family reunification

Last update : December 2018

For familiy members who already live in Spain and for those who still are in the country of origin

For familiy members who already live in Spain: Arraigo Social

If you have a residence permit in Spain and femiliy members who are irregular, after three years they can apply for a residence permit through the so called „Arraigo Social“. That means that they have to proof the family-link to you. Read more detailed about the „Arraigo Social“ here

Can my relatives live with me in Spain?

Yes. In Spain you can be reunited with your husband, wife or civil partner, your children (minors) and the minors of your spouse or civil partner, including adopted minors and disabled children of any age. Also your ancestors and those of your spouse or civil partner if they are economically independent from the Spanish welfare state and if there are reasons that justify their residence permit for Spain.

You can apply for family reunification if you have already lived legally in Spain, with a resident permit, for one year and if you have the residence permit for at least one more year. Your relatives have to enter with their corresponding visa of residence granted to them for family reunification. In order to be granted this permit, before they arrive you have to personally apply for their residence permit for family reunification. Also you have to show that you have enough living space for your family members.

What is family reunification?

It is the right of immigrants to bring their close family to their place of residence. People who have had a residence permit for one year in Spain and have the residence permit for at least one more year can apply for it.

Which family members can be reunited?

• The residents marriage partner, cohabiting partner or registered partner, as long as they are not separated

• Children under 18 years old, disabled children of any age and adopted children under 18 years old if the resident person is their legal representative

• The resident’s ancestors if they are over 65 years old, economically independent and if there are reasons that justify their residence permit in Spain. The ancestors can only be reunited if the resident person has the long-term residence permit (residence for 5 years).

How do I apply?

You (the resident person) can apply at the Oficina de Extranjeros of your local district. Once the permit has been approved, your family members must go to the Spanish council office or embassy in their home country to get the corresponding visa within two months of the approval.

What kind of documents do I have to present?

You have to present the application for a residence permit for family reunification in Spain for every family member you want to bring to Spain. When the application is approved your family members have to apply for the visa in the Spanish council or embassy of their home country.

To apply for residence permits for family reunification you have to go in person to the “Oficina de Extranjeros”.
You will need the following:

1. Together with the official application you have to present documents which show: the relationship you have with your family members, their age, legal dependency and proof that you can support them economically. Appropriate documents: family register, marriage certificate, birth certificates of every child.

2. A copy and the original of your valid passport

3. A copy of your residence permit or your renewed work and residence permit. In the case that you are in the process of renewing your permit you must provide a receipt of the application.

4. You have to provide proof that you have enough economic resources to cover the needs and costs of your family members. You can show this for example with a job-contract.

5. You have to show that you have adequate living space, for this you need to have a report from the UTS (Unidades de Trabajo Social - official institution of social workers) of your local district.

6. In the case that you want to be reunited with your partner, you have to present a signed declaration, saying that you are not living with another partner.

7. To renew the resident permit of a minor you have to provide documentation to prove that they have been going to school.

What are the sufficient economic means to reunite?

To reunite one person its 150% of the IPREM. That is a indicator of benefit payment, its 537,84€ in 2018. For every additional person it is 50% of the IPREM. That means that you need a minimum income of ca. 807€ to reunite one person and a minimum of 269 € more for every additional person who reunite. Have in mind that if you already have reunited one person and this person is living with you, in the moment of reuniting another family member, it will be counted as additional.

IMPORTANT: The family member cannot be reunited if they are already in Spain and in an irregular situation in Spain. This is reason to negate the application. In this case the family member has to travel back to their home country to apply there for the visa.

How can my family member get the visa?

The family member who wants to reunite has to go to the Spanish council or embassy of their home country and bring:

1. The official and signed application.

2. Their original and valid passport with validity for at least four months and a copy.

3. Certificate of an official criminal records check, which is exhibited in the last 6 months from the country of origin or the residence country of the last 5 years.

4. Copy of the residence permit from their relative in Spain.

5. Documents which prove their relationship, age, legal and economical dependency of the family member who wants to be reunited: family register, marriage certificate, birth certificates of every child.

6. Medical certificate which proves that the family member has no sickness which is registered in the International Health Regulations as needing to be quarantined.

How long do the family members have to wait for the visa in their home country?

The Spanish council or embassy in the relatives home country has to present the visa permission within 2 months of the application. The family member who has been granted a family reunification visa has to pick up the visa in person. In the case of minors it is possible for their representative or tutor to pick up their visa.

The family members have to enter Spain whilst the visa is valid which is never more than 3 months. Once in Spain the family member has a maximum period of one month to apply for a tarjeta de identificación de extranjeros (foreigners identification card).

After receiving the initial reunification visa it is necessary to renew it 60 days before its expiry date. Like in the first application it is necessary to prove that you have enough economic resources to cover the needs and costs of your family member, for example with a job-contract.

If your partner is granted a work permit and demonstrates, together with an certificate of cohabitation, that you have lived together 2 years they can apply for an independent residence permit. Your children can also receive an independent residence-permit, if they are full of age (over 18) and have a work permit.

I was given a family reunification visa now can I bring my family to Spain?

If you entered Spain with a family reunification visa, you have the right to family reunification with your other family members. But you have to have an independent residence permit of the person you were reunited with and you must fulfil the needed requirements.

If I was reunited with my marriage or civil partner, will I loose my residence permit if I divorce/separate?

This type of residence permit depends on the residence permit of your partner, unfortunately if you divorce or separate, you loose it.

What can I do when I want to get divorced?

You have to make your residence permit independent of your partner. To do this, you have to have lived together for at least two years and show you have sufficient economic resources or a work-contract to be independent.

In some special cases you can try, if you have lived with your partner for at least one year, to demonstrate you have a work contract, although this authorisation depends on the administration office where you are applying.

And if I divorce from an EU-citizen(comunitario)?

In order to not loose you residence permit you have to have lived together for at least 3 years. If you divorce before you will change to the foreign persons situation. That’s not the case if you separate, that’s why the recommendation is not to divorce but to separate.