Pareja Estable – Residence in Spain without Marriage

Those who have been to Spain know what an important role the family plays here – and the larger its size, the better! Did you notice the big noisy crowd of grandparents, aunts, uncles, children and grandchildren at the barbecue in the park or in the summer on the beach? It’s true – the family in Spain comes first, and it doesn’t matter what bonds it holds together … Love is enough for everyone! And there is even legal (migration) evidence for this – the residence permit for the “Member of the Family of an EU Citizen,” which in Spain can be obtained not only by an official or common-law spouse (pareja de hecho), but also by a second half without first registering their relationship. Spain allows “foreign halves” who have long-term (and even unregistered) relations with an EU citizen to obtain a residence permit on the basis of their “Pareja estable” status. A residence permit is issued for 5 years with the right to work, then extended for 10 years. 

Are you intrigued? Then continue … 

In addition to official marriage (Matrimonio), in Spain there are other types of unions that are not inferior in the migratory sense: Pareja de hecho – in our opinion, “civil marriage”. Obtaining a residence permit on this basis occurs after the “preliminary” registration of the pair. Depending on the region, this can be done at a notary public (Catalonia), at the Registro de Parejas de hecho, or at the municipality. 

Pareja estable is a relationship without any registration at all, and not even necessarily in Spain! The main requisite is co-residence for at least 1 year, if the couple has no children. 

So, for example, couples who just moved to Spain from another country of a joint residence turn to us. And couples living together and registered in Spain for more than a year. 

Very often, couples married outside the EU, who require legalizing such marriages, also follow this path. For example, she is from Hungary, he is from Ukraine, if the marriage registration certificate was obtained in Ukraine and not legalized in Hungary, then in this case, a residence permit can only be submitted by Pareja estable. 


  • He has been living together for more than 1 year and can confirm the seriousness of his relationship. 
  • Has a common child. In this case, there is no need to prove the duration of the relationship, but to show that the couple is real: for example, joint registration, tickets, etc. 
  • Married outside of Spain. Be careful, the rules of the regulations require that the relationship should be not only stable, but also long-lasting, so it is important that the wedding takes place more than a year ago or show the term of the relationship before it. 


The law does not regulate the type of evidence. Nevertheless, the migration authorities give preference to weighty arguments: for example, general bank accounts, real estate, medical insurance policy. Of the most memorable evidence, our clients showed a passport for a joint pet, where “mom” and “dad” were registered. 


Although the Regulation does not impose liability on an EU citizen for his “half”, proof of income sufficient to live in Spain is required when applying for a residence. And if there is no income here, then you can attach a bank statement with a sufficient amount. Be sure to have medical insurance.

PSC verified information only

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