With a lot of uncertainty in the world’s new and unprecedented pandemic situation you may have a lot of questions and doubts. If you are a foreigner in the Spanish territory during this time of a global quarantine, you may be wondering what will happen to your foreigner status in the Spanish territory during this time? Can you leave the country? Is there any sort of office available to address foreigners’ needs while living in Spain? How will the expats living in Spain at this time be affected by COVID-19?
The fact is that the COVID-19 pandemic will certainly affect your life. This article will try to bring you some updated information to help you make the bet out of your stay. It will include an extensive explanation of the effects that COVID-19 is having on foreigners living in Spain, and specifically in Barcelona. It will additionally, outline the information you need in order to stay in the country under legal protections, and what actions to take.
The Current Corona Virus Situation in Spain
Most of Spain has been shut down due to the pandemic. Currently, over 150,000 cases have been registered and that number continues to grow. The country is an “Alarm State” so businesses such as coffee shops, movie theaters, restaurants, schools, gyms, as well as most other social venues that have closed their doors.
This also has an important implication for foreigners currently living in Spain. Aside from not being able to attend traditional events like Andalucia’s Semana Santa and the Valencian Fallas, which have been canceled, your relationship with the immigration offices will also be affected during the lockdown. With immigration offices closed, you are unlikely to be able to obtain your NIE Barcelona/residence card at this time.
Spain’s Alarm State: What The Lockdown Is All About
To further understand the implications for foreigners during the lockdown, we need to clarify what the “alarm state” means. With the aim being to stop the spread of COVID-19, the Spanish government has declared this to be a special situation in which the Spanish army has the right to act to force the public to abide by social distancing rules, with some of your main rights in the country being suspended.
With the country on lockdown, you are not permitted to leave the house unless you are going to your place of work (if these places are open), to take care of your relatives, a pharmacy, or a supermarket. Outside of that, for at least 2 weeks of the alarm state, you are required to stay home.
How Long Will Spain’s Lockdown Last?
This is a fluid situation. The lockdown was initially set for two weeks, but it has already been extended by an additional 2 (totaling 1 month), but this period could (and likely will be) extended more depending on the situation with the virus.
How Will The Corona Virus Affect Me As A Foreigner In Spain?
The Corona Virus will affect you as a foreigner in two different areas. Primarily, it will affect your ability to deal with any immigration office, civil registry or police department. There is currently nothing in operation that serves the needs of a foreigner as all of the offices that would address these matters are currently shut down. This means that any immigration procedure you had planned or needed to undertake, is currently on hold.
Additionally, the current COVID-19 pandemic will directly affect your ability to enter or leave Spain. Most of the borders are closed, so if you are abroad, you may not be able to reenter Spain, nor can you leave the country to get back to your country of residence.