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Spanish Residency

If you are planning on living in Lanzarote permanently, then it makes sense to apply for residency. Not only will your presence in the country be nice and above board (many expats fly under the radar, whether through conscious choice or by simply not knowing the procedure), but you will also be benefiting your local council, and you’ll be entitled to pretty much the same rights as a nationalized Spaniard. 

If your intention is to live in Lanzarote for more than three months in the year, then you are – by law – required to apply for a Residence Certificate if you are an EU citizen.

For people applying from the United Kingdom:
The simplest and most cost-effective process to obtain the visa to retire to Spain has to be done in the UK through one of the consulates. You may need a solicitor to assist you or a specialist company to assist you.

Below is the contact for the consulates and a visa application company:

Consulate webpage:
Visa webpage:

They will require all paperwork including proof of finances and health insurance to be presented to the Spanish Consulate here, translated into Spanish by an approved translator.

They would then issue the Visa for a year, after which you would need to apply again but this would be for a further 2 years along with reconfirmation of funds and health insurance etc. After the further two years you need to reapply for a further 2 years taking it up to 5 years, after which we would be eligible for full residency.

Applying for your Residencia:
To do this, you must register yourself at the Central Register for Foreign Nationals (known as the Registro Central de Extranjeros), which is usually done at the local police station, which for the majority of readers will be in Arricife. They will issue you with a Registration Certificate, which not only certifies your residence, but also holds important personal information, so you will need to provide the authorities with:

Your full name
Proof of identity (such as a passport)
NIE number if you have one (if not, this registering as a resident will also generate an NIE number, so you can effectively kill two birds with one stone by doing this)

A signed EX18 application form, which can be downloaded here: EX 18.FORM pdf

Evidence of financial means and healthcare In light of Spain’s recent economic woes, the government has sought to plug the hole that has seen millions of EU citizens move to Spain to take advantage of the country’s excellent healthcare, while plenty others have foregone personal responsibility and traveled to Spain without viable financial means to support themselves.

Previously, they were entitled to do so without any problems, but new legislation brought in as recently as July 2012 has been drawn up to tackle this persistent problem. It will hopefully not be a concern of most people looking to buy a property in Spain or work in Spain, but the guidelines are worth bearing in mind.

Family members:
Your residential rights in Spain extend to your most immediate family, which includes your spouse by marriage, a partner by a civil partnership, children under 21, any grown children, and your parents.

You can register for a:
Residency Card for EU Citizen Family Members at your local police station, where you will need valid passports for each family member, proof of the family membership, three recent colour passport photos, and have them sign the EX19 Form, downloadable here ? EX19 FORM pdf

Why register?
Spain’s decentralized system of government means that each Autonomous Community manages its own budgets, and calls upon each province to closely monitor who, and how many people, live there. With the Lanzarote being the transient place that it is, officials find it incredibly hard to keep track of their population, so by registering, you are making yourself visible to them, which works in your favour in a number of ways.

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