Obtaining political asylum in Spain was one of the least common and most complex ways of legalizing residency until 2022. Since then, the situation has changed, but the process of obtaining such status still has its peculiarities and nuances.
In the “classic” scenario, citizens of non-EU countries can apply for asylum in Spain if their lives are threatened due to the following circumstances:
– Persecution based on nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, or political beliefs.
– Ongoing armed conflict in their home country.
– Widespread disasters or natural catastrophes (epidemics or famine do not apply).
For all types of persecution, supporting documents such as photographs, videos, copies of legal complaints or court decisions, and media publications are necessary.
The chances of a successful application are higher if the persecution by authorities or specific social groups is not isolated but systematic.
Persecution can manifest as physical, mental, or sexual violence, discriminatory criminal prosecution, disproportionate punishment, or denial of medical assistance leading to the victim’s death. The threat to life serves as the main basis for asylum, not the desire for improved living conditions, financial status, or health.
The application for political asylum, written in Spanish, along with a copy of the passport or other identification documents, should be submitted to the Spanish Consulate located in a third country (outside the EU), at border control points where officials from the Office of Asylum and Refuge (Oficina de Asilo y Refugio) are present, or upon arrival in Spain at one of the OAR offices or police stations. If the applicant has a visa, it is necessary to submit the application before its expiration date. In the case of being in an illegal situation, the application should be submitted no later than one month after arrival.
If the applicant has previously unsuccessfully sought asylum in another European Union country, they will also be denied in Spain.
The application process takes from six months to two years, during which time the foreigner cannot be expelled from Spain but is also not allowed to leave the country (returning to the home country may lead to the annulment of the refugee status). Accommodation, meals, free healthcare, public transportation, and social benefits depending on family status and other circumstances are provided if needed. Minors are given the opportunity to receive education in public schools, and there are Spanish language courses available.
If the request is approved, the immigrant is granted a one-year residence permit with the possibility of further extension and work authorization for themselves and their family members. In the future, permanent residency (PMH) and, after five years, Spanish citizenship may be obtained.
Foreigners with refugee status have the right to apply for family reunification. Spouses, parents, minor children, and other relatives can relocate to Spain if their financial dependence on the applicant and cohabitation in the country of origin are proven.
If you are interested in obtaining any type of residency in Spain or need assistance with legal matters, you can confidently reach out to Lusa Legal: our team of professional lawyers is at your service!
Contact us today: +34 661 80 08 99 (WhatsApp)