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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I've read that if you stay legally in Spain for 5 years you can apply for permanent residency. However, I've also read that:

Some categories of individuals are excluded from its scope because their situation is precarious or because they are resident on a short-term basis (refugees, asylum seekers awaiting a decision on their status, seasonal workers or workers posted for the purpose of providing cross-border services, persons who have been granted temporary protection or a subsidiary form of protection and persons residing in order to pursue studies or vocational training).

I'm currently an Auxilliar de Conversacion (North American Language Assistant) and I am wondering if my time spent in this program counts toward the 5 years or not? What about pursuing a Masters or other degrees? If not, what does count as 5 years spent legally residing in spain?

Thanks!
 

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Others on here will know more about this but I have to say I am unaware of being made a permanent resident after five years. Perhas that alies to non EU residents?
 

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Perhas that alies to non EU residents?
As far as I'm aware it only applies to EU nationals.

If as an EU national, you have been resident in Spain for a period of 5 years or more you automatically become a permanent resident. That's EU law.

That does not apply to non-EU nationals.
 

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I'm currently an Auxilliar de Conversacion (North American Language Assistant) and I am wondering if my time spent in this program counts toward the 5 years or not?
On what basis as a Non-EU National are you currently resident in Spain? And how long have you been resident in Spain on that basis?

As a non-EU National, you do not have the same rights as EU Nationals.
 

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So, I've read that if you stay legally in Spain for 5 years you can apply for permanent residency. However, I've also read that:

Some categories of individuals are excluded from its scope because their situation is precarious or because they are resident on a short-term basis (refugees, asylum seekers awaiting a decision on their status, seasonal workers or workers posted for the purpose of providing cross-border services, persons who have been granted temporary protection or a subsidiary form of protection and persons residing in order to pursue studies or vocational training).

I'm currently an Auxilliar de Conversacion (North American Language Assistant) and I am wondering if my time spent in this program counts toward the 5 years or not? What about pursuing a Masters or other degrees? If not, what does count as 5 years spent legally residing in spain?

Thanks!
Im assuming you are over here at the moment on a visa?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, I am currently residing in spain on a student visa in the North American Language and Culture assistant program. By the end of my contract I will have been here for 2 years and I am curious if those 2 years will count towards establishing my 5 years at which point I can apply for permanent residency.

Status of non-EU nationals who are long-term residents

The European Union (EU) grants European resident status to non-EU nationals who have legally and continuously resided for a period of five years within the territory of an EU country.

I can't post the link for the page I found this on as I am a new member but you can confirm this on europa.eu.
 

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As far as I'm aware it only applies to EU nationals.

If as an EU national, you have been resident in Spain for a period of 5 years or more you automatically become a permanent resident. That's EU law.

That does not apply to non-EU nationals.
This is correct except for the "automatic" bit.

I renewed my "residency" after 5 years and was issued another "temporary" certificate.

I have today applied for and got permanent registration.
 
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'The European Union' cant grant anything to anyone. Each country within the EU has its own rules on how non EU citizens can or can not apply for residency. The EU only dictates how countries treat other European citizens and their non EU family members not other non EU citizens.

Within the UK for instance their will be many people who could stay in the UK for 5 years or more but would not qualify for residency/settlement because the visas they have been on do not lead to settlement.

I'm sure Spain will have its own just as complex requirements of what they will and will not grant to non Europeans who are not family members of an EU citizen.
 

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By the end of my contract I will have been here for 2 years and I am curious if those 2 years will count towards establishing my 5 years at which point I can apply for permanent residency
A student visa allows you legal residence within the EU country for the term of study only. It does not count towards permanent residence I'm afraid. Once your student visa runs out, you do not have any legal right of residence within the EU and you will have to return to your home country.

That's the situation in the UK and it's no different in Spain or any other EU country. Even if you did 6 years study in the EU on a Student Visa it does not entitle you to apply for legal residence within the EU.
 

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This is correct except for the "automatic" bit. I renewed my "residency" after 5 years and was issued another "temporary" certificate.
To be honest I really don't understand all this posturing by the Spanish authorities on permanent residence or otherwise.

As far as I'm concerned, being an EU national, owning a property in Spain, having a bank account in Spain, paying Spanish non-resident taxes, if I decide to go and live in Spain in my own flat and support myself with my own income with health insurance I can live there as long as I want to with or without permanent residence.

