Certificates of Residence – Quirks and Questions

As well as the standard requirements to become a resident in Spain , you either have to be:
• Currently working legally in Spain, or be self employed and so have a Spanish income,
Or you have to prove your income is sufficient to support you and your family, this is done either;
• by having a lump sum in a Spanish bank or regular income over a period of time from a Spanish source paid into a Spanish bank
• a letter authenticating your pension entitlement (or other source of income) which has to be apostilled and legally translated if it originates outside of Spain.

An amount over the minimum wage here or lump sum of around 5,300 euros per person has been acceptable to date, but again this is not set in stone and may be amended in conjunction with other income sources or number of persons in the family as the legislation states each case is judged on it’s merits.

You also have to show health care entitlement for you and your family, with either:
• Health care funded by Spain if you are employed or self employed and are paying contributions here.
• Health care funded by Spain if you are the legally registered dependant of an employed or self employed person as above.
• Health care funded by Spain because you retired from working here and used to pay contributions here before retirement.
• Health care funded by Spain because you are have been legally resident since before April 2012 and have no other type of health care entitlement
• An S1 document, if you are entitled to one, which will be subsequently processed by the Spanish Social security to enable you to have state health care in Spain funded by the UK
• Or alternatively proof of an in date private health care insurance for you and your family minimum 1 year. This must be FULLY comprehensive and not carry any excess payments (Co-Pagos).

You may not like the requirements but they sound straight forward enough don’t they?
Well here are some of the pitfalls you might come across during your application process.

Q: I am already employed or self employed here and have health care but I don’t know how to prove it to the Extranjeria.
A: You need to have a digital certificate or register at the Social Security to enable you to receive SMS notifications to your Spanish mobile, you do this at the INSS in Los Cristianos, you do not need an appointment, but you do need your passport and you need to know your NIE number or Spanish Social Security number.
Once you are registered in the SMS system you can go to the Spanish Social Security website at http://www.segocial.es and arrange to download at any time an “Informe de Situación actual del trabajador” – an up to date report on your actual health care entitlement in Spain.

Q: I have a social security number and a Spanish health card, why won’t the Extranjeria accept that as proof?
A: Because your entitlement to health care may cease if you are no longer working or self employed. It is important to apply for a residence certificate as soon as you become employed or self employed – you can check your current situation here

Q: Why won’t the Extranjeria accept my UK issued pension letter or P60 certificate?
A: Because all documentation issued from outside Spain has to be Apostilled and legally translated into Spanish.
Apostilles are dealt with by the UK – for more information see this website:
You may need to apply for a specifically authenticated letter from your bank in the UK or Pension provider rather than a general bank statement, check with the FCO what they will and won’t authenticate.
There are any number of sworn translators who can officially translate your documents once they are apostilled, look in Paginas Amarillas or contact the British consulate for information on your nearest one.

Q: Why won’t the Extranjeria accept my new DKV private health card as proof of Private health care?
A: The card may not have an expiry date on it and so would need to be accompanied by a copy of your latest contract or a letter proving current entitlement (in Spanish) and it must be a fully comprehensive policy with no excesses payable (No Co-Pagos)

Q: I have a Spanish company why won’t the Extranjeria accept this as proof?
A: It is possible to be a shareholder or outright owner of a Spanish company but not to be paying Spanish social security contributions. If you are non-working director for example you may need to make arrangements for private health care cover.

Q: I have thousands in the bank here; I showed them a statement why won’t the Extranjeria accept this as proof that I can support myself?
A: Original passbooks (together with a photocopy) are acceptable, but a statement for a current or other type of account is only acceptable if your bank issues an official stamped letter detailing your holdings with them. The banks are used to this request and will do this for you within a couple of days; they may charge you for the privilege.

Q: I’m new here and I want to be self employed but I can’t sort it out because they won’t let me have a residencia?
A: The process is like a row of dominoes; first you get a non residents white NIE paper, you only need your passport and copy, application form and fee paid to do this. Once you have your white A4 NIE paper which lasts 90 days, you register to start your self employment and then return to the Extranjeria with a tax office Modelo 36 and a Social Security actual situation document as described above.

Q: I’m new here and I’ve been offered a real job but I can’t get a residencia so I can’t work, what can I do?
A: Again you need to do things in the right order, get your non residents NIE A4 white paper which will last 90 days, and a job offer in writing in Spanish, go and get a Spanish Social Security number, go back to your new employer and let them have copies of both numbers.
Once you have your contract and your employment has started you can go back to the Extranjeria to get your residence certificate.

The above Q & A are based on actual cases and reasons for applications being denied, but the list is not exhaustive, make sure you find out what applies to you and what doesn’t.