EU nationals when investing in Spanish properties may have different purposes for the investment. In some cases, investors just want a holiday home as second residence to stay some part of the time in Spain.
In some other cases, Spanish investors take the decision to come to Spain for living permanently.
In both cases, there are some points and conditions of the stay, limited, or permament, to considering before taking the definitive decision.
RESIDENCE IN SPAIN FOR LESS THAN 3 MONTHS
In cases in which the permanence in Spain of a citizen of a member state of the European Union (or another State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area), regardless of its purpose, is less than three month duration, must have possession of sufficient passport or current identity card, under which the entry was made in Spain, excluding the effects of such stay as a permanent residential status.
These provisions apply to family members of citizens of a Member State of the European Union (or another State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area) that these family members are not nationals of EU States, still they are in possession of a valid passport and valid, and have met the entry requirements.
In other words, if you are citizens of EU countries, and your families, you are allowed to stay in Spain for periods lower than 3 months per year, and you will be just required to bring with you your original passport or personal identity card during your stay.
RESIDENCE IN SPAIN FOR MORE THAN THREE MONTHS: CERTIFICATE OF RESIDENCE
Citizens of a Member State of the European Union or another State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, and Switzerland, have the right of residence in Spain for more than three months if they are in one of the following cases:
- EMPLOYEES AND SELF-EMPLOYED:
Being employee to a Spanish company, or self-employed (“autónomos”) registered in Spain, and rest of family members, can have valid residence in Spain during the time of their professional activity.
Together with the employee, members from its family will have the same right of residence. Authorized members of the employees family are:
- Current spouse (or registered partner)
- Direct descendants under 21 years old from the employee or from the spouse/partner
- Direct descendants from the employee or from the spouse/partner older than 21 disabled
- Direct ancestors from the employee or from the spouse/partner
The family members may be nationals of the EU State (or Switzerland), or nationals from countries outside the EU.
– Employees must provide a statement of commitment from the employer, or a certificate of employment. Also, the presentation of the working contract registered in the public service of the corresponding job, and certificate of registration in the Social Security system.
– Self-employed workers must provide proof of their current self-employment status. So, they will be required to bring the proof of the registration at the census of economic activities, and or justification for its creation by the entry in the commercial register or a discharge document or equivalent situation in the relevant scheme of Social Security system.
- UNEMPLOYED AND RETIRED
If you are national from a member of the EU countries (and Switzerland), and you do not work in Spain, because you are unemployed or retired, yourselves and your family members must be registered in the Central Register of Foreigners (“Registro Central de Extranjeros” ) at the of Immigration Office (or to the National Police Station of the area and proof to have sufficient resources to live in Spain without requiring Spanish public social assistance during your period of residence, and must proof that you have covered your health assistance by public or private sources while you are in Spain.
So, your financial sources must be evaluated by the Spanish system to confirm that you will not require Public Social/Health Assistance. The evaluation of the adequacy of your financial resources will be made individually and taking into account your personal and family situation. Every year, the Law of the General Public Budget (“Ley de Presupuestos Generales del Estado”) establishes the annual minimum for one to be considered “with sufficient resources.” For 2015 the minimum is an amount around € 6,000 / year and person.
So if your income is below this amount (€ 6,000 / person), you will not be accepted as a resident in Spain.
As the Spanish employees, your family members are accepted to be residents with you, as current spouse (or registered partner), your direct descendants, or the direct descendants of the spouse or partner under 21 (or over 21 years, disabled), and the direct ancestors of the worker or the spouse or partner. The family members may be nationals of the EU State (or Switzerland), or countries outside the EU.
– Application form (EX-18)
– Original Passport or original identity card valid and in force (if expired, a copy of it with the the receipt for renewal).
– Insurance, public or private, contracted in Spain or in another country provided that it covers your health care during all the period of stay in Spain.
This condition will not be requested to those retired whom accredit with the proper certification from their countries of origin that they are entitled to health care under the State through which they get their pension.
– Accreditation of sufficient financial resources for themselves and for their family members during their period of residence (+ – € 6,000 person / year)
This accreditation of the possession of sufficient resources can be made by any evidence allowed by law, such as notarial acts or property deeds, certified checks, supporting documentation for obtaining capital income or credit cards, (with a certificate from your bank certifying the available amount of the credit card reported), etc.
