Criminal Record Certificate


Im currently looking at the possibility of moving to Spain to be closer to my Gran, she's lived there 23 years now..

My only issue will be my criminal record, I've been told it will almost certainly result in a refusal.. long story short, I served 4 and a half years in prison from 2015 - 2019 which will show on the ACRO certificate. Granted, I made a mistake, I've served my time and completely turned my life around since, not that any of that will matter to the Spanish authorities.

I have lived in Spain before but never applied for residency, but I do have an NIE number and Spanish bank account that I use regular and I'm in the process of renting a place there to use as much as I can within the 90/180 rule for now

The main question is, do I apply and argue my case when the time comes, or do I wait a bit? I have lived in Ireland for the past 2 years, have Irish driving license but British passport, if I wait another 3 years, I could show a clean criminal record from Ireland which covers the place I will have lived for the past 5 years.. or are they likely to ask for a UK one too with me holding a British passport?

Thanks in advance

You'll need the Irish EU passport for a permanent unrestricted move to Spain with. 5 year check, so looks like you need to live and work in Ireland for the full 5 years unless you meet the high income rule for none EU members, then you can apply for a permanent residence visa but need to meet the high income criteria and that means you need to show a pension, income or funds an individual needs a guaranteed monthly income of €2,400 or €28,800 yearly unless that's changed? There's the self employed route too, but you still need that check showing 5 years clear dbs translated into Spanish. There's information out there. I put a couple of links below. Let us know how you get on. I was planning on relocating prior to Brexit, even started Spanish lessons and was progressing well, however Brexit made my position at work redundant and put all our plans on halt . Sadly I don't think it will ever happen now. A shame because as a family we have a lot to offer and are hard working. I don't have a criminal record so didn't research that so much. Good luck! … ter-brexit … ter-brexit


Welcome to the forum and good luck with your potential move to Spain!

It's tricky with your criminal record, so perhaps you need to discuss with a specialist immigration attorney to see exactly what your options are.

If you're happy to wait, and use your 90-in-180 visa-free allowance, then your residence in the Republic of Ireland, another EU country, might be your best bet.

As you note, as an Irish resident, you can get a criminal record certificate there. And perhaps 5 years clear will be sufficient for entry to Spain. You should still check with an immigration specialist as maybe more years are needed, or maybe they'll want two certificates (residence country and citizenship country).

In any case, as @Siaris indicates, 5 years is a magic number in the EU. After 5 years of legal residence you typically can qualify for a permanent residence permit. It doesn't guarantee relocation, but, typically, most EU countries make it easier to move there, if you are already a permanent resident elsewhere in the bloc. And there is a review of the Freedom of Movement directive (for non-EU citizens) that's been in the works for several years, so I would expect it to have been implemented by then. This harmonizes permanent residence rules, and the granting of the EU "long term resident's residence permit" which DOES grant relocation rights, similar to holding an EU passport.

Ireland does have accelerated qualification (maybe 5 years?) for a passport too, I believe. So you should definitely check this out. But most citizenship applications require a criminal record check from your previous country, so it might again be an issue. Having an EU passport would give you the most flexibility to relocate, but I think the residence permit options above should also work.

Good luck!


Hi there, I saw your enquiry about *Spain Police Clearance Certificate, I asked one of my colleagues and he suggested contacting Mary Ann from an agency called Afreno.

@shaunmcbride83 not sure if this helps but could your gran not apply for family reunification. The criminal record still applies but it is applied for in Spain and you get a chance to plead your case apparently. You need a good immigration lawyer if you don't have one. I'm canaries and know a fabulous lawyer over here that mentioned this to us when we were struggling with an acro ! Good luck. 😃

@shaunmcbride83 how did you get on with this? im also in a smimilar postion with applying for a visa but not sure ill get it 

Its been a nigGhtmare and not sure its over, i got a certifIcate from Dubai police dept, then found they issue two format types, we had the wrong one for overseas applications, visited Madrid embassy 3 times at great expense,  finally got what we hope is the correct version, got it attested, now need to get it translated by a qualified translator, just heard that it might also need an apposilation on top, absolute joke because we had police clearance 3 years ago to enter the country so why we need it again i really dont know and should be much easier process. i estimate i spent over €500 on this and still think it might not be accepted.

So you havent had your first year visa accepted yet?