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Last update 18-06-2021

Removal and deportation

Measures against citizens of the Union

Except in the overriding interest of public security, it is not permitted to order the removal or repatriation of citizens of a Member State of the European Union or of another State Party to the European Economic Area Agreement:

  1. if they have lived in Spain for the previous 10 years;
  2. if they are under legal age, unless repatriation is in the child’s best interest, and never as a punishment.

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Criteria to assess

Before issuing a forced removal order, account must be taken of the length of residence and the social and cultural integration of the person concerned in Spain, their age, state of health, economic and family situation, and the strength of their ties with their country of origin.

The following criteria must be taken into account when ordering one of the measures outlined in the above paragraph:

  1. It must be ordered in accordance with the current laws and regulations governing public safety and order.
  2. It may be revoked, officially or at the request of the party, when the reasons justifying the order no longer apply.
  3. It cannot be ordered for economic purposes.
  4. When ordered on grounds of public safety or order, it must be based solely on the personal behaviour of the subject of the order on those grounds. In any case, the person must present a real, present and sufficiently serious threat to a fundamental interest of society. The competent decision-making body will base its assessment on the reports of the police, public prosecutors or courts involved in the matter. The existence of a criminal record does not, of itself, constitute grounds for ordering such measures.

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Review and lifting of an entry ban

After a time limit specified in the order imposing the entry ban and, in any case, three years from enforcement of that order, the banned person may apply to the governmental authority for lifting of the entry ban. Applicants must supply evidence of a material change in the circumstances which justified the entry ban. The application must be settled within a three-month period.

If the removal order is finally executed more than two years after being imposed, the competent authority (the provincial office or sub-office of the central government must verify and assess changes in the circumstances which justified that order, and the reality of the threat which the person concerned presents to public safety or order.

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Escorting to the border

Removal orders set a time limit of at least one month, except in urgent and justified cases, to leave Spanish territory. This time limit can only be waived if any of the following circumstances are met:

  1. the removal order was based on a previous court ruling;
  2. the affected persons have had prior access to judicial review;
  3. the removal order is based on overriding reasons of public safety, as described in paragraph 2(a) and (d).

Removal orders mark the end of the administrative procedure. An appeal can be lodged before the administrative court, without prejudice to any discretionary motion to have the administrative agency, which issued the order, reconsider its decision.

Notice of the removal order must be served on the person concerned. The grounds must be stated, with a note of the avenues of appeal against the order, the body before which they must be filed, and the time limit for lodging them.

Removal automatically entails a ban on re-entering Spanish territory. The duration of the ban will depend on the circumstances of each case, but cannot exceed five years.

Exceptionally, when the foreigner presents a serious threat to public safety or order, national security or public health, an entry ban of up to 10 years may be imposed, after a report from General Headquarters of the Police for Foreigners and Frontiers.

For more information, see here(Abre en nueva ventana) .

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Authority responsible for the information

Ministry of the Interior
Directorate-General of Police