• Make a Donation
  • Ask For Advice

Can I Lose My Right To Residency In Spain? EU And Non-EU

Regulations for EU citizens and also non EU spouses/partners/family members.

You may need to return to your home country for a period of time and wish to keep your residency status in Spain.

After five years of legal residency, you will automatically acquire the right of permanent residence.

Non Permanent Resident

Your continuity of residence is not affected by:

temporary absences (less than 6 months a year)
longer absences for compulsory military service
one absence of 12 consecutive months, for important reasons such as pregnancy and childbirth, serious illness, work, vocational training or a posting to another country. (Spanish royal decree) two years consecutively (European directive).

Permanent residents

The above also applies with the difference that, you can lose your right to permanent residence if you live outside Spain for more than 2 consecutive years.

You may qualify for permanent residence earlier, if you have stopped working because:

you have retired and have worked in the country for the last year or have lived there continuously for 3 years
you are no longer able to work and have lived in the country continuously for 2 years
you are no longer able to work due to an accident at work or occupational disease – in this case you have the right to remain regardless of how long you have lived in the country.

Important note:

The authorities it appears have been carrying out systematic checks (checks are permissible but not systematic checks) on those who have not resided here long enough to have acquired permanent residency status. Notifications have been sent out to many residents asking to prove that they have not become a burden on the State. This has meant forwarding all documentation as though they were making a first application for residence status. Should you receive such a communication, please contact us.


Re non-EU residents with

Temporary residency authorisation

when you don’t renew within the legally established window after expiry

when you change or lose your nationality (still entitled to apply anew, with new nationality)

when the circumstances under which you applied for the authorisation, disappear

when it comes to light that you weren’t truthful in the application process

if you are no longer in possession of valid ID document, or not in the process of renewing it

max. 6 months absence in any period of 12

“This circumstance will not apply to the holders of a temporary residence and work authorization linked through a labour relationship to non-governmental organizations, foundations or associations, registered in the corresponding general registry and officially recognized as being of public interest as cooperators, and which perform for those research projects, development cooperation or humanitarian aid, carried out abroad. Nor will it apply to those with a residence permit that remain in the territory of another Member State of the European Union for the realization of temporary study programs promoted by the Union itself.”

Authorisation Residencia de Larga Duración or Larga Duración EU

when you obtained the authorisation fraudulently

if the authorities have issued an order to expel you

if you have obtained an authorisation for residency larga duracacion EU in any of the other EU member states

if you obtained it here in Spain, based on recognised status of international protection in another member state and that member state has revoked or denied renwal of that status

max. 12 consecutive months absence, except in the cases as mentioned above between ” ” for temporary residency authorisation.

Re Larga Duración EU, you can lose this authorisation as well if you are out of Spain for more than 6 years unless the Immigration autorities decide otherwise, based on a report from the Extranjería authorities stating exceptional circumstances to this effect.

Please note: The information provided is based upon our understanding of current legislation. It is not legal advice but is provided freely to enable you to be properly informed. We recommend that if you are considering taking action, you should seek professional advice.

How Can Citizens Advice Bureau Spain Benefit You?

As an expatriate living in Spain; do you find that the Spanish bureaucratic system can be disconcerting? Have you discovered that the simplest of transactions are difficult to conclude? Find yourself searching for answers to problems only to discover that there is nowhere where you could find a solution? I am assuming that the answer is yes and that is why should be a member of our web site if you arent already.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.