If you’re a non- EU citizen and joining a family member in Spain who is an EU citizen, you’ll need to apply for an EU family residence permit. In order for your application to be successful, you and your EU family member need to fulfil a series of requirements as follows.

What’s the first step for the EU family residence permit?

You are permitted to accompany or join an EU citizen in Spain if your family member fulfils the following conditions:

Has the right to stay in Spain for longer than 3 months for employment reasons (employed or self-employed) and medical insurance and sufficient funds to support you.


Is a student in Spain with medical insurance and sufficient funds to support the family unit.

To apply, you must be related to the EU citizen in one of the following ways:

  • Spouse and currently married.
  • Partner and registered as legal partner in an EEA country.
  • Son or daughter of an EU citizen or their spouse or partner, under 21 or over 21 if financially dependent.
  • Parent of an EU citizen or their spouse or partner.
  • Any relative dependent on the EU citizen in the country of origin.
  • Any relative who lived with the EU citizen in the country of origin. In this case, you must prove at least 24 months of continual cohabitation.
  • Any relative whose serious health or disability reasons mean the EU citizen must take care of them.

What documentation do you need?

As is the case with all residence permits in Spain, the list of documents for registering as a non-EU citizen in Spain of an EU citizen is long! You will need the following:

  • Official form EX-19, completed and signed by the non-EU family member.
  • Valid passport.
  • Three recent passport-size colour photos.
  • Documentation that proves your family tie with the EU citizen, e.g. marriage or birth certificate.
  • Document identifying the EU citizen (passport or national ID card).

If the EU citizen is employed:

  • Certificate of employment that includes the name and address of the employer, fiscal ID number and social security code.
  • Employment contract registered with the State Employment Service (Servicio Público de Empleo) or proof of job contract and conditions via the CONTRAT@ platform.
  • Certificate stating that the EU citizen is signed up with the Spanish social security system.

If the EU citizen is self-employed:

  • Certificate stating that they are signed up with the Employment Activity Census (Censo de Actividades Económicas).
  • Certificate stating that the EU citizen is signed up with the Spanish social security system.

If the EU citizen does not work in Spain:

  • Certificate stating that they have state or private medical insurance.
  • Proof that they have sufficient funding to support themselves and the non-EU family member. This may take the form of property deeds, certificates of income or credit cards with proof of the credit limit available.

If the EU citizen is a student:

  • Certificate of study at a recognized state or private educational centre or institution.
  • Proof that they have state or private medical insurance. The European Health Card valid for the period of residence is sufficient in this case.
  • Declaration of sufficient funds to support themselves and the non-EU family member.

Note that you must present a copy of all documentation and the originals when you apply for the residence permit.

Note also that all certificates not in Spanish and not standard EU documents must be translated into Spanish (sworn translation). They must also carry the Hague Apostille or be legalised by the Spanish consulate (except documents issued by Spain, which will not require to be legalised).

What happens next?

Once you have put together all the paperwork, you need to take the following steps:

  1. Your EU family member must present the application at the Foreigners’ Office or National Police Station in the province where you intend to live. You can see a list of offices, contact details and opening hours here. The application must be made within three months of your arrival in Spain.
  2. You receive a document confirming your application. This is valid as proof of legitimate residence until you receive your residence permit. You should receive your residence permit within three months of the date of application.

How long is the residence permit valid for?

The period of validity depends on how long the length of the EU citizen’s residence permit is. In most cases, permits for non-EU family members of EU citizens are valid for five years.

Maria Luisa Castro

Director and Founder
María founded CostaLuz Lawyers in 2006 and is the Firm’s Director. María is registered Lawyer number 2745 of the Cadiz Bar Association and is licensed to practice in all areas of law throughout Spain. Working closely with her team, María has developed the firm into one of the most highly regarded and trusted Spanish Law Firms acting for English-speaking clients with legal problems in Spain. We’re here to help. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation, initial legal orientation.
María Luisa De Castro - Costaluz Lawyers

4 thoughts on “How to register as a non-EU family member of a Spanish resident or EU citizen resident in Spain”

  1. Hi can you pls help me to get a family visa
    I am British married to a EU citizen living in Spain
    I have an NIE number already we live in Almoradi
    And how much will you charge ?

    1. Maria Luisa Castro

      Hi Zareena,

      You would only need to register as your spouse’s non-EU family member in Spain. We can submit your application electronically.

      We will be very pleased to help you. A member of our team will contact you with all the details.

  2. I have searched the net for the particular case (or similar) below but find no easily understandable solutions, even from your excellent description, with regard to visa requirements as the 90/180 rule does not seem to work for our preferred pattern of visiting Spain.
    My wife and I are both retired (though she does occasional temp work in UK that is easy to stop/start). I am a UK citizen (70y). she (61) has UK and Cypriot (so EU) citizenship. My pension income meets the requirements for residency though currently (if ignoring the temp work) my wife’s does not.
    Ideally (ie as we could have done prior to Brexit) we wish to start splitting our time between UK and Spain starting on a ‘day count’ that has the majority UK (late Spring to early Autumn + a couple of of weeks at Christmas) and minority Spain. Then, over a few years starting to increase Spain time to become the majority and decrease UK time while always maintaining property in both (still to be purchased in Spain – may rent to start).
    I would have thought this preferred pattern was not out of the ordinary.

    1. Maria Luisa Castro

      Hi Keith,

      Regarding your plans, as an EU citizen, your spouse can exercise her right to freedom of movement. Therefore, there are no restrictions for her. However, if you -as a non-EU citizen- would like to spend more than 90/180 days, your spouse would have to register as EU citizen in Spain and once registered, you would have to register as her non-EU family member.

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