As long as I abided by their laws and pay their taxes the Spanish authorities would not have any legal grounds whatsoever to remove or deport me and that is EU law.

So I couldn't care less whether they grant me permanent residence or not. As far as I'm aware if I live there permanently for 5 years or more I get it be default and automatically.

But it doesn't seem to make any difference either way.
 

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I couldn't care less whether they grant me permanent residence or not. As far as I'm aware if I live there permanently for 5 years or more I get it be default and automatically.
Well, you're quite entitled to hold that view, but I wouldn't sit by the letterbox waiting for the permanent registration certificate to drop through after 5 years of living here....
 

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...but I wouldn't sit by the letterbox waiting for the permanent registration certificate to drop through after 5 years of living here....
No, but I bet they wouldn't be slow in contacting me if I was late paying my taxes?

As I said, after 5 years you get it by default. That means whether the authorities like it or not or contact you to give it to you or not. By default means they can't refuse it.

Also as I said, that is EU law.

I've yet to see the benefits of having Spanish Permanent Residence against not having it. It seems to me most people want to get it to get free health care. If I'm paying for Private Health Care and/or qualify for Spanish Health care via UK NI contributions what's the difference?

Either way, after 183 days of being there, they want their taxes paid!
 

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No, but I bet they wouldn't be slow in contacting me if I was late paying my taxes?

As I said, after 5 years you get it by default. That means whether the authorities like it or not or contact you to give it to you or not. By default means they can't refuse it.

Also as I said, that is EU law.

I've yet to see the benefits of having Spanish Permanent Residence against not having it. It seems to me most people want to get it to get free health care. If I'm paying for Private Health Care and/or qualify for Spanish Health care via UK NI contributions what's the difference?

Either way, after 183 days of being there, they want their taxes paid!
It doesn't really matter if it's EU "law" or not, there are always some loop holes. What Spain is doing is taking advantage of one of those loopholes. It is not illegal, at least atm. We talked about it on another thread recently, and legislation was quoted, but I can't remember what the thread was called.
Anyway, Spain's not the only one resriticting immigrants from the EU and running the country as it wants. Switzerland also introduced restrictions for certain countries last year. Read here
Government to re-introduce immigration quotas for some EU countries. - swissinfo
And I don't know, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if Greece and Italy had introduced similar legislation to Spain.
The other thing is, it really doesn't matter to us individuals if it's right or not in the sense that if you don't have the paperwork that the law of the moment says you need, then you're not legal. Complain all you want, but it's not going to get you anywhere!
The getting residence after 5 years by default maybe right, but you still have to apply for it and they have to check your claim.
And of course they want their taxes paid!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the replies and discussion

shel - Perhaps I didn't explain myself well. I am not expecting the "EU" to grant me the permit, I was simple copying and pasting the text regarding the EU directive of November 25th 2003 on the treatment of Non-EU nationals regarding permanent residency. I understand that each country will implement and interpret those directives individually which is why I am posting on the Spain forum to hopefully understand an aspect of those complex requirements in regards to Spain in particular.

Zenkama - thanks for your reply regarding the eligibility of years spent under student status. I am completely inclined to agree with you, as disappointing as that is. I just wanted to raise one more issue regarding this. I did a little more searching and on the spainlawyer website regarding immigration law they state -

Residence permit is required in order to remain and live in Spain after a period of time exceeding 90 days..

There are different types of residence permits:

Temporary residence permit: It allows you to remain in Spain for a period of time between 90 days and 5 years, your residence permit may be renewed up after that limit.

Permanent residency permit: It is available to all foreigners who have held a normal residence permit for a continuous period of 5 years, it should be renewed every 5 years.

So they state that after holding a temporary (normal) residency permit for 5 years, one can apply for the permanent residency permit. I do have temporary residency (NIE/TIE), so, I remain curious about whether or not it can count. Does anyone have personal experience with this in Spain?
 

