You may be enjoying your new life in Spain. You may have achieved your legal status through a residence permit, or even you may have just obtained the Spanish citizenship. So now it’s time to also let your family enjoy the wonders of the country. The fact is that they have it really easy. Why? Because the family reunification for foreigners is a simple path to bring your relatives to Spain. Would you like to learn how?

In this post we will go through all the legal aspects you need to consider when trying to bring your family to Spain through the reunification process during 2019:




If you are living legally in Spain and have a residence and work permit, if you have already lived during one year in the country and have a visa for another additional year, you can execute the family reunification process.

This process, regulated by the Legal Act 557/2011, simply means that you can bring your family to Spain under a legal status, enabling them to also live and work in the country.

But an important caveat must be made.

With the first residence card you obtain once you have landed in Spain, you cannot opt for this procedure. Neither you can apply for the family reunification with the card obtained trough arraigo social, arraigo laboral or arraigo familiar.

You will just be able to apply for the family reunion visa once you have your residence permit renewed. This means that you have lived in Spain for one year, you obtained your residence permit “por cuenta ajena” or “por cuenta propia”, and you can legally live in the country for an additional year.




Once you fulfill the before mentioned conditions, we must take into consideration which are the relatives that can join you in Sapin for the family reunion.

As an individual who holds a residence permit in the country, you can apply for the family reunification residence visa for:

  • Your parents: father and mother
  • Your spouse or civil partner
  • The parents of your spouse/civil partner (your mother and father in law)
  • Your son or daughter provided that they are under 18 years old
  • Children of your spouse/civil partner (putative children)




There is a special case we should take into consideration, the case in which the individual who would like to bring his or her family already is a Spanish national (has the Spanish citizenship).

In this case, the conditions regarding which family members can join the applicant are a bit softer (as they will be getting the card as a family member of an EU citizen).

Once you already have the Spanish nationality, you can reunite the same family members as you could on the case in which you just held a regular residence permit.

But there are some important differences that will favor you.

In the case that you would like your children or the children of your spouse to join you in Spain, the maximum age permitted is extended, in this case, until 21 years old (vs the 18-year limit we mentioned before).

Furthermore, some years ago a new law was approved, and it modified the community law. Now you can not just bring the before mentioned family members, but now you can also apply for the permit for what is called the “extended family“.

This means that, if you possess the Spanish nationality, you can also bring your grandparents, brothers, grandchildren, and uncles.

Nevertheless, this regulation is clearly strict in the sense that you should accredit that these members of the extended family depend on you. We are talking about cases in which they have any kind of functional or cognitive limitation, they are disabled, our you clearly have economic means to support their living in Spain.

Now you can completely understand the importance and the benefits of having the Spanish citizenship. You will be able to bring all your family (children up to 21 years old) and your extended family provided that you maintain that person economically.

Therefore, if you have lived in Spain during the required years with a residence permit, we really recommend you to apply for the Spanish nationality. The effort will pay off its benefits!




As with any other residence permit, providing the right documentation will be crucial for a successful application. In this case, if you would like to bring a family member to Spain through the family reunification process, you should make sure to bring:

  • Copy of your passport and the original document
  • Copy of your residence permit + the original
  • Photocopy of the passport of the family member that is gonna join you in Spain
  • A document that accredits your kinship bond. In this case, if you would like your spouse to join you, you should provide the marriage certificate. If you are willing to bring your children, his or her birth certificate will be needed.
  • The national visa application form
  • Adequate housing information, which is emitted by the City Hall from the location in which you live regularly. In some Spanish regions, like in the case of Catalonia, the emission of that document depends on the regional government, the Generalitat the Cataluña. Therefore you should get it from that institution.

You should bear in mind that, as we will see in the procedure part, you, as the individual who is already in Spain, don’t need to certify any of the documents. Legal certification of the papers must be done just by the regrouped family member in his or her home country.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, you will need to prove that you have sufficient funds to maintain the joining family member. And that is something we must clarify in more depth.




Showing that we have sufficient economic means will be essential. But how can we know whether we do or not?

The 54th Article now incorporates some objective indicators that enable us to define, prior to the residence visa for family members application, if we are meeting all the economic requirements.

Let’s start with the most basic case: we just have a family unit of 2 members. This is, we have the individual who already holds the residence permit in Spain, and the family member he or she wants to bring to the country.

In this case, you will need to accredit that you hold an amount equivalent to 175% of the IPREM.

What is the IPREM? The IPREM (“indicador público de renta a efectos múltiples”) is an indicator that is used in Spain to define whether an individual is eligible for certain grants or not. It basically defines the minimum amount of money you should hold in order to be eligible.

The current IPREM (2019), is 537,84 €. This means that, in order to bring your family member to Spain, you should have around 1.000€ on a monthly basis.

What happens if we would like to bring more than one family member? In that case, if the family unit is larger than 2 members, we should add an extra 50% of the IPREM for every additional relative that will join us.

We must make sure that the means that we accredit to the Foreigners Office are stable over time. This is, we must demonstrate that we will have this source of income, at least, during the following year to the application process.

There is some good news. The family member that is joining you in Spain can use welfare benefits, like social security, to accredit the minimum means that must be possessed to maintain them.

Which are the other documents that will prove that we have sufficient economic means?

If we have a work permit as “cuenta ajena” (we work for another), we should present our work contract plus our six last pay sheets. The statement of income will be also needed.

If we work as self-employed individuals, the corporate tax declaration (impuesto de sociedades), is required.

Warning. If your job contract is gonna expire in one month, you shouldn’t try to apply for the family reunification. Why? Because you need to show some stability. Your job contract must last, minimum, for another year (preferably if it is regarded as indefinite).




Furthermore, there are three crucial requirements you will need to fulfill if you wish to apply for the family reunification visa.

  • You cannot possess an illegal status in the country
  • You will need to present your background check. This implies that you must have clear criminal background records.
  • Having full coverage in the Spanish territory by public or private health insurance is required.




Let’s now go over the step by step legal process you and the family member that will join you will need to go through.

The individual who already has a residence and work permit in Spain should be the one who starts the procedure. He or she will initiate the application process with the Foreigners Office.

She will need to submit the documentation pointed out before. But remember, there is no need to legally certify these documents in this step.

Within 45 days from that moment, she will receive a response. If that is not the case, and no response is received during that time period, the procedure will be regarded as denied (due to administrative silence).

If the response to the application is positive, the individual who we are bringing to Spain (spouse, children, parents), has 2 months to solicit the visa.

Where? On the Spanish consulate located in his or her origin country. Here is where all the documents must be legally certified.

The consulate will send a response within 2 months. Once the response is received, the applicant has two months to grab the visa. In the case of being under 18 years old, it will be a legal representative of the one in charge of the collection.

Then, with the visa collected, the joining relative will have 3 months to travel to Spain. Once landed, he or she has just one month to solicit the TIE (on the Police Office). In order to obtain the TIE, the applicant must bring with him:

  • Card photos (with color)
  • A document certifying he or she has already paid the required fee
  • EX-17 model filled out




Bringing your family relatives to Spain is really simple. You already know the documents you need to submit and which are the requirements. 

Nevertheless, the legal process can be a bit complex, especially in regards to all the documents you need to fill out. That is why we want to help you. Our immigration lawyer team has helped over 1000 clients worldwide to legally start their new life in Spain. And we would like to be the ones who make it easy for your family too. 

Therefore, if you are willing to apply for the family reunion and bring your relatives to Spain, let us be your reliable immigration solicitors. We will manage the whole legal procedure for you, step by step, so you don’t need to worry. 

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