Please note that the law has changed in Spain for Residencia… and so be prepared for some hoo-har when trying to get your paperwork done… whilst the systems kick in.
Please note that although common terminology calls this all “Residency / Residencia” etc… it is actually Registration that we are all talking about. There is no such thing as a Residencia now… only a registration as a foreigner in Spain.
Residence / Registration requirements
From 28 March 2007, the Royal Decree 240/07 stated that all EU citizens planning to live in Spain for more than three months should register in person at the Oficina de Extranjeros in their province of residence or at designated Police stations. In Lanzarote, the Police Station in Arrecife, by the docks, is where you should go. However, you will no longer be issued with a residence card with a printed photograph… as these ceased to be issued some time ago. Instead you will be issued with a green A4 printed sheet called a “Certificado de Extranjeros” stating your name, address, nationality, NIE number (Número de Identificación Extranjeros) and date of registration.
If you are an EU citizen with a valid residency card, you do not need to do anything until your card expires. On expiry you must register at the police station in Arrecife. However, if you were planning to use the card for trasvel, then see below.
More details can be found on the Spanish Ministry of the Interior website (information is in Spanish) and follow the links for “extranjería”.
On 10 July 2012 the Spanish Government introduced details of the new residency requirements for all EU citizens, including British nationals.
Under the new rules, EU citizens applying for residency in Spain may be required to produce evidence of sufficient financial means to support themselves (and their dependants). Applicants may also be asked for proof of private or public healthcare insurance. This does not include the EHIC / E111, as this is for emergency treatment only. The proof of paperwork needed is detailed in the translation link below.
Please note: This translation is provided by the British Embassy with the intention of assisting English-speaking EU citizens to understand the new residency requirements. The British Embassy can take no responsibility for any errors or differences between this and any future official translation, nor for any inconvenience or expense caused by any error or difference
You can view the translation HERE
All EU citizens planning to reside in Spain continue to need to register in person at the Police Station in Arrecife. More information is available on the Ministry of the Interior’s website.
And after the Registration Certificate runs out?
EU law dictates that after 5 years of uniterrupted reseidency in an EU country, you are automatically entitled to permanent residence. You are then entitled to request a document proving your right to permanent residence if you so wish. This is the same form that you filled out for “Certificado de Extranjeros” (EX18) but you select a different option on duration now. There has been some confusion as peope claim there is no expiry date. True… the certificate doesn’t have an expiry date… but it does have an application date, and it is 5 years from then that it expires. The date is written in words at the end of the last paragraph on the green sheet titled “Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de La Union”, which is know as the “Certificado de Extranjero”. There is more information about this HERE
Identity Cards No Longer Valid for Travel
The Identity Card Bill received Royal Assent on 21 December. This means that identity cards ceased to be valid from midnight on 21 January 2011. If you are currently travelling overseas using an identity card and don’t have a valid British passport with you, Then you urgently need to make arrangements to gain your passport… otherwise you cannot continue your travels. You can either renew your last passport or, in case of urgency, you can apply for an emergency travel document at your nearest British Embassy or Consulate. If you have travel plans and don’t currently have a passport, we advise you to apply for a passport now by phoning the Passport Service’s advice line on +44 300 222 0000 between 7am – 11pm seven days a week or visit their website.