Healthplan Spain


Understanding Non-EU Spouse Visas For Spain Expat Tips

Spain offers a Non-EU Spouse Visa, designed for individuals who are in a relationship with non-EU nationals residing in Spain and wish to reunite with them while gaining legal residency in the country. This visa is applicable not only to the Spanish mainland but also to its overseas territories, including Ceuta, Melilla, and the Canary Islands.

The Non-EU Spouse Visa provides the opportunity to live and work in Spain for a duration of one year. To be eligible for this visa, it's essential that your partner is not a citizen of any European Union country. If you are a relative or family member of someone living in Spain, a separate application process applies, which can be found on other relevant pages.

Qualifying for the Non-EU Spouse Visa

To qualify for the Non-EU Spouse Visa, you must meet the following criteria:

1. Relationship Status: You must be either a spouse, a civil partner, or in a stable and cohabiting relationship with the non-EU resident living in Spain.

2. Duration of Residence: You should have at least one year remaining on the residence permit of the person living in Spain.

3. Proof of Genuine Relationship: It's crucial to provide sufficient evidence that your marriage or relationship is genuine and not a marriage of convenience. Supporting documents may include joint bank accounts, shared rental agreements, utility bills in both names, or other census records.

Please note that the reunification process applies to one individual only.

Exclusions from the Non-EU Spouse Visa

The Non-EU Spouse Visa does not apply to the following categories:

1. EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens.

2. Other family members, such as children or parents of the non-EU national residing in Spain.

3. Spouses and partners of British nationals due to Brexit regulations. For such cases, it's necessary to apply for a tourist visa.

Understanding Different Relationship Statuses

In the context of the Non-EU Spouse Visa, it's essential to clarify different relationship statuses:

1. Spouse or Civil Partner: You are considered a spouse if you are legally married and your marriage remains valid, without divorce or legal separation. A civil partner is recognised if your relationship is legally registered but not through marriage.

2. Common-Law Partner: If you have cohabited with your partner but have not formalised your relationship through marriage or civil partnership, you fall into the category of common-law partners. To be eligible, you must prove that you were living together before your partner moved to Spain. Some regions in Spain may offer a legal status called "Pareja de Hecho" for such relationships if you can demonstrate at least 12 months of cohabitation. Note that legal requirements vary across different communities and localities in Spain.

Application Timeline for the Non-EU Spouse Visa

The application process for the Non-EU Spouse Visa can be time-consuming and may involve additional interviews or documentation requirements. Therefore, it's advisable to plan well in advance. Allow at least six months for the entire application process from start to finish.

Application Process for the Non-EU Spouse Visa

The Non-EU Spouse Visa application process is more intricate than other visa types and involves substantial documentation and justification. Both you and your partner play a role in the application process: your partner presents documents within Spanish territories, while you handle aspects from abroad.

If neither you nor your partner speaks Spanish, consider arranging additional translation support during the application process.

Key points to keep in mind during the application process:

1. In-Person Appointments: Appointments with consulates should be attended in person by the relevant applicant, whether in Spain or the country where you are applying.

2. Timelines: Be aware of the expected timelines for each stage of the application process before proceeding to the next step.

3. Legalisation: Ensure that all documents are either legal or apostilled (stamped with approval from the relevant government). You may also need to provide translations of documents into Spanish.

4. Additional Requests: Be prepared for the possibility of the Spanish Consulate requesting additional documents or an in-person interview for further assessment of your situation.

Responsibilities of the Partner in Spain

The partner residing in Spain has a specific role in the process. They need to apply for an Initial Family Reunification Permit issued by the Government of Spain. This permit can be arranged through the local immigration office in Spain. Booking an appointment with the local office is recommended to obtain guidance on applying for the permit.

Your partner will need to provide documents proving eligibility for the non-EU spouse visa, including evidence of financial stability, the ability to support you during your stay in Spain, a clean criminal record, and no health conditions that could pose a threat to public health.

