Due to Brexit, there is quite some doubt about the rights of Irish citizens regarding the European Union immigration laws. This is completely normal considering the geopolitics of the present day. However, in this article, we will be focusing specifically on the immigration rights of the non-European partners of Irish citizens.
Can they live and work in Spain if they are married to an Irish person? Keep reading to find out!
How did Brexit affect Irish passport holders?
Since Brexit there has been a lot of confusion regarding British citizens and immigration processes in the European Union.
In regard to Spain, many British citizens even lived in Spain already and were caught in the middle of the whole situation.
Many of the immigration rights were lost, as well.
For example, the non-European relatives of British citizens could no longer apply for Spanish residency through the community card; a very advantageous process that is no longer available for them as a consequence of exiting the EU.
However, to get straight to the point, the Republic of Ireland is not a part of the United Kingdom. Therefore, and here we arrive at the pillar of the debate, Brexit does NOT affect Irish passport holders in this sense.
What are your rights as the spouse of an Irish citizen?
As mentioned, it has been a common question lately if one can live in Spain if their wife or husband is Irish.
If we look closer at what this question is asking, it can be rephrased to be more specific: Can I apply for the EU family member residence card if my spouse has an Irish passport?
The answer to this is: Yes, the non-European relatives of Irish citizens can apply for Spanish residency through the EU family member residency process.
This is simply because Ireland is part of the European Union. Thus, they fall under the community regime.
If one obtains a Spanish residence permit for EU family members, they have the right to live and work in Spain as if they were European citizens, as well.
Moreover, this right does not just apply to the spouses of EU or Irish passport holders, but also to the civil partners, children, and parents.
How can the spouse of an Irish citizen obtain residency in Spain?
- Accompanying or joining your Irish spouse in Spain
- The Irish national must be a resident in Spain, meaning he or she lives in Spain for at least 183 days per year
- Demonstrating that your Irish spouse has sufficient economic means
- If they are employed, they can show an employment contract, a hiring declaration from their employer, or Social Security registration
- If they are self-employed, they can show registration at the Census of Economic Activities, Social Security, or the Mercantile Registry
- If they do not participate in economic activity in Spain, they must show proof of public or private health insurance, and proof of economic means through property titles, certified checks, certified credit cards, and/or bank certificates
- If they are a student, they must show an enrollment certificate, proof of public or private health insurance, and proof of economic means during their studies
- Accrediting the marriage through a marriage certificate
- In the case of a registered civil partnership (pareja de hecho), you must prove that it is registered through a Civil Partnership Registry certificate, and a Census Certificate showing that you are living together
- In the case of an unregistered civil partnership, you must prove the relationship is stable and real by showing you have been living together for at least one year continuously
- In the case of an unregistered civil partnership with a child, you must present the child’s birth certificate and show you have been living together
- Two copies of the application form EX-19, filled out
- Your passport and a copy
- Your Irish spouse’s national ID and copy
- Proof of paying the legal fee
The legal aspect of this Spanish residency
In this case, the validity of this residency would depend on the Irish citizen living in Spain. This means that the residence card given to the non-EU spouse would only be valid for the time period that the Irish citizen is going to live in Spain.
Generally, however, the residence card lasts for 5 years; unless the European states that they will be staying in Spain for less.
If at the time of renewal, the marriage or civil partnership is still intact and the Irish citizen is still living in Spain, the spouse can renew their residency.
After legally living in Spain for 5 years, another option would be to apply for permanent residency in Spain, which would grant the individual another residence card for 5 years.
If you are interested in applying for this residency or need some help with it, our lawyers are always here to help you. We will guide you step-by-step and make sure you enjoy a successful application:
Get in touch with our lawyers and let us guide you step by step: