Consular Registration: Registration and cancellation of registration
Spanish citizens residing abroad must register with the Consular Register corresponding to the district where they live.
2/10/2013
Consular registration:
Spanish citizens residing abroad must register with the Consular Register corresponding to the district where they live. Registration allows them to renew their documentation, to be able to prove their residence abroad and to participate in elections called in Spain, except municipal elections, as well as to request consular assistance in situations of need.
 
To register, you must visit the Consular Office responsible for the place you live in, prove your residence, identity and Spanish nationality with the appropriate documentation, complete a form and provide a photograph.
 
It is very important to take into account that if a Spanish citizen residing abroad changes his or her address in the future, he or she must communicate this to the Consulate so that their registration is always up to date.
 
Spanish citizens who are abroad temporarily are advised to register in the Consular Register corresponding to the place where they live in as "non-residents" (download form), especially in countries with risk of natural disasters or that are politically unstable, so that in the event that emergency programmes are activated, the Consulate will be able to contact all Spanish citizens within the consular district.
 
Students taking part in courses or travelling abroad for a certain time are also advised to register as "non-residents" (attached document), at the corresponding Consulate. Such registration will allow families to contact their relatives through the Consulate in case of need. Registration is also useful to facilitate replacement of documents in case of theft or loss of passport, because having been previously identified and having shown the documents held on arrival, the Consulate has all the elements to provide documentation for the person who has been a victim of passport theft (in this case the theft or loss of passport must be reported to the local police of the country). With registration as non-resident, the citizen can vote by mail in various types of elections.
 
Cancellation of consular registration
Spanish citizens residing abroad who move their residency to Spain or to another place abroad can apply to cancel their registration (attached document) in the Consular Register. On arrival at the new place of residence, they must register in the Municipal Register or in the Consulate corresponding to their new place of residence.
 
Consular cancellation of registration facilitates certain procedures for Spanish citizens who return to reside in Spain such as importing their personal affairs, and other procedures, so it is recommended to apply for cancellation before the end of the stay abroad. Furthermore, the certificate of the full period of residence and consular registration serves as official proof of the total time of residence abroad. 
 
Finally, it should be noted that Spanish citizens who register in a Consular Register but do not give notice of the continuity of their effective residence abroad during the year following the date of registration will have their registration officially cancelled. It is therefore important to maintain regular contact with the Consular Office.

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