In response to the crisis created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Spanish government has taken action to legalise all Ukrainians living in Spain. The authorities are also working on a fast-track method for Ukrainian residents who arrive in Spain fleeing from the war.
Legalisation of Ukrainians living in Spain
This week, the Spanish government announced that all Ukrainians living in Spain at the time of the Russian invasion of their country (February 24th 2022) may now legalise their situation. As a result, Ukrainian nationals are guaranteed residence and work permits in Spain.
The decision will bring considerable peace of mind to all Ukrainians currently in Spain, particularly those in the country without legal paperwork. Their number is estimated to be several thousand.
Legalisation of third-party Ukrainian residents
The measure also extends to third-party nationals who were legally resident in Ukraine when the invasion started on February 24th. The Spanish government will grant them temporary residence and work permits in Spain, too, irrespective of the duration of their residence permit in Ukraine.
This particular measure goes one step further than the EU directive activated in the light of the Russian invasion. Under the terms of the EU temporary protection directive, only those third-party nationals with a long-term residence permit in Ukraine (i.e. five years) are eligible. However, Spain has extended its own mandate to any legal resident in Ukraine.
Provision for Ukrainian refugees in Spain
In addition, Spain will provide express accommodation for Ukrainian refugees who arrive in Spain. As a result, they will not have to seek asylum first, a process that is typically long and drawn-out in Spain.
As well as housing, the measure also guarantees the refugees’ access to education and healthcare.
Requisites for legalisation
The Spanish Ministry of the Interior is currently working on a fast-track procedure to legalise Ukrainians already in Spain and refugees arriving now.
The new process would forfeit the need for an interview and applicants would just need to meet documentation requirements, including proof of no criminal record. It’s expected that the procedure can take place at National Police Stations.
End to Golden Visas for Russians?
Meanwhile, the EU is working on other responses to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They include the possible ban of Golden Visas for Russian citizens.
Several EU countries currently implement this sort of visa whereby foreign investors obtain residence permits in exchange for investments in the country concerned. The EU proposal aims to ban them by 2025. In addition, it recommends an immediate end to the issuance of visas and passports to Russians in return for their investment.
Legal proceedings are already in place to halt so-called Golden Visa schemes in Malta, Cyprus and Bulgaria. The trio has already reaped huge benefits from Russian investment through the schemes.
Time for approval of the Spanish property owners visa
Given the intense pressure for the abolition of Golden Visas for Russians, at Costaluz Lawyers we believe there is even more justification for the approval of the Spanish property owners visa.
As our blog followers will know, we have spent the past few months campaigning for this new visa. We believe that by introducing it, the Spanish government will protect the rights of property owners in Spain, particularly those from third-party countries such as the UK. It would also rectify the situation whereby third-party owners are currently limited to 90 days stay in 180 or have no option but to take out an expensive visa if they wish to stay longer in their home in Spain.
Help with residence and work permits
Our expert immigration team at Costaluz Lawyers has a long track record in helping foreigners apply successfully for visas and permits to live and work in Spain. We are up-to-date on all procedures, including the new fast-track applications for Ukrainians.
If you’d like some advice and help with the paperwork, get in touch with us now.