It is very likely that if you are here is because you obtained the residency in Spain thanks to a relative from the European Union.
You have been residing in the country for 5 years, and now your permit is going to expire.
Thus, you are forced to renew your residence card as a family member of an EU citizen. What’s next is an explanation of how to do it step by step, including the requirements and documents you will need to provide.
The family member of an EU citizen card is a residence permit granted to Spanish national or European Union citizen relatives.
Specifically, it was created for spouses (civil partner or husband/wife), children and parents of a European citizen resident in Spain.
The great advantage of the this EU family member visa is the period of legal residence that it grants.
This card allows the family members of the Union citizen to live legally in the Spanish territory, in addition to working, for a total of 5 years.
This initial 5-year card is also known as the temporary EU residence card.
But what happens once that period of time comes to an end?
You will have to renew it in order to obtain a permanent EU residence card. This will allow you to reside in the Spanish territory indefinitely as a legal resident.
That is to say, it grants residency for 10 years. This along the possibility to renew for an extra 10 (if you don’t get citizenship before).
How to renew it?
Nowadays, this renewal can be done through any public registry, even by postmail.
In other words, it can be submitted trough telematic means.
It is not like years ago, when it was explicitly necessary to formalize the procedure in person by requesting an appointment at the immigration office.
However, today it is still possible to do it in person. It is still the preferred method for many people.
Besides, another advantage of the renewal is that you do not have to do it by yourself.
You can appoint an immigration lawyer to carry out the renewal for you.
It doesn’t matter where you are. And you don’t even have to move from home. For example, our team can do it through an electronic registry.
When is it the right time to renew?
This requirement is very important.
You must present all the documentation to renew your community card during the period between 30 days before the expiry of the card and 90 days after that.
Requirements to renew your family member card
The requirements are basically the same you had to meet when you first got your residency card as a relative of an EU citizen.
For the renewal, you will have to present:
- Full passport
- Model Ex-19 filled out, indicating that you want to make a renewal.
- 3 recent passport photos.
- You must provide proof that you still have a real family link to the European citizen. This can be done trough the registration of the civil union, the marriage certificate or the birth certificate.
- Proof of sufficient financial means. This is described in more detail below.
¿What happens if I got divorced from my spouse?
As we have just mentioned, in order to renew this card you must prove that you still have the emotioanl bond with the family member through whom you obtained the residency.
In the case of an ascendant or descendant relationship (parents or children), there is no problem. The bond is maintained throughout your entire life by its very nature.
Nevertheless, we find a small obstacle in the case that you obtained your card as a relative of a community member through marriage or a common-law couple.
What happens if you separate or get divorced? Can you still renew the card?
In the case that the link has been broken, in order to renew you must have been married for 3 years (out of the 5), and one of them living together in Spain.
In that case you could keep your current regime.
It is important that if you do not live together and you are separated you get an official divorce before you try to renew.
The mere fact of filing a divorce demand against court would be enough. You will have to add that document to your renewal application.
Other extraordinary situations
There is a set of exceptional cases that would also allow the card to be kept despite the fact that the emotional bond has been extinguished.
In the event, for example, of the death of the EU citizen, the non-European would keep his/her community card as long as he/she was residing in the country with the card before the death.
In this case, the death certificate will have to be provided when the renewal is submitted.
On the other hand, even if the couple or marriage is terminated, if they have children together and have joint custody, the non-EU citizen can renew the card.
Finally, in the event of one of the two following cases:
- If the non-European has been subjected to human trafficking during the period of the marital relationship
- If you have been a victim of GBV during this same period
In these last three cases a court decision will be required in order to proceed with the renewal.
Demonstrating the possession of sufficient economic means
When renewing, you will be asked to prove that you have sufficient financial means.
So be careful. Not only must you have financial means to access the first permanent community card.
You must also have sufficient means during the whole period of its validity, because if those means disappear, the card will be extinguished.
Who has to prove these means?
Not the person who will obtain the card, but the Spanish or European citizen. That is, the citizen who brings you to Spain and on whom you depend.
In this sense, we find two important distinctions:
Depending on the proffessional activity of the European citizen...
We find three different cases here.
Depending on whether the EU citizen is employed, self-employed or not working, the proof of financial requirements will be made in one way or another:
In the case of no work, the European citizen will have to provide health insurance and documents proving that he or she has sufficient financial resources to support herself and the dependent citizen.
If you are employed, i.e. working for a company, you will only need your employment contract registered with the SEPE.
Finally, if you are self-employed, you must register with the CAE (Census of Economic Activities).
In the latter two cases, registration in the social security must also be certified.
Economic means for ascendants and descendants (parents and children)
In addition to presenting valid documentation that can prove that the emotional bond is still maintained (this is important in the case of children of the civil partner or spouse), there are other important considerations.
If the child is over 21 years old, it must be proved that he or she is dependent on the Spanish or European citizen. Being dependent means proving total financial dependence. Although it can also refer to physical dependence for healthcare reasons.
The same applies to relatives in the ascending line, i.e. the parents of the Spanish or European citizen. They must also be in charge of the latter, supporting them completely economically and, depending on the case, also physically.
How long does it take to renew this card?
After sending your renewal request to the foreigners’ office, the administration will have three months to approve or deny your file.
If after this period you do not receive a response, negative administrative silence will be interpreted as a rejected application
Renewal of the European card during the alarm state
It doesn’t matter that we inside an alarm state. If your community card expires, you’ll have to renew it.
As we have already mentioned throughout this article, for several years you have been able to renew your card online.
Therefore, the only difference in the alarm status is that it eliminates the possibility of renewing in person.
Many people choose to do the procedure like that. But due to the current situation with the coronavirus and the procedures for foreigners, all public administrations are closed to the public.
Therefore, you must submit your application online.
And, as the regulations state, you must do so during the 30 days prior to the expiration of the card.
If you do not know how to do this, do not hesitate to contact our team of lawyers. We will take care of the successful renewal of your community card.
Fill out the following form and we will contact you immediately to start the process.