Top Tips: Bringing Your Family Members to Live in Spain if You’re Not an EU National

Since Brexit, the UK is no longer an EU member state. If you’re from the UK, or from another country that falls outside of the EU’s jurisdiction, then your route to living in Spain will look very different than it would if you were from inside the EU. If you’re a non-EU citizen and already living in Spain, it’s likely that you may want your family members to join you. The good news is that this is possible!

If you are already in possession of a TIE residency card, or other Spanish residency permit, then the Family Reunification Visa is the route you would use to bring your family members to join you. However, it is important to note that you can only apply for a Family Reunification Visa if you have been living in Spain for at least a year, and if your permit has been renewed for at least another year. Here is a handy guide to everything you need to know about your non-EU family members moving to Spain:

What if I Don’t Want to Wait a Year?

If waiting a year to secure a family reunification visa simply seems too long to be separated from your family then the good news is that there are some specific circumstances where this requirement can be waived. These circumstances are:

  • If you already have a long-term residency permit that you secured from another EU country
  • If you are using a student or researcher visa to remain in Spain
  • If you hold an EU Blue Card

If these circumstances don’t apply then waiting a year to secure a family reunification visa will be the only route available to you.

Which Family Members Can Join Me?

The purpose of the family reunification visa is to reunite immediate families, which means your third cousin, twice removed, would not be able to take advantage of this visa type. Instead, only the following family members would be eligible to join you in Spain:

  • Your current spouse or civil partner
  • Any dependent children or adopted children, provided they are under the age of 18.
  • Dependent children, grandchildren, or another person that you are the legal guardian of who are over 18 years old and have disabilities or cannot look after themselves. (If your child is over 18 and under 21, will be studying in Spain, and is also financially dependent on you, they may also be able to join you).

It is, theoretically, possible to bring your parents or in-laws using the Family Reunification visa, but only if they are over the age of 65 and considered your dependents. You must also have been living in Spain for five years or more before you can bring your parents to move with you.

Any other family members, no matter how close you are, are not eligible to use the family reunification visa.

The Paperwork Involved in Bringing Your Family Members to Spain

When you are completing the application forms for a family reunification visa, the main focus will be on proving that you can adequately support the dependent family members that you wish to join you. The figure that you must show you earn will increase with each additional family member.

To bring one relative, you must demonstrate that you have an amount equivalent to or greater than 150 percent of the IPREM (Public Multiple Effects Income Indicator) for one relative. If you want to bring a second relative, you will need to add an extra 50 percent on top of this. This can be demonstrated via pay slips if you're working, or from your tax returns if you’re self-employed. If you don’t work then you would have to show that you had enough savings to cover this figure. You would also need to demonstrate that you have a private health insurance plan in place for each member of your family that will be joining you.

Completing the Application Process

The full application process should take around six months to complete: your relatives will be unable to move to Spain until their application has been approved. Within three months of your visa application you should know whether it has been rejected or approved: the rest of the time is allocated to processing time.

Once you have a family reunification visa, your family member will need to apply for their own TIE residency visa. At this point, your spouse and any children of employment age will also be able to work in Spain without securing any extra visas.

Are you thinking of moving to Spain with your family? Looking to escape the cold and rainy weather in the UK and make an escape to the sun? Then why not get in touch with our local property experts, who are perfectly placed to help you find the Spanish home of your dreams. We’re excited to help you make your next move your best move!