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Residency card (Tarjeta de residencia) for family of an EU citizen

Application, procedures and requirements

Non-EU foreigners who have Spanish relatives or family in an EU country can apply for a residency card, which lasts for five years, with which they can work on their own or for a third-party.

Actually, the right to residency begins at the moment when the link with the European citizen arises. For example, a spouse will be entitled to a residency card from the moment they are married. Even so, the law obliges us to request this authorization when we decide to establish our residency in Spain

Which family members of the European or Spanish citizen are entitled to a residency card?
  • The spouse, provided that there is no agreement or declaration of divorce or nullity of the marriage.
  • The spouse with whom they maintain a union analogous to a marriage union and is registered in a public registry established in a Member State of the EU, or in a state of the European Economic Area (EEA) and provided that this registration has not been canceled. The situations of marriage and registration as a registered couple will be considered, in any case, incompatible with each other.
  • The direct son of the citizen of EU or EEA states or his or her spouse or registered partner, provided that there is no agreement or declaration of nullity of the marriage bond, divorce or the registration of the couple has not been cancelled, minor of twenty-one years, or greater than that age who is in his charge, or incapacitated.
  • The direct ascendant of the citizen of EU or EEA states or of his / her spouse or registered partner who is dependent on him / her, provided that there is no agreement or declaration of nullity of the marriage bond, divorce or the registration of the couple has not been cancelled.
  • Any member of the family who in the country of origin is in charge of the EU citizen.
  • Any member of the family that in the country of origin lived with the EU citizen. The coexistence will be deemed accredited if a 24-month continuous coexistence in the country of provenance is convincingly demonstrated.
  • Any member of the family, who for serious health reasons or disability, has a strict necessity to be personally taken care of by the EU citizen.
  • An unregistered domestic partner with whom you have a stable relationship duly proven by proving the existence of a lasting bond. In any case, the existence of this link will be understood if a time of marital cohabitation of at least one continuous year is proven, unless they have children in common, in which case the accreditation of a stable coexistence duly proved will suffice. The situations of marriage and couple will be considered, in any case, incompatible with each other.

In the event that the European citizen is a student and not a worker, he / she may be able to join all previous family members with the exception of ascendants through the family reunification regimen.

What requirements need to be met?

The family member must accompany or join up with a citizen of EU or EEA states, who has the right to residency for a period exceeding three months, as a worker or self-employed, has health insurance and sufficient financial means for the family unit, or is a student with health insurance and sufficient resources for the family unit.

Where does one apply?

If the relative is in Spain, the application must be presented at the immigration office (oficina de extranjería) corresponding to the address of the EU citizen and in case the family member needs a visa to travel to Spain, the procedure would be carried out at the Spanish Consulate of the family member’s country of residency.
Given that this authorization covers a large number of relatives and extended family, it is best to consult a specialist lawyer to find out if the case would be considered, if it meets the requirements and what documents would be necessary to prove it.