June 2, 2020

Spain: Covid-19 related update

The Spanish Minister of Health issued a decree (Orden SND/421/2020) detailing certain measures that would be put in place from May 18th in relation to the extension of employment permits and residence permits that have expired during the Covid-19 “state of emergency” in Spain.

What has changed?

The BOLETÍN OFICIAL DEL ESTADO (BOE) declares the following to be effective from May 18th, 2020:

  • Temporary Work Permits and/or Residence Cards that have expired during the state of emergency or 90 days prior, are automatically extended for a further 6 months commencing from the day after the expiration date. These permits can then be renewed, extended or modified at any time during the term of the automatic extension or within 90 days of the end of the extension period.
  • If an individual is outside of Spain when their Work Permit and/or Residence Card expires, they are permitted re-entry to Spain with the valid passport and expired Spanish document
  • Residence Cards for dependants of EU nationals that have expired during the “state of emergency” or 90 days prior, are automatically extended for a further 6 months commencing from the expiration date
  • Schengen visas and those staying in Spain under a visa free status whose 90-day allowance is expiring during the state of emergency, are automatically extended for 3 months with validity limited to Spanish territory only. The extended period will be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the maximum time authorized for future stays.
  • Long term visas that have expired during the state of emergency, are automatically extended for 3 months. This however is only applicable if the person is in Spain and has not returned to their home country.
  • Absences from the Spanish Territory due to Covid-19 restrictions will not be taken into account when considering an individual’s continuity of residence.

Who is affected?

Orden SND/421/2020 applies to all those holding Work and /or Residence permits, Schengen visas, Long term visas, or temporary visa free status whose documents or status is due to expire during the Covid-19 related state of emergency.

What to expect / impact

Individuals need to monitor the validity of their status in Spain and ensure they renew or re-validate their documents as appropriate even if they are granted an automatic extension as per the above.

For further information on Orden SND/421/2020 in Spain, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team. 


Leanne Cottrell

Leanne Cottrell

As Head of Immigration with Sterling Lexicon, Leanne leads a team of specialists who are responsible for ensuring the entire immigration process is smooth and stress-free for clients, assignees and their accompanying family members. She brings over fifteen years of experience in strategic immigration management, planning and consultation to her role, and has cultivated invaluable knowledge and experience in processing countless global migration applications. As a trusted partner, she consults with clients on everything from policy considerations and cost or efficiency improvements, to the impact of opening offices in new locations. Leanne is a frequent presenter and author on global immigration topics and trends, and currently serves as a member of the Worldwide ERC (WERC) Immigration Advisory Council.

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