If you are a foreign individual wishing to apply for residency for your minor child, but are unsure of how to navigate this process, this article is for you. 

We will guide you step by step through the process, ensuring you have all the necessary information at your fingertips: requirements, application process, and key legal tips for a successful application.

Residency for minors not born in Spain


Residency for a minor child who was not born in Spain is an authorization that can be granted to various groups: to foreign minors who were not born in Spain, to children of foreigners who have legal residence in Spain, and to minors legally under the guardianship of Spanish citizens or institutions, or of a foreigner with legal residence in Spain.

To obtain this authorization, continuous residency in Spain of at least two years is required, and the parents or guardians must meet the economic means and accommodation requirements necessary to exercise the right to family reunification.

Furthermore, when minors are of compulsory school age, it must be demonstrated that they have been enrolled in an educational center during their stay in Spain.


Who usually requests this type of residence?


It is common for foreign parents to wish to apply for residency for their minor child who was not born in Spain. This situation is frequently encountered because over time, they may have brought their minor child to live with them in Spain, and now they wish to obtain residence so that their stay in the country is legal.

In these cases, the minor child can obtain a residence permit to live legally with their parents. 

Through the procedure detailed throughout the text, the minor obtains a residence authorization linked to the father, mother, or legal guardian. In other words, to the person who has granted them the right to reside in the country.

It is a process very similar to family reunification. However, the difference is that the child does not need to return to or be in their country of origin to apply. The entire procedure can be completed from Spain.


What is the duration of the minor’s residence in Spain?


The validity of the authorizations granted in this case will be linked, where appropriate, to the residence authorization of the father, mother, or legal guardian of the applicant. If the authorization derives from guardianship by a European citizen, it will be valid for five years.

To begin executing this procedure, certain requirements must be met, which we will outline below. Take note, as it is crucial to fulfill them for this process to be approved.


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Requirements to apply for residence for minor children:


The essential requirements to apply for the residence authorization of a child not born in Spain are as follows:


Demonstrate that the father/mother are foreigners and legally reside in Spain


The primary requirement is that at least one of the parents must hold legal residency in the country.

In other words, it is not mandatory for both parents to possess residency permits in Spain or to be regular residents in the country; the presence of one legal resident parent suffices.

However, if one parent holds legal residency while the other resides abroad, the latter must provide consent at the Spanish consulate in their country of residence to permit the child to live in Spain with the resident parent.


Ensure the minor’s continuous stay in Spain for at least 2 years


Secondly, the child must have lived continuously in Spain for a minimum of 2 years. 

Proving that the minor has been in Spain for 2 years is possible with the census registration (or empadronamiento). Thus, it is essential to immediately register your child at the city hall upon arrival in Spain. 


Provide evidence that the parents have adequate financial means 


The next requirement is proof that the parent or parents have enough financial means to support themselves and their child. Naturally, this requirement will be more if both parents are present in Spain. 

Along with this, there should also be proof of adequate living conditions for the minor. This is to ensure that the parents have enough that the child lives comfortably and with dignity. 

It can be demonstrated with a viable housing report. 


How to apply for the residency of minors in Spain


These are the steps that must be followed to obtain the residence authorization for minors not born in Spain to foreign parents:

  1. Fill out the application form (EX-01 Form)
  2. Submit the complete and valid passport of the minor
  3. Submit documents proving the familial relationship
  4. Submit documents certifying that the minor’s has lived in Spain for at least 2 years 
  5. Submit a certificate demonstrating that the minor has been enrolled in a school (if of school age)
  6. Provide documentation proving the financial means of the father/mother
  7. Obtain a housing report issued by the Autonomous Community


How long does it take to receive a response to the application?


The resolution period for the application is usually 90 days (three months), starting from the day following the date it was registered with the competent authority for processing. However, this time period can vary.  


What should I do once I receive the resolution?


Once you receive a positive resolution for the residence authorization, the father, mother, or legal guardian must personally request, accompanied by the minor, the Foreigner Identity Card (TIE). 

This is requested at the Foreigners Office or Police Station corresponding to the province where the authorization was processed. They will take the minor’s fingerprints, and after a month or so, the physical card should be available for pickup. 

If you need legal assistance in obtaining residency for a foreign minor in Spain, remember that you can always consult with us. Our team of lawyers would be happy to help you!


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