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Automatic Extension for Residence Permits during the National Emergency in Spain

May 26, 2020

On the 20th of May, the Ministry of Health published in the BOE its Order (Orden SND/421/2020 of 18 May) under which all authorisations that expired during the state of National Emergency, as well as those that expired in the 90 days prior to its declaration, will be automatically extended. This extension will take effect from the next day of the expiry date of the authorisation and will be extended for 6 months after the end of the state of National Emergency, except in some cases, as we will see, in which the extension will be for 3 months.

Here is a summary of the regulated cases that may apply to you:

1. Residence and/or work permits and residence permits for study, student mobility, non-working practice or voluntary services

These authorisations, and their corresponding residence cards (TIE), will be automatically extended, without the need of a resolution from the Immigration Office.

This automatic extension will apply even if you have already submitted an application for renewal or modification, as long as this has not yet been resolved. Once these renewal or modification requests are resolved explicitly, the automatic extension granted by the Government will no longer have effect.

The renewal of these automatically extended permit may be submitted at any time during the validity of the extension (6 months from the end of the state of National Emergency) or up to ninety calendar days after the end of its validity, despite the penalty corresponding for the delay.

2. Residence cards of Family members of EU citizens

They are automatically extended for the same period of 6 months from the end of the state of National Emergency.

3. Residence cards granted on the basis of long-term residence

They are also automatically extended for a period of 6 months after the state of National Emergency is lifted.

4. Short stays up to ninety days

Those who are staying in Spain for a period not exceeding 90 days, which has expired during the state of National Emergency, will see their stay extended automatically, but for a period of 3 months from the date when the National Emergency is lifted, and the validity of the stay will be limited to Spanish territory. The extended period will be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the maximum time authorised for future stays.

5. Long-stay visas issued under a Youth Mobility Agreement and study visas for up to 180 days

If you have such a visa and it expires during the National Emergency, it will be automatically extended for a period of 3 months from the date when the National Emergency is lifted, as long as you are in Spain and have not been able to return to your home country.

6. Entry into Spain of national of non-EU countries

If you are a holder of an expired authorisation explained in sections 1, 2 and 3 and you are currently out of Spain, you may enter Spain with your valid travel document and your expired residence card.

If you have a long-term visa for investors or entrepreneurs, which expires during the National Emergency, you can enter Spain by presenting your valid travel document and the expired visa.

The Order doesn’t specify the period during which you can enter Spain with the expired permit or visa, however, we can assume it will only be permitted during the automatic extension periods specified above.

To conclude, please note that for the purposes of considering continuity of residence in Spain accredited, absences from Spanish territory as a result of the impossibility of returning to Spain due to the COVID-19 will not be counted.

If you have any questions regarding your case, do not hesitate to contact us for further information.


Anna Klevtsova

Anna holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law, and is a Certified Lawyer with the Bar Association of Barcelona. With more than 20 years of legal practice in International Law, Anna specialises in business set-up, investment transactions, and immigration strategies.

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