SPAIN – Delays to Residence Permit Processing and Visa Application Appointment Booking
Applicants for Spanish residence permits are experiencing significant delays in the application approval process.
In addition, Spanish consulates are assigning appointments for visa application submissions around three months in advance.
The Spanish immigration authorities are currently taking up to 35 working days to process residence applications under the Entrepreneur’s Act, rather than the statutory 20 working days.
The authorities are exercising a legal right to suspend the statutory processing time, as long as they notify the applicant of the suspension within the 20-day limit. The suspension cannot exceed three months. If the notification of delay is not issued within 20 working days, the application is considered to be approved.
Consular Appointment Booking
Appointments for D visa application submission at Spanish consulates are currently being assigned around three months in advance.
For applicants applying for residence permits from outside Spain, this can significantly delay the date they can enter Spain and start work.
Some consulates may not allow appointment bookings before the applicant’s residence has been approved by the authorities in Spain.
Moreover, the delay may affect whether the consulate will accept certain documents which must be submitted within 90 days of their issuance.
Those applying for residence authorisation from outside Spain are advised to try to book their consular visa application appointment as early as possible in the process (if the consulate is willing to assign appointments before the residence is approved). Applicants should also check with the consulate of application whether it will accept supporting documents issued within 90 days of the appointment booking date rather than the appointment date. Applicants wishing to start work as soon as possible should consider applying for residence after entering Spain as a visitor, thus avoiding the visa appointment booking delay. Employers should take into account all of the possible delays and plan to begin the residence permit application process as early as possible. Employers who may be affected are encouraged to contact a Newland Chase immigration specialist for case-specific advice.