For members


Can you move to Spain to live with your adult children?

Do your adult children live in Spain and are you looking to move there to live with them? Find out if it’s possible and what type of visa you need to apply for in order to gain residency rights.  

Grandparents and grandkid
Moving to Spain with your adult child. Photo: Ana Krach / Pixabay

Perhaps your adult son or daughter is planning on moving to Spain and you want to be able to move with them, or maybe they already live here and you want to be closer to the grandkids? It may be that you’re dependent on your children due to health or financial reasons.

So is it possible to move to Spain to be with your adult child?

Here we look at all the options, depending on your individual circumstances. 

You and your child are both EU citizens

If you and your children are both EU citizens, then it’s very easy for you to move from one EU country to another via the Freedom of Movement Act, allowing you to live, work or retire in another EU country. You will need to officially register and apply for a green residency card within three months of living in Spain.

Most likely you will have to prove why you want a residency card, whether that’s to buy a house or a car, to retire or get a job. You may also have to show savings to be able to support yourself, as well as private health insurance or a firm job offer.

Your child is an EU citizen but you are not   

If your child is a Spanish or EU citizen, perhaps through marriage or because they were eligible to change their nationality, but you are from a non-EU country, then what are your options if you want to move to Spain to be with them?

In this case, you can apply for a residence card of a family member of a European Union citizen or tarjeta de residencia de familiar comunitario.

However, to be eligible, you must be dependent on your child either because of financial or health reasons and you must be able to prove this.

Your offspring must also prove that sufficient means to be able to look after you.

The card must be applied for during the first three months of arriving in Spain to be able to continue living here.

The initial residency card will be valid for five years.

You can then renew this for a permanent 10-year residency card. After this, your card will need to be renewed every 10 years. This will also allow you to work in Spain, if you are able to. 

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

Non-EU citizens

If both you and your child are third-country nationals, it may be trickier to gain Spanish residency, but it is still possible under specific circumstances.

If your child is a non-EU citizen living in Spain and has a residency permit, such as a TIE card, then they are able to bring you to live with them via the Family Reunification Visa.

However, to be eligible you must be over the age of 65 (or younger in exceptional cases). Your child must also have a long-term residence document, meaning that they must have lived in Spain for over five years.

Your offspring must also be able to demonstrate that they have an amount equivalent to or greater than 150 percent of the IPREM (Public Multiple Effects Income Indicator) for one relative or more if both parents intend to come. For 2022 the yearly IPREM is €6,948.

This means that they will have to prove they have €10,422 for the year to be able to support you.

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

Be aware that if you want to move to Spain to be with your child who is a minor and under the age of 18, then you can do so via the arriago familiar.

This is available for parents of children who are EU citizens and allows you to live and work in Spain for up to one year and then exchange your residency for another type of residency document such as one where you are employed by a company or self-employed. 

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For members


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.