Family Reunification Visa - Guide
Updated: Nov 15, 2021
This is a legal immigration procedure that allows third country nationals who are living in Spain with at least 1 renewal (1 year) of their residency permit (TIE), to bring their family members to live in Spain with a full residency and work permit. This visa is only available to third country nationals and the process must be started by the family member living in Spain.
The family members who are eligible for this process are your parents, spouse or civil partner, parents in law and your (or your spouse’s) children (putative children) under 18 years old.
How does it work?
The visa requirements and process vary slightly, depending on which family member you wish to join you. Once successful, the visa allows your family member to come to Spain with a 1 year residency and work permit which is renewable for one more year after the first year, and then every two years. After legally living in Spain for 5 years your family member will be eligible to apply for a permanent residency permit.
As well as the general requirements, your family members need to meet the following conditions to be eligible for the Family Reunification Visa
Your father and mother:
you must have permanent residency and they must be 65 or over and have a condition or disability that requires you to take care of them
They must be economically dependent on you
Your spouse or partner:
you must have a marriage/civil union certificate and sufficient proof to show that it is not a marriage of convenience. This can be done by providing evidence of the relationship preexisting the application such as census records, previous rental contracts and bank accounts in joint names
Must be under 18 or disabled, with a birth certificate
Essential requirements and documents you will need
As well as being a non-EU national, you must show that you are financially stable and have sufficient means to look after you and your family members/dependants, no criminal record and do not suffer any illness that could pose a threat to public health. Your family member will also need to pay the visa fee on presentation of the documents to the consular office and a medical certificate that complies with the requirements set by the Spanish Consulate and Immigration Office (see section below).
To check the full list of requirements and documents you will need to present, please check the consular guide on the family reunification visa* (the English version starts on page 5, and the list of requirements and documents on page 5-6).
*This document is from the London consulate, so if you are applying for the family reunification visa from a different country, some details might differ slightly. We advise checking with the particular consular authority in your region*.
Obtaining a medical certificate
You need a medical certificate which states that you do not “suffer any of the illnesses which may cause grave public health risks in accordance with the International Sanitary Regulations 2005”. The certificate should be issued no later than 3 months prior to the date of the application, along with your other documents. If issued by a doctor from your country, the certificate must be translated into Spanish by a sworn translator.
To save time and money, you can also use Age in Spain’s direct link to medical certificate service which gives you a private online video consultation (15-20 minutes) with an English-speaking doctor in Spain, who can give you the required official Spanish medical certificate which meets the Spanish Government’s Health Regulations. This certificate is a Spanish document and so does not require legalisation or translation. For more information and to request an appointment, contact email@example.com.
Sorting out your health insurance
It is vital that you take out the correct type of private health insurance when applying for a family reunification visa. The Spanish authorities will check that your private health insurance offers at least equal cover to the Spanish Healthcare System, without any copayments, excess or exclusions.
There are many health insurance companies and policies to choose from, so make sure that you know what you are buying. Age in Spain partners with ASISA, which offers a new health insurance policy specifically for English-speakers who visit and live in Spain which meets the visa requirements. Contact our free service firstname.lastname@example.org for personalised information and assistance in selecting the policy that best meets your needs. Or, if you prefer, use this link for a direct quote. By using this link, you will also support Age in Spain’s vital work with older people in Spain without any additional cost to yourself if you purchase a policy. Click here for more information about what we offer.
How to get started
The application process of the FRV is different to other visas, as it is started by the family member who is living in Spain. You need to present the Immigration Office with a set of documents to show that you and your relative are eligible for this visa in order to obtain a favourable resolution. Once you receive the favourable resolution, your relatives living abroad will be able to apply for the visa at the designated consular office for the region in which they live.
Presenting the documents at the Immigration Office (Spain)
You can book an appointment for reagrupación familiar by clicking this link. When filling in the online form, you will access a complete list of the documents you need to provide to the Immigration Office (in Spanish). If you have a digital certificate, you can do this procedure electronically.
After presenting the documents, the Immigration Office will send you a resolution within approximately 45 days. If you present the documents in person, you will receive a certified letter by post. If you send the documents electronically with your digital certificate, you will receive a notification via email and you will be able to access the resolution at the section Mis Expedientes.
Upon receiving a positive outcome, your relative living abroad will have 2 months to request the visa at the designated consular office in their region.
The visa process for the relative living abroad (country of origin)
Your relative needs to make the visa application at the Spanish consular office in their region. They will probably need to book an appointment via email before going in person to the office. We suggest consulting the Spanish consulate website in their country to find which office they should attend to, and the email address to which they must send the appointment request.
Send an email to the consulate with the following information:
Subject line: the type of visa you are applying for (in this case, the family reunification visa).
In the body text:
Your personal details: full name, nationality, passport number and phone number.
Type of visa you are applying for (real estate investor visa).
Reason for requesting the visa.
Desired date of the appointment. The consular office will confirm the date and time of your appointment taking into account your desired date.
How long does it take?
Once the documents are presented, the treply might take up to 2 months. The complete process can take up to 5 months for the reunification process to be completed, depending on how busy the Immigration and Consular Offices in each country are.
Once approved, your family member will have 1 month to collect the visa, with 3 months in which to travel to Spain. Bear in mind that a later entry into Spain might be disallowed.
Requesting your residency card (TIE)
After receiving the visa, you have one month from the date of entry into Spain, in which to apply for the TIE - Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero - at the Immigration Office or Police Station. You will need to book an appointment at a police station to get your fingerprints taken and apply for your biometric residency card. Check here how to apply for your residency card.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I renew the FRV?
At the end of the first year, you need to renew your residency card, not the visa. You can request the residency renewal up to 60 days before and 90 days after the expiry date of your permit at the Immigration Office.
All the requirements for your visa need to still be in place (sufficient economic means, housing, health insurance, etc.) Each subsequent renewal grants you 2 more years of residency. After 5 years, you can request permanent residency.
What is the Informe de Vivienda Adecuada?
Having adequate housing accommodation is an essential requirement for the reunification process. You must provide a favourable housing report (Informe de Vivienda Adecuada) to the Immigration Office. Usually this report is issued by the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento). Check which institution is responsible in your region by clicking this link.
This report will provides basic information about your home such as size, condition, number of rooms, etc.
Can I regroup with my extended family using the Family Reunification Visa?
Your extended family (nephews, brothers/sisters, children over 21, uncles, unregistered partner, dependants) will be eligible for the FRV only if you obtain Spanish nationality or that of an EU state.
In addition, the extended family member must be economically dependent on you. This means that when applying for the visa, you must show evidence of your previous financial support through money transfers made to your family member during the past 12-24 months and you must pay the costs in making the visa application.