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Exploring the Types of Residency in Spain: A Comprehensive Guide


types of residency in spain

Spain is not just a top tourist destination; it’s also a popular choice for those seeking residency. Whether you’re looking to retire, work, study, or simply enjoy the vibrant Spanish lifestyle, understanding the types of residency available is crucial. In this guide, we’ll delve into the various residency options in Spain, their requirements, benefits, and how you can apply for them.

1. Short-Term Stay (Schengen Visa)

Before diving into long-term residency options, it’s essential to mention the Schengen Visa. This visa allows non-EU nationals to stay in Spain (and other Schengen Area countries) for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. It’s perfect for short visits, whether for tourism, business, or family reasons.


  • Valid passport
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Travel insurance
  • Sufficient financial means

2. Long-Term Residency

For those planning to stay longer than 90 days, Spain offers several long-term residency options:

a. Non-Lucrative Residence Visa

Ideal for retirees or those with sufficient financial means who do not intend to work in Spain. This visa allows you to live in Spain for one year, with the possibility of renewal.


  • Proof of sufficient financial means (e.g., bank statements, pensions)
  • Health insurance
  • No criminal record
  • Proof of accommodation

b. Golden Visa (Investor Visa)

This visa is designed for investors. It grants residency to those who invest in Spanish real estate, businesses, or government bonds.

Investment Options:

  • Real estate investment of at least €500,000
  • Business investment creating jobs
  • Investment in Spanish government bonds


  • Fast-track application process
  • Includes spouse and children
  • Pathway to permanent residency and citizenship

c. Work Visa

For those seeking employment in Spain, a work visa is necessary. This visa is tied to a job offer from a Spanish employer.


  • Job offer from a Spanish company
  • Proof of qualifications and experience
  • Approval from the Spanish Ministry of Labor

d. Student Visa

If you plan to study in Spain, you’ll need a student visa. This visa covers the duration of your study program and allows part-time work.


  • Acceptance letter from a Spanish educational institution
  • Proof of financial means
  • Health insurance

3. Family Reunification Visa

If you have a family member who is a legal resident in Spain, you can apply for a family reunification visa.


  • Proof of family relationship
  • Adequate financial means
  • Adequate housing

4. Permanent Residency

After legally residing in Spain for five consecutive years, you can apply for permanent residency. This status allows you to live and work in Spain indefinitely.


  • Five years of continuous legal residency
  • Proof of financial stability
  • Health insurance
  • Integration into Spanish society (e.g., language proficiency)

5. Citizenship

After ten years of legal residency (or less in certain cases, such as marriage to a Spanish citizen), you can apply for Spanish citizenship.


  • Ten years of continuous legal residency
  • Proof of financial means
  • No criminal record
  • Integration into Spanish society (language proficiency, cultural knowledge)


Navigating the residency options in Spain can be complex, but understanding the types of residency available and their requirements is the first step towards making Spain your new home. Whether you’re retiring, working, studying, or reuniting with family, there’s a pathway for you. Ensure you meet the criteria, gather the necessary documentation, and consult with legal experts if needed to make your transition smooth and successful.

If you’re considering making the move to Spain, contact SEO Inventiv for expert advice and guidance on navigating the residency process. Our team of experts can help ensure you meet all requirements and successfully obtain the residency status you desire.


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