There are different ways to enter Spain with your family. They are mainly divided into two: The stay, for less than three months, and the residence, for more than three months and valid for one year if it is the first time you request it.


If you have decided to travel to Spain with your family for less than 90 days for a touristic trip, for business, etc you must request an authorization for each family member that is going to travel. If you are from a country that lacks an agreement with Spain, you will have to request a visa in your country of origin. Conversely, if your country does not request a visa to travel to Spain, you will have to submit all the requested documentation at the border control for each of your family members.


Most of the families from outside the European Union that decide to emmigrate to Spain with all or part of their family (children, spouse or couple) have their residence permit processed by means of a Family Reunification processus. However, in order to do so, it is necessary for the person requesting family reunification to have been residing in Spain with a regular situation since at least one year ago.


A foreigner that requests a residence authorisation for a family reunification must attach, at the time when the authorisation request is submitted, the documents that prove they have enough financial means to cover their family needs, including a valid health insurance in Spain.

  • For family units including two family members (the person who requests reunification and the person subject to reunification) a monthly amount of 150% of the public income index (IPREM) is requested.
  • For each additional member a 50% of the IPREM must me added.
  • Requirements can be reduced if the person subject to reunification is underage or when exceptional circumstances apply.

Income provided by the spouse or couple or any other first-degree relative in the direct ascending line will be computable, provided they own a residence permit in Spain and they live with the person who requests reunification.


You may ask yourself: Can I bring my family with me from the very first moment without the need of having to reside in Spain for one year in advance?

There are several ways to make it possible but one of the main requirements is to be able to guarantee the economic support for your family.

One of the ways is to request a non lucrative residence permit


Foreigners must reside in Spain without carrying out any occupational activity or any lucrative activity. They must have enough financial means for the length of the residence they request, or they must prove a source of regular income for themselves and, as the case may be, for their family. They must do so on the following amounts, stablished as the minimum conditions and referring to the time when the visa or the renewal of the authorization is requested:

  1. To support themselves during their residence in Spain, an amount that monthly represents 400% of the IPREM 2096 euros.
  2. To support each family members that depends on them, during their residence in Spain, an amount that monthly represents 100% of the IPREM 532 euros.

Availability of sufficient financial means will be certified by any proof allowed by law allowing to verify regular and sufficient income or ownership of a estate that guarantees the aforementioned income, including property titles, certified checks or credit cards that must be accompanied by a bank certificate that certifies an available amount as credit for the aforementioned card.


The European Union citizen with a wish to stay in Spain for a time over three months, must request a Communitarian resident certificate. A right to residence will be acknowledged when:

  • they are a hired employee or a freelancer in Spain, or
  • they have enough financial means for themselves and their family members so that they do not become a burden for the social assistance in Spain during residence as well as if they have a health insurance that covers all the risks.
  • they have enrolled at a public or private center, acknowledged or financed by the administration with the aim to pursue studies, vocational training included; They must also have a health insurance that covers all risks in Spain and guarantees to the national authority in charge by means of an affidavit or any other equivalent method of their choice in which they declare they have enough resources for themselves and their family members so that they do not become a burden for the social assistance during their stay in Spain.
  • they are a family member accompanying a European Union citizen or a citizen from another State that is included within the European Economic Area Agreement or if they are going to meet this citizen and if they meet the aforementioned requirements.
  • These residence rights will be extended to all family members accompanying a European Union citizen or citizen from any other State within the European Economic Area or that are going to meet them:

    • If the family members are nationals from a member State they must request registration at the Central Register of Foreign Nationals.
    • If they are not national citizens from a Member State, they must request and obtain a residence card for family members  of a European Union citizen (form Ex19) in three months time since the date of entry in Spain. They must also include supporting documentation that proves existence of a family bond. The residence card for family members of a European Union citizen will be valid for five years since the date of issue.


    To answer this question, we will first reproduce the financial requirement that the Law requests from a EU citizen to be able to reside in Spain word by word and afterwards we will clarify confusing issues: “To have enough financial resources for themselves and for their family members so as not to become a burden for the social assistance in Spain during their residence period in Spain. They will also need to submit a private or public health insurance, purchased in Spain or in another country that provides coverage in Spain during their residence analogous to the National Healthcare System. Assessment of sufficiency of financial means will be carried out individually and taking into account the solicitor’s personal and family situation in any case. Having financial means above the amount fixed by the Budget Act yearly will be considered enough proof  to grant the right to a non-contributory benefit”.  


    Spain fixes the financial amount yearly. In 2016 it has been fixed at 5136 yearly euros. If you had less than that amount in Spain you could opt for public financial benefits for non-contributory benefits, something that this requirement tries to avoid. Thus, you must give proof that you have more thatn 5136 yearly euros in order to establish residency in Spain as a EU citizen.

    You must know that the Aliens Office analyses every residence request individually taking into account the requirement of 5136 yearly euros per person. However, in the case of families, they take into account this fact in terms of the financial amount that the whole number of members provides.


“Most of the foreign families from outside the European Union who wish to come reside in Spain do so through a process of family reunification but in order to do so it is necessary for one of the family members to legally reside in Spain for a year”

“It is possible to bring your family to Spain from your country of origin without having to wait for a year. However, the financial requirements are way higher than those for a family reunification”.

“EU citizens with a wish to establish residency in Spain have to prove as a requirement that they have a minimun income of 5136 euros per year, with unspecified reductions in the case of families”.


The Aliens Act acknowledges certain rights, some are limited to be enjoyed only by people with a residence permit in Spain, some are detached from the foreigner's administrative situation. Some of the most important rights are the following:
  • Education. All foreigners under 18 years old have the right and the obligation to an education on the same terms as Spaniards. This right includes access to compulsory education, obtainment of academic qualifications and access to a public system of grants and scholarships. They will also have a right to access non-compulsory secondary education regardless of their administrative situation. 
  • Free legal assitance. Should you need legal assistance to attend a trial, you can request a public defender and benefit from a free justice if you previously justify you lack the economic resources to pay for a private one. 
  • City registration. It is an administrative record where all neighbours belonging to a certain district or council are registered. Non-Community foreigners must renew it every two years, unless they are holders of a long-term residence permit.
  • Health. You must have a resident permit or work and residence permit to be granted this service. If you are staying irregularly this right extends only to assistance in emergency units. Minors and pregnant women also have this right granted until medical discharge.  
  • Translator. If you do not understand or speak Spanish, you are entitled by law to ask for an interpreter that translates into a language you can understand for the spanish legal services.


Information on the documentation needed to access the Spanish territory

I want to go to Spain

Find information on the documentation needed to enter in Spain.