The Supreme Court in Spain has ruled that temporary residency permits will not be withdrawn from those who have been outside the country for six months or more, according to local media reports.
On 20 June, the Spanish Supreme Court reportedly cancelled the clause of the country’s immigration rulebook that allows migration authorities to remove temporary residence permits from those who spend six months or more outside of Spain within a one-year period.
The change reportedly means that temporary residency can only be removed by force of law, not because of how long you’ve been out of the country.
Jason Porter, business development director at Blevins Franks, said: “This is unlikely to be the final word on this matter; the six-month rule could be reimposed in the future via a higher level of Spanish legislation.
“While the Supreme Court has terminated the requirement of having to spend six months in Spain to validate a temporary residence permit, the same court has confirmed this should be legalised by way of a change in the Immigration Law, a higher level of law than just a Regulation, the form it currently takes.”
The ruling means that anyone who has temporary residence in Spain, which is up to five years, can now leave the country for more than six months in a year if necessary and will not have to worry about losing their permit when they return. After having lived in Spain for five years, non-EU nationals are able to apply for a long-term residency card.
Porter added: “This change could result in a huge amount of confusion for those individuals who after five years have the opportunity to elevate their Spanish residence permit from temporary to permanent. Alongside the six-month rule, there is also the fact the individual cannot be absent for more than 10 months in total in the five-year period prior to the permanent permit application. This rule remains, so with absences of more than six months a year, they can renew a temporary residence permit, but not upgrade it to permanent version.”