Examples of documents for residency and other procedures in Spain

Preparing an application for residency can be a challenging process, especially if you are not familiar with the documentation you are being requested. You may have already read some of our previous articles regarding applying for residency under the Withdrawal Agreement after 2020 or what documents you should provide when applying, but it’s possible you are still struggling to understand if the documentation you have prepared is appropriate.

The purpose of this article is to provide you with real-life examples of documents that may be requested to you by the Immigration Office or by other public authorities. Please be aware that while we aim for this guide to be as comprehensive as possible, this is not an exhaustive list and it’s possible that depending on your location, criteria may vary.


This article is only for orientation purposes and it does not represent any official sources of information. Please bear in mind that criteria may be different from an Immigration Office to another. For specialised advice on this matter, you may wish to seek individualised legal advice from an expert lawyer in the immigration field, or from the immigration department at your local town hall, at different organisations providing legal advice to third-country nationals, or at the Immigration Office (Oficina de Extranjería).

Note: If you are submitting an application online, please make sure that all of the documents are properly scanned and below the maximum size allowed according to the specific electronic procedure you are following. For instance, if submitting an application for residency through the online platform Mercurio, the maximum size of a document must be below 6 MB (see our tutorial on How to submit your own online application for residency in Spain), while when submitting an administrative appeal (‘Recurso de Alzada’ or ‘Recurso Potestativo de Reposición’) through the online platform SARA, the maximum number of documents you are allowed to submit is 5, with a maximum size less than 15 Mb in total; 10 Mb maximum for a single document (see our guide on How to submit an appeal against a residency application rejection).

1. Identity documents

– Passport: When you apply for residency, you must provide all of the pages of the passport, even if they are blank, properly scanned and organised consecutively. 

However, for many other procedures you may only be asked for the identification page, as we explain in our tutorial on how to exchange your green residency document or the residency acceptance letter from the Immigration Office for the new biometric card (TIE).

– NIE: this is not a residency document and is not to be mistaken with the green residency certificate.

– Green residency certificate (Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión): in A4 size or card format. While this is still a valid residency document, we recommend that you exchange it for the TIE as soon as you can (please see below).

– TIE: currently the residency document being issued to UK nationals and their family members. If you still have the green residency document, we recommend that you exchange it for the TIE as soon as possible. You can find out how to complete this simple procedure clicking on this link.

2. Padrón and other documents you can obtain at the town hall. Please bear in mind that the format of these documents may vary depending on each town hall.

Certificado de empadronamiento: If you are applying for residency, make sure that you obtain this document and not a volante. It is also preferable that the certificate shows your NIE number if you have it, instead of your passport number.

– Volante de empadronamiento

Certificado de empadronamiento colectivo: a padrón certificate listing all those living in the same home.

Certificado de empadronamiento histórico: a certificate providing a historical report of the times someone has been on the padrón.

Certificado de convivencia: if you are applying for residency under the Withdrawal Agreement as a dependent on your partner/spouse, you will need to prove you had a stable relationship in place before the end of the Transition Period. In these cases, a certificado de convivencia showing how long you have been on the padrón together can be key. Please bear in mind that obtaining this document can take some time, as the local authorities may have to visit your home to verify your situation.

3. Healthcare coverage

– Private healthcare certificate: Showing no copayment (sin copagos) and full coverage (cobertura integral). The latter means that it should at least cover the following: general and specialised medical assistance, hospitalisation and surgery intervention.

– S1 form: to find out whether you are eligible for the S1 form, please contact Overseas Healthcare Services.

– Social security affiliation certificate: If you are active on Spanish Social Security, you can provide this document to show that you have public national health cover.

– SIP card: depending on whether it has an expiry date or not, it can be temporary or permanent

– Convenio especial card: you may be eligible for this healthcare scheme if you have been on the padrón for at least a year.

– EHIC: please note that this is not a valid cover for residency under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, as it is considered a form of travel coverage.

4. Proof of financial means: Please be aware that some Immigration Offices may request that any financial documentation that is not in Spanish be accompanied by a certified translation for further proof of its validity.

– Bank statements (extracto bancario): if you are applying for residency, some Immigration Offices will want to see your bank movements for the last three months, while others will ask for the last six months. If they request further proof of living continuously in Spain, you could provide your bank statements starting from the moment you arrived.

If you can, we recommend that you also highlight any work or pension payments, so that the authorities can see you have a regular income. 

– Certificado de saldo medio: a certificate from the bank showing your average bank balance within a specific period of time. Some immigration offices will ask to see the average balance in the last three months, while others will ask to see the last six months.

Certificado de saldo acreedor: A certificate showing your bank balance on a specific day, not to be mistaken with the certificado de saldo medio seen above.

– Pension certificate: From DWP or private companies.

– Payslips. Also known in Spanish as nóminas. You can use them to show you have a regular income.

– Informe de vida laboral: A report that shows your work history in Spain.

5. Proof of family links

– Marriage certificate: for most procedures, it is quite likely you will be asked for an updated copy, not the original certificate. This is for the administration to ensure that the marriage is still in place. If you were married in the UK, you can order an updated copy of your marriage certificate here.

– Birth certificate: Just as with the marriage certificate, if you were born in the UK you can order an updated copy of your birth certificate here.

Below you can see examples of birth certificates from the UK, Scotland and Spain (front and back).


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