Spanish visa applications: criminal records

Raymundo LarraĆ­n Nesbitt, March, 4. 2024

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1st of March 2024

A staple requirement across all visa applications in Spain is that applicants must supply a criminal record over the previous 5 years.

This record should be clean, showing no records of any kind ("no trace / no live trace").

However, at times some applicants made a juvenile mistake which led them to commit a misdemeanour i.e. drunk driving offence. Unbeknownst to them, 30 years on this still shows on their record. If the conviction is spent, you can request to have it removed so your criminal record appears as clean. If unspent, you simply cannot.

As stated, for the purposes of a Spanish visa application, your criminal record must always appear as clean. If there is any conviction showing, whether spent or unspent, your visa application is going to be turned down by Spanish Immigration Authorities.


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At Larrain Nesbitt Abogados, we have assisted hundreds of non-EU nationals, and their families, to successfully attain a Spanish residency permit since 2013.

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