How can non-EU nationals bring family members to live in Spain?

How can non-EU nationals bring family members to live in Spain?
Can non-EU citizens bring family members to Spain? Photo: Roberto Nickson / Unsplash
If you're a citizen of a country outside the EU, but live in Spain, find out if it's possible for your family members to join you and how.

It’s not just  EU citizens who can bring family members to live with them in Spain, those from non-EU countries are also able to, although under a different process. Read on to find out more. 

Is there an option for a non-EU citizen to bring family members to live with them?

Yes, the good news is that if you’re a non-EU citizen living in Spain and have a residency permit, such as a TIE card, then you can bring family members to live with you via the Family Reunification Visa.

However, you can only do this after one year of legally living in Spain and have authorisation to stay for another year.

READ ALSO – EXPLAINED: The visas Americans need to live and work in Spain 

Is there any way that my family member can join me immediately?

Yes, there are several specific circumstances whereby your family member can come and join you immediately, rather than waiting a year. These include:

  • If you have an EU long-term residency permit from another EU country
  • If you have an EU Blue Card
  • Or if you have a student or researcher visa

If you do not hold one of these three things, then unfortunately your family members will still have to wait a year before being able to join you.

Who is eligible to join me?

The relatives that are eligible for family reunification are:

  • Your spouse or civil partner (you must currently be in a relationship with them and be able to prove this).
  • Unmarried dependent children, including adopted children, aged 18 years or under.
  • Dependent children, grandchildren, or another person that you are the legal guardian of who are over 18 years old and have disabilities or cannot look after themselves. (If your child is over 18 and under 21, will be studying in Spain, and is also financially dependent on you, they may also be able to join you).

READ ALSO: How much money do Britons need for Spain’s non-lucrative visa in 2021?

What about my parents, can they join me on the Family Reunification Visa?

In the case of parents, it can be a bit more complicated. You can bring dependent parents or in-laws who are over the age of 65 (or younger in exceptional cases). However, you must have a long-term residence card for you to be able to do this, meaning that you have to have lived in Spain for over five years.

What about other family members such as brothers and sisters?

Unfortunately, it’s not possible for brothers and sisters or any other family members, other than the ones listed above, to join you on the Family Reunification Visa. 

The only way is for you to become a Spanish citizen or citizen of another EU country and then apply for the Extended Family Reunification Visa.

What else do I need to prove for my family members to join me?

You will need to prove that you have the financial means to support any dependent family members who come to join you in Spain. You may also need to prove that you were supporting them financially while you have been living in Spain during the last year.

To bring one relative, you must demonstrate that you have an amount equivalent to or greater than 150 percent of the IPREM (Public Multiple Effects Income Indicator) for one relative. If you want to bring a second relative, you will need to add an extra 50 percent on top of this.

Those who are self-employed or autónomo will have to show their most recent tax returns.

READ ALSO: Self-employed in Spain: What you should know about being ‘autónomo’

If you are not working, you will need to show sufficient savings and also that you have private health insurance.

Will my relative be allowed to work in Spain?

Yes, spouses and children, who are of legal employment age, who are granted residence permits under the reunification visa will be able to work without needing to apply for extra work visas. 

How long does the process take?

As a general guideline, the process takes around six months to complete, and until your relative can move to Spain. But keep in mind, it could take longer, depending on when appointments are available and your individual circumstances.

However, you should get a response approving or denying your application within three months. After that, you will need to wait a few more months for the visa to be processed.

Is that the end of the process, once my relative gets their reunification visa?

Once they receive their visa, your relative can join you in Spain, however, the process is not fully completed until they apply for and receive their TIE or foreign resident card. 


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