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Residence Cards in Spain


Spain has recently relaxed the rules on residence cards for EU nationals in Spain - no longer compulsory, residence cards are nevertheless still recommended for those moving to Spain as they are easier to carry than a passport and having one can simplify many other administrative procedures for new residents.

There are two types of residence card for Spain:

- Temporary residence card - if you intend to stay between 3 months and 1 year
- Ordinary residence card - if you intend to stay between 1 and 5 years. Valid for a maximum of 5 years and renewable after that.

To apply for a residence card, collect an application form from your nearest Foreigner's Office (Oficina de Extranjeros). Once completed, submit the form to either the Oficina de Extranjeros or the local Provincial Police Station (Comisaria de Policia), together with 3 passport size photographs, your valid passport and a photocopy of it. Cards are issued at the discretion of the Spanish authorities.

To assist you with paperwork, you may wish to enlist the services of an official known as a 'Gestor'. Although not a lawyer, the Gestor will get you the desired result with minimum hassle - particularly recommended for those without fluent Spanish or simply baffled by the Spanish administration system! Fees are usually reasonable but find out the total cost before you engage them, as results are not immediate. Sometimes the Gestor will ask for the whole fee in advance. Your nearest Gestor's office (known as Gestorias) can be found in the Spanish Yellow Pages:

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