Temporary residency for Non-EU citizens in Spain

A Temporary Residence Permit authorizes foreigners to stay in Spain for more than 90 days and less than 5 years. It can be renewed as long as the applicant continues to meet the requirements. Furthermore, temporary residency is granted for multiple situations, depending on whether it is associated with a work permit, what type of work it is, whether it is for investment purposes, etc.

Types of temporary Spanish residencies

The Spanish Golden Visa is a programme that grants residency to foreign non-EU citizens who purchase real estate in Spain at a minimum of €500,000.

This residence permit is granted by the Spanish government through the ‘Law of Entrepreneurs’ to promote national investments.

Depending on the country you’re coming from, obtaining temporary residency in Spain can be done in two ways. If you are a European citizen, you only need to obtain the EU registration certificate, and you won’t need to apply for a visa or residence permit.

If you are not a European citizen, you will need a visa or residence permit. There are different types of temporary residencies in Spain, and the type of visa you apply for depends on the purpose of your application. You will have to differentiate between the following objectives, among some others:

  • Non-profit temporary residence visa
  • Entrepreneurship visa
  • Investment visa (Golden Visa in Spain)
  • Research or training
  • Student visa
  • Self-employment
  • Highly qualified professionals
  • Family reunification
  • Due to employment
  • Due to social roots
  • Due to exceptional circumstances such as international protection, humanitarian reasons, gender violence, etc.

Considering the main situations in which you can obtain temporary Spanish residence, we will now explain in detail the types of visas available:

Non-profit Temporary Residence Visa

The Non-profit Temporary Residence Visa is for foreigners who wish to stay in Spain without working, For this reason, applicants must demonstrate that they possess sufficient financial means to stay in Spain without the need to work. You can read more information in our article about Non-lucrative Residence Visa in Spain.

The Entrepreneurship Visa

The Entrepreneurship Visa is a type of residence permit for business people whose aim is to establish a company in Spain that meets the country’s socioeconomic interests and demonstrates innovation. This must be demonstrated by presenting a business plan before obtaining the visa.

Temporary Residency Visa for EU citizens

The Investment Visa

The Investment visa, also known as The Golden Visa, is one of the easiest to obtain. The main requirement for this type of visa is to invest in properties in Spain, with a minimum investment of €500,000.

Foreign citizens can apply for a residence visa for one year by contacting the consulate in their country of origin. If they are already in Spain, they may apply for authorization from the Large Companies Unit, which will be valid for two years and is renewable.

For more information, check out this article about the Golden Visa in Spain.

Digital Nomand Visa

Those who work remotely or from home are called digital nomads. If this is you, you fall under the Non-Resident Income Tax, which offers tax breaks to digital nomads who want to live and work in Spain.

You can take advantage of this tax reduction if you: 

  • Work online as a freelancer
  • Are an entrepreneur who operates their enterprises online (you own a startup or an online store that sells digital products or services)
  • Work for another party as a digital nomad 

Keep in mind that Spain is actively seeking new talent in various professions, including the technological and digital industries. They’ve just passed a bill that grants visas to remote workers who live and work in Spain. 

Keep reading if you’re curious and want to learn how to get this visa.

The Student Visa

The Student Visa allows foreign nationals to study or do research in Spain despite not being citizens of the European Union. With it, you can work and conduct paid internships related to the subject of study for which the visa has been requested.

The Work Permit Visa

Work Permit Visas vary according to the type of work you are applying for in Spain, but the one commonality is that employers must initiate this permit. Applicants who are offered a managerial or technical position whose salary exceeds 40,000 euros a year should apply for the Highly Qualified Work Permit. Keep in mind that you can also work throughout the EU with the EU blue card.

The Partner Visa

An unmarried couple or a married couple can apply for a residence permit. If the spouse is European, you will automatically obtain said permit, but if they are not, they will have to reside in Spain for a year with their residence permit and start the family reunification process.

The Residence by Roots Visa

Depending on your roots, and if you have lived in Spain irregularly for some time, you may be eligible for a Residence by Roots Visa. There are three types: family roots, social roots, and professional roots.

Temporary residence due to exceptional circumstances

This is a temporary residence due to exceptional circumstances. It can be granted for reasons like international protection, humanitarian causes, collaboration with public authorities, security, public interests, etc.

