Arraigo social Spain

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Information about Arraigo social Spain

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Specialised: Foreign clients to obtain their Arraigo Social
lucia lagunas reyes - Our Arraigo social Spain lawyer expert

What you need to know about arraigo social Spain?

Living abroad is a dream many Americans and Europeans have, citing the plethora of historical cities to choose from, tasty local cuisines, and lower costs of living as top reasons for relocation across the ocean. With a wide variety of locales to choose from, cities in Spain have consistently been top choices for many ex-pats wanting to move their permanent home to a European nation. But just like in any country, living in Spain illegally is risky long-term, so pursuing an authorized residence in Spain should be the goal of all of those who wish to live there.

Many countries require visitors to procure legal paperwork, visas(like non-lucrative visa, student visa…), or other documentation from the home country prior to visiting a country like Spain prior to staying long term or remaining as a legally. Spain, however, has different, simpler pathways to legal residency called “arraigos” that allows visitors living in Spain illegally to complete a process to legalize their stay in the country. While not for everyone, arraigos can be a perfect solution to living in Spain under a recognized residency status short term that can be extended to longer or permanent residency in the country.

With each of the three kinds of arraigo, very specific pathways and qualifications are laid out by the government of Spain to provide a pathway to legal residency for people who have been living or working in Spain or have a close, familial tie to those who legally reside in Spain. Simply filling out a form to receive the arraigo is not enough. With careful attention to details like requirements for documentation and a clean legal record, utilizing an arraigo to legitimize residency in Spain is possible for many long-time visitors that may have overstayed their visa or are otherwise living in the country in an irregular status of some kind.

Kinds of Arraigos Social Spain

Arraigo social spain
arraigo in english – spanish residency rules

These permits, called arraigos, are available in three different categories. These would be the descriptions of the different types of rootedness:

  • The arraigo social application connects people with proven residency and a job offer to a path to temporary citizenship in Spain.
  • The arraigo laboral creates a way to obtain temporary residence permit spain that is linked to previous verifiable work experience in the country. It is really complicated to get a jobs for illegal immigrants in Spain, but if you could get this you could get the arraigo social Spain….
  • The arraigo familial option allows certain members of a Spanish family to gain temporary Spanish citizenship.

What is social Arraigo Spain?

Simply put, arraigo social is a work permit created to help foreigners that have been making Spain their temporary residence for at least three years. Also called “social roots,” this program is different than most legally recognized methods to create legal residence within a country because arraigo social does not require the filer to return to their own home or native country to complete it. This residency permit is necessary to change a temporary residence that is not legal to a residence that is documented and approved of by the government in Spain.
The arraigo social Spain has developed allows non-Spanish citizens to rely on their past years of living in Spain as an upright citizen as a basis for consideration to change their residency status. This means that people who have been arrested, for example, find it more challenging to take advantage of the arraigo social pathway. While each of the arraigo options are little different, many of the application requirements are similar or identical. So, what are the requirements for a person to apply for an arraigo social Spain offers?

What are the requirements for Arraigo in Spain?

In order to prepare for arraigo social requirements, reviewing what you need ahead of time is suggested. In fact, preparing for the possibility of the arraigo social at your earliest convenience will simplify the process considerably. Here are the requirements for gathering or completing to apply for an arraigo social in Spain.

1. Living in Spain for 3 Consecutive Years

In order to change your status of living in Spain illegally, ironically you will have to live in the country for at least three continuous years. The application process will require you to prove your living status within the country, so make sure that you are able to show with documentation that you have resided in Spain and not shared a domicile in another country at the same time. This does not mean you have to sell a property you own in another country, for example, but it should be provable that your everyday life has clearly been situated inside of Spain for at least three years.

How Can I Prove I Have Lived in Spain?

