No Longer a Grounds for Termination: Six-Month Absence Rule for Temporary Residence Permits in Spain

Article 162-2-e) of the Foreign Regulation has long been the basis for terminating temporary residence permits in Spain, citing the absence of periods lasting six months or more per year. However, a momentous shift occurred on June 5, 2023, when the contentious-administrative chamber of the Spanish Supreme Court issued its ruling 731/2023. In this groundbreaking decision, the Supreme Court declared article 162-2-e) of the Aliens Regulation null and void, asserting that it encroached upon the fundamental right to free movement of foreign citizens residing in Spain, as stipulated in Organic Law 4/2000.

This watershed ruling brings sweeping changes to the landscape of Spanish immigration law. As of June 5, 2023, individuals holding temporary residence permits are now free to remain absent for extended periods beyond six months without risking the revocation or extension of their temporary residence permits in Spain. Moreover, the Supreme Court’s declaration of nullity for this particular article underscores the principle that no regulatory norm should ever impose limitations or contradictions to laws of higher rank, such as the Organic Law 4/2000.


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