How to Get a Long-term Residence Card in Spain: A Complete Guide

Table of Contents


What is it?

The long-term residence card, also known as “Tarjeta de Larga Duración,” allows non-EU citizens to live and work in Spain under the same conditions as Spanish citizens. It is generally granted after five continuous years of legal residence in Spain.

Who needs it?

This card is ideal for non-EU nationals who:

  • Have legally lived in Spain for five continuous years.
  • Want to enjoy unrestricted access to the job market in Spain.
  • Need stability and wish to benefit from social services and permanent residence.


  1. Check Eligibility: Ensure you have lived in Spain legally for at least five continuous years.
  2. Gather Required Documents: Collect all necessary documents as listed below.
  3. Make an Appointment: Schedule an appointment through the official immigration website or at your local “Oficina de Extranjería”.
  4. Submit Application: Submit the application form and required documents in person at the appointed time and location.
  5. Pay the Fee: Pay the applicable fee for processing the residence card.
  6. Wait for Decision: After submission, wait for the authorities to process your application, which may take a few months.
  7. Receive Notification: You will be notified of the decision by mail or email.
  8. Collect Your Card: If approved, return to the “Oficina de Extranjería” to collect your long-term residence card.

Required Documents

  • Valid Passport: Original and copy of all pages.
  • Proof of Legal Residence: Documents proving your legal residence in Spain for the past five years.
  • Application Form: Completed application form (EX-17).
  • Recent Photograph: One passport-sized photograph with a white background.
  • Proof of Financial Means: Evidence showing sufficient financial resources to support yourself.
  • Social Security Registration: Proof of social security registration and contributions.
  • Criminal Record Certificate: Certificate from the country of origin and Spain.
  • Health Insurance: Proof of public or private health insurance.

Providers that can do it for you

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Additional details

  • Continuous Residence Requirement: Make sure to maintain continuous residence in Spain. Absences are allowed, but they shouldn’t exceed six consecutive months or a total of ten months within five years.
  • Renewal and Permanence: The long-term residence card must be renewed initially, post which it can be renewed indefinitely. Check for specific local requirements and timelines.
  • EU Long-term Status: After obtaining the Spanish long-term residence permit, you might also qualify for an EU long-term residence permit, allowing you to live and work in other EU countries under similar conditions.


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