Would you like to bring your relatives with you to Spain but you can’t through the general family reunification procedure? Then keep on reading. Thanks to the extended family reunification, you can bring your uncle, brother or sister, nephew, niece, grandchildren, and any relative as long as you meet the requirements that we will analyze below.
What is extended family reunification?
The extended family reunification is the immigration procedure by which you can bring with you to Spain all those relatives that are not included in the reunification under the general regime, so that they can obtain their residency in Spain.
Before the regulations governing the extended family came into force, the Spanish or EU citizen could regroup a very limited number of relatives.
Basically, these were her spouse, her unmarried partner (officially registered), her children (and those of her partner), and her parents (and those of her spouse).
Thus, now with the extended family reunification it is possible to reunite any other family member who is dependent on her and living in the country of origin.
Siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents… all these relatives can be reunited under this special procedure.
As a key point, you must take into consideration that just Spanish citizens (including foreigners who have acquired the nationality) or Europeans can carry out this process for extended family.
In addition, as we will now see, the requirements to successfully complete it are much more complex than in the general case, and on very few occasions you will actually be able to access the procedure, so you must make sure you comply with them.
Which relatives can be reunited through the extended family?
Through the extended family visa procedure, you can bring to Spain with you any immediate relative, without the need for them to be blood related.
That is to say, the process can be carried out with any relative who lives in the country of origin and who is economically dependent on the Spanish or EU citizen, since she does not have other more direct relatives who can take care of her or because of her studies, for example.
But, in addition, it will also be possible to regroup with extended family to relatives with whom the Spaniard has lived in the country of origin.
Or family members who, although they do not live with the applicant, have an illness, disability, or handicap that requires them to come to Spain with the applicant.
And, finally, also stable couples (not registered). We are talking about couples married abroad and in the process of registering the marriage in the Spanish territory, couples with a child in common, couples who have lived together for a sufficient period of time, etc.
As you can see, there are no age limitations here either. You can regroup, for example, children under and over 18 years of age; parents over 65, etc. (something that does not happen in the general regrouping).
The requirements for this procedure will depend to a great extent on the particular case. But, no matter the situation, the evidence and justification that you provide will be one of the key elements of the process.
As mentioned above, there are three main blocks, each with its own particular requirements: dependents, family members with illness/disability, and stable partners.
Thus, correspondingly, the degree of financial and physical dependency, the degree of disability, and the existence of sufficient documentation to prove the continuous relationship of the couple will be assessed.
In each case, the requirements and evidence needed will vary, and you will need to be able to demonstrate them in a sufficiently valid manner with the available evidence.
For example, to prove disability, you will need to use medical certificates and reports, disability cards in the country of origin, etc.
Or, to prove economic dependency, that there have been remittances within the last 24 months that are at least equivalent to the minimum wage in the home country.
Step-by-step application process
First of all, it will be the Spanish or EU national who must initiate the process from Spain.
To do so, she must go to a notary to sign a notarized letter indicating that she is willing to bring the family member, that there is an economic or physical dependency, and that she has sufficient means to support him once he comes to Spain.
Together with all the identity documents of the parties involved, this documentation will be sent to the country of origin.
With this information, and in addition to all the proofs that demonstrate the kinship bond (for example with the birth certificate) and the physical or economic dependence, the foreigner in the country of origin will have to go to the Spanish consulate to request and receive the visa with which she will be able to travel to Spain.
It will be at this moment when all the different and valid proofs must be provided, hence encountering the most important part of the whole process.
Once she gets this visa, she will be able to enter Spain to finally get her card in physical format at the corresponding immigration office (according to the address where is registered)
It will be then when the immigration office will ask to prove that the applicant (Spanish or EU citizen) has a job or has a stable income, and that the relative has private medical insurance with no gaps or co-payments (and full coverage throughout the Spanish territory).
Recommendations and useful advice
As we have been mentioning, this is undoubtedly one of the most complex procedures of all immigration procedures. Due to these difficulties, it will be essential to consider the following recommendations.
- The documentation you provide must be clear and sufficient. Everything must be properly argued and you must provide as much documentation as possible, the more the better! Both the family relationship and the economic dependence must be demonstrated with sufficient effort.
- If you are not a European citizen, apply for Spanish nationality as soon as possible in order to be able to carry out the procedure, and bear in mind that you will not be able to start it until it is granted.
- Since the foreigner who will be regrouped will enter Spain with a visa, she will have to travel with medical insurance and a round-trip airline ticket (even if she loses the return trip).
- Keep in mind that this is a procedure very susceptible to subjective evaluation and judgment by the immigration office, and that it is unusual for this permit to be granted.
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