Moving to the beautiful countryside or exciting city-center of Spain might’ve once seemed like a far-off dream. Now you’ve made that dream a reality, but what about your family members or loved ones still living in your home country?
Luckily, you no longer have to leave loved ones behind while you work or study in Spain with the help of the Spain spouse visa!
If you’re currently living abroad in Spain, it probably feels like a dream come true.
Help your loved ones experience the dream of living in Spain alongside you with the appropriate visa.
No need to go comb through pages of searches such as ‘Spain family visa’ or ‘unmarried partner visa in Spain.’ Go! Go! España has you covered.
In this guide, we’ll explain what a Spain spouse visa is and how you can obtain one. Keep reading as we explore the ins and outs of the spouse visa for Spain!
What is a Spain Spouse Visa?
Under Spanish immigration law, foreigners who reside legally within Spain are able to exercise their right to reunite with their families.
The reunification process includes family members such as parents, dependents, and spouses.
The Spain spouse visa provides a legal framework for the spouses of foreigners who hold legal residence status in Spain an avenue to do so.
Alongside the Spain spouse visa are additional visa types that allow families to live together in Spain. These include:
- Family reunification visas
- Unmarried partner visas
Also known as family reunification visas, or reagrupación familiar, these visas help reunite families that are not already citizens of the European Union.
Relatives that are eligible to apply for a family reunification visa typically include a spouse or partner.
Other relatives that can apply include:
- Parents 65 or older
- Dependents like children and grandchildren
- Other adults that require legal guardianship
Children who fall into the 18 to 21 age group are also able to relocate to Spain upon confirmation that they are truly dependents, as well as if they are enrolled in academic studies.
Spanish Spouse Visa Visa Requirements
There are varying degrees of requirements depending on which family member will be living with you and which visa you’ll be applying for.
For example, if your parents will be living with you, you will need to demonstrate an explicit need that they must live with you for the family reunification visa.
Demonstrating that they do indeed need to be cared for by you financially will be required as part of the visa application process.
For cases where your spouse will be a part of the application process, you’ll need to have a copy of the marriage certificate for the Spain spouse visa.
In addition, a sworn statement may be required confirming the applicant isn’t currently living with another partner.
This helps to confirm that the marriage is not one of convenience and is legitimate.
In the case of bringing parents over, you must show Spanish residency of at least a 5-year minimum.
Your birth certificate will be required at time of application to confirm they’re your parents.
For in-laws looking to apply for the Spain family reunification visa, a marriage certificate, coupled with birthday certificates will be utilized.
How to Apply for a Spain Spouse Visa
The official application for family reunification or spouse visas can be found at your local foreigners’ office.
This application must be submitted in person by the person who holds the Spanish residence permit.
This is completed at the local consular office.
This submission process must be completed within a 2-month window.
The 2-month window starts on the day after the date on which the primary applicant gets notified of the family reunification authorization.
In the case of missing documentation or errors, the Consular Office might request additional documentation or information to help inform the decision.
The required documents for a spouse visa in Spain mirror many other visa types.
Documents required by the Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores include:
- Application form
- Valid passport (original and copy)
- Recent passport photograph
- Residence card (TIE)
- Proof of family ties
- Proof of financial means
- Certificate of clear criminal record
- Medical certificate
- Proof of current residence
Depending on the familial relationship with the applicant, additional documents might vary.
For example, a marriage certificate between spouses must be presented during the application process.
Alternately, birth certificates for children will be presented as proof during the process.
Keep in mind that any foreign documentation must be legalized or apostilled before being submitted with the appropriate Spanish translation copies.
To start the process, the non-EU spouse will need to obtain a general Spanish visa to enter the country.
From there, they will apply for a residence card at the local oficina de extranjería (immigration office).
Each foreign resident must apply for and receive a Foreigner’s Identity Card within a one-month period of their entry into Spain.
For next steps for the family reunification visa for Spain, the applicant must be the person currently residing in Spain.
In addition, they must show residency in Spain for a minimum period of time as part of their documentation.
What Are the Financial Costs for a Spouse Visa?
Gathering the documentation for a spouse visa or family reunification visa in Spain includes application costs.
It should be noted that the cost of the visa gets paid during the application stage or on the day on which you make the visa appointment.
The visa application cost will fluctuate depending on nationality.
For example, American citizens can expect to pay around €123. Canadian citizens can expect to pay €507. The fee for other nationalities starts at €80.
Payment methods vary as some foreign consulates only accept money orders or cashier’s checks.
You’ll want to confirm with your local consulate prior to arriving to ensure you have the proper method of payment.
Timeline for Obtaining a Spouse Visa
After an application has been submitted, the legal period for reaching a decision is a two-month maximum.
