Spain allowed the automatic denial of these permits without taking into account key aspects, such as the seriousness of the crimes, the link with the territory or the potential danger to public order. In this matter, the Spanish law is contrary to the EU regulations.
The CJEU now dictates that the Directive opposes Spanish regulations according to which a third-country national can be denied long-term resident status in Spain for the mere fact that he or she has a criminal record. The Court of Justice notes that, in order to apply the Directive correctly, the possibility of denying long-term resident status to a third-country national on grounds of public order or public security must be established in the internal legal order of a State member with the specificity, precision and clarity required to guarantee legal certainty and that it is up to the courts to verify that Spanish law contains a provision that meets these characteristics.
In order to deny an applier long-term resident status for reasons of public order or public security, the Court of Justice indicates that it follows from the Directive that a refusal of this nature implies that several elements are considered and weighed - on the one hand, the seriousness or type of crime committed by the person in question and the danger that this represents for public order or public safety and, on the other hand, the duration of their residence in the host Member State and their possible links with this State member.
Therefore, the competent authorities of a Member State cannot automatically consider that the long-term resident status of a third-country national should be denied on grounds of public order, under the Directive, simply because he was convicted of a crime.