While this may seem like a complicated or difficult process, remember that every day we leave a small trail of footprints indicating the outlines of our lives. Start with the entrance passport stamp when arriving in Spain. This demarcation may have even occurred prior to realizing that your stay in Spain was going to last years (or even a lifetime). Then, look for legal documentation that proves you have lived normal, everyday life in Spain. Gather tickets to events attended, receipts for living arrangements, or even gas or electricity bills with your name and residence located on the document. Creation of a local library card dating back three or more years could be used, as could any other type of registration with a local business that indicates you worked with them in this time period. Communication with an attorney or other legal authority would be excellent documentation, as well. If at all possible, register with the local government as soon as you can, or even upon arrival, if there is any possibility that your stay might lead you to pursuing the social arraigo situation, as your presence in Spain would be documented clearly with it.

Keep the documentation that you have accumulated over three consecutive years and put it into chronological order. Doing this will make the review of the documents easy to do. Additionally, it will also show you if your documentation is thorough enough or if you appear to have long gaps of time that are unaccounted for, allowing you to search for more receipts, tickets, or other evidence that you have resided within Spain during that time. Remember that more information is better, in this situation. Even if you have a huge amount of documentation, it is always better to provide it just to make sure you have exactly what is needed during the review of the application process. Don’t leave anything out; include all pieces of proof you have that definitively show you have lived in Spain.

2. Register with City Hall

As part of the application process for the arraigo, you will be required to register with your local authorities. Similar to a census, or “empadronamiento,” all citizens are registered in a similar fashion with the local Spanish governmental authorities where they live. This document will not only provide local authorities at your town hall your residence location, but it will also let them know with whom you are living. While not as important with a social roots pathway, this information could become crucial if the applicant should decide to switch over to a familial application pathway. Completing this registration at your earliest convenience can help fulfill the three-year residency requirement as well as the obligation to do so tied to the application process. This documentation will be instrumental in moving your arraigo file forward, as your local authorities will use this location to assign an immigration office for your application to be completed through.

3. Prove a Clear Criminal Record

Different than residency proof that only goes back 3 years in Spain, applicants using the social roots pathway must prove they have no criminal activities on record for 5 years. This documentation is provided through a variety of ways, depending on how long you have resided in Spain.

Bring Clear Records with You

If you can complete it before you arrive in Spanish territory, request a certificate of criminal records from where you resided during the five-year time period prior to the application process. This certificate must then be translated into Spanish and then formally legalizing that document in Spain. Contact an immigration lawyer to assist with this very important step of making the documentation legal so your application process will continue smoothly.

Cancel Criminal Records in Spain

While not immediate, you can effectively remove many criminal records on file in Spain if you carefully work to do so. The basic requirements to cancel your records are:

1. Pay any fees related to the record in full
2. Serve any sentence imposed for the offense and do not commit any new crimes during this time
3. Wait the prescribed time period allotted for your specific crime

If these conditions have been successfully met, you will be able to apply for a certificate that indicates the crimes have been archived and your record is, effectively, clear for arraigo status consideration.

4. Act Like a Local

Make sure that your life as a Spaniard is clearly recognizable to the social integrator, a worker from the local council who will interview you during the arraigo application process. You should demonstrably be a part of society within your town and Spanish culture. Your social integrator will be looking for things like:

  • language fluency or a clear effort to learn to speak Spanish
  • involvement in local activities and events
  • understanding of the area’s customs and everyday life
  • knowledge or insight into living a normal life in the area
  • if applying in a region with a secondary language, like Catalonia, fluency in that language must also be demonstrated

Each applicant will complete a personal interview with the social integrator which will result in a formal document that will become a part of the arraigo application. The interview will allow the applicant to show that they have not only been a part of the Spanish society for the last 3 years, but that they have also attempted to be a genuine part of the everyday culture of the country they wish to remain in.

5. Prove Your Financial Situation

This qualification is tricky, because the traditional way to do this is to secure a job offer that does the following:
1. Is for at least 1 year in length
2. Is for at least 40 hours a week (full time employment)
3. Is from a company that owes money to the Spanish governmental agencies for Social Security or Taxes

For the social application, a person must only show intent to work rather than past employment. However, the final requirement is based in the actions of the company offering the job, so knowing the status of the company is key for this final requirement to be met. In fact, many rejected applications for the arraigo stem from a company not meeting this financial requirement, presenting a difficult challenge for those counting on the arraigo social Spain documentation’s completion to change their status to a legal residence situation.

