Spain: Supreme Court rules in favour of extending temporary residence permits for longer than one year

Monday, May 27, 2019

On 27 May 2019, the Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court of Spain ruled on the extension of temporary residence permits issued to individuals on exceptional grounds for longer than one-year periods.

The case concerns a third-country national who is the father of a Spanish national child and who obtained his initial temporary residence permit on the exceptional ground of being settled in Spain with his family (‘arraigo familiar’). The Government Sub-delegation of Alicante denied the extension of his permit stating that the extension was not possible under the Regulation of the Law on Foreigners 4/2000. This decision was confirmed by the Administrative Court of Alicante and the Superior Court of Valencia, which rejected the applicant's appeal.

In examining the case, the Supreme Court observed that Paragraph 1 of Article 130 of the Regulation of the Law on Foreigners 4/2000, which regulates the extension and cessation of temporary residence permits for exceptional circumstances, is a vague rule that has led to a disparity in how it is applied. In this regard, the Court acknowledged that the permits are issued on exceptional grounds and held that its validity period cannot be other than that in which the situation of exceptionality persists. It noted that the reason why the Regulation establishes a period of authorisation and extension is to ensure that the temporary authorisation does not extend beyond that necessary to deal with the exceptionality.

In the instant case, the applicant was granted a temporary residence permit on the grounds of being the parent to a Spanish national child. Given that the applicant remains the legal guardian of the child and is fulfilling his obligations as a parent or living with him, it found that it cannot be held that the permit cannot be extended after one year of permit period. The Court further found that the refusal to renew the permit violates the legal protection of the child under national and EU law.

The Court annulled the previous decisions to refuse a renewal and held that the request for renewal be re-examined and granted if the circumstances at the time of issuing the initial temporary residence permit remained applicable.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.


Child Specific Considerations
Residence document