Immigration Lawyers in Spain

What do Manzanares immigration lawyers deal with?

Planning on immigrating to Spain soon? We understand why you’d want to move to this wonderful country. After all, it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world, and immigration to Spain has always been an appealing prospect to those based in less idyllic surroundings. It’s a popular destination for not only migrants from fellow European countries, but for people from all around the globe. Around 5 million non-Spanish nationals currently live in Spain.

However, before you can start relaxing into the Spanish way of life, you need to complete all of the important legal paperwork. Spanish immigration lawyers from Manzanares Lawyers are on hand to ensure that you can legally live in Spain. Our expertise is crucial during this process, as it can be quite difficult to do it alone – especially if you’re unfamiliar with how the Spanish immigration system works, as many hopeful immigrants are at first.

Spanish Immigration Documents

If you’re a prospective immigrant, it’s advisable for you to have the support of an expert team of Spain immigration lawyers behind you if you intend to make Spain your new home. Whether you’re an EU citizen or non-EU citizen, our immigration lawyers in Marbella will use their extensive experience to make the process a smooth one.

At Manzanares Lawyers, our team of immigration lawyers in Spain is here to assist you every step of the way. We can help you to understand the variety of Spanish visa options that will allow you to legally reside in this lovely country. The types of Spanish visas available for immigrants include:

⦿ Work visas      ⦿ Lucrative visas     ⦿ Non-lucrative visas      ⦿ Tourist visas      ⦿ Golden visas      ⦿ Family reunions      ⦿ & Many more.

Would you like further information about Spain’s immigration laws? We have extensive knowledge of immigration laws in this country and can help you to apply for all of the relevant permits with ease. If you need advice on legally immigrating to Spain, feel free to contact our friendly team today.

You can do this via email at or you can call our offices on +34 952 59 50 42 (Alhaurin) or +34 952 82 41 12 (Marbella). You can also request a free consultation on our website now. For more information on how we can help with Spanish immigration, please read through our FAQs below.

Why should I hire a Spanish immigration lawyer?

While starting a new life in a new country like Spain can be an exciting adventure, it can be a slow and stressful process if you aren’t prepared. Not only do you need to understand which visas are available and which type applies to your circumstances, but you also need to be acquainted with the national and local laws in order to follow them and obtain legal permission to live in that country.

Whether you speak Spanish and are familiar with the country or not, Spanish immigration lawyers like us can offer specialist insight into the Spanish legal system. Our highly-trained team are more than qualified to advise on many areas of Spanish law, including Spanish immigration law, property law, and taxes – all things you’ll also have to consider beyond your initial Spanish visa application.

Having professionals like ourselves on your side, with access to sophisticated legal software, will help you to thoroughly prepare for immigration to Spain. The process is likely to be much more efficient with a Spanish abogado to handle the paperwork and Spanish bureaucracy for you – ensuring that you comply with Spanish laws at every step and have everything ready when it’s time to immigrate.

As we’re based in Spain, with offices in the Andalucía region, we’re well-placed to liaise with Spanish authorities on your behalf. We’re also familiar with Spanish customs and daily life, allowing us to help you integrate socially as well as legally. Manzanares Lawyers can guide you on the appropriate path for your personal situation, improving your chances of successfully immigrating to Spain.

Can immigration lawyers in Spain help if I’m from the EU?

Our experts work with Spanish immigration laws all the time, so you can trust our judgement and rely on us to complete every step of the process properly.

If you are from a country within the EU, it’s much more straightforward to gain a residence permit in Spain within 90 days of entering the country.

You’ll still have to carry out certain registrations, confirm your personal information, and obtain a foreign identity number to gain the right to live and work in Spain.

Manzanares Lawyers can help you to acquire the correct legal documents as quickly as possible for a smooth international move within the EU.

If you live in Europe and your country is not a member of the EU, but it is part of the Schengen Agreement or has a special treaty with the EU, then you may still have access to the immigration and movement rights of an EU citizen.

Contact Manzanares Lawyers using the phone numbers or email address above if you need advice on moving to Spain from elsewhere in Europe.

EU immigration lawyers in Spain

Non EU immigration lawyers in Spain

Can immigration lawyers in Spain help me if I am not an EU citizen?

If you are not from Europe and would like to live in Spain, the process is a little different and slightly more complicated than it is for EU citizens.

There are a number of permits that will allow you to move to the country – these depend on whether you are going alone or with your family, and whether your purpose in moving to Spain is to live, work, or set up your own business.

You may also need a permit if you’re planning to make financial investments in Spain or intend to study at an institute of higher education in the country.

