People frequently come to the law office of Murlà & Contreras Advocats for a similar consultation: they are Spanish citizens and they want to bring their parents to live in Barcelona through a family reunification visa. We must inform all of them that they cannot follow the family reunification process but rather they must obtain a Residence Card of a Family Member of a Union Citizen, which both Spanish citizens as well as citizens of the rest of the European Union[1], the European Economic Area[2] and Switzerland can apply for.

The process of obtaining a Residence Card of a Family Member of a EU Citizen, in spite of having a similar purpose to the family reunification visa, differs in certain important aspects that we will go over here.

Obtaining this Residence Card of a Family Member of a EU Citizen varies according to the situation of the person who has the right to obtain it, that is, the person of a European nationality or an individual with the same rights, as well as the relationship with the person who is to obtain the card.

Requirements that a person must meet that gives the right to obtain the Residence Card of a Family Member of a Union Citizen:

  • Be a Spanish citizen, or a citizen of any other State of the EU, EEA or Switzerland
  • Be a hired employee or self-employed in Spain, or
  • Have sufficient economic resources, both for yourself as well as for the members of your family, in order not to become a burden for Spanish social assistance, or
  • Be a student and be enrolled in a public or private center, recognized or financed by the educational administration to attend studies or professional training, who has medical insurance signed in Spain or in another country which provides complete coverage in Spain. In this case, you must draft an affidavit that you are in possession of sufficient economic resources, both for yourself as well as for your family members, in order not to become a burden for Spanish social assistance.

How can I show that I have sufficient economic resources? The assessment of sufficient economic means is conducted individually, depending on the personal and family situation of each case in particular. However, we should take into account that at a minimum an individual must comply with the requisite of holding resources which are above the amount established in the State’s General Budget Act to generate the right to receive non-contributive benefits, which for 2018[3] are:

Number of individuals living in a domicile

Euros/year

Living alone with partner and/or with second degree blood relations

2

9.046,38

3

12.771,36

4

16.496,34

If one of the Union citizen’s parents or children are among the individuals living with the citizen:

2

22.615.96

3

31.298,40

4

41.240,85

What type of medical insurance do I have to provide? Although legally, nothing concrete is specified with regards to the type of insurance, it is highly recommended that the insurance policy not have an expiration date or copayment.

Who can apply for the Residence Card of a Family Member of a Union Citizen?

Family members of EU citizens who accompany you or who are going to be reunited with the family member of an EU citizen can request it. The individual must be:

  • A spouse
  • A partner with whom you maintain a relationship analogous to the marital partnership which is enrolled in an established public registry in an EU or EEA member State. Marriage and enrollment as a stable union are incompatible with each other.
  • Direct offspring of EU citizen or of the registered spouse or partner, under twenty-one years old or older than this age who lives under the EU citizen’s care or is legally disabled.
  • Direct ascending family member of EU or EEA citizen or their registered spouse or partner who lives under the EU citizen’s care. This point is not applicable when the EU or EEA citizen has the condition of student.
  • Any family member who in the country of origin is under the care of the EU citizen. This point is not applicable when the EU citizen has the condition of student.
  • Any family member who in the country of origin is under the care of the EU citizen. In this case, you must confirm that there you have lived together continuously for a minimum period of 24 months.
  • Any family member, for whom, due to severe health problems or disability, it is strictly necessary that the EU citizen takes direct care of the individual’s personal health.
  • Unregistered civil partnership with a duly confirmed stable relationship by accrediting the existence of a long-lasting bond. This bond is demonstrated by accrediting that the two individuals live together as a stable partnership of, at least, one continuous year except in the case that the partners have children in common, in which case, duly accrediting stable living conditions together is sufficient which can be done by being registered as living in shared housing, rental contracts or through the purchase of a home together, shared bank accounts, etc…

How can I show that a family members is under the care of the EU citizen?

In accordance with the jurisprudence of the European Union Court of Justice, the classification of family member “under the care” of a Union citizen occurs when the EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who provides the right to the Residence Card of a Family Member of a Union Citizen, or their partner, guarantees the necessary resources to sustain the family member.

Spanish jurisprudence interprets this definition of a family member “under the care of a Union citizen” in a restrictive manner:

Children over twenty-one years old

It is necessary to provide certified proof that the children, in their country of origin, depend on the EU citizen in an effective and real manner and not merely formal, and requires the applicant to accredit the need for the children to come to live in Spain precisely due to this economic dependence. It is not only necessary to prove the lack of economic resources but also that there is no other family member in the country of origin or residence, in particular the other parent, who can maintain them.

Thus providing documentation confirming that you regularly send money is not sufficient, but rather you must prove the precise economic, family and social situation of the dependent children. To accredit this point, the documentation that shows that the children are students, that they do not receive benefits from Social Security in their country of origin, that they do not carry out any work that would allow them to maintain themselves, etc. is required.

Ascending family members

As in the case of children, for ascending family member it must also be sufficiently demonstrated that they live “under the care” of the EU, EEA or Swiss citizen or their spouse in an effective and real member, however, in this case severe health problems are also included as a reason to obtain the EU citizen family member card. This situation of dependency is understood as being due to the individual suffering severe illness that must exist already in their country of origin.

Other family members

Although the law establishes that other family members may be included in the community system, it does not specify the relationship or blood relationship or kinship which must exist between the EU citizen and the other person, as such there is room for any type of bond.

In these cases, in addition to the bond with the EU citizen, the following must be confirmed:

  • That in the country of origin they are under the EU citizen’s care or live with the EU citizen.
  • That due to serious health problems or disability it is strictly necessary for the EU citizen to take care of the personal health of the family member.

The Residence Card of a Family Member of a Union Citizen allows the family member to reside and work in Spain for a period of five years, with the possibility to renew the permit. This time also counts towards obtaining nationality.

We here in Murlà & Contreras Advocats have extensive experience in processing the Residence Card of a Family Member of a Union Citizen. Contact us by email writing to info@murlacontreras.com, calling 935113062 or filling out the form that you can find on the link https://murlacontreras.com/es/contacto-y-localizacion/ to explain your situation to us or to begin the process of obtaining this residence and work permit.

[1] The Member States of the European Union as of July 19, 2018 are: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Romania and Sweden.

[2] The member states of the European Economic Area as of July 19, 2018 are: all the Member States of the European Union plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

[3] Reference amounts extracted from the “Guide of the amounts to receive non-contributive pensions in Spain in the year 2018”: http://www.imserso.es/InterPresent2/groups/imserso/documents/binario/fpnc.pdf