What is the change? Spanish immigration authorities have begun requiring that foreign nationals applying for residence cards obtain a statement of entry within three days of entering Spain.

What does the change mean? Applicants should either apply for a statement of entry with the Spanish police when they arrive at the airport or apply in person within three business days of arrival.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Residence cards related to initial permits when the foreign national has obtained a visa to enter Spain.
  • Who is affected: Non-EU nationals applying for a Spanish residence card in Madrid after obtaining an initial permit and its corresponding visa. Other cities may also apply the requirement on a case-by-case basis.
  • Business impact: Employees and assignees should be aware of the new requirement and plan to apply for a statement of entry no later than three business days after arriving in Spain.
  • Next steps: Individuals are strongly encouraged to apply for the statement of entry upon landing at the airport by showing their passport and boarding pass to Spanish police. If not, the individual must book an appointment within the three-day window to appear in person and show evidence of entry, such as an airline ticket, boarding pass or toll payment receipt (if entering Spain by car). The appointment must be booked within three business days and may be confirmed for a later date.

Background: A residence card is required for non-EU nationals whose permit is granted for longer than six months or whose permit validity will exceed six months by the time the residence application is submitted. Normally, applicants who enter Spain directly from a non-Schengen country may show proof of entry with an entry stamp by Spanish border officials, and applicants who transit through a Schengen country may show proof of entry with the flight itinerary, border pass and stamp of the EU country through which they transited. If the passport is not stamped, they must apply for a statement of entry at the Spanish police.

BAL Analysis: Third-country applicants whose passports are not stamped upon direct entry into Spain or those transiting through a Schengen country should plan to apply for a statement of entry immediately upon arrival at the airport or within three business days.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Spain. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

Copyright © 2018 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact