If you’re considering moving to Spain and want to bring your children with you, it’s important to understand the process of family reunification. In this guide, we’ll provide an overview of how you can bring your children to Spain in 2023.
Firstly, it’s essential to note that family reunification can be categorized into three main regimes:
General Regime: This applies to foreign citizens from non-European Union (EU) countries who are legal residents in Spain or are children of Spanish citizens.
Community Regime: This pertains to Spanish or EU citizens who wish to reunite with their non-EU citizen children.
Entrepreneur Law: This includes non-EU citizens who hold a residence and/or work authorization in Spain under the Entrepreneur Law.
Bringing Your Children under the General Regime:
This category can be further divided into two situations: Foreign citizens from non-EU countries who are legal residents in Spain. Spanish citizens who want to reunite with their non-EU citizen children. Children of Legal Residents: If you’re a foreign citizen living legally in Spain, you can reunite with your children or the children of your spouse who are either in your home country or legally residing in another country.
However, there are certain limitations to consider:
Only minor children or adult children with disabilities who cannot independently meet their own needs due to their health condition can be reunified. Adult children who do not meet the above criteria would need to explore other options, such as obtaining an Initial Residence and Work Authorization. Like any other residence authorization in Spain, there are specific requirements to fulfill, including: Not being a citizen of a EU member state, the European Economic Area, Switzerland, or a family member of citizens to whom EU citizen regime applies. Not being in an irregular situation in Spanish territory. No criminal records in Spain or previous countries of residence for offenses listed in Spanish legislation. Not being prohibited from entering Spain or appearing on the list of rejectable persons in countries with which Spain has a relevant agreement. Having health coverage through the Social Security system or private health insurance. Not suffering from any diseases that could have serious public health implications, as specified in the International Health Regulations 2005. Not being within the commitment period of not returning to Spain that the foreigner has assumed when availing voluntary return programs. Paying the processing fee. Having sufficient financial means to support the family. The income provided by the spouse or partner, as well as direct ascendants or descendants residing in Spain who live with the reunifying person, can be considered. However, income from the social assistance system is not eligible.
The minimum amounts are determined based on the following criteria: For family units consisting of two members (reunifying person and reunited person), a monthly amount equal to 150% of the Public Income Indicator (IPREM) is required. For each additional member, an additional 50% of the IPREM is needed. The required minimum amount may be reduced for the reunification of other relatives based on humanitarian reasons, assessed on a case-by-case basis by the Directorate General of Immigration. Once you meet these criteria, you can initiate the family reunification process at the Immigration Office in the city where you reside. After obtaining the corresponding Residence Authorization through Family Reunification, you can apply for the family reunification visa at the Spanish Consulate. If you are a Spanish citizen and want to bring your children to Spain, it’s important to understand the process of family reunification. This guide will provide an overview of how you can bring your children to Spain in 2023. Before the reform of the Immigration Regulations, family members of Spanish citizens used to enter Spain through the Community Family Reunification process. However, with the recent reform, these family members are now incorporated into the Immigration Regulations under the Family Roots (Arraigo Familiar) category, which requires a Residence Authorization for Exceptional Circumstances.
If you are the child of a Spanish citizen who is under 21 years old or over 21 years old and financially dependent on the Spanish citizen, you will need to apply for a Family Roots (Arraigo Familiar) authorization, instead of a Residence Card as a Family Member of a Community Citizen. To bring your children to Spain, you will need to follow two steps: Entry into Spain: If your children require a visa, you must apply for the corresponding visa at the Spanish Consulate in their country of origin or residence. Due to the recent reform, it is uncertain whether the Spanish Consulates will continue issuing short-term visas for children of Spanish citizens or if they will introduce other types of national or short-term visas.
Once in Spain:
After entering Spain, you must apply for the Residence Authorization for Exceptional Circumstances (Family Roots/Arraigo Familiar) at the corresponding Immigration Office.
Bringing Your Children under the Community Regime:
If you are a citizen of an EU country, the process of bringing your children to Spain falls under the Community Family Reunification regime, which has different requirements compared to the general regime. Under the Community Family Reunification, you can reunify with: Children under 21 years old. Children over 21 years old who are financially dependent on you. Unlike the general regime, the age of the children does not act as a barrier as long as you can prove their financial dependency. In this case, the non-EU family member should initiate the family reunification process in their country of origin.
There are two possible scenarios: Application for a Community Family Reunification Visa: If your family members need a short-term visa to enter Spain, they must apply for the corresponding Community Family Reunification visa at the Spanish Consulate. The consulate will require documentation proving the relationship and the residence of the EU citizen in Spain. The consulate will then issue the appropriate visa. If your children do not require a short-term visa to enter Spain, they can enter directly by providing documentation proving the parent-child relationship and the residence of the EU citizen in Spain. Once in Spain, they can apply for the Residence Card as a Family Member of a Community Citizen at the Immigration Office.
Bringing Your Children under the Entrepreneur Law:
If you, as a non-EU citizen, have a residence permit under the Entrepreneur Law in Spain, you can also reunify with your children who are financially dependent on you. The process usually starts at the Large Companies and Strategic Collectives Unit (UGE), initiated by the family member (depending on whether it is a joint application or not with the main permit holder). The UGE typically processes these cases quickly, often resolving them within a month. Once the favorable resolution is issued, the family member can apply for a visa at the Spanish Consulate. It’s important to note that this guide focuses on family reunification for children of Spanish citizens and EU citizens. Other family members, such as parents, spouses, and other relatives, may also be eligible for family reunification, and specific requirements may apply to each case.
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