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Spanish Residency (Permanent)

What is the long-term Spanish Residency? (Residencia de Larga Duración)

A long-term Spanish residence permit that authorizes you to reside and work in Spain indefinitely under the same conditions as Spanish citizens.

Who can apply to obtain this residency?

Many people do not know the requirements to be able to apply for this type of residency. The most common or important requirement is that the person who is applying has lived legally and continuously in Spain for the last 5 years.

So, if you have lived legally in Spain for 5 continuous years, you could apply for this residency.

If you are on any of the following cases, you can apply for this residency:

  • Have resided legally and continuously in Spanish territory for five years.

Continuity will not be affected by absences from Spanish territory for up to six continuous months, provided that the sum does not exceed ten months within five years.

  • Have resided for five years as a holder of the EU Blue Card in the European Union, provided that the two years immediately prior to the date of application said residence has occurred in Spanish territory.

Continuity will not be affected by absences from the European Union for up to twelve continuous months, provided that the sum of these does not exceed the total of eighteen months within the required five years of residence.

  • Be a resident beneficiary of a contributory retirement pension included in the Spanish Social Security system.
  • Be a resident beneficiary of a contributory full permanent disability or severe disability pension included in the Spanish Social Security system or of similar benefits to the previous ones obtained in Spain and consisting of a non-capitalizable income for life and sufficient for its own sustainment.
  • Be a resident, have been born in Spain, have reached legal age and have resided in Spain legally and continuously for at least the three consecutive years preceding the application.
  • Be Spanish of origin and have lost Spanish nationality.
  • Be a resident who upon reaching the age of majority has been under the guardianship of a Spanish public entity during the preceding five consecutive years.
  • Be a stateless person, refugee or beneficiary of subsidiary protection, be in Spain and have been recognized as such by the respective statute in Spain.
  • Have contributed significantly to the economic, scientific or cultural progress of Spain, or to the projection of Spain abroad. In these cases, the Ministry of Labor and Immigration is responsible for granting the permanent residence permit, following a report from the head of the Ministry of the Interior.

Requirements to apply for the larga duración residency:

  1. Not to be a citizen of an EU country, the European Economic Area or Switzerland, or a family member of citizens of these countries.
  2. Not to be in Spain illegally.
  3. Not to have a criminal record in Spain or in previous countries of residence for crimes included in the Spanish legal system.
  4. Not to be prohibited from entering Spain nor be denied entry in any of the Member States of the Schengen Area.
  5. Not to be found, within the period of commitment of non-return to Spain that a foreigner has assumed upon voluntary return to their country of origin.


Important note: when submitting documents from other countries they should be translated into Spanish or another co-official language of the territory where the application is submitted.

  1. Official application form EX-11 in duplicate, properly completed and signed by the foreigner, except in the case of having contributed to the economic, scientific or cultural progress of Spain, in which it is officially instigated by the General Immigration Directorate upon the prior proposal of a public authority with competence related to the merit on which the petition is based.
  2. Full copy of a valid passport, travel document or registration card. The original document must be shown at the time the application is submitted.
  3. If you are a resident, a report that accredits the schooling of minors under your care who are of compulsory school age issued by the autonomous or appropriate authorities or the educational center.
  4. If you are not a resident in Spain at the time of the application, a criminal record certificate issued by the authorities of your country of origin or the country or countries in which you resided during the last five years.
  5. Depending on the conditions you meet from the requirements on the previous page:
    1. Condition b): documentation certifying the periods of prior residence as a Blue-EU card holder in another State or States of the EU.
    2. Condition e) and f): birth certificate.

Have you lost your long-term residency in Spain and want to recover it?

Long-term residency can be recovered when it is no longer valid because the individual has been absent from EU for 12 consecutive months or because their residency is now in another Member State. It can also be recovered when a resident foreigner has returned to Spain and the period of their no return commitment has ended.

What do I need for this?

You need the official application form in duplicate, properly completed and signed, a full copy of your valid passport or travel document (with a minimum validity of four months), criminal record check or equivalent document, in case you are older than criminal age, issued by the authorities of your country of origin or the country or countries in which you have resided for the last five years. In addition, a medical certificate is essential and all the documents provided must be translated into Spanish or into a co-official language of where the documentation is to be presented. Before all this, the established and necessary requirements for the procedure must be met, such as not having a criminal record, not being illegally in Spain, etc.