No matter whether you are a Resident or a Non-Resident of Spain, if you are British, your legal status in Spain is about to change.
The fact is that Spanish authorities are tightening up the requirements for “residencia” for British passport holders, albeit in a rather chaotic manner: whereas the Cadiz immigration office will be satisfied with the usual documents (medical/healthcare insurance and a bank certificate show sufficient funds), the Malaga office is requesting evidence that applicants do have “real and certain” residency in Spain, most probably to filter applications and avoid saturation.
In one of the latest official letters received from the Málaga immigration office, the registration certificate from the Town Hall or a property title to a property were not enough evidence of living in Spain and requested additional documents that could prove real residency in the country to grant the now coveted card:
Bank account statements -payments or expenses- proving transactions or operations with establishments in Spain; proof of appointments for medical and hospital assistance in Spain; contracts of any nature held in Spain or payroll or salary receipts in Spain; receipts for utility supplies (electricity, water, gas or electricity from an address in Spain) or landline/mobile phone receipts with Spanish address, TV or internet invoices, as well as invoices of any kind issued with an address in Spain; Documents from public or private entities that prove to have received a service in Spain; Plane tickets with entry into Spain from another State, entry stamp in Spain in passport, work invoices and proof of payment in Spain; certificates with public or private entities showing a relationship with them in Spain (with associations, training centers, golf clubs…) Spanish income tax returns…
Permanent residency is obtained after 5 years of Spanish Residency through Self-Empoyed Residency or Non-Lucrative Residency or Residency through Investment. This followed by 5 years as a permanent resident and means you can then obtain Spanish Citizenship with a Spanish Passport.