Many foreigners in Spain would like to legally bring their partner to the country with them in order to start living together. Although this is a process that generates many doubts, it is nevertheless completely possible, and in this article you will find the 3 different paths to do it in a simple way.
We will explore how to bring your partner or fiancé to Spain in 2022, all the requirements you will have to meet, and how the legal process works step by step. And, in addition, you will find the way to proceed whether you want to bring your spouse (husband or wife), your partner if you are registered through a civil partnership or similar figure, or in the case of unregistered stable couples.
It is entirely possible to bring your fiancé or partner to Spain with you, and in fact, you have three different options for doing so:
- First, there is the family reunification process under the general regime, suitable for those cases in which the foreigner already in Spain is a non-EU citizen in possession of a valid residency card
- Then we have the family reunification procedure under the EU regime, used in those cases in which the applicant is a Spanish national or a national of a country within the European Union
- And, finally, reunification under the Entrepreneurs Law, for those cases in which the foreigner applying is a non-EU citizen in Spain who holds a visa under this law (such as the investor visa or the highly qualified work permit)
Each of these three paths has its own particularities and requirements, so the first step is to define which group you are in to understand how to proceed.
Below we analyze these three paths in detail, but first, we must clarify who we can actually regroup under these procedures.
So, although we are constantly saying that it is possible to bring your partner to Spain with you, what legal figures do we mean by a “partner”?
- We are talking about the most general case, in which we bring our spouse. That is to say, wife or husband with whom we have constituted ourselves in marriage.
- On the other hand, we find the regrouping of the civil partnership (“pareja de hecho” in Spanish), very similar to the figure of marriage but with certain differences that you can find in this article
- And, finally, the reunification process is also possible for unmarried stable couples. That is, relationships in which there has been no marriage nor legal registration of the union, but in which a stable bond between both members can be demonstrated. This will be possible as long as the relationship started before the foreigner in Spain entered the country, and they can prove such link with evidence such as the existence of children together, shared bank account, a house in common, that the couple has been registered in the country of origin, etc.
Having clearly defined these options, let’s now move on to look at the 3 reunification paths available.
You can read on for more information, or ask any questions directly to our lawyers here:
Bring your partner through the family reunification process under the general regime
In the first place we find the most typical and usual option: the family reunification process under the general immigration regime.
It occurs in those cases in which the foreigner (the one regrouping) has been living in the Spanish territory for more than one year with his or her residency card and wants to bring her partner with her.
Among those that we will now see, this is precisely one of the most fundamental requirements: that the foreigner has renewed, at least once, her TIE or residence card.
In addition to this, the following requirements must also be met:
- Demonstrate the kinship bond. That is to say, to demonstrate that the relationship actually exists. This can be done, for example, through a marriage certificate.
- Provide proof of having stable economic means. In this case, the Immigration Office wants to verify that the applicant has sufficient economic solvency. We are talking about receiving at least €800 per month in the form of a salary, which must be fixed and stable (usually the Immigration Department will analyze the employment situation for the last 6 months, although it is also likely that they will look at your previous year’s income tax return).
- Adequate housing report verifying that the applicant’s home has sufficient conditions for both members to live together under minimum acceptable conditions
- And, finally, it will be fundamental to demonstrate the economic dependency (that the partner who wishes to move to Spain depends economically on the foreigner already in the Spanish territory). This is done, for example, by being able to provide evidence that money has been sent during the last months from one member of the relationship to the other.
This process is applicable for the three cases or types of relationships seen above. That is to say, both the spouse (husband or wife), the civil partner and the non-registered stable partner can be reunited under the general regime.
How does the process work?
The member of the couple who is in Spain will initiate the process at the Immigration Office while her partner (person to be regrouped) remains in the country of origin.
Once the application has been submitted and approved by the Immigration Office, the spouse or partner in the country of origin may apply for a visa at the Spanish consulate (family regrouping visa), with which she may travel and enter Spain to finally obtain her residence card.
We are talking about a card linked and tied to the residence of the foreigner who was already in Spain, so its duration will be exactly the same.
And what happens if I don’t have enough funds or proper housing?
It is common that the applicant (foreigner in Spain) does not have enough money as required by the immigration authorities.
