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Can Brits live in Spain if married to EU citizen?

Can Brits live in Spain if married to an EU citizen?

As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, moving to Spain post-Brexit is pretty difficult. If you hold a British passport then you will usually need to apply for a Visa which isn’t always easy. The Non-Lucrative visa requires a lot of money and the Digital Nomad Visa still hasn’t been agreed on yet so the process can be complicated for anyone wanting to reside in Spain for longer than 3 months.

However, if you are a British national married to an EU citizen (doesn’t have to be Spanish) then you may be in luck.

Read on for everything you need to know about applying for residency in Spain as the spouse of an EU citizen…

As mentioned above, the rules for living in Spain since Brexit state that all British passport holders must be approved for a visa before moving to Spain on a permanent basis.

Unless… your partner or spouse is a European Union citizen who is living, working or studying in Spain.

In this instance you have the right to live and work in Spain, all you need to do is apply for the procedure called Family member of an EU citizen.

What are the rules?

Relatives of a Spanish national, or of someone who is an EU citizen, are able to live and work in Spain as if they were EU citizens themselves.

They can apply for a residence and work authorisation that will enable them to work in Spain under the same conditions as any other EU citizen.

The residence permit must be applied for within 3 months of arriving in Spain.

Who can apply?

Relatives who can apply via this procedure are broken down into three categories:

  • Direct relatives: A spouse or civil partner
  • First degree descendants: Children of the EU national or of his/her spouse.
  • First degree ascendants: Parents of the EU national, provided that they are dependent on the EU national.

How long is the residency card valid for?

The residence and work authorisation as a family member of an EU citizen is valid for 5 years from the date of issue.

However, this residence card is only valid as long as the EU national is living in Spain, meaning if the EU national states they will be living in Spain for less than 5 years, then the card will only be valid for that same time frame.

What are the requirements for the residence and work authorisation card?

  • You must live permanently in Spain with your EU partner/relative
  • The named EU citizen must be a resident in Spain (living there for more than 183 days per year)
  • The EU national must be working under a legal contract in Spain, studying, or with sufficient economic funds in their name.
  • Proof of marriage/civil partnership or relation to the EU citizen.

Who much money does the EU national need?

The named EU national is required to demonstrate the possession of sufficient economic funds. The amount needed will depend on the number of family members you are willing to bring to Spain:

  • One relative: €627.13 per month (€8779.82 per year)
  • Two family members: €885.36 per month (€12395.04 per year)
  • Three family members: €1143.59 (€16010.26 per year)
  • Four family members: €1401.82 (€19625.48 per year)
  • Five family members: €1660.05 (€23240.70 per year)

What happens to your residence rights if your spouse dies?

If you were already living legally in Spain and your EU spouse died before acquiring permanent residence there, you are allowed to stay if you had been living there for at least 1 year before their death.

To be able to stay, you must also meet the same conditions for residence as EU nationals.

What happens to your residence rights if you get divorced?

If you get divorced from your EU spouse before they acquired permanent residence in Spain (which usually requires them to have lived there for 5 years) – you may stay if:

  • You have been living there for at least 1 year, and
  • Your marriage lasted for at least 3 years before divorce proceedings started

You can also stay if you have:

  • Custody of your children or
  • The right to see your minor children), as long as the court ruled that such access must be in the host EU country

In the case of your right of access to a minor child, you can stay in Spain for as long as this is required. To be able to stay, you must meet the same conditions for residence as EU nationals.

As you can see, if you are a British national married to an EU citizen you may find it a bit easier to make the move to Spain.

If you would like some more advice on applying for visas to move to Spain we’d highly recommend a chat with Bureaucracy who will guide you through the whole process via a free consultation.

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