While citizens from EU member countries don’t need to apply for a TIE residence card upon arrival, it’s compulsory for non-EU citizens to obtain this registration document within 30 days of entering Spain.

Contact our immigration lawyers in Spain using the details above if you need guidance on immigrating to Spain from a country outside of Europe.

Can I immigrate to Spain if I don’t speak Spanish?

At Manzanares Lawyers, we have an expert understanding of Spanish immigration law, and our team is always happy to translate to make sure you understand what the rules are and how they apply to you. Not only do we have a team of English-speaking lawyers in Spain, but we also have team members who speak several other languages.

As an international Spanish law firm, we aim to help as many people from as many places as possible. Our lawyers can assist with legally immigrating to Spain if you speak:

⦿ Chinese    ⦿ Danish    ⦿ Dutch    ⦿ French    ⦿ German    ⦿ Norwegian    ⦿ Portuguese    ⦿ Russian    ⦿ Swedish

You don’t have to be fluent in English or Spanish to benefit from our Spanish immigration services. We’ll always do our best to help you and your family, no matter where you’re from or which languages you speak. Simply send us a message online or send an email to to see what we can do for you.

Spanish Immigration FAQs

If you don’t live in Spain and you’re looking to move here, the laws surrounding immigration can prove quite challenging, as they differ so much from country to country. This is why it’s important to speak to solicitors that specialise in this area, like Manzanares Lawyers.

Filling out reams of paperwork and obtaining copies of multiple evidentiary documents can be complicated enough when you understand the language, but it can quickly become even more stressful when you don’t. If you can’t speak, read, or write Spanish, this increases the risk of making a mistake in your application, which could be the difference between successful immigration to Spain and being denied entry to the country.

This is why Spanish lawyers who speak multiple languages, like the team at Manzanares Lawyers, are invaluable in helping people to do everything the right way the first time. We also keep up to date with the latest changes in Spanish immigration law, so you can rely on our well-informed understanding of the most recent regulations and procedures.

Spain immigration laws can be quite complex initially, but Manzanares Lawyers could be by your side to help you make sense of the legislation, allowing you to complete the process as quickly and efficiently as possible.

We’ll explain every applicable regulation and how to complete each procedure to the standards of Spanish law, so you don’t have to go through the difficult process by yourself. This should provide you with all the crucial information you need to deal with your enquiry.

If you want to move to Spain from another country, vital paperwork and legal procedures need to be taken care of first. This will confirm your residency and your entitlement to the same benefits as all other Spanish nationals.

Without said paperwork, you can incur legal penalties, as you won’t officially be a Spanish resident. It’s important to thoroughly carry out the necessary checks to ensure that you won’t experience any legal troubles once you move here, which can be time-consuming and expensive to resolve.

At Manzanares Lawyers, we’re able to provide all the legal help you need to quickly complete the required procedures to live in Spain. Our multi-lingual solicitors can speak your language, giving you confidence in our abilities.

Our highly qualified and well-trained team stay abreast of evolving Spanish immigration rules to make sure we provide the best advice and most thorough service possible. The Spanish government has been making changes to simplify and speed up procedures, so we can offer an even more efficient service when it comes to securing legal Spanish residency faster.

One example of this is family reunification in Spain. If you are a foreign national and wish to immigrate to Spain with your immediate family, who are also foreign nationals, there were previously fewer options and more upkeep required. Now, there are more opportunities for lower income families to regroup in Spain – and Manzanares Lawyers can help to facilitate this.

Spain is a very welcoming country, and there are now more options than ever for people from other countries to immigrate and become Spanish residents. These are the most common eligible grounds for someone to apply for residency in Spain:

    ⦿ Commencing an employment contract with a registered company in Spain
    ⦿ Purchasing an existing business or opening a new business in Spain
    ⦿ Investing in Spanish real estate or government bonds
    ⦿ Undertaking an education course or research with a Spanish institution

As long as you are a law-abiding citizen of your current country with no criminal history or previously rejected visas, you should be able to apply to immigrate to Spain without a problem. However, it’s not as simple as just having a valid reason to be in Spain if you aren’t an EU/EEA citizen.

You must apply for a visa in advance if you plan to stay in the country long-term, so that your entry and settlement is legally approved. Whether you’re self-employed or work for a Spanish company, are a student in higher education, an investor in Spanish property or business, or a retiree wanting to settle down somewhere, there will be a Spanish visa option that’s suitable for your situation.

Every Spanish immigration visa has its own requirements and restrictions, so it’s important to know your options in full to decide which one is the most advantageous for your individual circumstances. Recent Spanish immigration law reforms have made it much easier for students, employed adults, and families to legally move to Spain without having to meet seemingly endless specifications.