The assessment of sufficient resources must be made on an individual basis, and taking into account the personal and family situation of the applicant.
Students enrolled in a Spanish public or private educational institution accredited or financed by the authority of relevant education with training purposes are allowed to stay in Spain for more than 3 months. Students must have public or private health with full coverage in Spain, and they need to ensure that they have sufficient resources for themselves, and from their family members to not to require Spanish social or health assistance from the Spanish system
As the previous cases, family members from the student are accepted as the current spouse (or registered partner), direct descendants, or the direct descendants of the spouse or partner under 21 (or over 21 years, disabled), and direct ancestors from the student or from the spouse or partner. These family members may be EU nationals (or Switzerland), or nationals from countries outside the EU.
– Application form (EX-18)
– Original Passport or original identity card valid and in force (if expired, a copy, and the receipt of the request for renewal)
– Registration documents t from the Spanish educational institution, public or private, accredited or financed by the relevant education authority.
– Insurance, public or private, contracted in Spain or in another country with full coverage in Spain. However, this condition is deemed satisfied if the student has a European health insurance card with a validity period covering the entire period of residence, and allowing it to receive only the health benefits required from a medical point of view.
– Responsible declaration that it has sufficient resources for themselves and their family members to not demand neither use Spanish social/health assistance during their period of residence.
Participation in Community programs to promote educational exchanges for students and teachers may be considered sufficient accreditation for compliance with these requirements.
SPECIFICATIONS FOR FAMILY MEMBERS OF RESIDENTS IN SPAIN WHEN THEY ARE NATIONALS FROM EU COUNTRIES NATIONAL (AND SWITZERLAND):
When family members from the resident are nationals from a country member of the European Union (or another State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, and Switzerland) must apply for registration in the Central Register of Foreigners (“Registro Central de Extranjeros” ) at the of Immigration Office (or to the National Police Station of the area) according to the manner described above, by providing:
– Updated documentation, and legalized (with La Hague Apostile) and officially translated into Spanish, to show the family link from these members with the EU citizen residing in Spain (as marriage certificates, birth certificates, etc.).
– Dependency Documentation
– Documentation to proof that the person who has the right of residence (worker or pensioner) has sufficient funds, and social/ health insurance, or, in the case of students, responsible declaration that they have sufficient resources for themselves and for the members of the family, and insurance.
SPECIFICATIONS FOR FAMILY MEMBERS OF RESIDENTS IN SPAIN WHEN THEY ARE NOT NATIONALS FROM EU COUNTRIES (OR SWITZERLAND):
When members of the family from the Spanish resident (EU national) are Non EU nationals may reside in Spain for more than three months, but are subjected to the obligation to seek and obtain a “Residence Card for family members of EU Citizens” (“«tarjeta de residencia de familiar de ciudadano de la Unión Europea»).
This card must be requested “personally” (in person) by the member of the family within three months from the date of the official entry in Spain, and must be requested at the Immigration Office from the province where the applicant intends to stay or to fix the residence or, failing that, at the national police station in the city.
Once completed the application process it will immediately issue an accreditation certificate to proof that the card’s application has already been done, but still not completed. This certificate will be sufficient to demonstrate its status as a resident during the time until the final delivery of the residence permit.
Documentation to present:
– Application form (EX-19) of the family residence card of Union citizen.
– Passport in force. If expired, a copy of the renewal application.
– Documents proving the existence of family ties:
- If the applicant is a spouse (or partner with analogous relationship to marriage), updated marriage certificate, legalized (with La Hague Apostile) and officially translated into Spanish, or a certificate issued by the appropriate marriage register, or similar relationship to marriage, (establishing that the marriage or the partnership registration has been done with a maximum of three months before the date of submission of the card’s application). It must also certify the marital status of members of the partnership.
- If the applicant is the descendant of the Spanish resident: Birth certificate and, in the case of over 21 years, accreditation by any admissible evidence that such a right to be disabled, exclusively or non-expendable and main character, the citizen of the Union. These documents must be legalized (with La Hague Apostile) and officially translated into Spanish.
