Arraigo Social: Staying Legal in Spain When All Else Fails

01 March 2021

A Visa Based on Social Roots


Information about obtaining permission to stay in Spain through arraigo social (social ties) or arraigo laboral (economic ties), including what this means, eligibility requirements and application procedures.


You’re now looking for a way to legally extend your time in Spain. What to do?

You live in Spain. Maybe your visa will expire soon, or maybe you never had one. In any case, you’re now looking for a way to legally extend your time in Spain. What to do? Two options for exceptional cases are arraigo social and arraigo laboral.

What Is Arraigo Social?
What Are the Eligibility Requirements?
How Can I Apply?

What Is Arraigo Laboral?
What Are the Eligibility Requirements?
How Can I Apply?

 

What Is Arraigo Social?


This is a process by which a person may, on a case-by-case basis, gain legal permission to live in Spain. The idea is that during your time in Spain you have formed community ties for which you want to stay put. If you fulfill the requirements and present a compelling case, you may be allowed to do so.

 

What Are the Eligibility Requirements?

To be eligible to apply for arraigo social, you must:

  • Have lived in Spain for a minimum of three years.
  • Not have a criminal record in your home country, in Spain, nor in the country you lived in prior to residing in Spain.
  • Have a job in Spain with a legal work contract OR sufficient economic resources.

 

 

How Can I Apply?

To apply for arraigo social, fill out an EX-10 form and bring it with you to your nearest Foreigners Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) along with the following documents:

  • Your passport
  • A criminal record certificate (certificado de antecedents penales) issued by your home country or the last country you lived in for five years prior to your arrival in Spain
  • An apostille or consular legalization of your criminal record certificate
  • A Spanish translation of your criminal record certificate
  • Documentation that demonstrates you have lived in Spain continuously for at least three years (such as an empadronamiento certificate, health card, entry stamp in your passport, etc.)
  • A work contract (signed by you and your employer) with a duration of at least one year from the date of your arraigo application OR proof that you are able to financially support yourself. This might include recent bank, investment or pension statements
  • Documentation attesting to your family ties with other legal resident foreigners (spouse, parents, and/or children only) OR a social integration report issued by your local town hall (ayuntamiento). If you need the social integration report, you should be prepared to do this first. You will meet with a social worker and be asked to provide proof of your financial situation and social ties in the community (for example, local organizations you are a member of) to one or more interviews. Based on the social worker’s findings, the local authorities will issue you a social integration report. It will recommend you as a favorable or an unfavorable candidate.

It is possible that you may also be asked to answer questions during a personal interview in order for the authorities to better determine the facts of your case. If you wish, you may bring a lawyer or other legal professional with you to the interview.

You may be allowed to legalize your situation.

What Is Arraigo Laboral?

This refers to a process by which a person may, on a case-by-case basis, gain legal permission to live in Spain. The idea is to allow those who work illegally the opportunity to legalize their situation (as well as to punish employers who illegally hire workers and contribute to the underground economy). It’s an individual amnesty of sorts. If you fulfill the requirements for arraigo laboral and present a compelling case, you may be allowed to legalize your situation.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements?

To be eligible to apply for arraigo laboral, you must:

  • Have lived in Spain for a minimum of two years.
  • Not have a criminal record in your home country, in Spain, nor in the country you lived in prior to residing in Spain.
  • Not be barred from entering Spain or another Schengen country.
  • Have illegally worked for an employer in Spain for at least one year.
  • Be willing to report your employer to the authorities and cooperate with the authorities while they take legal action against your employer.

How Can I Apply?

To apply for arraigo laboral, fill out an EX-10 form and bring it with you to your nearest Foreigners Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) along with the following documents:

  • Your passport
  • A criminal record certificate (certificado de antecedents penales) issued by your home country or the last country you lived in for five years prior to your arrival in Spain
  • An apostille or consular legalization of your criminal record certificate
  • A Spanish translation of your criminal record certificate
  • Documentation that demonstrates that you have lived in Spain continuously for at least two years (such as an empadronamiento certificate, health card, entry stamp in your passport, etc.)
  • Court documentation confirming that your employer has committed a labor offense by employing you for at least one year (see eligibility requirements in the section above)

It is possible that you may also be asked to answer questions during a personal interview in order for the authorities to better determine the facts of your case. If you wish, you may bring a lawyer or other legal professional with you to the interview.

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