June 6, 2024

Spain: validity of criminal record certificates


Valid criminal record certificates are usually required for applications for work permits of highly qualified professionals and intra company transferees (ICTs).Typically, certificates are required from countries of origin and residence. Certificates are valid for the period of time specified on the document itself, starting from the date of issue.  

Given the nature of this type of document, which reflects important and highly sensitive data on citizens, if no period of validity is stated on the document, the Direccion General de Migraciones, the central immigration authority within Spain, states a maximum period of validity of 6 months from the date of issue should be taken into account. Spanish overseas Consulates however seem to be differing in their interpretation and applying a maximum validity period of 90 days to the certificates.

Spain golden visa working team


What has changed?

A differing interpretation of validity of criminal records certificates is being experienced at Spanish overseas Consulates, with a shorter validity of certificates typically being accepted.

Who is affected?

Those applying to work in Spain as highly qualified professionals or intra company transferees.

What to expect /impact?

Certificates older than 90 days may not be accepted by the Spanish overseas Consulates.

What you need to do

Individuals wishing to apply should be mindful of the validity of their criminal records certificates and ensure that the certificate has the appropriate validity at time of application.

For further information on the Highly Qualified Professionals and ICT routes, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team at immigration@sterlinglexicon.com


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 ten 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.

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