<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=4160949140796750&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

Speak to the medical specialist you need over the phone, video call or chat. Your health from the comfort of your own home.

Caser Autohelp

Did you know that your car insurance is able to detect an accident automatically?


24H English-speaking telephone assistance


Find your nearest motorbike repair workshop and discover all the advantages it has to offer

Caser Expat Insurance

Moving to Spain Health Insurance

Requirements for the Spanish Residency Card

November 28, 2023

Obtaining Spanish residency is a significant step for those wishing to live and work in Spain. The Spanish Residency Card, also known as the Tarjeta de Residencia, is a crucial document that allows individuals to legally reside in the country. In this article, we will explore the requirements for the Spanish Residency Card and shed light on how Caser's Adapta Dental insurance can be a valuable asset in the process. 

Although it is many times mistakenly thought as being the same thing, getting your NIE is not the same as being an official permanent resident. While the NIE (Número de Identificación del Extranjero) is your foreign identity number and allows you to identify yourself as a temporary resident in any transaction (acquiring property, administrative processes, etc.), the TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero) is an official residency card which identifies you as a formal resident in Spain.

requirement for the spnis Residency Card- Spanish veranda

Who can apply for the Spanish Residency Card?

People who can apply for the Spanish residency card in Spain must have lived in the country for five years. After five uninterrupted years in Spain, you can apply for permanent residence. After 10 years you can apply for Spanish nationality. If you are a citizen from a Latin-American country, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, and Portugal, or of Sephardic origin, you will have to reside legally in Spain for just 2 years.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs website, it is considered a situation of temporary residence when a foreigner is allowed to stay in Spain for a period longer than 90 days, but shorter than 5 years.

Citizens of the European Union, countries in the EEA Agreement, or Switzerland, have a right to reside in Spain for a period longer than three months in the cases stated here.

However, the general case is that you must apply for permanent residence after 5 years.

The applicant must prove that, during those five years, they have been working or have been self-sufficient. In the case of being self-sufficient, proof of a private insurance that sufficiently substitutes Social Security must be provided. It is important to note that student visas work differently, and the time one is residing in Spain with a student visa does not count towards residency.

Other Ways to Gain the Spanish Residency Card

Other cases of people who can apply for national residency after five years of living in Spain are:

  • People who have been working in Spain and have retired after reaching the age for retirement that is established in Spain.
  • People who have been working in Spain and have retired early, as long as they have been active during at least the last 12 months and have resided in Spain for more than 3 years straight. This 3-year period is not necessary if the person’s spouse or registered partner is a Spanish citizen, or if the person lost his/her Spanish nationality upon marriage to the person.
  • People who have been working but stopped due to a permanent disability, having lived in Spain for more than two years straight. The two-year period will not be applicable if:

    - The disability is due to a work-related accident or illness which gives the person the right to a pension of which a Spanish organization is totally or partially responsible.

    - The person’s spouse or registered partner is a Spanish citizen, or lost his/her Spanish nationality upon marriage with the person.
  • People who have worked for at least three years in Spain, and now work in a different country within the EU, but still reside in Spain, coming back at least once a week.
  • People who are a relative to the people in the previous cases and are nationals of an EU country. People considered relatives are a spouse, a registered partner, direct descendants and ascendants, the spouse or partner’s descendants and ascendants. Descendants are generally meant to be less than 21 years old, unless they are physically or economically dependent.

If you have been unemployed or had to stop for major causes, don’t worry: involuntary unemployment periods, and periods in which your professional activity had to be suspended due to illness or accident, don’t count.

Requirements for Spanish Residency

To obtain the Spanish Residency Card, applicants must adhere to a set of requirements outlined by Spanish immigration authorities. While the specific requirements may vary based on individual circumstances, there are general criteria that applicants must meet:

1. Visa Type: Before applying for residency, individuals typically need to enter Spain with a visa that corresponds to their intended residency status. Common visa types include work visas, student visas, and family reunification visas.

