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Person filling out criminal background check form How To Apply For A Criminal Record Certificate In Spain Expat Tips

When it comes to various legal proceedings in Spain, whether you're a Spanish citizen or a foreign resident, a critical aspect often comes into play: the need for a comprehensive criminal record check.

This investigative process, conducted within the Spanish territory, holds immense significance for diverse endeavors such as securing Spanish nationality, pursuing public job opportunities, engaging in educational roles involving minors, and ensuring seamless residency card renewals.

The document at the heart of this process is the Criminal Record Certificate, issued by the Ministry of Justice. This article delves into the intricacies of criminal records, their multifaceted uses, and the methods to obtain and manage them effectively.

Understanding the Criminal Record Certificate and Its Implications

The Criminal Record Certificate serves as a pivotal government document administered by the Ministry of Justice, which determines an applicant's criminal history. It delves into whether the individual in question has been convicted of any criminal activity. This certificate also offers insights into possible deprivation of liberty, sentence completion, and the available liberty regime post-sentence.

It's essential to note that only final convictions find inclusion in the Criminal Record Certificate. Such convictions lack appeal possibilities, either due to the exhaustion of all avenues of appeal or the non-filing of an appropriate appeal within stipulated timeframes. Importantly, misdemeanors are excluded from this documentation as they don't fall under criminal records. This comprehensive data repository operates under the aegis of the Central Registry of Convicts.

This document, however, isn't suitable when engaging in regular work involving minors. For such scenarios, the Certificate of Crimes of a Sexual Nature is commonly mandated.

How to Obtain a Criminal Record Certificate

Securing a Criminal Record Certificate involves three distinct avenues: in-person application at designated Administration Offices, application via postal mail, or online application facilitated by a Digital Certificate or Electronic DNI.

1) Online Application

The certificate is attainable through the Ministry of Justice Website. To utilise this channel, a Digital Certificate, Electronic DNI, or Cl@ve Pin is a requisite. This method necessitates fee payment via the Tax Agency's payment gateway, leading to an instantaneous certificate download.

When applying online, certificates are generally available immediately, however, in some cases, it can take up to 24 hours.

2) In-Person Application

Procuring the certificate in person mandates completion of the official form 790 along with a fee of €3.86 per certificate. Detailed instructions on this process are available on the official Ministry of Justice page.

When applying in person, certificates are generally issued immediately, and may not exceed 3 working days.

See the following page for a list of administration offices.

3) Postal Mail Application

An alternative option involves requesting the certificate through postal mail. Alongside the application, certified photocopies of identification documents and proof of fee payment must be enclosed. As with applying in person, you will need to complete payment form 790.

The time it takes to obtain the certificate when applying by post is typically 3 working days but this it may take up to 10 days in some cases.

See the following official page for further details on applying by post or in person.

See the official criminal certificates page for further clarity on all of your options.

Rescinding Criminal Records

Notably, criminal records for convicted individuals are not perpetual; they are subject to a specific timeframe. Following this period, records may be expunged through a cancellation request, utilising the same application form.

To secure this cancellation, fulfilling civil responsibilities (partial payment deemed acceptable, except for insolvent individuals) is imperative. Moreover, the absence of subsequent criminal activity within distinct periods is a prerequisite: 6 months for minor penalties, 2 years for sentences under a year and for negligent crimes, 3 years for other lesser penalties, and 5 years for serious offenses, each interval commencing from the sentence's expiration.

In conclusion, comprehending the intricacies of the Criminal Record Certificate process, along with its subsequent implications, is essential when navigating Spain's legal landscape.

Whether you're seeking the certificate, delving into the cancellation process, or considering employment involving minors, a clear understanding ensures adherence to the pertinent regulations and facilitates informed decision-making.