The advantage of getting permanent residence in Spain instead of Spanish nationality, of course, is that you do not have to renounce your current citizenship. Besides not being able to vote in national elections, being a permanent resident offers most of the same benefits as being a citizen in this country. Note that you are not legally required to apply for a Spain permanent residence card once you become eligible, but it is usually advisable to do so.
Requirements for permanent residence in Spain
Logically, the requirements for permanent residence in Spain are not going to be exactly the same for every person. Generally speaking, you are eligible to apply for your Spain permanent residence card after you have legally resided in the country for a continuous period of five years.
Apart from the required time period, you may have to meet other requirements for permanent residence in Spain depending on your personal situation. For example, you might have to prove that you have the financial means to support yourself, some form of health insurance that covers you fully while in Spain, etc. If your basis for permanent residence is being married or in a civil union with a Spanish citizen, you will have to provide proof of your relationship status (marriage certificate, pareja de hecho certificate, etc.) You will definitely need a valid passport or national identity document, recent color photographs (passport-size) for your new card, and photocopies of any supporting documentation.
How to get Spain permanent residence
There is a two-step process for how to get Spain permanent residence (three steps if you count the residency requirement prior to applying). In the first step, you bring the required documents to Extranjería, the foreigners’ office, and wait for your application to be approved. After you have received approval, the second step is to go to the Comisaría or police station to request your new Spain permanent residence card, which will be very similar to your existing Spanish foreigner’s ID card except it will specify that your residency status is “permanente”.
Permanent residence in Spain: how to get your TIE
When you go to ask for your new residence card, make sure you bring your passport, approved application, passport-size photos, and a receipt showing you have paid the mandatory fees (form Modelo 790). Like always, they will scan your fingerprints for your new card. Your new Spain permanent residence card is usually ready to be picked up after approximately 40 days. Expect the entire process, from initial application for permanent residence in Spain to getting your card, to take around six months.
Although there is a lot of paperwork involved, the process of how to get Spain permanent residence is one that can usually be handled by the applicant themselves; in other words, assistance from a legal professional is not usually needed. However, if there are other aspects involved with your requirements for permanent residence in Spain, such as buying property or starting a business, then an attorney can ensure that everything goes smoothly and can often handle much of the red tape on your behalf through power of attorney.