In this article, we are going to provide you with information regarding the EU Family Residence Card, also known as the EU Residence Card. We will also clarify the purpose of the card and whom is entitled to request it.
Firstly, we would like to reiterate the following regarding EU citizens according to both the Spanish and EU regulations in force:
Citizenship of the Union confers on every citizen of the Union a primary and individual right to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States, subject to the limitations and conditions laid down in the Treaty and to the measures adopted to give it effect.
The community regime is not only applicable to EU citizens, but also to nationals of the States constituting the European Economic Area (EEA EFTA). That is to say, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway together with citizens of Switzerland. All citizens of the latter countries are granted the same freedoms as those of EU Member States. Therefore, their family members could benefit from obtaining the EU Family Residence Card.
The family relationships that satisfy the requirements to request the EU Card are the following:
- A spouse, as long as the marital requirements or declaration of nullity of the marital tie such as divorce, legal separation or marriage annulment are satisfied
- A partner with whom an EU citizen has formed a union equivalent to marriage, duly registered at an established public registry of an EU Member State or a State belonging to the European Economic Area
- A child, whom is the direct descendant of an EU citizen or of his or her spouse or partner, under the age of twenty-one or in the case of being older than twenty-one, a dependent member of the household
- Any family member whom in their country of origin is dependent on, or lives with an EU citizen. Proof of living together shall be understood to be valid if duly certified to be of a period of at least 24 months in the country of origin
- Any family member, whom due to serious health reasons or disability, strictly requires an EU citizen to be in charge of his or her personal care
Supporting Documents required to request the EU Residence Card
Correct presentation of the supporting documents to your application is a key aspect to obtaining your EU residence card, which is why we advise you to consult and seek the assistance of a lawyer with expertise in Immigration Law at this point.
In general terms, and in accordance with article 8.3 of RD 240/2007, The EU Residence Card application should be presented together with the following supporting documents:
- The official application form (EX–19) in duplicate, duly filled in and signed by the family member of the EU citizen
- The original valid and non-expired passport of the applicant. In the scenario that his or her passport has expired, it is necessary to provide a copy of the passport together with the renewal request
- Documentation providing proof, in this case, duly translated and apostilled or legalised, of the existence of a family tie, marriage or registered union that grants the right to the card (e.g. Marriage or Birth Certificate…)
- Certificate of Registration of the family member whom is citizen of an EU Member State or citizen of a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, whom the applicantis accompanying or joining
- Documentation providing proof (only in those cases where applicable), that the applicant of the card is dependent on a citizen of an EU Member State or citizen of a State partyto the Agreement on the European Economic Area (e.g. descendants over twenty-one years of age)
- Three recent passport sized photographs taken on a white background
- In the case that the applicant is not currently working or carrying out professional activity in Spain, it is necessary to provide:
- Proof of public or private healthcare insurance, contracted in Spain, or in another country, as long as the insurance provides coverage in Spain during the period of residence, and is equivalent to that provided by the NHS. We would advise you to contract the insurance for a period of at least one year
- Documentation providing proof of sufficient financial resources to maintain the EU citizen and his or her family members during the period of residence in Spain. It is possible to certify this by any legally acceptable means or evidence. For this aspect of the application it is important to consult a lawyer with expertise in Immigration Law, hence assuring that the correct the evidence to prove sufficient financial resources is presented to the Spanish authorities. Failure to present proof of sufficient financial resources are the main grounds for refusal of EU Residence Cards
The application procedure
- The family member of the EU citizen must submit the application in person
- It is necessary to make a prior online appointment with the corresponding Foreign Office in order to present the application
- The place of submission shall be the Foreign Office of the province where the applicant plans to reside, or at the corresponding Police Station
- The deadline for submission is of three months as from the last date of entry into Spain. When presenting your application, you will be provided with a receipt certifying that it has been submitted, this is sufficient proof of legal residence until the card is issued
- It is necessary to pay a fee (via Form 790-Code 012) and before the EU Family Residence card is issued
- The EU Family Residence card should be issued within a period of three months as from that date of submission of the application
- The EU Family Residence card is valid for a period of 5 years as from the date of issue
When submitting documents from another country they must be translated into Spanish or the co-official language of the territory within the country in which the application is submitted. On the other hand, all foreign public documents must be previously legalised by the consular Office in Spain with power of jurisdiction in the country where document was issued.
As we explained earlier, we strongly advise you to seek the advice and assistance of an expert lawyer, given the diverse regulations governing these kinds of procedures, and due to the fact that the correct preparation and presentation of the documentation is fundamental to the success of your application.
At MSG LEGAL we are at your disposal for any guidance or assistance you may require regarding the application procedure for your EU Residency card or any other services you may require in order to regularise your residency situation in Spain, for both Community citizens and non-Community citizens.
Please note the information provided in this article is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice.