Applying for residency can be a long and complicated process for which there are many factors to be considered. In order to prove you meet the requirements, one of the most important aspects is to know what documents you will need to submit, which can vary depending on your circumstances. We have prepared a comprehensive list of documents to provide when submitting your application, based on our experiences when assisting UK nationals and their family members.
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). Please note that this information is based exclusively on our experiences with applications up until this date (21/09/2021) and criteria may be subject to changes in the future.
When submitting an application online, please note that all documents should be in PDF format and under 6MB in size. To ensure better quality, we recommend that you get the documents professionally scanned; for instance at a photocopy shop.
Here you can find our tutorial on how to submit your application for residency online.
We have divided the list of documents into three simple categories:
- Passport of the applicant
- Proof of meeting the residency criteria
- Authorisation form, for when applications are submitted by a different person than the applicants themselves
A. Passport of the applicant
The first document you will need to show is a valid passport. The Immigration Office will want a single PDF file containing all of the pages of the passport, even if they’re blank. See the following example of a scanned page from a passport. If your passport is out of date, you will need to apply for a new one, in the meantime, Extranjería may accept a copy of your old passport submitted together with the receipt of payment/application of the renewal.
B. Proof that the applicant meets the residency criteria
In all cases, there are three main requirements you must meet when applying for residency under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement:
- having appropriate healthcare coverage in Spain
- having sufficient financial resources or being employed and registered on Social Security in Spain
- proof of address in Spain
For some immigration offices however, like Alicante, to meet the third requirement, it is crucial to show that you are registered on the Padrón.
Please note that in order to be able to apply under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, you will need to prove that you met these requirements before the end of the Transition Period (31st of December 2020); unless you are applying as a first-degree dependent family member of a UK national who is already resident in Spain and with whom your relationship started before the end of the Transition Period. This is the case of a first-degree dependent relative who arrived in Spain after 31st December 2020 or a newborn child with resident parents. We will clarify what documentation can be provided to show this later in this article.
1. Healthcare cover
You will need to show you have been entitled to a comprehensive healthcare cover in Spain and with no copayment since before 31st December 2020; unless the applicant is a newborn child or a recently-arrived dependent first-degree family member of a UK national who is already a resident. There are different options valid for residency:
- The S1 form for pensioners and dependent family members. To enquire about your eligibility, please contact the Overseas Healthcare Service.
Note that: If you were already eligible for an S1 form before the end of the Transition Period (for instance if you started receiving UK state pension before 2021), you are entitled to an S1 form with an earlier starting date. Please make sure that when you contact Overseas Healthcare Services, the S1 form’s starting date is from the moment you were entitled to it (for instance when you started receiving state pension). An S1 form with a starting date prior to the end of the Transition Period would be acceptable when applying under the Winthdrawal Agreement, even if it was issued from 2021 onwards.
- Private healthcare. Comprehensive private insurance with no copayment, covering at least:
- General and specialised medical assistance.
- Surgery intervention.
Please see an example of the certificate you will need to ask your insurance company to provide so you can submit it to the Immigration Office:
- Convenio especial: this is a special public health coverage for individuals who don’t have access to the common Spanish public health system. This option has a cost of 60 euros a month for individuals under 65 years old and 157 euros for those aged 65+. You can find further information on the following link.
- Please note that you must have been registered on the Padrón for at least a year in order to be eligible for the convenio especial.
- Registration ‘alta’ in Social Security. If you are registered as employed or self-employed in Spain, you are automatically covered by the Spanish public health system. If this is your case, your ‘alta’ in Social Security not only covers the healthcare requirement for your own residency application, but also that of any of your dependent first-degree family members also applying for residency. Please check our guide on the documents you need to provide and how to obtain them.
Please note that the EHIC card or a temporary SIP card are not considered sufficient to meet the criteria for residency.
2. Financial means
Depending on the Immigration Office of your province, the economic criteria may differ. Some immigration offices would accept a minimum income of around 461,53€/month, 5.538,40€/year, as strictly stipulated by the General State Budget Law for the year 2020. Other immigration offices don’t accept such an amount as sufficient and take into consideration different other aspects of each individual application.
When asking for proof of sufficient financial means, the Immigration Office will most likely ask for the following:
- Bank statements for the last three or six months depending on the Immigration Office requirement:
- If the statements are from a Spanish account, they will need to be stamped by the bank (ask for an ‘extracto bancario de los últimos tres meses’).