- If the applicant is the descendant of the spouse of the resident:
- Birth Certificate (legalized (with La Hague Apostile) and officially translated into Spanish)
- If over the age of 21, by any accreditation that type of evidence admissible in law to be disabled (legalized (with La Hague Apostile) and officially translated into Spanish).
- Marriage certificate or certificate of registration with the similar couples residing in Spain (legalized (with La Hague Apostile) and officially translated into Spanish).
- If minor is 21 years old, documentation proving that the spouse or EU citizen partner only has parental authority, or who has been granted custody and are actually responsible (legalized (with La Hague Apostile) and officially translated into Spanish).
- If the applicant is the ascendant of the resident in Spain or its spouse, it must bring birth certificate from the resident or from its spouse, and in the latter case (ascending resident’s spouse), also the marriage certificate of living with spouse (legalized (with La Hague Apostile) and officially translated into Spanish).
– Copy of certificate of registration of citizens of the Union of Spanish resident, and copy of an identity document or valid passport of the resident.
– Three recent color photographs, white background, passport size.
– Taxes and fees of the certificate paid.
– Accreditation by any mode of proof recognized in the law of that average life are exclusively dependent resident in Spain or spouse, and they have no other medium of livelihood that live with them (legalized (with La Hague Apostile) and officially translated into Spanish).
The issue of these cards for family members of EU resident must be made before three months from the solicitude. The favorable card’s resolution will be retroactive, meaning the state of residence of the accredited entering Spain being familiar citizen of the Union from the date in which it entered in Spain.
This family residence card of the Union citizen is valid for five years from the date of issue, or for the envisaged period of stay obtained by the resident in Spain (if the period is less than five years).
MAINTENANCE OF THE TITLE OF RIGHT OF RESIDENCE OF FAMILY MEMBERS IN THE EVENT OF DEATH OF THE RESIDENT, OR THE DIVORCE, OR CANCELLATION OF REGISTERED PARTNERSHIP IN CONNECTION WITH THE OWNER OF THE RIGHT OF RESIDENCE
In the case of death of the Spanish resident EU national, or in case of the resident leaves Spain, or in case of nullity of marriage, divorce or termination of registered partnership , etc, will not affect the right of residence in Spain for the family members if they are EU nationals.
But, what happens to those members of the family when they are not EU nationals?:
In the case of death of a the Spanish resident EU national, the death does not affect his right to residence, provided that they have effectively resided in Spain, as members of the family, before the death of the residence holder. The family must, in this case, report the death to the appropriate authorities.
In case of residence’s permanent departure from Spain, this must not result in the loss of the right of residence of its children, or from the person who actually holds the legal custody of them, independently of its nationality, provided that the children live in Spain, and they are enrolled in a school to finish its studies, until they finish these studies.
In the case of annulment of marriage, divorce, or cancellation of partnership, will be required to communicate this fact to the competent authorities. The Non EU national spouse/family members will retain the right of residence if one of the following cases:
– Marriage, or official partnership registration, has been done before 3 years from the date of the annulment, or divorce sentence.
– That the Court order, or out-of-the-Court agreement leaves the legal custody of the children to the Non EU spouse/partner.
OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES TO CONSIDER ABOUT RESIDENCE IN SPAIN: FISCAL RESIDENCE
If you decide to live in Spain permanently, be informed that, if you spend more than 6 months in Spain, you will be automatically considered as “tax resident” in Spain. The immediate consequence is that you will be forced to declare ALL your universal assets and incomes in Spain.
Some points to consider in relation to Spanish taxes as residents:
- Minimum exempted amount for Income Tax is € 11,200 / year. Below this amount no tax duties neither tax declaration must be requested to make.
- Public pensions are not considered for this tax.
- But at the moment you have, together with a “public” pension, a “private” one (from a company, or from a bank, an inverstment background, or others) or any other income (rentals, selling an apartment, etc.), in this case, there is no minimum exempted, and you must declare ALL the amounts obtained from these sources, without any kind of limitations. In this case, tax may be from 20 to 24% (from 2016 : 19-23%).
Also, another important point to consider is the WEALTH TAX. in the moment in which you are declared as fiscal resident in Spain you must declare all your assets (apartments, cars, bank accounts, etc.), and you may be taxable for the Wealth Tax which taxes fortunes of more than 700,000 euros (800,000 euros in the Balearic Islands).