The Hiring Company

A company must also be able to prove their financial solvency so that they can justifiably be able to hire the applicant for the upcoming year. Even though this is out of an applicant’s hands, the arraigo social Spain may reject the application due to the financial status of a company. An applicant may, however, choose to stack multiple job offers together to meet the hourly requirement or the year length requirement. In this case, more than one company will be reviewed for financial security and stability before granting the application’s passage.

Personal Finances

Many arraigo familial seekers may not have an employment contract or may not be looking for employment. In this case, familial or even arraigo social Spain applicants can prove their own financial solvency. A family could show documentation that they have enough funds to provide for themselves without needing assistance from the state, or an applicant may be able to show they are living with a family member that has the means to do so.

Arraigo Laboral Spain Requirements

For those who apply for arraigo under the laboral pathway, the requirements are similar but not exactly the same as arraigo social Spain application process. Here are the vital differences:

Laboral Applicants: Living in Spain for 2 Years

Instead of 3 years, arraigo laboral applicants need to only show 2 years or 24 months residency. The residency proof and documentation procedures are the same as the social pathway.

Laboral Applicants: Employment Contract Provable for 6 Months

Unlike the social pathway, laboral applicants must be able to prove they have already been working for at least 6 months. Additionally, applicants must name the company they have worked for, and that company must meet the financial stipulations just like the social applicant’s potential employers did. However, many applicants are hesitant to report their company as the company will now be named as one who has employed an illegal resident. The company will face some consequences, as a result, and this potential creates a reluctance of the applicant to essentially “report” their employer.

Other arraigo social Spain Requirements

1. Register with the local authorities
2. Not have any Spanish relatives (otherwise, apply for the familial pathway)
3. Have a clean criminal record
4. Valid passport from a non-EU country
5. Fill out the EX-10 form for the laboral pathway

What Happens Next?

Applying for the arraigo is a process that may take a while, since applicants must go through an interview as well as submit all required documentation. Once the interview process has occurred, the resulting document will be attached to the application. Other steps that take place after the application leaves the applicant’s hands revolve around verifying the employment contract and investigating the employment company’s viability. This process may take a while to authenticate all of the necessary details.

90 Days to Notify Applicants

Even through it might seem like a long time, you may have to wait up to 90 days (or 3 months) for a response to the arraigo application process. If your application is rejected, any problems with the applications can be fixed or changed, and a new application can be submitted at that time. If the job offer is part of the rejection cause, this might create a delay in how quickly you can resubmit your application so make sure that you are able to continue working at the position and you do not exit the country during this time.

Leaving Spain During Application Process

All types of arraigos require the applicant to remain in Spain or its territories for a contiguous amount of time, so make sure you don’t leave during the 3-month waiting period in case your application is rejected and that quick trip out of Spain counts against a future application. However, if you must leave, you are required to request an official authorization from Spain to leave and then return. Failure to do so may result in a denial of your arraigo application.

One important additional point to note is that if an applicant does not receive any kind of update during or at the end of the 3-month waiting period, this is to be considered a rejection of the application. Spain calls this “administrative silence” a denial.

If you receive a positive response to your arraigo, congratulations! You have just secured your residency authorization for Spain for 1 year. While 12 months does not seem like a long time for such a lengthy and in-depth process you just completed, it is just a starting point for you as a newly minted albeit temmporary Spanish resident. You can now do the following:

1. Pick up your residency card (TIE card) that shows your legal status. You have 1 month to physically retrieve this document, so do not delay in getting it into your possession.
2. Keep your working status or become employed, regardless of the type of arraigo you were granted. If you are on a laboral path, it is vital that you keep working and as a result contributing to the social security system in Spain. If you had a job offer, you should fulfill it as well. If you received a familial residency, you should also work if you are not able to show financial stability that does not require an income.
3. Remember that you will have to apply for modification of the arraigo in one year, since the application process only stipulates a 12-month residency will be granted. During the year, use that time to determine if your status has changed or if your pathway to residency has altered in any way. This is a great time to consult legal representation, if you have not done so already, to ensure that future modifications are completed in a timely and appropriate manner so you can continue to live and work in Spain without interruption.

