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Long Term Spanish Residency Permit Recovery


Were you a Long-term Residence Permit holder in Spain? What happens when you lose the ownership of this permit? The Spanish Immigration Law allows, in certain cases, to recover the Long-Term Residence Permit. Since now, it was mandatory to have an administrative resolution extinguishing the authorisation so the applicant could request for the recovery but now the criteria has changed. You can find the key concepts for this procedure in this summary.

When is it possible to apply for the recovery of the long-term residence permit?

The Long-Term Residence Permit is granted to foreigners who have been residing continuously in Spain for at least five years and authorises them to reside in the country on the same conditions as the Spaniards.

The Organic Law 4/2000, of January 11th, on Rights and Liberties of Foreigners in Spain and their Social Integration (art. 32), as well as arts. 158 and 159 of the Ordinance on the Law 4/2000, approved by Royal Decree 557/2011, of April 20th establish that the foreigners can recover their long-term residence permit in the following cases:

  • When the foreigner has remained continuously outside the European Union for a period over 12 months.
  • In those cases where the foreigner has accepted the voluntary return and has completed their commitment not to return to Spain.
  • When the foreigner has acquired an EU Long-Term Residence Permit in another EU country. 

This is a simplified procedure: the applicants must present the required documents in the Immigration Office if they are in Spain or in the Spanish Consulate in their country of residence if they are not in Spain. The Administration will have 3 months to resolve the application and the absence of a reply will be considered as granting the recovery of the Long-Term Residence Permit. 

Up until now it was required that in the moment of the request, the auth

Administration criteria to grant the permit recovery

orisation to reside in Spain was extinguished. The standard procedure was the following: when the foreigner tried to recover his Long-Term Residence Permit, the Immigration Office extinguished the authorisation to start with the recovery process, however, that meant that the foreigner did not met one of the key requirements: not to be in Spain irregularly. 

In consequence, the foreigner had to process the whole application from the Consulate in his home country or had to do it from Spain but, in the end, had to travel to their country to finish the procedure. As a result, this way of proceeding obstructed a process that had to be quite quick and simplified. 

Recently there has been a change on the criteria used by the Immigration Office to grant the recovery of the Long-Term Residence Permit: now in the same moment of the application, the Administration will carry out two formalities. First, they will extinguish the authorisation so the applicant meets the main requirement and then they will grant the Residence Permit immediately. The procedure will follow as mentioned if the applicant falls within any of the aforementioned cases.


How can Lexidy help me?

At Lexidy we can assist you with all the steps of the application for the recovery of the Long-Term Residence Permit. Get in touch with us and see what we can do for you. We are eager to help you, if your intention is to return and reside in Spain. 

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