Spanish residence permits through marriage with a European Union citizen

According to Spanish and European Union (EU) law, any EU citizen has the right to reunite with their family members where they reside within EU territory. Thus, a marriage with these characteristics gives non-EU citizens the opportunity to acquire the right to reside in Spain, but always in a manner subject to certain requirements that must be taken into account. As lawyers specializing in family law, let us explain the key points in this regard.

First of all, it is necessary to understand that this residence permit would be intrinsically linked to the permit granted to the EU citizen in question, and thus to its duration and the conditions under which it is governed. An important aspect is that the nature of the EU citizen’s stay in Spain may entail financial requirements in order to process the residence of their spouse or other direct relative: they must be employed or self-employed in Spain, or else (in the case of pensioners, students, etc...) prove their financial ability to support themselves and their companions, as well as everyone involved having health insurance with coverage equivalent to that of the public health system.

It’s important to emphasize that for two foreign citizens to marry in Spain, at least one of them must have their residence established in Spain. They must also fill out some preliminary paperwork that includes the marriage record, which will certify that the spouses are able to marry. Another option would be to marry abroad and then take the necessary steps to make it valid in Spain.

On the other hand, you should keep in mind that there are options to enjoy this same right without even having to marry. Residence can be granted under the same conditions to domestic partners registered in an EU country with a union analogous to marriage. It can also be granted in the case of non-registered couples who can prove a lasting bond: at least one continuous year of cohabitation or cohabitation with a child in common.

Authorization to reside in Spain takes material form in the well-known EU citizen family member residence card, which is the document the foreign citizen must request at their corresponding Immigration Office within three months of entering Spain.

As always, when dealing with the details of these processes under the specific circumstances that affect you, ICN LEGAL will provide qualified, personalized service. We are lawyers specializing in family law and have extensive experience with matters related to international law and immigration.

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