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Permit for a long or indefinite stay

Permit for a long or indefinite stay


Any foreigner who has resided legally and continuously in Spain for five years can obtain a long-term residency permit. Similarly, foreign nationals who provide due evidence that they have resided continuously in the European Union for that period of time as holders of an EU blue card have the right to obtain this permit, providing they have resided in Spain for the last two years immediately prior to the application.

A long-term residency permit will also be awarded to foreign researchers who have made a remarkable contribution to economic, scientific or cultural progress in Spain, or who have earned recognition for Spain abroad. In such cases, the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security will be responsible for awarding the long-term residency permit following a report from the Spanish Ministry of Internal Affairs. In this case, the application for a long-term residency permit will not be submitted by the interested party, but upon the initiative of the General Directorate of Immigration, after receiving a proposal to do so from a public authority with competences related to the merit the application is based on, accompanied by documentation accrediting this merit.


Any foreigners in Spain and in any of the indicated situations must submit the official application form to the Immigration Office in the province where they reside or, if the condition of prior residence in Spain is not required, where they wish to establish their residence.






Foreign nationals who are not on Spanish soil must submit the application in person at the diplomatic mission or consular office in their place of residence,which will transfer it to the competent immigration office to be processed.





The competent authority will make a decision within a maximum of three months from when the application was received. If and when the long-term residency permit is awarded, the foreign national must apply for the foreign national identity card in person no later than one month after being notified of the decision.

Long-term residency permit holders must apply to have their foreign national identity card renewed every five years.





Finally, it should be noted that the above paragraphs do not include all of the permits for stays, residence or work that are provided for by Spanish legislation. They only cover those that are directly relevant to – and usable by – researchers.


Tofind out more about all the permits, processes and procedures applicable in Spain, please see the section "Studying, residing and working – Information sheets" available on the web page of the Secretary General for Immigration and Emigration (