One on the first concerns from our clients when they apply for a resident visa, for example the non lucrative visa ‘NLV’ or the digital nomad visa ‘ DNV’ is how long can they leave Spain for.
For permanent residents there isn’t any time limit so you can stay outside of Spain for as long as you want, without any issues for your visa.
The temporary residence permit can last up to five years, and once a foreigner has lived in Spain for such a period, they can apply for a long-term residency permit.
Nevertheless, if you have a temporary residence permit you were obliged to be here in Spain for at least 180 days per calendar year. This rule was one of the most difficult aspects for many temporary residents as they had to take into account that extra time spent abroad could mean the loss of their residency.
Maybe you have heard that the foreigners holding Spanish temporary residence permits will no longer be subject to this strict rule. This means that the foreigners who hold a temporary residence permit will no longer have their permit revoked even if they spend over six months outside the territory of Spain.
This would mean all those who hold a Spanish temporary residence permit can travel abroad for more than six months within a year without having to worry about the status of their permit.
The Spanish authorities are no longer able to revoke the temporary residence permit of foreigners who stay outside Spain for more than 180 days per calendar year. This was changed by the Spanish Supreme Court on 20th June 2023.
However, the Spanish Government have stressed that despite the Supreme Court decision, they will still be able to reinstate their previous rules if needed.
This is because the Supreme Court has established that the 6 months rule is not in accordance with Spanish Law, but this decision does not apply to everyone only to those people who have appealed the revocation decision, so the Spanish authorities have the power to cancel the residence permit of those who did not meet the six-month rule.
The good news is that from now on the temporary residency status can be terminated only through a legal process when the authorities evaluate that a certain person should no longer be eligible for the document rather than due to the duration of absence in Spain.
This potential confusion may arise for residents who seek to upgrade their temporary residence permits to permanent status following five years of residence in the country.
The current rule that does not permit a foreigner resident to stay out of the country for more than ten months within a five-year period prior to the permanent residence permit application continues to remain in place.
This means that all foreigners who stay out of Spain for more than six months will be able to renew their residence permit, but they will not be able to upgrade the permit to permanent erosion as their stay outside the country would exceed ten months in a five-year period.
Marisa Moreno Castillo senior lawyer at Just Law Solicitor and Consul for Denmark.
At Just Law Solicitors you only deal direct with an English speaking Spanish lawyer, insured and regulated by the Bar Association here in Spain.
We don’t work with Spanish lawyers, we are Spanish lawyers.
Malaga – Fuengirola – Marbella
contact@justlawsolicitors / WhatsApp + 34 663 373 535