Types of residence in Spain
Under Spanish law, you are:
- Resident in Spain, if you are an EU citizen and spend more than 3 months in Spain.
- Resident and Tax Resident in Spain, if you reside in the country for more than 183 days (6 months) a year.
The former is for legal purposes only, and means you have to inform the authorities and obtain an EU Citizen Registration Certificate, and the latter, when you spend most of your time in Spain, involves added tax obligations (you will have to pay tax here on all your income, no matter where it comes from).
Citizens of a Member State of the European Union or of another State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and Switzerland have the right of residence in Spanish territory for a period of more than three months if they are in any of the following situations:
2. They have sufficient resources for themselves and their family members not to become a burden on the social assistance system in Spain during their period of residence. On the other hand, they must provide public or private health insurance, contracted in Spain or in another country, which provides coverage in Spain during their period of residence equivalent to that provided by the National Health System, or
Citizens of a Member State of the European Union or of a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, and family members who are not nationals of one of these States, who have resided legally in Spain for a continuous period of five years, have the right of permanent residence.
If you hold a Blue Card from another EU Member State and have lived elsewhere in the EU for the same period, this also allows you to reside permanently in Spain provided you have lived in Spain for two years previously.
If you hold an EU long-term residence permit granted by another EU Member State and wish to stay in Spain, you must renounce your long-term resident status in the other country and apply for an EU long-term residence permit at the Oficina de Extranjeros in Spain.
You can apply for Spanish nationality after 10 years of residence in Spain. You can also acquire Spanish nationality by marriage or birth, even if you or your Spanish parents were born outside Spain.
There are exceptions to the 10-year rules depending on the country you come from and other cases such as being a refugee.
You will be required to prove that you are a “good citizen” – financially stable and without a criminal record – and that the authorities consider that you have a “sufficient” degree of integration into Spanish society, for example, being able to speak Spanish and participate in social activities that are part of the Spanish way of life.