Legal Documentation

The first thing you have to do when you arrive in a new country, in this case Spain, is to regularize your situation and obtain a legal stay or residence permit. It is therefore a priority for you to obtain help from the NGOs which work in this field. You can find the addresses of these organizations on the map on the home page of the website.




  • If you are in the country and are either a non-EU national or a stateless person and youwish to apply for international protection in Spain, you must submit your application at any of the following offices:
    • Asylum and Refuge Office.
    • The border control points for entering Spanish territory.
    • Offices for Foreign Nationals.
    • Authorized Police Stations.
    • You can go to the UNHCR and other NGOs to seek advice.
  • Explain your personal situation and your most important needs;
  • Once your application has been accepted, you will be documented by means of a provisional identity slip, specifying your status as an applicant for international protection and a Foreigner’s Identification Number. From this moment onwards you can benefit from the services of the Reception System.
  • Finally, once your application has been resolved, assuming it is favourable, you will obtain a Residence and Work Permit, indicating your status as a beneficiary of international protection in Spain. If it is rejected, you can choose to apply for any of the permits stipulated in the general immigration regulations, provided that you meet the requirements.


CONCEPT (Asylum and refugee)


The Law regulating the Right of Asylum and Subsidiary Protection, envisages asylum, recognized in Article 13.4 of the Spanish Constitution, as protection granted by Spain to non-EU nationals and stateless persons accorded the status of refugees in accordance with this Act, the1951 Geneva Convention and the 1967 New York Protocol.


  • Firstly, the status of refugee is granted to any person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted on the grounds of race, religion, nationality, political opinions, membership of a particular social group, gender or sexual orientation, is outside the country of his or her nationality and is unable or, owing to such a fear, does not wish to apply for the protection of said country.
  • The right to subsidiary protection is granted to persons from other countries and stateless persons who, without meeting the requirements to obtain asylum or be recognized as refugees, display well-founded to believe that, if they return to their country, they will face a real risk of suffering serious injury, and cannot or, owing to such a risk, do not wish to apply for the protection of the country in question.
  • The refuge granted by means of international protection (a term which encompasses the right to both asylum and subsidiary protection) consists of the non-return or non-expulsion of the persons who have been accorded such a status while the circumstances by virtue of which the right to asylum or subsidiary protection has been granted persist.




The census is a mandatory administrative procedure, whereby everybody who lives or resides in Spain has to register. To register you need to establish an address, which need not be your property; it may be leased or it may be the home of a relative or acquaintance.


It is a very simple and essential procedure. It represents a preliminary step before making other necessary arrangements for living in Spain, such as enrolling your children at school, registering with the public employment service, applying for aid and subsidies, applying for your health card, etc. People who are not from the EU must renew their census registration every two years, as it expires.


Where can I register?


The census is local, so you have to go to the town or city hall and register at the office corresponding to your neighbourhood.


What documents do they require?


  • The Individual or Collective Registration form (you can fill it in at the office).
  • The original and a photocopy of your passport.
  • The original and a photocopy of your lease contract or an authorization signed by the owner of the house where you will be registered.
  • If you have any children, the originals and photocopies of their passports and the family book.