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I do have temporary residency (NIE/TIE), so, I remain curious about whether or not it can count. Does anyone have personal experience with this in Spain?
I'm afraid an NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjeros) number has nothing whatsoever to do with residency temporary or otherwise. An NIE number is simply a tax number:

The NIE Number is a tax identification number in Spain, known in Spanish as the “Número de Identificación de Extranjeros”. The NIE Number is issued by the National Police of Spain and in accordance to Spanish law is required for the purchase or sale of any real estate, vehicle, or boat within Spain. There are many other transactions that require the parties involved to possess an NIE Number. The NIE Number itself is issued on a standard A4 page, with the recipients full name (as written on the passport used during the application process), their place of birth, their nationality, and the number itself, along with a stamp and signature provided by the National Police. The document is often used as a form of identification, and in many cases the original document is required (a copy is not sufficient). Once issued an NIE number, it will never change, irrelevant of marital status, name changes or residence status. The NIE Number is a national number, and therefore the location of application is irrelevant as the number can be used throughout the whole of Spain.

I have an NIE number and I don't even live there!

Your temporary residence in Spain is due soley to your Student Visa and nothing else. I know this is not what you want to hear. It it simply not as easy and straight-forward as you seem to think to gain EU Residency.
 

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The other thing is, it really doesn't matter to us individuals if it's right or not in the sense that if you don't have the paperwork that the law of the moment says you need, then you're not legal. Complain all you want, but it's not going to get you anywhere!
The getting residence after 5 years by default maybe right, but you still have to apply for it and they have to check your claim.
And of course they want their taxes paid!!
So what are you saying? That if I go to live in MY flat, use MY money to live on and pay for MY health care and pay MY taxes the Spanish can say I'm not legally entitled to live there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the reply Zenkarma, I expected it wouldn't count but have heard people speak to the contrary so i've been trying to look into the truth of the matter. And don't worry, I neither think it is easy or straight forward as it still wouldn't be even if these two year counted. I simply want to understand a confusing issues to my best ability so that I may arrange my future accordingly.
 

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And I don't know, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if Greece and Italy had introduced similar legislation to Spain.

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And of course they want their taxes paid!!
If you mean the law on income etc for residence Spain is one of the LAST countries to bring it in. France and Italy were at the front of the line.

But if you are paying your taxes etc they don't care. They'll happily give you residence. The reason France pushed for these rules had nothing to do with people working,paying tax etc. France was seeing it's health service over run by seniors from northern Europe. People who had never paid anything into the French system. Often weren't paying much if any taxes. For Northern Europe it was a great deal. Young working age people lived in the UK,Germany etc. Paid taxes. They tended to be healthy. The moment they retired they ended up on the French coast. No longer young and working age.

Remember tax residence is a whole different issue.
 

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It doesn't really matter if it's EU "law" or not, there are always some loop holes. What Spain is doing is taking advantage of one of those loopholes. It is not illegal, at least atm. We talked about it on another thread recently, and legislation was quoted, but I can't remember what the thread was called.
Here's the thread I think you're referring to: http://www.expatforum.com/expats/spain-expat-forum-expats-living-spain/111677-how-healthcare-reforms-affect-eu-citizens-spain-application-res-certs.html

And as stated in that thread:

EU citizens are entitled to enter any other EU country, to stay there indefinitely if they wish, and to work or retire there... automatically. They do not require the host state's permission to do so. There are only very limited grounds on which they can (in effect) ever be kicked out. They also acquire permanent resident status entirely automatically. They again do not need to undergo any formality to do so. It happens after 5 years whether the host state likes it or not.
As I stated earlier - it's EU Law. The Spanish Authorities can bleat about it as much as they like, they can do nothing about it.
 

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No, but I bet they wouldn't be slow in contacting me if I was late paying my taxes?
Of course they wouldn't. They're Spanish, not stupid.

As I stated earlier - it's EU Law. The Spanish Authorities can bleat about it as much as they like, they can do nothing about it.
Let's get something down for the record: You are correctly stating how things should be. I am stating things (equally correctly) as things ARE.

If you move to Spain with this attitude it will be you doing the bleating.
The authorities in Spain are known for being at best relaxed and unpredictable, at worst downright corrupt. They won't care how many times you point the "law" out to them.

I mentioned in another thread that I went through an EU created process for recognition of my professional qualifications with a Spanish ministry.

On one of the very many calls to the ministry I asked the funcionaria if she was aware that the process, which was by then in its 12th or 13th month, was limited to a maximum of 6 months by EU law. If I remember correctly her answer was "si, seguramente"...
 
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