Do you have any option to still bring your partner or fiancé with you?
The answer is yes. The process is still possible; you can always bring your partner through an employment contract.
That is, if this foreigner (the one in Spain) has an employer willing to hire her partner and offer her a work contract, the process is still doable.
One of the advantages of applying for a work permit as an employee if you have a family member in Spain with renewed residence (at least once), is that the authorities will not analyze or take into account the national unemployment situation (a factor that makes it very complicated to obtain this work permit in the first place).
In this case, the only important requirement to consider will be that the employer who hires the couple has no debts and has sufficient economic solvency to be able to sustain the contract.
Bring your spouse to Spain under the EU regime
On the other hand, we find the reunification process of the couple under the EU regime; the type of procedure carried out by the Spanish citizen or EU national who is living in Spain.
Although it is true that there is a requirement common to the previous case that becomes fundamental (to demonstrate the bond or that such an affective relationship truly exists); the process is somewhat different as we will now see.
In addition, reunification under the European Union regime offers two advantages compared to the general regime:
- In terms of economic means, it is not necessary to prove economic dependency, but simply the solvency of the Spanish/EU citizen
- And, on the other hand, the residency card that the regrouped partner will receive is a 5-year card (instead of just 2), which allows her to work in the country.
But be careful!
The marriage certificate must be issued by an EU country, as the one from the country of origin would not be valid; although in many cases presenting the proof of the registration of the union at the consulate is enough to get the visa.
Let us then see how the process works step by step, section in which we find important differences.
Depending on whether the couple to be reunited and brought to Spain is a national of a country that requires (or not) a visa to enter Spain, she will be able to enter Spanish territory directly or she will have to go through a previous and extra procedure.
Thus, the first thing to do is to understand if the country of origin of the couple/spouse has an entry agreement with Spain or not, in order to verify the need (or lack thereof) to apply for a visa. You can find the complete list of these countries here.
Procedure if your spouse is from a country that does not require a visa
In the case that it is not necessary to apply for an entry visa to Spain (we are referring to the tourist or short-stay visa) since the country of origin is on the list of exempt countries, the couple to be reunited will be able to enter directly to Spain to complete the process.
But in this case, she will not do so as a tourist, since the documents or requirements to be shown upon arrival will be different.
She will do it as family members of Spanish/European citizens.
Procedure if your partner requires a visa to enter Spain
On the other hand, if the country of origin does require a tourist visa, then the reunification process will begin in the country of origin.
The couple to be reunited must first apply for the visa as a family member of an EU citizen at the Spanish consulate, demonstrating:
- The relationship with his/her partner in Spain.
- That this partner is indeed Spanish or European
- And that she/he has manifested clearly the will to regroup him/her
With all of this, she will obtain the visa that will allow her to enter the Spanish territory, where he will have to accredit again these same requirements, in addition to providing private medical insurance and demonstrating the economic means.
And, with that, he would finally get his TIE or residence card.
Bring your spouse to Spain under the Entrepreneur’s Law
Finally, we find the third option that, not being as commonly used, is still and equally possible.
All those non-EU citizens who are in Spain with a visa under the Entrepreneurs Law (such as the golden visa, visa for researchers, work permit for highly qualified professionals, permit for intra-company transfer, etc.) can bring their partner with them.
The main difference, in this case, is that the process is initiated with an application by the sponsor at the UGE, and it is not possible to bring unregistered but stable partners (just couples registered via marriage and civil unions).
However, the positive thing is that this institution issues a response in a really timely manner; and once it has validated and verified that the foreigner indeed has a residence authorization under Law 14/2013 and meets all the requirements to regroup, it will issue an authorization so that the couple in the country of origin can apply for their visa and enter Spain.
Would you like to bring other relatives to Spain?
In this article we have seen the options for regrouping couples within the three possible forms (marriage, civil couples, stable non-registered partnerships).
However, it is entirely possible that you may want to reunite other family members like your parents and bring them with you to Spain, and the truth is that it is also possible.
So, in order for you to get more information, here is a complete guide on the family reunification process so that you can find out how to bring your siblings, and other family members with you.
However, if you have any specific questions and would like to receive personalized legal advice, please contact our team of immigration lawyers and we will get back to you as soon as possible: