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.

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

  1. Daniel

    Hi Patrica,
    Me and my family just applied for our new 2 year non lucrative residency permit but was returned as, not favorable. We are non EU members. I travel for work but my family is in Spain permanently, kids are going to school, bank accounts and all that goes with it . I have been out of the country for more than 6 months. Is there any steps we can take to challenge this? Thx Daniel

  2. Patricia Martin Post author

    Hello Daniel,

    Note that you can challenge the decision only based on the fact that your absences were strictly related to work, as the law allows two more months per year ( apart from 6 months) if the period of time out of Spain has been related to work commitments.

    Your family´s rejections cannot be challenged based on the fact they did stay in Spain, since their permits depend on yours. If you are rejected, they will be as well.

    They must be mentioned on the appeal but there are no grounds to appeal their rejection resolutions individually.

    I recommend you to hire the services of a local lawyer that can check your documentation and study the case in order to let you know what are the chances of success of such an appeal.


  3. Andrew

    We are living in Spain on a Non Luc Visa and are about to renew it after the first year. We received two parking tickets in Segovia (we live in Granada) in a rental car. We cannot for the life of us figure out how to pay them. So our question is, will unpaid parking tickets effect us applying and being approved for the visa? Thank you.

  4. Patricia Martin Post author

    Hello Andrew

    The fact that you have minor fines is not an issue at all at the time of the residence permit renewal. It has no effects on the renewal.


  5. bilal

    i applied to renew my non luc residency after spending 1 year in Spain, my question is,
    how much time does it take to get a reply from the authorities ?

  6. Patricia Martin Post author

    Hello Bilal

    The authorities have up to three months to issue a resolution. Sometimes they take less, it depends on the workload at the time of the year.


  7. Cecilia Siswanto

    Hi I’m renew my resident card from beginning of September in ibiza, but they take a long time to give the “resolution ” and what I heard people who applied since may they dont get this too …
    do you know where I can go ? If they can speed up the process ?
    Malorca, Madrid, or Barcelona?

    Thank you !

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