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Visas For Members

How to get a spousal visa in Spain if you’re non-EU

The Local Spain
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How to get a spousal visa in Spain if you’re non-EU
How to get a spousal visa in Spain if you’re non-EU. Photo: Candice Picard / Unsplash

If you’re a non-EU citizen, but have a spouse or a partner who is an EU citizen, then there is a way that you can join them and get a permit to legally live in Spain.

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There's a popular misconception that simply being married to an EU national entitles you to live in Spain (or another EU country).

In fact this is not the case - you will still need a visa, but there is a slightly easier pathway.

If you're a family member (including spouse or partner) of an EU citizen, you must apply within the first three months (90 days) of arriving in Spain.

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That means that you can enter Spain on a tourist visa first and then apply for residency - unlike those moving on a working of non-lucrative visa, who must apply for the visa from their home country.

Who can apply?

The visa is open to spouses and family members of EU citizens, but there are a few rules on who exactly can apply.

  • The spouse or registered civil partner of an EU national (you must be able to provide a valid marriage certificate or certificate of your civil partnership such as the Spanish pareja de hecho)
  • Unmarried partners, providing you can provide proof that you are in a long-term stable relationship and have been living together for some time (usually one or two years, but depends on circumstances), or have children together
  • Dependent children of an EU national under 21 years old (you must be able to provide a valid birth certificate)
  • Dependent parents of an EU national (proof must be provided of your relationship and that they are dependent on you)
  • Any other dependent relatives (proof must be provided that they cannot look after themselves and are financially dependent on you).

READ ALSO: Civil union or marriage in Spain: which one is better?

How to apply?

Step one: Apply for a cita previa or prior appointment at your local foreigners' office. You need to do this as soon as you arrive in the country really, as the appointments can take a long time to get.

READ ALSO: How to get a 'cita previa' (appointment) in Spain when it seems impossible

Step two: Complete Modelo EX-19. This is the form you’ll need in order to apply for your residence card as a family member of an EU citizen.

The first section asks for all your personal details such as name, date of birth, nationality, married status and parents' names.

Complete form EX19 to get your residency permit. Source: Spanish government

Section two is for the EU citizen to fill out their details including name, passport number and address.

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

If you’re filling out the form yourself, section three can be ignored as this is only in case someone else is completing the form for you, such as a legal representative.

Section four asks for the address you want all your notifications sent to.

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Section five is where you’ll have to state your relationship to the EU citizen. If this is your first time applying, you’ll only need to check a box in the part for Residencia Temporal. You will then check the box that applies to you, whether you’re the spouse of an EU citizen, child under 21 or other family member with financial dependence on your EU relative.

The Residencia Permanente is only for those who have already been living in Spain for five years. The last three parts are only if you are modifying, renewing your card or leaving the country. You can just ignore these if you’re applying for the first time.

You will also need to complete Modelo 790, which is the payment form, and pay the associated fee.

Step three: Gather your documents  

You will need to prepare several documents to take with you to your appointment, along with the form above.

  • A valid passport
  • Documentation accrediting family relationships, apostilled or legalised and translated. This could be a marriage or birth certificate for example.
  • Spanish ID if your partner is from Spain or ID from another EU country.
  • Padrón certificate which demonstrates that you are living with your EU spouse.
  • Savings or income to show that your partner can support you financially.
  • Three recent passport-sized colour photographs, on a white background.

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Step four: Go to your appointment to get everything processed. You may need to go back at a later date to pick up your residency card.

It’s important to note that this visa doesn’t grant you the right to live and work in any EU country, it’s specific to Spain and is only valid as long as you’re living here.

If you want to move to another EU country with your EU partner, you will have to apply again for residency in that country and follow the different procedures.

Financial requirements

If your EU spouse or family member is working in Spain and paying into the social security system then that’s enough. However, if they don’t have a job, they have to prove savings of certain amounts, depending on how many non-EU family members they want to bring to Spain.

These are based on 14 monthly payments in a year, as is customary in Spain, instead of 12. 

  • One relative - €627.13 per month (€8,779.82 per year)
  • Two family members - €885.36 per month (€12,395.04 per year)
  • Three family members - €1143.59 (€16,010.26 per year)

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