How to get a criminal record check in SpainErika
There are three ways to request a criminal record check in Spain:
- In person, by making an appointment with the Civil Registry, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, or the offices of the Ministry of Justice in your city, providing a copy of your ID and a receipt for the corresponding fee;
- By post, including a photocopy of your ID card or passport and a receipt for the fee;
- Online, via the Ministry of Justice’s online platform (as long as you have a digital certificate or digital ID). Once you have paid the fee, the Ministry will email you to notify you when your document is available.
The document certifies whether or not the applicant has been convicted of a crime, has been imprisoned, has completed his or her sentence, or is currently on parole. The certificate does not disclose the details of the offense, only the crime that has been committed and the final conviction (if not subject to appeal).
Is it valid overseas?
If you’re planning to work outside of Spain, it would be advisable to request your certificate before you travel, although you will also be able to apply via the Spanish Consulate in your destination country if necessary.
Bear in mind that if you do so, you will need to allow more time to complete the procedure, given that you will need to legalize it with the appropriate Apostille of the Hague Convention and, if necessary, get it translated.
SEPE and APRE: Two names you need to know
SEPE is the Spanish National Employment Service. SEPE can legally request criminal record checks to prevent convicted criminals from claiming unemployment benefits by leaving the country.
APRE is a program for non-European citizens who wish to leave Spain and return to their country of origin. Also known as the Program of Voluntary Return, the program enables applicants to continue to claim benefits in their country of origin, provided that they do not have a criminal record.
Since legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing on this article should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel. The content on this article is offered only as information and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. You should always consult a suitably qualified lawyer regarding any specific legal problem or matter.
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