Making an Arraigo Social Spain Application Easier

The decision to legalize your residency status is an important one, but a successful application process can be arduous for most people. With the need to gather documentation as well as meet the challenges that arise as you work to determine the best way to present a person’s situation in the application process, most people find that they need assistance in this process. The best route is to engage an immigration attorney to ensure that all of the required qualifications have been met so that no time or money is wasted in this very important process. Legal assistance can provide you the peace of mind knowing that all details have been covered and your application process will go smoothly. Changing residency status is a demanding process, but with an immigration lawyer walking applicants through each step, it can be a painless and exciting process for those who wish to establish a legally recognized presence in Spain.

Why choose us for your Arraigo social Spain?

We are a Spanish law firm with more than 10 years of experience. We are specialists in immigration and real estate. We respond in less than 3 hours to all your questions or we schedule a call to resolve all the doubts of the client.

We are experts in obtaining Arraigo social Spain so many clients speak well of us on the internet. If you need help with Arraigo social Spain, contact us!

22 thoughts on “Arraigo social Spain

  1. Sam |


    Could you please tell me which type of Arraigo should I apply? I live in Spain for over 867 days until now I’m still living in a dream. I have Spanish citizen family here, do you think it might help? I can speak up to A2 Spanish and I always do my clothes shopping in Zara and foodie in Mercadona. You know im dying hard for local market.

    1. My Spain Visa |

      We can help you with the arraigo social, we have sent you an email to start the process of arraigo social.

  2. Chloe |


    In Catalonia, can you apply if you have enrolled in a Catalan course, or do you have to speak Catalan already? I already speak Spanish but haven’t learned Catalan yet.

    1. My Spain Visa |

      You need to take a Catalan course to obtain the social roots in Catalonia, let me know if you need our help.

  3. Lindsi Anglesey |


    I am just wondering what kind of contract specifically I need from my place of work?

    1. Anna - Lawyer of My Spain Visa |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions about arraigo social in Spain.


  4. Sarah |

    Hi, my partner and I have just had our residency applications denied on the basis that we didn’t have adequate health cover in 2020. We have been advised to try the arraigo route, can you give us some information please?

    1. Anna - Lawyer of My Spain Visa |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions about Arraigo social in Spain.


  5. Neeru Pahwa |

    Hi I have a self employment residency and this is my second renewal. I used to have a restaurant but because of pandemic I closed it. Can I change my residency status to non lucrative

    1. Anna |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions.


  6. William Kernick |

    Looking for legal advice to stay in Spain. I have been here for 30 months

    1. Anna |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions about the arraigo social in Spain.


  7. Mirzo |

    I need help to obtain the “arraigo social”, could you help me? I have been living in Barcelona for more than 3 years

    1. Anna |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions about Arraigo social in Spain


  8. Joe |

    I kindly want to know the maximum period it will take for someone to get resolution for his Arriago social application? Thank you

    1. Anna |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to explain all the process for the arraigo social.


  9. Arooj |

    Right now how much time require when u applied for arrigo ?

    1. Anna |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to explain all the process for the arraigo social.


  10. Nick |

    For Arraigo social, what is the minimum work contract I must have if I also have over 6000€ in a spanish bank?
    Thanks in advance

    1. Anna |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to explain about the arraigo social in Spain.


  11. Donna |

    Hi , I have been living in spain from UK for a year. I dis not manage to get my T.I.E before Brexit but I have a contract and pay health insurance etc. Should I apply for an arraigo laborale. I have N.I.E, full time job, pay tax and health cover but no residencia. Is arraigo laborale the beat way for a UK citizen to continue to get spanish residencia. I can’t go back to UK for visa and work permit because I have been here more than 183 days . Are UK citizens with legal contract currently using arraigo laborale. Thank you

    1. Anna |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to explain all the process for Arraigo Social.


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