Jan 31

Economic Crisis Tightens Residency Conditions

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The persistent economic crisis has also led to significant changes in the residency system of citizens of the European Union and their family members. The permissive approach existing in Spain by virtue of Royal Decree 240/2007, of February 16, on entry, freedom of movement and residence in Spain of citizens of States members of the European Union and other States part in the agreement on the European economic area, whereby any citizen of the European Union and family members referred to in the Royal Decree could reside in Spain, without having to prove practically any requirement, aside from carrying a passport and being registered in a Spanish municipality, was modified by the Real Decree-law 16/2012, April 20, on urgent measures to ensure the sustainability of the national health system and improve the quality and safety of their benefits. This modification resulted in a hardening of the conditions required for the enjoyment of the status of citizen of the European Union.

In fact, what this Royal Decree did was to transpose in its entirety the EU Directive 2004/38/EC, of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 29 April 2004, on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States, whose article 7 regulated the conditions that must be met in those cases in which a national of a Member State of the European Union or other States part in the European economic area wanted to reside in another Member State, other than that it originated, for a period exceeding three months.

As result of these changes, on the 9th of July 2012 the Order PRE/1490/2012 was issued, which dictates rules for the application of article 7 of the Royal Decree 240/2007, of the 16th February, on entry, free movement and residence in Spain of citizens of States members of the European Union and other States party to the agreement on the European Economic Area.

large_map-of-spain2We should point out that these orders and instructions are usually subject to continuous change, which means it is always best to ask the respective police stations or get advice from an expert before undertaking any procedure. We shall, therefore, limit ourselves to exploring what the Order currently in force states in combination with what is established in the Royal Decree 240/2007 of 16 February on entry, freedom of movement and residence in Spain of citizens of States members of the European Union and other States party to the agreement on the European Economic Area.

The citizens of a Member State of the European Union or of the other States party to the agreement on the European Economic Area and Switzerland have the right to reside in Spain for a period exceeding three months if they satisfy the conditions laid down in article 7 of the Royal Decree 240/2007, of February 16.

These conditions are as follows:

1) The application for registration in the Central Register of Foreigners must be presented personally at the Office of Foreigners in the province where they intend to stay or take up residence or, failing that, in the Police Station.

2) The upper limit for presentation of the application will be three months as from the date of entry into Spain. A certificate of registration will be issued which will contain the name nationality and place of residence of the applicant, your N.I.E., and the date of registry.

If the application for registration does not meet the requirements for processing, the applicant will be contacted in order that, within a period of ten days, the faults be rectified or the required documents submitted, with an indication that, if the faults are not remedied, the application will be taken as not presented, a decision which can be appealed.

Along with the application, a passport or other identity document should be provided. In the event that the passport or national identity document are expired, a copy of these must be provided and an application for renewal.

A declaration or a certificate of employment must be provided. These documents shall include, at least, the data concerning the name and address of the company, tax ID and code for the contribution account.

In any case, the presentation of a work contract, registered in the appropriate public employment service or document of documents of registry in the corresponding Social Security system, although this documentation will not be required if the person concerned consents the verification of this data in the files of the General Treasury of Social Security.

Proof must be given in the case of being self-employed.

Documentation should be provided accrediting compliance with the two following condicions:

  1. Health Insurance, public or private, contracted in Spain or in another country, provided that it provides coverage in Spain during their period of residence equal to the one provided by the national health service. Pensioners are considered to meet this condition if they accredit, with the corresponding certification, that they are entitled to health care in the State from which they receive their pension
  2. Sufficient Economic Resources, for themself and for the members of their family, so as not to become a burden on the Spanish state during their period of residence. The accreditation of the possession of a regular income, including the possession of property, shall be carried out by any means admitted by law, such as title deeds, certified checks, supporting documentation of obtaining income from capital or credit cards, bringing in the latter case an up-to-date banking certification attesting the quantity available on the cited credit card.
Article by Mark Athos Franklin, native English lawyer at the Rodriguez Bernal law firm.
 
For more articles on the law governing foreign residents in Spain or for more articles in English, click the links provided.
 
Antonio Pedro Rodríguez Bernal
At the Rodriguez Bernal law firm we have a department specialised in expatriate law that is highly experienced in assisting clients from many countries and nationalities.
 
For more information about the services we offer on tax issues, visit our web site or contact us directly.
Email: info@rodriguezbernal.com. mathos@rodriguezbernal.com.

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