Registration in Spain for a non-resident

Registration in Spain is a mandatory condition for staying in this country, although many immigrants from African and Asian countries arrive here illegally. However, for this contingent it is also important, since it is the certificate of its availability (Certificado de Empadronamiento) that represents official confirmation of the amount of time spent in the country for the subsequent registration of a residence permit for settlement/social integration.

The process of registration, or rather registration, is carried out by the authorities at the place of residence – as a rule, in a special department of the city hall. Registration in Spain for a non-resident requires a minimum set of documents both in the case of owning residential real estate and renting it. The application for registration, which is issued by an employee of the department on the spot, is accompanied by a foreign passport with a copy and a document confirming the ownership of the house or apartment by the applicant (for example, Nota Simple). Sometimes you may be asked to show your latest bill for electricity or other utilities to avoid any fraud.

In turn, tenants for registration in Spain are required to have a rental contract and either written permission from the landlord or the latter’s personal presence in order to confirm that this action is carried out with his knowledge. Registration in Spain for a non-resident does not give him any rights to a share of real estate; Moreover, the owner has the right to part with his tenant without giving any reason. True, the city hall of Barcelona decided to meet the homeless halfway for more than three years and began registering them.

Registration of minors in Spain is somewhat different from the standard procedure, for which it is necessary to provide birth certificates translated into Spanish and certified by the consulate. At this point, the presence of the children and at least one parent, as well as an official guardian, is mandatory if, for example, neither the father nor the mother has a residence permit and does not intend to reside permanently in Spain. It is not so rare that children are sent to school on a full board basis, and then the director of the educational institution acts as a guardian.

Registration in Spain: new law


According to the current law, adopted back in 2009, registration in Spain is updated every two years, starting from the date of first registration. This action is carried out regardless of whether the applicant has changed his place of residence, but it is extremely important – in the absence of an extension, the “experience” of stay in Spain is interrupted.

In most localities, the relevant department of the mayor’s office sends a letter in advance notifying the need to appear, although sometimes local officials forget about this obligation. In this case, the person who missed the deadline for confirming registration will, of course, have it extended if no more than two months have passed, but a fine may well be imposed. This is especially true in cases where the residence is being extended, since the address indicated on the form with registration in Spain is noted on the resident’s card.

A fine of 501 euros threatens those foreigners who deliberately indicated a false address of their stay in the country, and if a criminal case is opened against such a resident, he faces imprisonment, cancellation of residence and deportation to his homeland.

Last September, the Spanish government adopted a special resolution tightening control over the situation, which is based on registration in Spain for foreigners. Strictly speaking, it concerns not the holders of this document themselves, but the representatives of municipal authorities who are responsible for completing the registration.

Now, while maintaining all previous provisions, an audit of the City Hall department dealing with registration in Spain will be carried out annually to provide more accurate figures on the country’s population for the National Institute of Statistics (NIE). In addition, more serious punishment will await those government officials who refuse registration to illegal immigrants, since the immigration status of the latter is not within the competence of those who issue the Certificado de Empadronamiento.

What does registration in Spain give to a foreigner?

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Registration at the place of residence in Spain is not a simple bureaucratic formality that helps to keep records and control the population. Registration in Spain for non-residents, including illegal immigrants, in the future will help them obtain a residence permit and permanent residence in the country and subsequently citizenship, obtain a work permit, register a car, arrange for children to study and, if necessary, apply for social assistance, although they can count on it This is not possible in every Spanish autonomy. The same applies to free medical care, which in some regions was previously available even to illegal immigrants.

Registration in Spain has other advantages – in particular, it can be useful for obtaining various benefits, loans or a number in the Social Security System (Seguridad Social). If you change your locality and register at a new address, you do not need to appear in person for registration, but rather notify the relevant department after the move.

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