- If you are providing statements from the UK, they can be downloaded in PDF format (please note that, some immigration offices may ask you to have the document translated by a certified translator and legalised by a notary).
- Make sure that the statements show your name as the owner of the account.
- Average bank balance certificate for the last three or six months depending on the Immigration Office criteria:
- This is a document provided by Spanish banks showing the average balance of your account within a certain period of time (ask for a ‘certificado de saldo medio de los últimos tres meses).
- It should be stamped by the bank.
If you do not have a Spanish bank account, you do not need to provide this document.
- Pension certificates: If you are entitled to a State or private pension, you can provide an official document showing the amount you are receiving, whether it is on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.
- Payslips: if you are employed you can show your latest payslips in order to prove you receive a regular income.
- If you are registered as employed or self-employed in Spain (and therefore receiving a regular income), you can show that by providing reports from the Social Security site.
- We recommend that you provide the documents listed in the following guide.
- If you are applying as self-employed (‘autónomo’) in Spain but have only been registered for a few months, you may be requested to provide additional documents such as:
– Modelo 036 or 037 confirming your registration or ‘alta’ as autónomo
– Tax declaration (130, 303, etc.).
– Business plan (Memoria explicativa). It should be written in Spanish and around 3-5 pages, briefly presenting your vision, goals, target market, industry, pricing structure, etc.
– Bank certificate of your average balance in the last months (certificado de saldo medio).
– Any invoices you have from clients, and any financial documentation that justifies the income you are receiving from this activity, like bank statements, preferably of the last three months.
– Any licences related to your professional activity (like permits or certifications).
3. Proof of dependency
If you are submitting an application as a dependent first-degree relative of a UK national who already has residency, you will also need to provide official documentation to prove the family link. If this is your case, our understanding is that you wouldn’t need to provide proof that you met the residency criteria before the end of the Transition Period:
- If the applicant is the spouse or a registered partner of a resident:
- updated marriage certificate or certificate of civil partnership, no older than three months (depending on the Immigration Office, they may request that the marriage had taken place prior to the end of the Transition Period).
- If the applicant is the minor child of a resident:
- birth certificate of the child.
- If the applicant is the non-registered partner of a resident:
- ‘certificado de empadronamiento colectivo’ or ‘certificado de convivencia’ from your town hall as well as any other official document proving you have a stable relationship from before the end of the transition period if possible, such as:
- Birth certificates of children in common,
- renting contract with both your names on it,
- House deeds with both your names on it,
- Bank statements under both your names, etc.
Please note that some Immigration Offices don’t accept other proof of a stable relationship other than the marriage certificate or the civil partnership certificate (pareja de hecho in Spanish).
- If the applicant is the dependent parent or adult child of a resident:
- ‘certificado de empadronamiento colectivo’ or ‘certificado de convivencia’ from your town hall.
- Birth certificate showing the family relationship between the applicant and the UK national who has residency.
- Official documents proving dependency if possible since before the end of the Transition Period, such as:
- Economic dependency
- Medical or social services report showing healthcare dependency
4. Certificado de Empadronamiento (Padrón)
- You will need to provide an updated copy of the Empadronamiento from your town hall; this is a ‘certificado de empadronamiento’ no older than three months.
- In order to support that you met this requirement before the end of the Transition Period, we recommend you also request a historical Padrón certificate (certificado de empadronamiento histórico).
- If you are applying as a dependent on a family member who lives with you, you will need to provide a collective Padrón certificate (certificado de empadronamiento colectivo or certificado de convivencia) to support your application and family links. If you are applying as a dependent first-degree family member, it is not necessary to prove that you were registered since before the end of the Transition Period.
- Make sure that your NIE number (if you have one) appears on the certificates.
Please note that a volante de empadronamiento may not be considered sufficient to meet the criteria for residency. Therefore, we recommend that you make sure the document your town hall provides you with is a certificado.
C. Authorisation form
If you are NOT submitting your application in person at the Immigration Office or online using your own digital certificate, the authorisation form is crucial when a residency application is submitted by a third party. Without this form, the application wouldn’t be accepted “into process” by the Immigration Office, therefore, it would be rejected (see our post on reasons behind the rejection of a residency application). Here is the usual official form you can download on your computer and complete it with your data and the data of the person submitting the application on your behalf.