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READER QUESTIONS

Reader question: How do I officially give up my Spanish residency?

If you're leaving Spain for good or for a long period of time, then you will need to make sure that you deregister before you leave, essentially giving up or renouncing your Spanish residency. Here's how to do it.

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Renouncing Spanish residency. Photo: Rudy and Peter Skitterians / Pixabay

There are several reasons you will want to make sure you renounce your Spanish residency when you leave, rather than just simply leaving.

The most common one is so that you can prove that you’re no longer resident in Spain for tax purposes. 

How do I go about renouncing my residency? 

In order to renounce your residency, you will need to go back to the National Police Station or Oficina de Extranjería where you first originally registered or received your residency documents. Remember that in some regions or cities, you will need to make a ‘cita previa‘ or prior appointment in order to visit, and sometimes this can take several months to get.

You will need to take your residency documents such as your green residency card featuring your NIE or your TIE along with your passport.

If you are an EU citizen and have a green residency document, you will need to complete the modelo EX-18 or EX-18 form and check the box that says ‘Baja por cese’. The form then gives you space to state the reason why you are leaving.

In the case of non-EU citizens, you only have to renounce your residency if you have permanent residency or you’re leaving before the date that your residency or visa will expire. In this case, you should take the above documents to the Oficina de Extranjería, where they will give you the necessary forms to complete.

They will ensure that you don’t have any outstanding taxes, fees or fines to pay before cancelling your residency. 

When you give up your residency, you will be issued with a stamped document detailing the date when you renounced your residency and the reason for it. This is proof that you are no longer resident in Spain, should you ever need to show it to anyone.

The authorities will keep and destroy your residency documents so that they are no longer in your possession and will no longer be valid. 

Remember, if you are a citizen of a non-EU country such as the UK or the US, you cannot simply undo this process if you change your mind. It will mean starting from scratch and applying for your visa all over again, if you’re eligible. 

READ ALSO – Q&A: Everything you need to know about Spanish residency for Brits post-Brexit

Are there any other places I have to de-register from?

Although you have officially renounced your residency after going to the National Police Station or Oficina de Extranjería, there are still a few other things you need to do.

The first is to go to your Ayuntamiento or Town Hall and inform them that you want to de-register from the padrón, this will ensure that you will no longer be listed as living at your address.

READ ALSO – Empadronamiento in Spain: What is it and how do I apply?

You must also remember to inform your bank of your plans to move. You can either decide to close your account or change your account from a resident one to a non-resident one, if you will still have financial obligations in the country. Showing them the certificate you received at the National Police Station or Oficina de Extranjería should suffice in being able to change your account. 

This step is important because if you simply just withdraw your money and leave, you may still incur charges if it’s not closed properly.

READ ALSO:

What are my tax obligations after leaving Spain?

If you renounce your Spanish residency and move to another country, it’s most likely that you will not be a tax resident in Spain anymore. However, you may still need to present one more tax return in the year after you leave as taxes are presented retrospectively. 

If you still own a property in Spain, you will need to complete a non-resident tax declaration form every year. You will also need to pay tax on earnings from any rent you receive. 

READ ALSO: How to deregister as self-employed in Spain

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For members

VISAS

Worker, retiree or investor: What type of Spanish visa do I need?

If you’re from a non-EU country you will need a visa in order to stay in Spain for longer than 90 days, but knowing which type of permit is best for you can be tricky. Here's how to find the right one for you based on your circumstances.

Worker, retiree or investor: What type of Spanish visa do I need?

If you are a citizen of a non-EU country then you may benefit from the 90-day rule, allowing you to visit Spain for 90 days out of every 180 without needing a visa. Countries including the UK, USA, Canada and Australia all benefit from this rule.

Citizens of certain countries require a visa even for a short trip – find the full list here.

However, the tricky part comes when you want to move to Spain and spend longer than just those three months. What are your visa options, whether you want to move to Spain to retire, to work or even to set up your own business? 

Retirees:

The best option for retirees is to apply for the non-lucrative visa (NLV). This allows you to live in Spain for one year, but as the name suggests you are not allowed to work.

In order to apply an applicant must show they have €27,792 at their disposal for one year (€34,740 if it’s a couple), as well as comprehensive health insurance.

If you want to stay in Spain beyond this year, you can either renew it for a further two years (again proving you have the financial means) or change your visa for a work permit or a self-employed permit through the residence modification process.

The NLV is also the best option for those who want to live abroad temporarily. Those who want to stay in Spain for more than three months, but are not planning on living here permanently. It’s ideal for those on a sabbatical for example who have savings or investments and who do not need to work in Spain while here, but want to stay here for a year. It’s also the best option for those who have the financial means to do so.

READ ALSO: What are the pros and cons of Spain’s non-lucrative visa?

retiree in Spain

The NLV is the right visa for most non-EU retirees who want to live in Spain. Photo: pasja1000 / Pixabay

Workers:

If you plan on moving to Spain for work or in order to look for a job, then you will need a work permit. Unfortunately getting a work permit can be tricky because in most cases as a non-EU national, the position you apply for must be on Spain’s shortage occupation list.

Your employer will also have to prove that there were no other suitable candidates within the EU to be able to fulfill the vacancy. This means that only highly skilled workers or those that work in industries that need workers are likely to be successful. These mostly include jobs in the maritime or fishing industries or sports coaches.

If you are wanting to become self-employed, then the entrepreneur visa could be a good option, allowing you to live in Spain for one year in order to open up a business. Be aware however your business must be considered as anything of innovative character with special economic interest for Spain.

You will have to prove you have the necessary qualifications to set up your business and will also have to submit your business plan to the authorities for it to be approved. The entrepreneur visa can be extended for a further two years after your initial one has been granted.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Spain’s visa for entrepreneurs

Investors:

If money is no object and you want to invest in a Spanish property then, you’ll want to apply for Spain’s golden visa. To be eligible, you must invest €500,000 before taxes in a property here. It won’t allow you to work, but it will allow you access to the entire Schengen area. This will also allow your spouse and any dependent children to move to Spain with you.

Another option for investors is the entrepreneur visa as described above, if you want to use your investment to set up a business in Spain.

Joining family members:

If you happen to have a family member who is an EU citizen and lives in Spain or a non-EU relative that has residency in Spain, then you have another option. This is called the family reunification visa. However, in order to be eligible, you need to be a spouse or a dependent child and your relative must have the means to financially support you. 

READ ALSO:

Students:

Enrolling on a course and applying for a student visa is one way for non-EU citizens of any age can live in Spain beyond the regular length of a tourist stay. 

You will have to apply for a short-term or long-term student visa, depending on the length of their course. A student advantages can several advantages such as being able to work part-time or bringing over family members. 

READ MORE: What are the pros and cons of Spain’s student visa?

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