The Research or Science Visa (temporary residence and work permit for scientific research)

A Research Visa is a work permit issued to foreign researchers who intend to conduct research in Spain. The permit must be validated by a research centre, whether public or private, and both the research centre and private investigator must sign an agreement.

Certain criteria must be met to sign the agreement; the researcher must demonstrate that he or she has a higher qualification, the research centre must have the necessary material and financial resources, and the research project must have been approved by the competent authority. It is also necessary to include a description of the project and sign a work contract with the foreign researcher.

This type of permit must be initiated by the research centre, and afterwards, the researcher will need to apply for a visa at the consular office in the district where they intend to live. It is also possible for the researcher’s employer to follow a faster route, which is to go through the Unit for Large Companies and Strategic Economic Sectors (UGE-CE)under the Ministry of Employment and Social Security.

Permits for temporary residence and work are granted for a period of a minimum of three months and a maximum of five years, depending on the length of the research project. Nevertheless, the foreign researcher must obtain a foreigner identification card if the visa extends beyond six months.

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The EU Blue Card for highly qualified professionals

High-end workers can obtain this blue card as work and residence authorization to pursue a job in Spain requiring this qualification. In some cases, they can prove equivalent professional experience of at least five years related to the activity for which they are applying.

To obtain this permit, among other requirements, the employer must first provide an employment contract that guarantees the worker will perform this work during the entire validity period. Additionally, the annual gross salary specified in the contract must be at least 1.5 times the average annual gross salary.

It is important to note that employers who intend to hire foreign workers who are not residents of Spain must initiate the request for this type of permit. When the designated authority approves the request, the worker must go to the diplomatic mission or consulate of the country where they live to get the corresponding work and residence authorizations.

Foreigners must personally request their foreign identity card within one month of enrolling in the corresponding social security scheme.

Temporary residency and work permit exemption

The Temporary residency and work permit is designed for foreigners who are not residents of Spain and whose work activities will last more than 90 days. These permits offer the advantage of not requiring any specific authorization for the corresponding work. It is important to note that these permits can only be obtained by foreigners who meet the conditions for each group in article 41 of the Immigration Law, which are listed in article 117 and following the R.D. 557/2011, of April 20.

On the other hand, it is important to note that this type of authorization allows the foreign worker to move from a work center in Spain to a company located in a third country that does not belong to the European Union, provided that these conditions are met:

  1. Justification for the temporary displacement will be based on a contract for the provision of services under the direction of a foreign company that develops its activities in Spain.
  2. The worker has been temporarily transferred to a Spanish office of the same organization they are working for abroad.
  3. The worker is highly qualified with the mission to advise or supervise any work or service performed abroad by the Spanish company.

Temporary residency and a work permit involving the transnational provision of services

This permit allows foreign workers to depart from a work centre in Spain and work for an employer located in a country that isn’t a member of the EU or EEA under the following conditions:

  1. If the temporary posting is carried out under the direction and on behalf of the foreign company, that depends on a company established in Spain. Or a company that performs its activity in Spain to fulfill a contract for providing services.
  2. An employee who is temporarily posted to a company or business group’s work centre in Spain.
  3. In cases where highly qualified employees move abroad to supervise or advise foreign companies on work or services they perform.

Temporary residency and a paid employment permit

A temporary residency and paid employment permit is a permit and employment authorization requested by an employer or entrepreneur to hire an employee who is not located or doesn’t live in Spain.

When the foreign researcher’s activity does not comply with the visas listed above, they must apply for a residence and paid work Visa at the diplomatic mission or consular office where they reside. This must be done after receiving initial authorization for temporary residence and paid work in Spain from their employer. As a result, once the applicant has been notified that the visa has been granted, he or she has one month to withdraw it and three months to enter Spain.

Upon arrival in Spain, researchers must join, register, and contribute to the corresponding social security scheme within three months. Additionally, they need to request a foreign identity card in person at the corresponding police or immigration office.

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Temporary residency for Non-EU citizens: Frequently Asked Questions

As we have mentioned before, the temporary residence is the one that allows a foreign citizen to reside in Spain for more than 90 days, but less than 5 years, since anything beyond that will be considered long-term or permanent.

Yes, but you must obtain the certificate of registration as a citizen of the Union, for which you must have private medical insurance with coverage in Spain or, for pensioners, prove they have health care in their country of origin and that they have enough income to not be a cost for the Spanish state.

Yes, you can do it by applying as a family member. They will be granted the same type of residence as the holder.

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