After that, the time frame can be extended if additional documentation is required to reach a decision.
The general timeline for both a spouse visa and the family reunification visa are the same.
In terms of the application decision wait time, it can be helpful to have all documentation and requirements properly gathered prior to submitting your application.
This will ensure the best chance of avoiding any delays or a potential refusal.
Upon refusal, any visa applicant can submit a reconsideration appeal to the same Consular Office by which they first applied.
This appeal must be submitted within a one-month time frame after the initial refusal date.
These visas both have a three-month validity period.
Upon arrival in Spain, recall that you must apply for a Foreigner’s Identification Card. This application must be completed with one month of your arrival.
What is the Unmarried Partner Visa for Spain?
Another visa type, adjacent to the spouse visa in Spain, is the Spain unmarried partner visa.
Technically, this visa is not an actual visa. Rather, it falls under the residence permit umbrella.
In Spain, a residency visa card often referred to as a Tarjeta Comunitaria!
The requirements for this visa are similar to the Spain spouse visa requirements listed above.
- Application form
- Passport and passport photos
- Your partner’s residence certificate
- Proof of finances
- Confirmation of health coverage
You can apply for the Spain unmarried partner visa if your partner legally registers and lives in Spain, as Spain recognizes unmarried couples in long-term partnerships as part of a civil union.
A crucial step during this application process is to provide proof that the foreign citizen truly is a legitimate partner of the individual residing in Spain.
The only major difference from the Spain spouse visa above will be that no marriage certificate is applicable here.
Due to its absence, further documentation providing proof of the relationship will be submitted.
Keep in Mind
Keep in mind that the various criteria for applying may differ depending on the municipality in which your partner is living in.
However, an example of documentation might include documents providing the relationship dates prior to the applicant’s arrival and subsequent residence in Spain.
Additionally, a pareja de hecho certificate can also serve as proof.
This is a certificate of domestic partnership for unmarried couples.
Couples can apply for this legal status by providing proof that they do in fact have a stable, continuous relationship.
In addition, couples must provide proof they have lived together for a specific time period.
The minimum period depends on each region, it usually goes from 6 to 24 months.
Proof of living together could include anything from rental contracts to utility bills, and beyond.
You can even use your empadronamiento (census record) as proof.
Always remember that the rules when applying for a pareja de hecho vary between the provinces and communities within Spain.
In general, your local Consejería de Igualdad should be able to help answer questions you might have.
If you’re looking to obtain your domestic partnership certificate as proof for the unmarried partner visa, what steps should you take?
First, you’ll want to reserve an appointment in advance to apply.
Next, you’ll want to gather the following documentation:
- Non-EU member’s NIE (original and copy)
- Non-EU member’s passport (original and copy)
- Original and copy of your census record
- Non-EU member’s birth certificate
- Original application and copy of application
You’ll also want to provide documentation certifying that you and your partner are not currently married.
Keep in mind, you can complete this process entirely from Spanish soil as a tourist on your regular visa.
Just be sure to have the appropriate documents apostilled and translated into Spanish.
Keep in mind the following requirements when applying for the domestic partnership certificate.
- Your partner must be registered at an address in Spain
- You must live together in a publicly recognized way for at least one year
- Your partner and you can’t be in another union
- You must be able to legally consent to the union with sound mind
Spain Spouse Visa – Renewal Requirements
So, you’ve gone through all of the proper channels and provided the right documentation to obtain your spouse visa or family reunification visa.
After all of that, the months in Spain have likely flown by!
What about renewing your visa?
Once you’ve successfully resided in Spain for one year, you are eligible to apply for a second one-year renewal period.
After that, your renewal period extends to every two years.
For the family reunification visa, keep in mind that it is not the visa you’re renewing. Rather, it is your residency card that you’ll be renewing.
You’ll want to request a renewal up to 60 days prior to the expiration date of your current permit.
You also have a 90-day grace period after the expiration date of your current permit in which to request a renewal.
After you’ve hit the five-year mark in Spain, no more renewals.
At that point, you’re eligible to apply for permanent resident status!
Get Started Applying for a Spain Spouse Visa Today
The Spain spouse visa is a particular type of visa that allows family members to join their loved ones who are already living in Spain.
If this situation pertains to you and your spouse, and you have questions as to the overall process, Go! Go! España is here to help.
We have a dedicated team of professionals who will help clarify the process for you.
We’re here to help guide you through the ins and outs of the visa application process.
We can help ensure you’ve gathered the right documentation, help guide you through the apostille process, and more. We can even suggest accommodation the next time you decide to explore new cities in Spain!
Utilize our contact form to let us know what questions you have on the visa application process – we’d love to help you get started obtaining your Spain spouse visa today.