2. Proof of Financial Means: Applicants must demonstrate they have sufficient financial means to support themselves during their stay in Spain. This may include proof of income, bank statements, or a job offer.

3. Health Insurance: Health insurance coverage is a mandatory requirement for residency. Applicants must provide proof of a valid health insurance policy that covers their medical needs in Spain, this must be a full coverage policy, without copays. Caser’s Adapta Dental health insurance fulfils all visa and Spanish residency card requirements. Get a free quote now.

3. Background Check: A clean criminal record is essential for obtaining Spanish residency. Applicants may be required to provide a police clearance certificate from their home country.

4. Residence Registration: Before applying for residency, individuals must register their residence with the local authorities. This involves obtaining a certificate of “empadronamiento”, which verifies their address in Spain.

5. Biometric Data: As part of the application process, applicants must provide biometric data, including fingerprints and a photograph.

6. Completed Application Form: Applicants for the Spanish permanent residency card must fill out the EX-17 form as a fundamental requirement of the process. As with any paperwork, it is best practice to always have at least one additional physical copy.

Requirements for the Spanish Residency Card - flower pots

Caser's Adapta + Dental Insurance + Repatriation: A Strategic Investment

While meeting the general requirements is crucial, individuals can enhance their experience with the health care system in Spain by addressing specific aspects that contribute to their overall well-being. Caser's Adapta Dental insurance can play a pivotal role in this regard.

1. Meeting Health Insurance Requirements:

As mentioned earlier, health insurance is a mandatory requirement for Spanish residency. However, as a comprehensive health care plan, Caser's Adapta Dental insurance + Repatriation encompass a wide range of benefits. These include doctor consultations, hospitalization, diagnostic tests, specialist appointments, and access to a network of healthcare providers. Additionally, the plan extends its coverage to include dental treatments, preventive dental care, and routine check-ups. With Adapta + Dental + Repatriation, policyholders can access both essential medical care and essential dental services, ensuring their overall well-being is well taken care of.

2. Comprehensive Health and Dental Coverage: 

In addition to a completely copay free comprehensive health care coverage plan, Caser's insurance offers comprehensive coverage for dental treatments, ensuring that customers have access to quality oral healthcare.

3. Peace of Mind:

Having comprehensive dental coverage provides people with peace of mind, knowing that they are protected in the event of any health emergencies that may happen abroad. Having this sense of security can positively impact any expat’s overall lifestyle in Spain.

Final Words on Spanish Residency

Please note that there are many unique cases, and the procedure can vary depending on the specific situation. This article intends to clarify the requirements specified for the application to permanent residence as stated in the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and the Ministry of Work, Migration and Social Security website.

Equally, please make sure that if you qualify either for temporary or permanent residence, you keep your documents updated and renewed when necessary. You can always double-check with an officer from your local Foreign Office the case that applies to your situation. On the Typical Non-Spanish social media communities you may also be able to find someone who has been through the process in your same situation, and perhaps you will find a new friend besides some help from a fellow expat!

Navigating the requirements for a Spanish residency card is a detailed process, and meeting the necessary criteria is essential for a successful application. Caser's Adapta Dental insurance not only addresses the health insurance component but goes beyond, contributing to you and your family’s overall wellbeing. As an investment in both health and peace of mind, Caser's Adapta Dental insurance can be a strategic and valuable asset in the pursuit of Spanish residency, complementing the required documentation and demonstrating a commitment to a healthy and fulfilling life in Spain.

Do you qualify for Spanish residency? Great! Then it is time to prepare all the documents to apply. We recommend getting checking out our guide below, which explains everything that will help your application go smoothly.

Download Free Guide:  How to apply for Spanish residency


If you are searching for health insurance in Spain, Caser Expat Insurance has the right policy for you!

Let Us Know What You Thought about this Post.

Put your Comment Below.