People have an endless amount of questions about immigration and residential procedures, and the effect of the Corona crisis on these operations. This document will attempt to address some of them.
What should I do if my residency card is about to expire and needs to be renewed?
This does seem like a tough situation. If your TIE or residency card expires and you are unable to renew it because the immigration administrative system is currently suspended. Technically, this will make you an illegal resident in Spain.
To alleviate your concerns, please be advised that a Royal decree has been approved with regards to the interruption in immigration and residential services, including public administration with no exceptions. This means that you can still submit your renewal applications but must do so online.
For the renewal to be valid, you must begin the process (from 60 days before, but also up to 90 days after) your card expires. The renewal process should be able to be completed fully, with the exception of fingerprinting.
We recommend you to get in contact with your lawyers and let us handle this process for you. Just send us all of your scanned documents and we will present them online on your behalf so that you are legally covered.
My tourist visa is about to expire, and I cannot leave Spain. What should I do?
As the borders are closed, you will not be able to leave Spain when your visa expires, thereby becoming an illegal resident in Spain.
We recommend sending a letter to the applicable institution requesting an extension of your visa considering the current circumstance. Even if you do not receive a response, sending the letter should be sufficient legal cover to justify avoiding legal problems in the future. Our team of lawyers is at your disposal to assist in handling this situation if you need help.
Once the alarm state has been lifted, you will have a 15-day period to voluntarily leave Spain, which is a reasonable amount of time provided for doing so. For further information, you may consult the press release issued by the Directorate General of Migration on Royal Decree 463/2020 of the 14th of March.
How can a residency renewal or citizenship card be applied for now (without waiting)?
The administrative personnel still work remotely, so applications can still be submitted online. Contact us for assistance. You will need to provide a copy of your passport, residence card, or a census or pardon if you have one, we can take care of submitting the application on your behalf and will pay the fee to do so.
After submitting your application, you will get a receipt, making you legal in Spain. At that point how long the application office will take to process the application is not relevant, as you would have done your part of the process, and would be legally covered.
I appealed for a specific procedure and have not yet received a response. Is this normal?
Yes, this is totally normal. With the immigration and legal procedures currently suspended, government clerks will only get back to processing paperwork once the Coronavirus crisis alleviates.