VISAS AND RESIDENCE PERMITS
1. Residence and work permits for citizens under the EU regime
Citizens under the EU regime can enter, leave, remain in and move freely around the whole of Spain.
People from the European Union or the European Economic Area who intend to stay in Spain for more than 3 months will need to request the corresponding Residence Card within one month of entering Spain.
Scope of application
The EU regime applies to:
- All of the citizens of the current 27 member states of the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are fully covered by the EU regime.
- The nationals of any other State who are a member of the family of the nationals of the aforementioned States are also covered by the EU regime. Article 2 of Royal Decree 240/2007, of 16 February establishes to which members of the family of EU citizens, nationals of other Countries, the EU regime will apply, and under which conditions.
The family members of an EU citizen who have the right to reside in Spain, regardless of their nationality, are as follows:
- Their spouse, as long as they are not legally separated.
- The partner with whom they maintain a relationship analogous to that of a spouse entered in a public register established for those purposes by an EU Member State which excludes the possibility of being simultaneously two entries in that Country, as long as this entry has not been annulled.
- Their descendants and those of their spouse, as long as they are not legally separated, under 21 or older but financially supported by them.
- Their ascendants and those of their spouse, as long as they are not legally separated, financially supported by them, with the exception of the ascendants of students and their spouses, who will not have the right to reside in Spain.
- To enter Spain, if their family members are nationals of third party countries they must, in addition, hold the corresponding entrance visa, obtained in advance from the Spanish Diplomatic Mission or Consulate in their country of origin or residence, without prejudice to that set out in the international treaties and agreements to which Spain is party.
Once in the Basque Country, if your family members are nationals of a Country to which the EU regime applies they can reside here without the need to obtain a residence card.
There are different types:
- For temporary residence in Spain of over 3 months and under 1 year, the documentation will be a limited length or temporary residence card.
- To reside in Spain for a period of over 1 year, the document will be a normal residence card valid for 5 years, which can be automatically renewed for equal periods.
Where to apply for the card:
The processing of the application for a Residence Card will not prevent you from provisionally staying in Spain or carrying out your work.
For further information about applications under the regime for EU citizens, please go to this web.
Foreign Nationals’ Departments at the National Police Stations
Vitoria- Gasteiz. C/ Oñate, 17
01013 – Vitoria
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 2pm.
C/ Alcalde Uhagón, 6 Bj.
48010 – Bilbao
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8.45am to 2pm.
Donostia – San Sebastian
C/ José María Salaberría, 16
20010 – San Sebastian
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 2pm.
To undertake economic activities, citizens under the EU regime will be subject to the regulations in place in this area, with the same conditions that apply to the Spanish. Their spouses, descendants and those of their spouses have the right, if they so request, to undertake any economic activity under the same conditions as the Spanish, without the need for any independent work permits. For this, they simply need their residence card (as a member of the family of the EU resident).
Access to the Public Administration
EU citizens have the same rights as Spanish citizens to work in the Public Administration, except when this involves direct participation in the exercising of public power and for functions designed to safeguard the interests of the State or the Public Administrations. Royal Decree 543/2001 of 18 May (https://www.boe.es/buscar/pdf/2001/BOE-A-2001-10249-consolidado.pdf) provides a list of bodies and ranks that the nationals of other Countries cannot access.
2. Residence and work permits for citizens of third party countries
The entry of a foreign citizen onto Spanish territory is conditional upon the fulfilment of the following requirements:
- Possession of a valid, current passport or travel documents.
- Visa if required
- Justification of the purpose and conditions of entry and stay
- For study trips or those involving other kinds of training some of the following documents may be requested: Matriculation document from an education centre to participating in theoretical and practical training courses or Certificates related to the courses in question.
