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A guide to family reunification visas: What you need to know

A guide to family reunification visas: What you need to know

A guide to family reunification visas. If you’re considering bringing your family members to join you in Spain, navigating the process of obtaining a Family Reunification visa can seem daunting. However, understanding the required documentation and procedures can make the process smoother. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you through it.

Key considerations

The Family Reunification visa in Spain is a temporary residency permit granted to family members of non-EU national residents in Spain under the right to family reunification exercised by a resident individual. 

The sponsor (the family member already residing in Spain) must have resided in Spain for at least one year with approved authorisation to reside for at least one more year. The sponsored family member can be his/her spouse and children. Additionally, elderly parents may be eligible if they are financially dependent on the sponsor and meet certain criteria.

This process consists of two steps:

1.- The first step requires the sponsor to apply for an authorisation to reside in Spain for his/her family member at the Spanish Immigration Office in his province. 

2.- Once granted, the sponsor’s family member can apply for a Family Reunification visa at the Spanish Consulate of his/her residence. 

Required Documentation

You must provide the following documents when applying for a Family Reunification visa. Remember, generally, you should submit copies and present the originals when you apply:

  • Official Application Form (EX–02): Fill out and sign this form provided by the authorities.
  • Passport: Copies of the reuniting family member’s valid passport.
  • Proof of Employment or Sufficient Financial Resources:
  • If employed:
    • Copy of employment contract and pay stubs for the last six months.
    • If applicable, the latest income tax return.
  • If self-employed: Evidence of the business activity and income tax returns.
  • If not employed: Certified checks, travel checks, payment letters, or credit cards, along with a bank certification of available credit.
  • Proof of Adequate Housing: Include a report from the Town Hall where the reuniting family member resides.
  • Occupancy Permit of the Housing: Document proving the right to occupy the dwelling.
  • Documentation of Family Relationship or Union: Include relevant certificates or documents demonstrating family ties, marriage, or partnership (birth/marriage/civil partnership certificate).
  • Healthcare Assurance: Proof of guaranteed healthcare coverage.

Remember, any documents from foreign countries must be translated into Spanish and hold the Hague Apostille. 


Who Can Apply:

The sponsor (the family member already residing in Spain) initiating the reunification process can apply personally or through a representative.

Where to Apply:

Applications must be submitted electronically at the Immigration Office.

Government Fees:

Upon application acceptance, a temporary residence fee is charged. This fee must be paid within ten business days.

Processing Time:

The application is usually processed within forty-five days of submission.

Visa Application:

Once approved, the family member must apply for a visa within two months from notification. This application includes:

  • Valid passport.
  • Criminal record certificate for adults.
  • Medical certificate.
  • Original documents proving family ties or legal dependence.

The visa is typically issued within two months of application.

After Visa Approval:

Upon visa receipt, the family member has two months to collect it. They must enter Spain within the visa’s validity period, usually three months.

Within a month of arrival, the family member must personally apply for the residence card (TIE) at the relevant authorities, along with:


Understanding the requirements and procedures for Family Reunification visas is crucial for a successful application. By ensuring you have all the necessary documents and following the outlined steps diligently, you can reunite with your loved ones in Spain smoothly.

Article prepared by Sara Velasco. Sara is a senior lawyer with several years of experience assisting clients moving to Spain. Call her at +44 2070 430648 or contact us here, and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

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