Undoubtedly this is one of the most popular and most requested residency permits by foreigners from all over the world who start their new life in Spain. The fact that its main requirement is to be a relative of a European citizen makes this option a completely accessible permit for many.

Thus, and to ensure that you can enjoy an effortless application, in this post you will discover the 5 most important keys and tips to get the EU family member card successfully; the same tips that have helped hundreds of clients in our office complete the process without any type of rejection.


Who is eligible for this card?


The first thing we must answer before even considering starting with the application is who can apply for this card.

Generally speaking, the EU family member card can be applied for by family members of Spanish or EU (European Union) citizens living in the Spanish territory.

However, it is important to further explain this requirement, since it is one of the most important keys to the whole process.

Thus, among the family members of EU citizens, those that can apply for this residency are:

  • The spouse (after getting married)
  • The registered civil partner
  • Children under 21
  • Children over 21 who are under the care of the European citizen
  • Dependent parents (ascendants)
  • Partner in a relationship analogous to marriage (not registered)
  • Partner with whom you have a child in common


How to enter Spain in an effective way in order to complete the procedure


Many foreigners know that this residency can be applied for as a tourist directly from Spain.

However, most of them focus on the procedure and application process since they are already in the Spanish territory, but they forget to put emphasis on the previous (and also important) part of the procedure: properly entering the country.

Thus, in order to finally obtain this residency, you will also have to consider how you should enter Spain (in case, as an applicant, you are outside Spanish territory).

And this will depend on your country of origin:

  • If you are from a country that does not require a tourist visa to enter Spain, you will be able to travel and enter directly (without making any previous application), but taking with you the documentation that proves that you are indeed a family member of a Spanish/European citizen.
  • On the other hand, if your country requires a Schengen visa to cross the Spanish border, then you must first apply, at the Spanish consulate located in your country of origin, for a visa as a family member of an EU citizen in order to travel.

So, as you can see, everything depends on whether your country of origin has an agreement with Spain regarding free movement without a visa. You can find here the list of countries that do not require a tourist visa to enter Spain.


The first step to take after entering Spain


This recommendation is also very important.

Once you enter Spain (with or without a visa depending on your country of origin), the first thing you must do is to go to the town hall of your municipality to register jointly with the EU family member with whom you will make the application.

This step is essential and must be done before submitting your application to the immigration office.

In order to carry out this type of EU reunification process, both family members must be registered in the same municipality and at the same address.

In addition, the immigration office where you must apply for the residency card depends exclusively on your address (you will be assigned to the nearest one), so it is necessary to have this registration (“padrón”) first.

Thus, as a conclusion of this section, we can extract that jointly living with the European citizen is a fundamental requirement for the process. That is, both relatives must live in the same domicile.

But, what are the rest of the requirements?

The 4 main requirements to consider


The fourth key is a reminder of the main requirements you must meet to apply for the EU card. It is not enough to be a family member of a European Union citizen.

More specifically, the 4 main requirements you must meet are:

  • Submit proof of your kinship bond with the Spanish or EU citizen
  • Demonstrate that you live with him/her
  • Ensure that the European citizen has sufficient economic means (either own funds, being self-employed, or working for a company with a job contract)
  • Present your medical insurance in Spain, either by accessing a public health card or by taking out private health insurance with no co-payments or co-payments.

You can find expanded information on each of these requirements in our guide to residency as a family member of an EU citizen here.


Avoid losing your card this way


Finally, the 5th tip or key is not so much related to the application and its requirements, but to the maintenance of the card.

In order to be able to live in Spain legally with this card, it is equally important to enjoy a successful application and to avoid losing it during its 5 years of duration.

Thus, in order to maintain the community card, the first thing you must take into account is that both family members (you as a non-EU citizen and the EU citizen who has allowed you to obtain the card), must reside in Spain.

On the other hand, there is also the typical case in which non-EU citizens who have obtained the EU card through civil union (“pareja de hecho”) or marriage, wonder what will happen if the union or marriage is dissolved. Will she lose her residency?

As we explained in this post:

  • If the marriage or civil partnership has lasted, at least, 3 years and
  • Of these 3 years, a minimum of 1 has been in Spain

Then she will not lose her residency.


And so far these 5 tips and keys. If you need more information about this card or help to apply for your residency, our team of lawyers is at your complete disposal. Fill in the following form and we will contact you as soon as possible:



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