The situation created by the health alarm decreed by the Government in view of the pandemic generated by the COVID-19, forces us to be vigilant in view of the modifications that are taking place in the field of the law on foreigners, both in the regulations and in the processing of administrative files.
Like you, we are doing our best to help our clients and the community in general to overcome these times. Here we share some answers to the most frequently asked questions about immigration procedures in times of coronavirus that we hope will be useful to you, but we also ask you to tell us what else we can do for you. Click here to send us an email.
In addition, here are some of the important announcements:
- The temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the European Union on grounds of public order and public health is extended until 15 June 2020.
- The calls for the DELE Spanish language diplomas of April and May 2020, and the tests of Constitutional and Socio-cultural Knowledge of Spain (CCSE) of March, April and the two of May (scheduled for 14 and 28) have been cancelled.
Additional Provision Three of Royal Decree 463/2020, of 14 March, declaring the state of alert for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19, establishes that these periods are suspended. In other words, the deadline is stopped, but not restarted. Therefore, we believe that it is best to request the renewal as soon as possible, telematically.
In our office we carry out this type of procedure. The necessary documentation can be sent by registered post. There are also applications through which you can easily scan your documents. As a last option, a clear photo of each document can be made.
Q: Can I present a telematic rooting during the state of alarm?
At the moment it is allowed, in some offices of foreign affairs of Spain, to present some applications that usually must be presented in person, by telematic way, although not in all the offices. For example, Gipuzkoa, A Coruña, Cádiz, Navarra and Seville, among others, allow this. An agreement has just been signed whereby lawyers will be allowed to submit all applications made at the immigration office, on behalf of our clients, provided that we are appointed as representatives. Therefore, this will avoid having to go to the immigration office in person and therefore avoid the long waits that occur with the booking of appointments.
Until this possibility is enabled in all the foreigner's offices in Spain, the procedures that could normally be presented via telematics, can continue to be presented. These procedures are: access to the permanent card of a family member of an EU citizen, access to long-term residence, renewals, modification of authorisations due to exceptional circumstances to residence and work permits for employees or self-employed persons, extension of residence permits of the holder and her/his family members and modification of residence and work permits.
Q: If I do not have a digital identification card, can I do it through a representative?
Yes, at least in Gipuzkoa it is permitted to present all applications through a representative (at least for the duration of the state of alert), and then they will decide at the immigration office itself whether to summon the applicant to present himself in person at the office, and thus verify his identity.
Q: Should I take all the documentation to my representative in his office?
No, the law offices are not open to the public, although they will soon begin to open, so you will have to send the scanned documentation (not photos) to your lawyer's e-mail, scanning each document separately. There are PDF scanning programs for the mobile phone, which allow you to scan and send by email. You could also submit the documentation by registered mail.
Q: Are my documents valid if they have expired during the alarm state?
Yes, documents that have expired during the alarm state will be considered valid at the time of submission, either during the alarm state or after it.
Q: What will happen to my application for a visa already submitted? Will the decision be stopped?
Applications already submitted will continue to be processed and decisions will be received.
Q: What happens to my asylum application that has already been submitted? Is its processing stopped?
No, the processing of asylum applications will not be stopped, they will continue to be processed, as the officials continue to work, albeit with certain limitations.
Q: What happens to my application for citizenship during the state of alert?
Applications for citizenship will continue to be processed. We have already received a grant of nationality at a date subsequent to the declaration of the alert state.
Q: I have an appointment to take the oath of citizenship in the coming weeks, can I come?
No, the appointments for the swearing-in process are suspended. The Civil Registries will reassign the affected appointments at the appropriate time. In any case, while the state of alert is in effect, the 180-day period for taking the oath of citizenship is suspended.
Q: I have received a resolution denying my rooting, just before the state of alarm was decreed and I am given 30 days to file an appeal, but I cannot get the necessary documents for the appeal, while the state of alarm lasts, what is my situation in this case?
The deadlines for filing an appeal have been suspended, so the days that the state of alert lasts do not count towards the 30 days to file an appeal. If you cannot get the documents now, once the state of alert is over you can get them and give them to your representative so that he can file the corresponding appeal.
Q: What does "suspension of the deadline" mean?
Suspension means that if you have 30 days to file an administrative appeal, and the state of alert starts once 10 days have passed since you received the negative decision, when the state of alert ends, you will still have 20 days left to file the appeal.
Q: I am out of Spain and want to come back. Who can enter the country during the state of alert?
The government has agreed to refuse entry on the grounds of public order or public health to all those who are nationals of a third country (from a country outside the EU), unless they belong to one of the following categories:
- Residents of any EU country who go directly to their place of residence.
- Holders of a long-stay visa issued by an EU Member State who are on their way to the EU.
- Cross-border workers.
- Healthcare or elderly care professionals on their way to work
- Personnel dedicated to the transport of goods, in the exercise of their work activity and the flight personnel necessary to carry out the activities of commercial air transport.
- Diplomatic, consular, international organizations, military personnel and members of humanitarian organizations, in the exercise of their duties.
- Persons travelling for imperative family reasons duly accredited.
- Persons who provide documentary evidence of force majeure or necessity, or whose entry is permitted on humanitarian grounds.
It will be considered appropriate to refuse entry on grounds of public order or public health to citizens of the European Union and their family members who do not belong to one of the following categories:
- Registered as resident in Spain or going directly to their place of residence in another Member State, Schengen associated State or Andorra.
- The spouse of a Spanish citizen or partner with whom he/she is in a union analogous to marriage and entered in a public register, and those ascendants and descendants who are dependent on him/her, provided that they are travelling with or to join the latter.
- Those covered by paragraphs (c) to (h) of paragraph 1 of this article.
Therefore, family members of EU citizens, when they are not Spanish, are excluded, unless they have a residence permit in Spain. This would be the case, for example, of a German who is the common-law partner of a Colombian woman, in a register of common-law couples in Spain, both being registered at the same address in Spain. The Colombian citizen travels temporarily to her country, without having yet processed the card as a family member, or while waiting for the card, but without having yet obtained it. This person of Colombian nationality may not travel to Spain until there is a resolution in favour of her application for a residence card. This is unfair and discriminatory against the relatives of European citizens who are not Spanish. Although we are in an exceptional situation, in our opinion, there is no reason to make this distinction. The issue of a residence card is not proof of the existence of a link between these persons, but the existence of a registered partnership in a public register of partnerships is, and a certificate of cohabitation could also be added.
Q: I have filed an appeal for a refusal of aliens/nationality, during the state of alert, do you continue to process these appeals?
Yes, these appeals will continue to be processed, but no trials can be held during the state of alert.
Q: I arrived in Spain just before the state of alert was declared, and this situation does not allow me to apply for asylum during the first 30 days after my arrival, what is my situation?
In these cases, this period is suspended, which means that you can submit your asylum application once the state of alert decreed by the government has ended.
Q: I had an appointment to submit an asylum application, on a date within the state of alert period, so I cannot come, what will happen with this appointment?
Appointments that could not be made during the state of alert period will be reassigned.
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