Put down roots in Spain

Spain, with its mild climate, fascinating culture, and picturesque landscapes, is an attractive country for those looking to establish their home. One of the ways foreigners can regularize their stay in Spain is through the rooting procedure. Here at Orience, we want you to be informed about every step of this process, which is why we offer a comprehensive guide on the types of roots in Spain.

Understanding the Concept of Roots

Rooting is a legal mechanism designed to allow foreigners who are irregularly in Spain to regularize their situation. This procedure aims to acknowledge a foreigner’s integration into Spanish society and grant them a residence permit.

There are three main types of roots: social, labor, and family, each with its own requirements and conditions.

Social Roots: Building Ties with Spanish Society

Social rooting is perhaps the most common of the three. It’s designed for foreigners who have lived in Spain for at least three years and have established connections within the local community. To apply for social roots, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Demonstrate continuous stay in Spain for at least three years: This can be proven through various documents, including bills, rental contracts, or registration certificates.
  • Have an employment contract: You need to have a work contract for a period of at least one year.
  • Have no criminal record: In both Spain and countries of origin or previous residence within the last five years.
  • Provide reports confirming social integration in Spain: These reports are issued by the Autonomous Communities or the Municipality where the foreigner resides.

Labor Roots: Recognizing Effort and Work

Labor Roots is an option for those who have been working in Spain without permission for at least two years. Here, the individual’s work contribution is acknowledged, and they are allowed to regularize their situation. The requirements for labor roots include:

  • Demonstrate continuous stay in Spain for at least two years: As in social roots, it’s necessary to provide documents proving this stay.
  • Have had a work relationship for at least six months: It must be possible to demonstrate this relationship through work contracts, payslips, or even a court judgment recognizing the work relationship.

Family Roots: The Value of Family Ties

Family Roots is designed for foreigners who have direct relatives who are Spanish citizens, or for parents of minors who are Spanish citizens. The requirements are as follows:

  • Be a parent of a minor of Spanish nationality: It’s necessary to demonstrate the kinship with the minor.
  • Have ascendants or descendants of Spanish nationality: It’s also necessary to prove the family relationship with the Spanish citizen.

How to Apply for Roots?

The procedure to apply for roots is the same for all three types. It involves submitting an application, along with the required documentation, to the Foreigners’ Office or the corresponding Police Station. After submission, the administration has a period of three months to issue a decision.

After Roots: Toward Long-Term Residency and Citizenship

Once the residence permit through roots is obtained, a pathway to long-term residency and eventually Spanish citizenship is opened. After five years of legal and continuous residence in Spain, it’s possible to apply for long-term residency. From this point onwards, after ten years of legal and continuous residence, Spanish citizenship can be applied for.

Frequently Asked Questions about Roots in Spain

How long does the roots process take?

The time can vary, but generally, the roots process can take from three to six months.

Can I work while my application is in process?

No, you cannot work until your application is approved.

Does rooting grant me Spanish citizenship?

Rooting grants you the right to legal residence in Spain, but not citizenship. To obtain citizenship, you must meet additional requirements set by the Spanish government.


Rooting in Spain is a complex yet valuable process that can open doors to a new life in this wonderful country. At Orience, we understand that navigating immigration laws can be challenging, and that’s why we’re here to assist you every step of the way. No matter your situation, our team of experts is ready to advise and guide you towards achieving your goals.