Due to its similarities, many individuals who would like to bring their family to Spain confuse them. But the truth is that the family reunification procedure and the family member of an EU citizen permit are completely different things.
In this article we will outlay the main differences as well as all the similarities between both. Are you ready?
We will first start defining the main similarities between both legal procedures.
THE TWO OPTIONS ENABLE YOU TO BRING YOUR FAMILY TO SPAIN
These are the two paths that will grant you the possibility to move to Spain with your relatives.
Even though the legal procedure and the conditions to do it are completely different, the end result is the same: you living in Spain with your family.
POSSESSION OF SUFFICIENT ECONOMIC MEANS
Even though, as we will see later on, the required amount is different, there is one thing certain for both procedures.
And that relies on the fact that you will need to demonstrate the possession of sufficient economic funds in both cases in order to bring your relatives to Spain.
Let’s now dive deep into the main differences that exist between the residence permit as a family member of a European citizen and the reunification procedure.
This is the most important part as it will help you clear your mind and exactly define through which process you will be able to bring your family with you.
THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN OF THE MAIN APPLICANT
This is the difference that will define which path you should take:
If you, the individual who is currently living in Spain, are a Spanish citizen or you are from any European Union country, then the process your relatives must follow in order to come to Spain is the family member of an EU citizen visa. The procedure will be regulated by the Community Regime.
On the other hand, if you are currently living in Spain legally with a residence authorization, then you will need to initiate the family reunification procedure in order to bring them to the country. In that case, the applicable legislation will be the General Immigration Regime.
THE RELATIVES YOU CAN BRING TO SPAIN
Which are the relatives that will be able to benefit from each procedure?
In the case of the family reunification process, things are a bit more restrictive. You can bring to Spain:
- Your civil partner or spouse constituted by marriage
- Your parents and the parents of your spouse/civil partner if they are over 65 years old and there is enough reason for them to come to Spain
- Your children and the children of your civil partner/spouse provided that they are under 18 years old.
If the Community Regime is applicable to you and the visa for an EU citizen relative can be applied to, you can bring:
- Your spouse or civil partner.
- Your son or daughter (or children of your spouse/civil partner) who are under 21 years old.
- Son or daughter over 21 years that are at your charge (mainly economically).
- Your parents or parents of your spouse/civil partner who are at your charge.
DURATION AND VALIDITY OF THE RELATIVES RESIDENCE AUTHORIZATION
Once your relatives go through the whole legal procedure, they will obtain a residence authorization in Spain, which will enable them to live legally in the country.
But, for how long?
In the case of the residence permit as a family member of an EU citizen, the card will be valid for 5 years. Then, they can get the permanent residency.
It is really important that you understand all the requirements and procedure to renew your family member card, which you can find here.
If the general immigration regime applies, the duration of the permit will depend and be linked to the one of the applicant (the one who was already in Spain).
If, for example, she has obtained her first renewal, which is for 2 years, then the authorization for the relative will be also valid for 2 years.
HOW TO DEMONSTRATE THE POSSESSION OF SUFFICIENT ECONOMIC MEANS
REQUIRED YEARS LIVED IN SPAIN BY THE APPLICANT
In the case you bring your family with the reunification process, the main applicant (the individual who is not from the EU that has obtained a residence permit in Spain), must have been living in the country for at least 1 year. If the main applicant wants to bring his parents, then it will be a minimum of 5 years.
In order to demonstrate that, the immigration office looks at the date in which you registered as a resident (empadronamiento).
With the community regime, things are much easier. There is no required living time in Spain by the main applicant in order to apply for this visa.
START NOW AND BRING YOUR RELATIVES TO SPAIN
Now you know the main differences between both procedures. Hence, the path to bring your relatives to Spain is much clearer. You know where to start.
Nevertheless, you may still be having doubts.
But our immigration lawyer team is here to help you out.
No matter if you would like to apply for the family member of an EU citizen visa or to the family reunification process, we are here to answer all your doubts or manage the whole application for you.
We will make things easy for your family!