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Spanish residency through family ties

Application, procedures and requirements

It is possible to grant temporary residency in Spain as a result of family connections. This residency may be granted in certain exceptional family circumstances, in particular when the foreigner in Spain is a father or mother, responsible for and lives with a minor who is a Spanish national or the foreigner is the son or daughter of a Spanish father or mother.

In addition to these above conditions, the immigration regulations indicate that the potential beneficiaries of the family ties residency cannot be citizens of any EU countries or relatives of citizens of these countries, they cannot have a criminal record in Spain or in the countries where they previously resided for crimes included in the Spanish legal system and they cannot be within the period of commitment of non-return to Spain that the foreigner would have assumed upon voluntary return to their country of origin.

The application for temporary residency through family ties can be presented personally by the foreigner themself or through their legal representative, in the case of a minor or incapacitated person, to the Immigration Office (la oficina de Extranjería) in his country of residence.

This is the route that descendants of Spaniards of origin who have not been able to qualify for nationality within the legal terms established by the Civil Code, or for parents of minors with Spanish nationality who live together in Spain or even if they do not live in the same house, they fulfill their parental obligations, can obtain legal Spanish residency.

This situation does not require any previous residency in Spain and can the residency permit even be requested during a tourist stay, whenever the following information is provided:

  • In the case of being a parent of a minor of Spanish nationality:
    • Birth certificate of the minor, where the family relationship is demonstrated.
    • Family registration (empadronamiento familiar).
    • Criminal record certificate from the country of origin of the individual, duly legalized and translated, where appropriate.
  • In the case of being a child of a father or mother of Spanish origin:
    • Birth certificate of the individual, duly legalized and translated where appropriate.
    • Birth certificate from the Spanish Civil Registry, which shows that the nationality of the father or mother is of Spanish origin.
    • Criminal record certificate of the individual, duly legalized and translated where appropriate.