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


Worker, retiree or investor: What type of Spanish visa do I need?

If you’re from a non-EU country you will need a visa in order to stay in Spain for longer than 90 days, but knowing which type of permit is best for you can be tricky. Here's how to find the right one for you based on your circumstances.

Worker, retiree or investor: What type of Spanish visa do I need?

If you are a citizen of a non-EU country then you may benefit from the 90-day rule, allowing you to visit Spain for 90 days out of every 180 without needing a visa. Countries including the UK, USA, Canada and Australia all benefit from this rule.

Citizens of certain countries require a visa even for a short trip – find the full list here.

However, the tricky part comes when you want to move to Spain and spend longer than just those three months. What are your visa options, whether you want to move to Spain to retire, to work or even to set up your own business? 


The best option for retirees is to apply for the non-lucrative visa (NLV). This allows you to live in Spain for one year, but as the name suggests you are not allowed to work.

In order to apply an applicant must show they have €27,792 at their disposal for one year (€34,740 if it’s a couple), as well as comprehensive health insurance.

If you want to stay in Spain beyond this year, you can either renew it for a further two years (again proving you have the financial means) or change your visa for a work permit or a self-employed permit through the residence modification process.

The NLV is also the best option for those who want to live abroad temporarily. Those who want to stay in Spain for more than three months, but are not planning on living here permanently. It’s ideal for those on a sabbatical for example who have savings or investments and who do not need to work in Spain while here, but want to stay here for a year. It’s also the best option for those who have the financial means to do so.

READ ALSO: What are the pros and cons of Spain’s non-lucrative visa?

retiree in Spain

The NLV is the right visa for most non-EU retirees who want to live in Spain. Photo: pasja1000 / Pixabay


If you plan on moving to Spain for work or in order to look for a job, then you will need a work permit. Unfortunately getting a work permit can be tricky because in most cases as a non-EU national, the position you apply for must be on Spain’s shortage occupation list.

Your employer will also have to prove that there were no other suitable candidates within the EU to be able to fulfill the vacancy. This means that only highly skilled workers or those that work in industries that need workers are likely to be successful. These mostly include jobs in the maritime or fishing industries or sports coaches.

If you are wanting to become self-employed, then the entrepreneur visa could be a good option, allowing you to live in Spain for one year in order to open up a business. Be aware however your business must be considered as anything of innovative character with special economic interest for Spain.

You will have to prove you have the necessary qualifications to set up your business and will also have to submit your business plan to the authorities for it to be approved. The entrepreneur visa can be extended for a further two years after your initial one has been granted.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Spain’s visa for entrepreneurs


If money is no object and you want to invest in a Spanish property then, you’ll want to apply for Spain’s golden visa. To be eligible, you must invest €500,000 before taxes in a property here. It won’t allow you to work, but it will allow you access to the entire Schengen area. This will also allow your spouse and any dependent children to move to Spain with you.

Another option for investors is the entrepreneur visa as described above, if you want to use your investment to set up a business in Spain.

Joining family members:

If you happen to have a family member who is an EU citizen and lives in Spain or a non-EU relative that has residency in Spain, then you have another option. This is called the family reunification visa. However, in order to be eligible, you need to be a spouse or a dependent child and your relative must have the means to financially support you. 



Enrolling on a course and applying for a student visa is one way for non-EU citizens of any age can live in Spain beyond the regular length of a tourist stay. 

You will have to apply for a short-term or long-term student visa, depending on the length of their course. A student advantages can several advantages such as being able to work part-time or bringing over family members. 

READ MORE: What are the pros and cons of Spain’s student visa?