This is where Spanish immigration lawyers can help, making sure you submit a thorough application and receive the documents you need beforehand so that you can securely take the next step towards living in Spain.

There are many steps involved in moving to Spain, throughout the stages of preparing, applying, and completing the move. We understand how difficult it can be for foreigners to navigate the Spanish legal system from afar, which is why our knowledgeable team is here to help.

Here at Manzanares Lawyers, we often receive contact from people that are currently living in a country other than Spain, but are looking to immigrate here in the future. They often get in touch with us through our online enquiry form to arrange a consultation with one of the team.

We aim to respond in a swift and efficient manner, contacting you either through email, Skype, or Zoom to discuss your legal requirements. This way, we can quickly get started on helping you with any Spanish immigration laws you need assistance with before you move to our country.

The process is almost as seamless as if you were here in person. Our Spanish immigration lawyers use modern technology to our advantage to help as many clients as possible, providing legal services you can trust, no matter how far away you may be.

Reforms have been underway to bring the Spanish immigration application process up to date with modern life, meaning it’s possible to do more than ever online, without having to visit the Spanish consulate in your country multiple times. However, there’s just as much potential to make mistakes that could see your application delayed or rejected, or to find yourself missing vital documentation when the time comes to fly to Spain.

With the proper advice from lawyers in Spain, who know both the language and the law inside out, you’ll have the best chance of not only submitting a successful application, but also being fully prepared when you finally set foot on Spanish soil to start your new life here.

Spanish immigration law can seem convoluted from the outset, which is why Manzanares Lawyers is happy to guide you through it. Here’s a helpful summary of what you can expect from the process when you apply to immigrate:

    ⦿ Submit a complete visa application at a Spanish embassy or consulate in your country
    ⦿ If approved, the embassy will contact you and give you 30 days to collect the visa in person
    ⦿ You must travel to Spain within 90 days of your visa being issued
    ⦿ Once in Spain, you must apply for a Foreigners’ Identification Number (NIE certificate) within 30 days
    ⦿ If you are not from an EU member state, you must then apply for a TIE residency card within 30 days
    ⦿ The initial permit allows you to remain in Spain for 1 year and must be renewed after that
    ⦿ When you’ve lived in Spain for 5 years, you can apply for permanent residence
    ⦿ After 10 years in Spain, you can apply for Spanish nationality if you choose, though you may want to check the dual citizenship laws in your country of origin

The Spanish immigration process requires the provision of extensive documents proving your identity, profession, income level, and absence of a criminal record, among many more. If you need assistance with completing the strongest possible visa application and ensuring that all your documents are in order, our Spanish immigration lawyers will gladly assist you.

There are so many types of visas for immigration in Spain that understanding which one applies to your situation can be complicated. These are some of the most popular Spanish immigration visas people apply for:

    ⦿ Work Visa – Employer in Spain will submit application on your behalf.
    ⦿ Self-Employed Residence Authorisation – opening a qualified professional practice and bringing immediate family to live in Spain.
    ⦿ Non-Lucrative Residency Visa – retiring in Spain with enough assets to support yourself without working.
    ⦿ Student Visa – attending a study course in Spain for longer than 3 months or taking up a research or apprenticeship position with a Spanish education facility.
    ⦿ Golden Visa – investing in luxury property in Spain to fast-track residency.
    ⦿ Family Visa – bringing relatives to live with you in Spain through the family reunification process.
    ⦿ Digital Nomad Visa – allowing freelancers to live in Spain while working remotely (coming 2023).

Whatever your reason for immigrating to Spain may be, whether temporary or permanent, you’ll need to do some in-depth research on the options available to you.

This can be difficult if you aren’t sure where to start, but experts like ourselves with feet on the ground in Spain are well-placed to guide you through the requirements of legally moving to Spain as a student, worker, investor, or retiree.

Spanish immigration law reforms have been introduced in 2022 to ease the process of getting work permits for non-EU nationals, including students and those in ‘irregular’ situations. These visas will also last for longer before requiring renewal, and have less demanding requirements.

Manzanares Lawyers can help you find the best path to residency and complete the most appropriate Spanish visa application for your circumstances. Even if your situation is irregular, get in touch to see what we can do for you to find an adequate route to Spanish residency.

The processing time can vary depending on the type of visa you’re applying for, and the amount of documentation required, but the legal maximum is 90 days (3 months). Average resolution times are between 1-6 weeks or up to 45 days – generally, you should be informed whether your application is successful within 15 working days after your appointment at the embassy or consulate.