- For scientific, professional or scientific trips or for other purposes, some of the following documents may be requested: An invitation from a research body, company or authority to take part in meetings, conventions, etc. of a scientific or technical nature; Document accrediting the existence of scientific, industrial, commercial relations, etc.; Access cards for congresses, conventions, fairs, etc.; or Invitations, entry cards, bookings or programmes with an indication, where possible, of the name of the inviting body and duration of the study or any other document indicating the purpose of the visit.
- Proof, where applicable, of sufficient monetary means to cover the stay in Spain or of being in a capacity to obtain them, and of moving on to another country or returning to the country of origin.
- Presentation of the corresponding health certificates
- Not being the subject of a ban on entry
- Not posing a threat to Spain’s public health, public order, national security or international relations, or those of States with whim Spain has an agreement to such an effect.
Definition and categories of visas
The visa or prior authorisation of entry is a legal instrument (attached to the passport or included within its pages) bestowed by the destination country, in this case Spain, through its consulate or embassy in the country of origin or residence of the person who is due to travel, which authorizes cross-border circulation of foreign citizens.
Its objective is to control entry of people to the country in accordance with the authorisation they possess, and it authorises them for various kinds of stay by duration or activity to be conducted. There are various kinds of visa depending on the duration and purpose of the stay in Spain:
- Short-term visas: these authorise stays in Spain of up to 90 days per six months. EU legislation establishes the list of third countries whose nationals are exempt from the need to obtain a visa for stays in the Schengen Area29 for under 90 days per six months and for nationals of third countries subject to this requirement.
- National or long-term visas: when the stay in Spain exceeds three months, a national or long-term visa needs to be obtained. In this case, there are no exceptions by nationality except for the special regime for nationals of EU Member States, the European Economic Area and Switzerland.
Visas issued for the undertaking of professional activities with a duration of less than 90 days per six months are also national visas. In this category, the visas set out in legislation for the undertaking of research or training activities are as follows:
- Study visa
- Exemption from work authorisation visa
- Research visa
- Residence and work visa.
Procedures to carry out
- Check that you are required to apply for a visa in order to enter Spain.
- Apply for a stay or residency permit: this permit enables a foreigner from a country outside the members of the European Economic Area to stay in Spain for a period of over 90 days.
- Apply for the visa (once the stay permit has been obtained).
This permit does not authorise travel to Spain; the applicant must wait until he/she obtains the visa.
Channels to work as a non EU researchers or high qualified professional:
- Temporary residency and paid employment permit
- Temporary residency and work permit for high qualifed professionals
- Temporary residency and work permit for research
- Modification from the situation of residency permit for study, research or training, non-labour practices to the situation of temporary residency and work.
- Temporary residency and work permit for highly qualified professionals with a Blue Card.
- Temporary residency permit with work permit exemption
- Temporary residency and work involving transnational provision of services
Entrepreneurial Support and Internationalisation Act
- Highly qualified professionals.
- Workers subject to intra-corporate transfers within the same undertaking or group of undertakings.
Foreign offices in the Basque Country
To apply for this and for more information, you should go to the following addresses:
FOREIGN OFFICE IN VITORIA – GASTEIZ
Calle Olaguibel, 1
01071 – Vitoria-Gasteiz (Araba/Álava)
945 759 490 Call office
945 759 480 Call for appointment from 9 to 14h
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday from 9h to 14h
FOREIGN OFFICE IN BILBAO
Calle Gran Vía D. Diego López de Haro, 50 (Bajo)
48071 – Bilbao (Bizkaia)
Telephone: 94 450 94 35
Monday to Friday from 9h to 14h
FOREIGN OFFICE IN DONOSTIA – SAN SEBASTIÁN
Plaza Pío XII, 6 (Entrada independiente por Javier de Barcaiztegui)
20071 – Donostia/San Sebastián (Gipuzkoa)
943 989 110 Call for appointment
943 989 120 Call for appointment
943 989 122
Monday to Thursday from 9h to 17.30h
Friday from 9h to 15h
Summer (16th Jun. to 15th Sept.): Monday to Friday from 8h to 15h