Required documents for your partner include:

1. Passport
2. Proof of adequate housing
3. Proof of employment or financial stability
4. Proof of your relationship
5. Evidence that they are not in another relationship in Spain

Additional documents may be requested if necessary. The immigration office typically responds within two months of receiving the permit application.

Applying for the Non-EU Spouse Visa

Once you have obtained the Family Reunification Permit, you can initiate the application for the non-EU spouse visa. You have a two-month window from the date of receiving the resolution to submit the visa application. Failing to apply within this timeframe may require your partner to reapply for the Family Reunification Permit.

When applying for the non-EU spouse visa, you must provide the original permit along with a secondary copy.

Required documents for the non-EU spouse visa application:

1. Valid Passport: Ensure your passport has at least four months of validity remaining before the renewal date. Having a passport valid for at least a year is recommended to avoid potential delays during the application process. Your passport should have at least two blank pages.

2. National Visa Application Form: Complete and sign the national visa application form, available in both Spanish and English. Ensure that all sections are filled out before submission.

3. Recent Photograph: Provide a recent photograph of yourself, similar in quality to a passport photo. Follow the instructions in a passport photo booth to ensure compliance. The background should be white, and your face should be visible without any obstructions like hair or clothing. Remove glasses to ensure clear visibility of your eyes. Attach the picture to the application form.

4. Residence Card (NIE): Include a copy of your partner's Spanish residence card (NIE/TIE).

5. Relationship Documentation: Submit evidence of your relationship, which can include a marriage licence, civil partnership documents, or proof of at least one year of cohabitation with your partner before their move to Spain. Valid documents may include rental agreements, joint bank account statements, or utility bills indicating shared residence for at least one year. Provide the marriage certificate issued by your country's civil registry and, if applicable, proof of divorce from any prior relationships.

6. Criminal Record Check Certificate: Obtain a criminal record check covering the last five years in your country of residence. If you have lived in multiple countries during that period, you will need to provide a criminal record check from each country.

7. Medical Certificate: Complying with the 2005 International Health Regulations, provide an original and a copy of a medical certificate demonstrating that you do not have any diseases that could pose significant public health threats, such as SARS or smallpox.

8. Proof of Residence: Include documents that confirm your residence in the consular district where you are applying. Examples of proof of residence may comprise rental or mortgage agreements, bank statements, or utility bills addressed to you.

Cost of the Non-EU Spouse Visa

The cost of the Non-EU Spouse Visa varies depending on your nationality. Here is an approximate pricing breakdown for different nationalities:

- Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, United Kingdom: Variable fees; contact the relevant authorities or organisations for detailed information.
- United States of America: $140 USD
- Other nationalities: $80 USD
- Nigeria: $17.40 USD
- Albania, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Belarus, Serbia & Montenegro & Ukraine: £30.15 GBP

Post-Application Process

Once you have submitted your application for the Non-EU Spouse Visa, you will receive a receipt with a tracking code to monitor your application's progress online. Typically, the process takes around two months, although it may extend if adjustments or additional documents are required, or if an interview is necessary. During this period, your passport will be held by the consular office, so international travel will not be possible.

Approval of the Non-EU Spouse Visa

If your visa application is approved, you will receive instructions on how to collect your visa, passport, and other essential documents provided during the application process.

Following the visa approval, you will need to obtain a Foreigner Identity Number (Número de Identificación de Extranjero or NIE) in Spain or at the Consular Office in your country of residence. This process involves demonstrating your purpose as a foreigner in Spain. It can be completed at the local consular office or after your arrival in Spain. While the typical approval time is around two weeks, there are no guarantees of a quick approval, so apply well in advance.

Rejection of the Non-EU Spouse Visa

In case your visa application is refused, you will receive a written notification explaining the reasons for the rejection. If you believe that the refusal was unjustified, you have the option to make an appeal within one month from receiving the refusal letter. It's advisable to seek legal guidance when considering an appeal, as judicial reviews can be intricate and complex.