According to article 16 of the Immigration Law, foreign residents are entitled to live in a family and have the RIGHT TO RESPECT FOR FAMILY LIFE. As a result, it is possible for foreigners resident in Spain to be joined in the country by certain members of their family.

As a foreigner resident in Spain, your relatives who qualify for reunification are as follows:

  • The spouse of the reunifying person provided they are not divorced or separated (separats de fet), or the person with whom they maintain a relationship similar to one between the spouses.

  •  Your children and/or those of your spouse, including adopted or disabled children, provided that they are under 18, are not married and you are their legal representative.

In the case of any children you may have had with partners other than your spouse, or any your spouse may have had with partners other than you, you must have exclusive parental rights (pàtria potestat) over them or have been awarded custody (guarda i custòdia) of them, and they must actually be dependent on you.

  • The ascendants of the reunifying person or applicant's spouse when they are in charge, are over 65 years and justify the need to authorize his residence in Spain. Parents can only be reunified when the applicant has a long-term residence permit (5 years of continuous legal residence).

To apply for family reunification, a foreign citizen must have a renewed residence permit that entitles them to stay in Spain for at least another year. They must also prove that you can provide suitable housing conditions and sufficient economic resources to support they family (through a municipal housing report (informe d’estrangeria d’adequació de l'habitatge) or through an affidavit, if the report is not issued in 30 days). Additionally, the applicant will have to show the existence of economic dependence on the part of the relative as well as justify the necessity for the ascendants’ reunification.

Once your local immigration bureau (Oficina d’Estrangers) has authorised family reunification, the relative who is to join in Spain may request a residence visa from the Spanish consulate in the country in which they live, so as to be able to enter Spanish territory. Once the relative arrives in Spain, they will have to apply for a foreigner identity card.