Of course, the preparation time for completing the form and attending the appointment can be much longer while you get your documents in order. If you submit an incomplete visa application without all the required documents or with incorrect information, this could cause processing delays and may even result in an immediate rejection of your application.

Failing to bring the correct documents on the day of the Spanish visa appointment could also result in having to re-book another appointment at the next available date, which could be months away. You are responsible for factoring in potential delays that could affect your intended travel dates to Spain, so it’s crucial to do everything properly the first time to prevent mistakes.

As offices tackle the paperwork backlog left over from the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants with incomplete forms or missing supplementary documents can find themselves waiting several months. Measures have been taken to try and improve processing times, with the new Unit for the Processing of Immigration Applications opening in 2023 to support overworked immigration offices, which will hopefully lead to much faster responses.

The most straightforward way to improve your chances of a speedy successful result is to prepare thoroughly and submit a visa application that leaves no stone unturned – something that we’re committed to at Manzanares Lawyers.

Just as visa processing time depends on the type of Spanish visa and the documentation required, so does the application fee. These fees are usually payable by cash or cheque at the consulate or embassy on the day of your appointment. It’s important to note that this fee will not be refunded if your application is rejected due to missing documents or incorrect details.

On top of the application fee itself, you also have to consider the costs of acquiring the necessary documents. For example, you may need to pay for a new passport or ID card, copies of birth and marriage certificates, police reports, medical certificates, proof of insurance, etc. Then there is also the cost of legalising your application documents with an apostille stamp.

Additionally, your documents must be translated by a Spanish government-approved sworn translator in order to be accepted in Spain. Even after obtaining a visa, you’ll have to travel to Spain and apply for an NIE certificate, plus a TIE residency card if you’re a non-EU citizen.

The costs of Spanish visas and immigration can quickly add up, so it’s a good idea to get a Spanish solicitor on board to oversee your applications and appraise the costs in advance. This will give you a better understanding of how much money you’ll have to spend and which documents you need, and improve your chances of successfully applying for a visa.

The Spanish Civil Code only permits dual citizenship in certain circumstances. For the most part, in order to claim Spanish citizenship, foreign nationals must first renounce their citizenship of other countries completely. The only countries that are exempt, allowing dual citizenship with Spain and another country, are the former Spanish colonies:

  • ⦿ Andorra
  • ⦿ Argentina
  • ⦿ Bolivia
  • ⦿ Brazil
  • ⦿ Chile
  • ⦿ Colombia
  • ⦿ Costa Rica
  • ⦿ Cuba
  • ⦿ Dominican Republic
  • ⦿ Ecuador
  • ⦿ El Salvador
  • ⦿ Equatorial Guinea
  • ⦿ Guatemala
  • ⦿ Honduras
  • ⦿ Mexico
  • ⦿ Nicaragua
  • ⦿ Panama
  • ⦿ Paraguay
  • ⦿ Peru
  • ⦿ Philippines
  • ⦿ Portugal
  • ⦿ Uruguay
  • ⦿ Venezuela

To be able to keep your original citizenship while obtaining Spanish citizenship, your country must have special cultural links with Spain. This is primarily a shared language (Portuguese is accepted as well as Spanish). Though Puerto Rico is on the list, not all Ibero-American countries are – Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago are excluded.

Currently, the only non-Spanish-speaking country with special treatment concerning dual nationality is France. As of April 2022, an ‘exceptional’ treaty is in place between Spain and France that allows citizens of either country to maintain their original nationality while becoming a citizen of the other. It’s likely that more countries will seek similar agreements with Spain in the future.

Unless you are a citizen of the approved countries mentioned above or have Sephardic Jewish ancestry, you will unfortunately have to renounce your current citizenship if you want to become an official Spanish citizen. This means that you can also lose your new Spanish nationality if you move countries and apply for a new nationality or continue to use prior citizenship.

Generally, in order to acquire Spanish citizenship, you must either be born in Spain, marry a Spanish national, or maintain legal residence in Spain for 10 years. If you aren’t born and raised in the country, you may still be able to claim Spanish nationality as a descendant if you have a Spanish parent or grandparents. These are the primary routes to legal citizenship:

Spanish citizenship by origin, birth, or descent

To apply for Spanish citizenship by descent, you must have been:

  • ⦿ Born of a Spanish mother or Spanish father (in Spain or abroad)
  • ⦿ Born in Spain to at least one parent also born in Spain (having Spanish grandparents)
  • ⦿ Adopted by a Spanish citizen as a child (or within the previous 2 years as an adult)
  • ⦿ Born in Spain to unknown foreign parents or stateless foreign parents

When claiming this type of ‘blood right’ citizenship, no residency period is required. Children born in Spain to foreign diplomats and consuls are excluded, however.

