Guide to Return Authorization for Non-EU Residents in Spain

Table of Contents


What is it?

Return authorization (Autorización de Regreso) is a permit allowing non-EU residents in Spain to re-enter the country if they need to travel abroad while their residency renewal is being processed.

Who needs it?

Non-EU residents in Spain who have an expired residency card and are waiting for a renewal but need to travel outside Spain temporarily.


  1. Ensure Eligibility:

    • Confirm that you have a valid reason for requesting a Return Authorization.
    • Ensure your residency card is either expired or in the process of being renewed.
  2. Gather Required Documents:

    • Valid passport and copy.
    • Expired residency card (or the one in the process of being renewed).
    • Renewal acknowledgment letter (Resguardo de Solicitud de Renovación).
    • Proof of reason for travel (e.g., travel tickets).
  3. Make an Appointment:

  4. Submit Documents:

    • Attend your appointment with all the required documents.
    • Pay the corresponding fee (Tasa 790 012).
    • Submit your application and documents.
  5. Await Decision:

    • After submitting your documents, await the decision. This process can take a few days.
  6. Collect the Authorization:

    • Once approved, return to the Immigration Office to collect your authorization.

Required Documents

  • Valid Passport: Original and copy.
  • Expired Residency Card: Original and copy, or proof of renewal in process.
  • Renewal Acknowledgment Letter (Resguardo): Obtained when you submit your renewal application.
  • Travel Proof: Tickets or other justifications for the need to travel.
  • Tasa 790 012: Proof of payment for the fee required (usually paid at a bank).

Providers that can do it for you

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Additional details

  • Processing Time: The processing of a Return Authorization can take a few days, so plan accordingly.
  • Fees: There is a fee associated with this permit (Tasa 790 012), usually around 10-20 EUR.
  • Validity: The Return Authorization is typically valid for 90 days from the issue date.
  • Appointment Booking: Appointments can fill up quickly; book as early as possible through the Cita Previa system .


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