In certain cases, foreigners do not need to have a residency visa in order to apply for a Spanish residency permit. The cases in question are those in which the Immigration Law deems a visa to be unnecessary due to the applicant’s personal, social or work-related circumstances.

Firstly, there are residency permits based on integration (autoritzacions de residència per arrelament). Applicants for such permits must be of adult age and are required to prove that they have no criminal record in the country in which they lived for the 5 years before they entered Spain; of course, they must not have a criminal record in Spain either. The types of integration taken into account are:

  • WORK-RELATED INTEGRATION: this applies to foreign citizens who are able to accredit that they have been continuously present in Spain for a 2-year period and have been involved in a working relationship for no less than a year. It is necessary to submit documentary evidence of the existence of such a working relationship, either in the form of a judicial ruling or of an administrative ruling that endorses an Industrial Relations Commission and Social Security record of an offence having been committed.

  • LABOUR SETTLEMENT. A situation in which a foreign citizen can prove two years of continuous residence in Spain and work relations for a period no less than 6 months. To prove the existence of work relations and their duration we should present a court ruling recognizing them or an administrative ruling that would confirm the infringement act of the Labour Inspection and Social Security that would prove it.

  • SOCIAL SETTLEMENT. A situation in which a foreign citizen can prove three years of continuous residence in Spain, employment contract for at least 1 year, or, family ties with other foreign citizens legally residing in Spain (spouses, partner, children, parents) or a social settlement report for foreign citizens (informe d’estrangeria d’arrelament social).

There are also HUMANITARIAN PERMITS, which may be granted to:

  • Foreigners who have been the victims of violations of workers’ rights, offences involving domestic violence or crimes aggravated by racism, anti-Semitism or any other type of discrimination.

  • Foreigners who can show that they are suffering from a severe, unforeseen illness, that they require healthcare that is unavailable in their country of origin and that interrupting such healthcare would seriously endanger their health or life.

  • Foreigners who can show that being sent to their country of origin or the country from which they travelled to Spain to apply for a visa would place themselves or their family in danger.

Additionally, it will also be possible to issue PERMITS FOR INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION PURPOSES to those persons who have been granted asylum or who have been classed as displaced.

Lastly, the Immigration Law establishes the possibility of granting a TEMPORARY RESIDENCY PERMIT FOR COOPERATION WITH THE AUTHORITIES (administrative, police, tax or judicial authorities). Foreigners may also be granted temporary residency in Spain to protect public interests or for reasons related to national security.