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What is “continued residency” in Spain, for the purposes of maintaining or renewing Spanish residency?

Spain Continued residency in Spain implies that any foreigner in Spain cannot be absent from the country for a given period of time, if he or she wishes to benefit from the right to maintain or renew his residency status.

But just how long are these periods? The law envisages various scenarios, which can be summarized as follows.

For standard non-EU residency applicants:

  • On Temporary residency authorizations (both for 1 and 2-year cards), applicants must be in Spain at least six months in a period of one year. If not, residency authorizations will be extinguished. Where Spain continue residency provide you given period of time in residency.
  • Long-term residency authorization (5-year cards), applicants will be required to prove that they have not been out of Spain during continuous periods of 6 months, provided those absences do not exceed 10 months in the initial 5-year period.
  • In case of absences for work reasons, the continuation of residence will not be affected by absences from Spanish territory for up to six continuous months, provided that the sum of these does not exceed the total of 12 months within the required five years.
  • Generally, applicants who have been out of the country for more than 10 months in the initial 5 years, or 12 in case work reasons -provided they have not exceeded been out of Spain for more than 6 months continuously-, can still renew for 2-year temporary periods, indefinitely, if they do not qualify for the 5-year card.
  • Holders of a Blue-EU Cards that wish to obtain Spanish permanent residency will need to show that out of the 5 years required to qualify, at least the last 2 years must have been spent in Spain. This right will not be affected by absences from the European Union for up to 12 continuous months, provided that the sum of these does not exceed the total of 18 months within the five years of residence required.

For non-EU family member of an EU-citizen:

  • Applicants who hold this card can be out of Spain for up 30 months in the 5-year period and still qualify for the 10-year card, provided the absences do not exceed 6 months in each year.

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.

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