpal,

    You will be able to renew your permit if you prove that the contracts were terminated as a decision taken by your employers and that you have registered at the unemployment office and are actively looking for a job. I understand that if your last employer terminated your contract in May, during the COVID-19 crisis, you must have been advised on how to proceed with your benefits application at the unemployment office, since dismissals have been prohibited during this crisis.

    I recommend you to contact a gestor that specializes in immigration to check your work documentation and advice you.

    Regards,

  16. Anastasia Quaicoe

    Hello my temporary residence of 1year will be expired in 2months time,I want to know how many years will be given to me this time. My husband brought me here and have not worked before within the year.Thanks

  17. Patricia Martin Post author

    Hello Anastasia,

    If you hold a temporary residence permit based on a family reunion authorization, the validity of your renewed card will be the same as your husband´s residence card.

    Regards,

  18. S S B

    I am in Spain on INICIAL ALTAMENTE CUALIFICADO, the D type visa printed on my passport has validity of 365 days . I have received by N.I.E. card, (PERMSIO DE RESIDENCIA) and it has validity of 2 years. Do I need to renew my VISA at the end of 365 days or is my N.I.E. card is enough for me to stay legally in Spain and also travel in and out of EU?

  19. Patricia Martin Post author

    Hello SSB,

    The residence visa that has been stamped on your passport indicates the time you have been given to apply for a TIE as you have been granted a residence authorization. If the TIE, once obtained, is valid for two years, the residence rights as well. You can use that TIE to prove your residence status in Spain, and for travelling in and out of the EU.

  20. Syed Ali Akbar Zaidi

    Hi, the result of my applciation of first renewal of non lucrative residence visa is non-favourable. my residency card expired on feburary 20, 2020 and decision came on june 29, 2020. please guide can i make an appeal? if yes, how long the decision of appeal will take? further, if i dont go for appeal in how many days i have to leave spain after non favourable decision?.

  21. Patricia Martin Post author

    Hello Syed,

    Thanks for your message.

    The possibility to appeal and the expected outcome of it can only be discussed after reading the rejection letter. An appeal can take a long time, but if there are good chances of success, we recommend you to go ahead. In the event you decide not to appeal, the letter must have indicated the time you have been given to leave Spain.

    I recommend you to contact an Immigration lawyer that can check the rejection letter and give you their opinion.

    Please let me know if you wish to send it to us for checking.

    Regards,

  22. Leo

    Hi!
    I’m a resident in Spain (working for a Spanish company) for 2 years now.
    Since the COVID-19 started, I’m staying in another country (but still working for the Spanish company).

    Is my residency safe?

  23. Patricia Martin Post author

    Hello Leo,

    Your residency will be safe depending on the type of permit and the expiration date on the cards. Those cards expiring during lockdown have an extended validity and you are allowed to return to Spain with the expired card even if you do not have a return authorization.

    Feel free to drop us an email if you wish to receive more detailed information for your particular case.

    Regards,

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