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RESIDENCY PERMITS

Can I gain Spanish residency through marriage or partnership?

Is it possible to gain Spanish residency through a marriage or partnership? Read on to find out more and discover if your situation makes you eligible.

wedding
Spanish residency through marriage. Photo: ANURAG1112 / Pixabay

So, you’ve fallen in love and have decided to marry or enter into a civil union with your partner, the only problem is that your partner lives in Spain and you don’t have Spanish residency to be able to live with them. Is it possible to apply for Spanish residency through marriage?

The short answer is yes, it’s totally possible to gain Spanish residency through marriage or a civil union, but different situations will apply, depending on your particular circumstances.

In Spain, a civil union is known as a pareja de hecho and grants you many of the same benefits as marriage, however there are a few main differences. Read here to find out what the differences are and which is better. 

Residency through marriage to an EU citizen

If you are from a non-EU country and marry or enter into a civil partnership with someone from Spain or the EU, then gaining a Spanish residency permit is quite straightforward.

In this case, you will apply for a residence permit for Spain as a family member of an EU citizen or a tarjeta de residencia de familiar comunitario. This will enable you the right to come and live and work in Spain under the same conditions as those from the EU.

You must apply for the residence permit within a period of 90 days or three months after arriving in Spain and can do so by making an appointment at your local immigration office. Along with your ID documents, you will need to bring a completed Modelo EX-18 form found here.

The main requirements for this are:

  • Your spouse or partner must be from an EU country
  • They must have Spanish residency
  • They must be legally working, be a student or have sufficient economic funds to be able to support you
  • Your marriage must have been registered in an EU country, if not you will have to get your marriage certificate apostilled or might have to get your marriage re-registered in Spain.

If you and your partner meet all the requirements, you will be granted permission to live in Spain for five years and are able to renew it after this time.

READ ALSO – Q&A: Can EU nationals bring non-EU family members over to Spain?

What about if my partner/spouse is not an EU citizen?

If you marry or enter into a civil partnership with someone who is not Spanish or an EU citizen but has residency in Spain, the good news is that you’re able to join them and gain Spanish residency via the family reunification visa.

The main requirement is that your partner must have been living in Spain for a period of one year already and have already been granted a visa renewal for a further year or more.

If your partner has not already been living in Spain for one year, you will need to wait to be able to join them. The only way that you can join your partner immediately rather than waiting the rest of the time is if your partner has an EU long-term residency permit from another EU country, has an EU Blue Card or has a student visa.

The main requirement is that your partner has to prove that they have the financial means to support you. This means that they must demonstrate they earn an amount equivalent to or greater than 150 percent of the IPREM (Public Multiple Effects Income Indicator). For 2022 this equals €868.53 per month.

If your partner is not working, they will have to prove they have sufficient savings, as well as private health insurance.

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

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For members

IMMIGRATION

EXPLAINED: What are the main obstacles to finding a job when moving to an EU country?

Moving to another country is never easy, as it requires going through cultural changes and administrative formalities. It can be even more complicated when looking for a job.

EXPLAINED: What are the main obstacles to finding a job when moving to an EU country?

According to new data released by the EU statistical office, Eurostat, the knowledge of the national language and the recognition of professional qualifications are the two most common obstacles experienced by foreign-born people in finding a ‘suitable’ job in countries of the European Union.

Overall, about a quarter of people born outside the EU who had experience in working or looking for work in the bloc reported some difficulties getting a ‘suitable’ job for level of education (without considering the field of expertise or previous experience).

The Eurostat analysis shows that the situation is better for EU citizens moving within the bloc. But there are major differences depending on countries and gender.

Life can be more difficult for women

In 2021, 13.2 percent of men and 20.3 percent of women born in another European Union country reported obstacles in getting a suitable job in the EU place of residence.

These proportions however increase to 20.9 percent for men and 27.3 percent for women born in a non-EU country with a high level of development (based on the United Nations’ Human Development Index) and 31.1 percent for men and 35.7 percent for women from non-EU countries with a low or medium level of development.

Finland (42.9 percent), Sweden (41.7 percent), Luxembourg (34.6 percent) and France (32.1 percent) are the countries with the highest shares of people born outside the EU reporting problems. Norway, which is not part of the bloc, has an even higher percentage, 45.2, and Switzerland 34.3 percent.

In contrast, Cyprus (11.2 percent), Malta (10.9 percent), Slovenia (10.2 percent), Latvia (10 percent) and Lithuania (6.7 percent) have the lowest proportion of people born outside the EU reporting difficulties.

Lack of language skills

The lack of skills in the national language is most commonly cited as a hurdle, and it is even more problematic for women.

This issue was reported by 4.2 percent of men born in another EU country, 5.3 percent of those born in a developed country outside the EU and 9.7 percent of those from a non-EU country with a middle or low level of development. The corresponding shares for women, however, were 5.6, 6.7 and 10.5 percent respectively.

The countries where language skills were more likely to be reported by non-EU citizens as an obstacle in getting a relevant job were Finland (22.8 percent), Luxembourg (14.7 percent) and Sweden (13.1 percent).

As regards other countries covered by The Local, the percentage of non-EU citizens citing the language as a problem was 12.4 percent in Austria, 10.2 percent in Denmark, 7.8 percent in France, 5.1 percent in Italy, 2.7 percent in Spain, 11.1 percent on Norway and 10.1 percent in Switzerland. Data is not available for Germany.

Portugal (77.4 percent), Croatia (68.8 percent), Hungary (58.8 percent) and Spain (58.4 percent) have the highest share of people from outside the EU already speaking the language as a mother tongue before arriving, while more than 70 percent of non-EU citizens residing in Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg and Norway said they had participated in language courses after arrival.

Lisbon Portugal

Portugal has the highest share of people from outside the EU already speaking the language as a mother tongue before arriving. (Photo by Aayush Gupta on Unsplash)

Recognition of qualifications

Another hurdle on the way to a relevant job in EU countries is the lack of recognition of a formal qualification obtained abroad. This issue was reported by 2 percent of men and 3.8 percent of women born in another EU country. It was also mentioned by 3.3 percent of men and 5.9 percent of women born in a developed country outside the EU, and 4.8 percent of men and 4.6 percent of women born in a less developed non-EU country.

Eurostat says this reflects an “unofficial distrust” among employers of qualification obtained abroad and the “low official validation of foreign education”.

The lack of availability of a suitable job was another factor mentioned in the survey. In Croatia, Portugal and Hungary, this was the main obstacle to getting an adequate position.

This issue concerned 3.3 percent of men and 4.5 percent of women born in another EU country, 4.2 percent of men and 5 percent of women born in a developed non-EU country It also worried 3.9 percent of men and 5.1 percent of women born in a less developed non-EU country.

Restricted right to work due to citizenship or residence permits, as well as plain discrimination on the grounds of origin were also cited as problems.

Discrimination was mostly reported by people born in a less developed non-EU country (3.1 percent for men and 3.3 percent for women) compared to people born in highly developed non-EU countries (1.9 percent for men and 2.2 percent for women).

Citizenship and residence permits issues are unusual for people from within the EU. For people from outside the EU, this is the only area where women seem to have fewer problems than men: 1.6 percent of women from developed non-EU countries reported this issue, against 2.1 percent of men, with the share increasing to 2.8 and 3.3 percent respectively for women and men from less developed non-EU states.

The article is published in cooperation with Europe Street News, a news outlet about citizens’ rights in the EU and the UK.

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