Spanish citizenship by marriage

Previously, directly acquiring a partner’s nationality after marrying them was a common practice. Following modifications to the Spanish Civil Code in the 1970s, this no longer happens when a foreigner marries a Spanish citizen, though the belief that it does still persists among non-nationals.

Realistically, you cannot get immediate Spanish citizenship just by marrying a Spanish national, whether the marriage takes place in Spain or not. However, it does speed things up significantly.

To be eligible for Spanish nationality, you must reside in Spain with your Spanish citizen spouse for 1 year, both register with the local town hall, and be able to provide proof that you’re living together.

The marriage must also be registered in Spain – so if you were married in another country, you would have to get a Spanish marriage certificate. It cannot be a civil union or ‘pareja de hecho’ (domestic partnership), and you cannot apply for citizenship through marriage if you are divorced. However, you can apply if you a widower who was married to a Spanish citizen before they died.

Though becoming a fully-fledged Spanish citizen is relatively faster this way, it still takes some work. To get a Spanish passport, permanent residency, and the right to vote in Spain, you must first pass several citizenship exams, provide the relevant legal documents, and give up your prior nationality.

Spanish citizenship by residence

In some cases, it’s necessary to live in Spain for a specified period of time before you can qualify for citizenship. The requirements for applying for Spanish nationality through residency vary:

  • ⦿ 1 year for individuals who can claim citizenship by birth, descent, adoption, or marriage
  • ⦿ 2 years for citizens of former Spanish colonies or descendants of Sephardic Jews
  • ⦿ 5 years for refugees (citizenship by naturalisation)
  • ⦿ 10 years for any other foreign nationals residing in Spain

In the case of non-national residents, you do not have to live in Spain continuously for 10 years – as long as you live there for at least 6 months of each year (183 days), you’ll qualify as a tax resident.

To apply for Spanish nationality, you must be an adult (18 years old or above), or at least 14 years old with the assistance of an adult legal guardian or lawyer. Even if you are an independent adult, it can be much easier to complete a Spanish citizenship application with legal assistance, as there is plenty of legal documentation involved. For example, you need to provide the Civil Registry with:

  • ⦿ Current Spanish residency permit
  • ⦿ NIE card (Foreigner's Identification Number)
  • ⦿ Census records
  • ⦿ Birth certificate (plus parents’ and/or grandparents’ birth certificates if required)
  • ⦿ Marriage certificate (if applicable, plus spouse’s birth certificate)
  • ⦿ Valid passport
  • ⦿ Criminal record (or proof of lack thereof)
  • ⦿ Proof of financial status
  • ⦿ DELE A2 and CCSE certificates
  • ⦿ Completed citizenship application form
  • ⦿ Receipt of payment for application

All documents must also be legalised in Spain with apostille stamps. To indicate that you’ll be a good Spanish citizen, you must prove that you’re financially stable, with no criminal background, and are sufficiently integrated into Spanish society. This means proving that you’ve lived in Spain for the required period via census records (Certificado de Empadronamiento), and passing required tests.

These include the ‘DELE A2’ Spanish language exam and the ‘CCSE’ cultural exam. Obtaining these certificates demonstrates that you speak adequate Spanish and understand the country’s history and ways of life well enough to participate in Spanish society, including voting in Spanish elections.

After completing the necessary residency period for your application type, you must submit your application online, then wait for up to a year for the Spanish authorities to process it. They’ll get in touch with the results of your application, and if it’s successful, you’ll be invited to pledge allegiance to Spain at the Civil Registry. You can then collect your new Spanish passport from a police station.

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    JPMorgan states on its last report: “Spain is back”. The American company increases the 2014 GDP forecast for Spain, encouraging … Read more

    Málaga airport hit last august a record in number of visitors

    Málaga airport hit last august a record in number of visitors

    For Malaga airport, last August was the month with the highest number of users of its history, with 1,680,707 passengers, … Read more

    Spanish Golden Visa

    Main benefits from recent “Golden Visa” in Spain

    After Law 14/2013, dated 27th of September, went into force, a significant number of applications for “visa” or residency in Spain … Read more

    European Justice ruled against Spanish Inheritance Tax

    European Justice ruled against Spanish Inheritance Tax

    In recent declarations raised, European courts declared that Spanish Inheritance and Donation Tax partly breaks European Union regulations. Luxembourg Court ruled on 3rd of September 2014 that this … Read more

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